Originally Posted by GDrumsyQ
Just found this thread now, lots of knowledge here. Thanks for all your insight man. I can't believe that putt didn't drop, I was watching it in the pro shop and cursed (a little to) loudly when it lipped. The entire restaurant hear and I got in a bit of trouble. haha I will be following you closely in the future.
My first question is regarding how you feel about your future. Are you 100% set on going pro, or do you have a plan b with your degree? I ask because I feel having a back up plan might shift your focus from golf, but then again it's scary to gun for something with such low odds of success without a back up plan right?
Also, how do you mentally deal with going low? Like say your 7 deep on 13 tee, does your score ever creep into your mind and affect your play? Do you ever start thinking like "I could shoot 62 today"? I've talked to some tour guys who swear they have no idea where they are at in a round but I think it's BS. So how do you deal with that mentally?
Thirdly, how do you mentally prepare for a round? My sports psych tells me it's bad to go into a round with a number in mind but I hear pros talk about a number in pre-round interviews on tour so I'm not sure what to believe. How early do you get to the course, when do you hit the range, are you laughing and joking through the warm up process or are you getting mentally ready to go as soon as you hit the range, etc. Any insight on pre-round prep would be awesome.
As far as turning pro, I am 100% certain I will turn pro after I graduate. I don't necessarily have a backup plan, but I will graduate with a business degree from Cal and if I don't play golf I think that having a degree like that from my school will help me out. I have always been interested in finance and banking, and over the years I have met some pretty good contacts in the finance world. Every one of them has told me that firms like hiring college athletes because of the characteristics they possess to work hard and focus on something they are passionate about. So I will play golf and see how things turn out, but if I am not successful I will likely try and go the finance route.
Dealing with going low can be difficult, and something that I haven't totally conquered either. I laughed a little when I read your "7 under on the 13th tee" cause that has happened to me several times at my home course (course record is 61) and my low is 62 (-10). I have had plenty of rounds where I was -7 thru 12 and went on to shoot 63/64. It's not easy to make keep making the putts. Usually when I score low I am not really thinking about what I could shoot. The one time I did shoot 62, I think I birdied three of the last 4 to finish and that is the easiest way to do it, cause you don't get really under par early and start thinking about what you could shoot. Shooting low is just a learning process. I don't think I broke par until I was 15, but once I did that I shot 70-72 a lot, but getting into the 60s was tough. Once I got into the 60s, started shooting 67-69 more often. I think I shot 65 for the first time when I was 16 and after that good rounds started to be 65-68 rather than 67-70. Now my career low is 62, 63 competitively and in competition I have probably only shot under 65 probably 8-10 times. So its a learning process, but the biggest mistake you can make in my opinion is thinking "I can shoot X today"
To mentally prepare for a round, I really don't do anything too special. I will loosen up hitting balls and get a feel for how I am hitting it that day and hit some putts but I don't have a rigid routine. I will usually just get to the course about an hour early and eat if I need to, putt for 15 min, hit for 20-25min putt for 10min and then head to the tee. I don't usually try to think about a score. I think that if you have a number in mind and say you get off to a hot start, I think that being preoccupied with a certain score before the round can limit how well you can play.