Can One Shot Make Or Break Your Golf Score?

Posted By: THE GRATEFUL GOLFER Published: 11/14/2021 Times Read: 51 Comments: 0

The obvious answer to this question is yes. There are many golf scores that were obliterated due to one swing of the golf club. In many, if not all, cases the total amount of damage depends on the situation and where you score is at the time. Yes, a triple bogey (or higher) when your score is hovering around par has a greater impact than if you are already 11 over. So, before jumping the Yes bandwagon, I suggest we dig a little deeper to determine if one shot really makes or breaks our golf score.

One shot into a wet bunker is not as damaging as originally thought!

Everyone has played a round of golf where a shot breaks their golf score. Personally, it has happened many times and I often wonder if is unavoidable. For example, sitting one under par on the 18th tee, then pulling my drive into the trees that results in a double bogey. The one shot into the trees was devastating at the time. After a great round, this one shot created the situation that destroyed a fantastic round. In reflection, a one over par is still a fantastic score, but the situation lessened the positive feelings of success by the thoughts of what might have been.  Again, this one shot and the damage it does to my golf score is situational and varies from golfer to golfer.


It is interesting how most golfers, myself included, focus on the shots that destroyed our scores and not on the shots that change the fortunes of our round. I have discussed this before, yet I cannot seem to completely change this mental rut. I wonder why this is…..maybe to make ourselves feel better or to garner some sympathy for what might have been on the scorecard.

There are many opportunities to create a positive result on the scorecard on any given round. Believe it or not, after playing the front nine, I am either in a great position to score low or need a fantastic shot to change things. Generally, it is the second shot on a par 5. If I hit my ball close or on the green, I am setting myself up for a birdie and the start of a great back nine. A mishit would create the situation for a disastrous score and a back nine of total grind. I think I have mentally created the situation where the second shot is my pressure shot and I better not mess it up. For interest sake, the green is located between my hands and head.

The results of the second shot does change my golf score at the end of the round. The smart play is to hit within 100 yards of the green and play from there on a consistent basis, but this is one of the few par 5s I can reach in two, so……

As we play a round of golf, one shot can help or hinder our golf score. Sometimes this shot will send positive or negative waves through our mind that does directing impact or physical aspects of our golf swing. I am not sure why this is the case, but usually it is a mental thing for me. I continue to try and improve my mental focus and strength on the links; this effort is met with mixed results. Regardless, it is something I will continue to work on and I recommend you take some time to do the same thing. The end results is likely to be rewarding.


I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

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