Scoring can be mental. How you think about par, birdie, bogey can affect how you show up over the ball. You can put unnecessary pressure on yourself to make a putt for par or give yourself a "3-putt pass" on a par 5 if you hit the green in two.
In this episode, I share a different way to think about scoring so that you can stand over as many shots as possible from a calm, certain or confident place.
Listen in and gain a paradigm shift on scoring with 3 key concepts.
Learn more about Kathy at KathyHartWood.com
Hello, my golf friend. Welcome back to Above Par. I'm so glad that you're here and listening. Thanks for showing up. If you like this podcast, actually it'd be super helpful if you subscribe to it. If you're on Apple and rated and reviewed it so that other people can find it as well. I guess if you don't like it, just send me a note. Let me know what you'd like to change or what you don't like about it. I'm open for criticism, but I need to shake things up. I'm happy to hear that too. So today I wanted to talk about scoring in golf and our thoughts about scoring and particularly. Just asking the question, what if there was no such thing as par? Now I understand Par is set up as a way of really, you know, we know in the simplest sense that Par is set up as a way that the U ss g a, uh, decides the length of holes. For the most part, you reach a hole in two, two puts. If it's short, you can reach it in one, two puts. It's a par three, right? If they think it's over a certain arti gen. If it's over a certain yardage and it takes you three maybe to get there, it's par five. Typically, a typical golf course has four par fives, four par threes equals par 72. And then we base our score and our handicap off of that for the most part, in the simplest sense. But I want you to consider if there was no such thing as par. So just hang in there with me. I'm going to give you a couple of reasons why to just change. To just maybe have a little paradigm shift in the way that you look at scoring and the way that you look at golf. Let's say, perhaps, that when we went out to play golf, instead of putting our score down in a little box underneath each hole, and then adding it up after nines, and adding up the nines at 18, if they were just little strokes, hashes, you know, where you go 1, and make that cross stroke to make 5, and we counted by 5's. Out there, we just had one sheet of paper with these little hashes. Every time we made a swing, we made a hash. What is that counting called? Is that called hash? Is it hash? You know what I'm talking about. One, two, three, four, cross it with a five. What if we just did golf that way? And you're like, why would we do that? Because this is the thing. We end up having thoughts about shots. We label shots. Thoughts and putts based on par, birdie, bogey, double bogey, whatever, we qualify them in our heads and thoughts create how we feel. If our goal is to consistently swing from a state where we can think clearly and swing freely, we don't want to have thoughts that get in the way of that. So we will have a shot into the green or we will have a putt and then we create a story around it. That story is either going to serve us or it's not going to serve us. And it's optional. Because we play golf we all have a similar language in the way that we learn to add up our score. Talk about par and birdie and bogeys. Talk about over par, under par. What that does is that ends up putting a little bit more weight on certain shots. So for instance, I want you to picture this. If you have a five foot putt and it's for birdie, what are you thinking over that putt? And then if you have a five foot putt, same putt, but it's for par, what are you thinking and feeling over that? And then third, what if you're have a five foot putt for bogey? How are you feeling? And what are you thinking over those shots? Because in your head, you're saying to yourself, this is a five foot putt for birdie. You might in that instance say, well, if I miss it, I still make a par. You might have chipped up to the green and have a five foot putt for par to get up and down. And you might give yourself a pass because you didn't hit the green and you didn't get up and down. You might have the birdie putt and if you don't make it, beat yourself up because you missed an opportunity to make a birdie. The bogey, if you're making a 5 foot putt for a bogey, you might put more pressure on yourself to make sure you don't make a double bogey. But in reality, it's just a 5 foot putt. It's a hash on your scorecard. It's one shot. So these are the few of the concepts that I want you to try and get your head around and just see maybe next time if you go out and you're not judging certain shots out on the golf course, putting unnecessary pressure on yourself or even giving yourself a pass, maybe not trying as hard as you could. So the first thing that I want you to know is that all shots are created equal. All shots are created equal. That means that your 240 yard drive counts exactly the same. It is a hash on the scorecard as that little one foot putt that lips out. They're both the same. They count exactly the same. That five foot putt that I was talking about, whether it's for par or birdie or bogey, counts exactly the same. It is equal. Each one of them is equal. It doesn't matter what it's for. It's a hash on your scorecard. Number two is that all shots are neutral. So what that means is if you have a four hybrid into a par five to reach the green in two. And you tell yourself, Oh, this is an easy par five, this is a reachable par five. This is an easy shot versus you're playing a par four that might be a little bit longer and you have a hybrid in and now like this is a hard shot. This is a hard hybrid. This hole is hard. They're both just hybrids that you're going to swing into a green. Not only are they created equal, they are both neutral. They're neither good nor bad. They're just a four hybrid. You just had X yardage and your four hybrid matched that yardage. That's it. There isn't any story around it. You don't want to create the story that this is an easy shot or an easy hole and you don't want to create the story that this is a hard shot or a hard hole because that is going to create a story in your head that is going to create some feelings and emotions that are going to either help or hinder or hinder. You thinking clearly and swinging freely. If you say to your brain, this is a hard par 4 because I have a hybrid into it, your brain doesn't like hard. It doesn't want to do hard. It's going to push back on you. It's going to make things harder for you. You're going to try perhaps too hard. If you went into the par 5, you said, oh, this is an easy par 5 because all I have is in a hybrid. And then you swing and you don't hit a great hybrid, then you might shame yourself, like what the heck, that was an easy par five. I can't believe I did that. It was just a hybrid with whatever yardage you had. So it's neutral. The third thing that I want to mention is that if every shot is a hash, then what you add up after nine is not relevant. I mean it makes the math easy at the end of the round. But we use the score at 9 against us. Often, sometimes we can use it to benefit us, but usually we use that score against us. So let's say we had a couple extra hashes on number 1, a couple extra hashes, strokes on number 3, and we add it up and we don't like what our score is on 9. What if you made it neutral 2? What if it didn't matter? Because you still have 9 more holes. Of shots to go. It doesn't matter if you had extra strokes on three, four, and five one day, and the next round you had on seven, 10, and 14, right? As much as you play golf, it's bound to happen on any hole. It's a moot point. So just keep going and counting your hashes, counting your strokes one by one, not basing it on par, not using that nine number against you. What would that look like? Let's say if you shot 42 and that's not very good for you, you might sit there and create a story that now you have to make up shots on the back. You can't afford to give up any more strokes on the backside. You suddenly put pressure on yourself based on a score after nine holes. Why nine? Why not seven? Why not six? Right? It's just kind of the way we've always done it. We've never questioned it. We add up our score based on par. We put it in a little box, we add up after nine, and we judge ourselves for all those numbers that are in the box. And then we judge ourselves for all the shots that add up to these numbers that have names in them in the box. What if you just played it just a hash at a time, a stroke on your scorecard at a time. You added them up on the top with whatever that kind of counting that I'm talking about is called. Someone will send me a note and tell me. How would you look at your shots differently if you did that? How would you look at your score differently? Could you make all your shots equal? Can you make them all neutral? Or at least listen for the dialogue in your head when you have a shot. Listen to yourself as you say, this is a hard par four because you have. A hybrid in, but yet on a par five, you have the same hybrid in and it's easy. And I know what you're saying. You're saying it's easier to make a five than it is to make a four, but I want to encourage you just to make them neutral and equal. It's just a hybrid. I'm just going to still go through my routine. I'm going to try and get in a state of being calm, certain or confident or something that I prefer so that I can make my best swing and I'm going to chase it and hit it again. If you can go on the greens and just state the fact of what the putt is, it's a five foot putt. It doesn't matter if it's for birdie or par or bogey or double or triple. It counts the same on your scorecard, but what you think about it shifts based on that definition. How would things change for you if you could make all of your shots equal? If you could take par and just make it go away, make all your shots neutral, just added them up hash stroke by hash stroke, and not even worry what your score was after nine. Give it a try and tell me what happens. Send me a note. Are you putting more weight on certain putts? Or shots? Or par fives or par threes? And the whole goal of doing this is so that we can pay more attention To our thoughts and our emotions when we're standing over shots where we can make our best swings and Play to our potential All right, my friends. No such thing as par just hashes Give it a try All right little paradigm shift for you on scoring It's gonna be on the golf course. If you need any help, or you wanna know about any programs that I have coming up, make sure you head to www. cathyheartwood. com. Have a beautiful week, and I'll talk to you next Wednesday. Bye.