It is extremely important for any club member to consider and plan each round before he begins it, so that he is psychologically equipped to play the complete 18 holes to the best of his ability. This statement, I know, calls for some elaboration. Most golfers, I've found, do not realize that their game has fallen into certain patterns—unless they later re-examine their scorecards. Some invariably play better on the back nine than the front, not because they're swinging better but because they've given themselves a fight talk. Many others play well on the front nine and maintain a mental grip on their game through the 10th hole. From the 11th to the 17th they tire or grow distracted and ruin their score. Then on the 18th they concentrate again for a good finish. Some golfers relax into carelessness when they win a few holes. Others tighten badly when they lose a few. And so on.
No golfer can control all his actions and reactions, but a little self-examination will certainly help most players to recognize their idiosyncrasies. Then, before setting out, they can prepare themselves better for playing each round, retaining their purpose and poise in the face of the ups and downs that are always part of golf.
from JOHN BATTINI, pro at the Olympic Country Club, San Francisco
NEXT WEEK'S GUEST PRO: HOMER HERPEL ON CHIPPING ACCURACY