The Value Of Eclectic Rounds
By Tim Horan on 4/24/13
Like many of you I would imagine that you play a particular course on a fairly regular basis.

I often go out to the course very early in the morning when there is nobody around and play a few holes. If I make a bad shot I immediately put another ball down and play the right shot. Nobody is looking so what does it matter?

Play it again and again and then take the feeling of the good shot to the next shot. Don't dwell on your bad shots.

Extending this thought process take the feel good factor from a good round and take to the next round. I used to beat myself up over a bad weekend round all week. Believe me that only sets you up for one thing ... the next bad round.

Try analysing your round from a positive point of view, focus on the good holes. Don't even try to justify or excuse the bad holes just let them go.

At Wildwood, my home course, they run an eclectic round competition throughout the summer months. Your best holes over 12 rounds go towards a virtual card which is updated as maybe you par or birdie holes in subsequent rounds.

Thus your eclectic round may be several under par for the summer.

What I have done over the years is put an eclectic card together remembering exactly how I achieved that Par, Birdie or Eagle on each hole. I approach each hole in the knowledge that "I CAN, I HAVE and I WILL" score well on that hole.

Why is it that Tiger for instance seems to play well at certain courses? He simply puts himself in a good place mentally remembering good shots, good holes, and good rounds at that course.

If you approach a given hole having splashed it in the water last time, thinking you must keep away from the water ... sure as eggs is eggs you're going in the water again or you will shy away and fire into trouble opposite side of the fairway.

If you can approach any given hole, knowing, recalling and even mentally reliving the happy memory of scoring par or better you will most likely not screw up.

I do a lot of my practice swings back away from the ball at full speed whilst recalling the past glory of par or birdie and how it was achieved. When my practice swing feels good only then do I approach the ball. My only thought over the ball is to replicate that newly refreshed muscle memory of the practice swing.

It may take you a while to get a card together that really makes you feel good about each hole at your home club but let's say you are an eighteen handicapper, how many pars do you need to better your handicap?

If you keep double bogeys off your card you don't need any pars to hit your handicap. Any pars hit are a bonus and you can build on this.

The more good holes you have programmed into your memory bank the better your rounds will become.

I am no psychologist, there is no science to this but I believe like all free advice you should take from this only what makes sense to you and disregard the rest.

Happy Golfing!

This was written by Tim Horan, a reader/follower/fellow oober and the opinions are 100% his and do not reflect those of oobgolf in anyway. Enjoy! I'm sure he's ready for your feedback.

Have an idea for a guest column? Send it here!

Image via Flickr, daryl_mitchell

[ comments ]
bkuehn1952 says:
Sound advice and well written. Thanks!
mootruck98 says:
mmmmm, a "Best Of Scorecard" for a course. Sounds like something that could be added to the reports section. Select a course, maybe a date filter, then show the scorecard. I'm sure Mustang has already passed the idea along.
mjaber says:
I've been doing this for a few years, now. I've always thought that looking back and seeing that, "Yeah, I can theoretically shoot par on this course" is a great tool.
srogers13 says:
One of my courses, it took me 157 rounds to get a birdie or better on each hole. The other two courses I have about 90 rounds each, and still have four hole to birdie on each.
windowsurfer says:
A pro I knew used to suggest playing one round a year where you took two cracks at every shot (on our home course) and recorded your best result. He considered this your best *potential* score and suggested we track this stat year-on-year. By tracking our potential we had a positive viewpoint, free of some of the mental hazards and self-criticism that can be an obstacle to improvement.
jpjeffery says:
It's not too hard to do this with your scores in

My best at my local, Beckenham Place Park is as follows (I give my best score on each hole, with the par figure in brackets):
6(5), 5(4), 4(4), 3(3), 4(3), 3(4), 4(4), 4(4), 5(4)
3(3), 5(4), 3(3), 4(4), 4(4), 4(4), 3(4), 6(4), 6(4)

That makes my best 76 (38/38). Nice.

Hmm, I wonder what my best is at the-course-I-fear-the-most (High Elms)...98. Bleh.
jpjeffery says:
It might be more meaningful/realistic to look at the average scores...nah, maybe not. I'm not even going to publish THAT figure!
GBogey says:
Interesting way to think and I admire the author for thinking positively, but realistically for me, I'm going to be better off identifying "problem" holes and playing conservatively - 3W off tee, laying up, not going after a difficult pin position from downhill lie, etc.
jfurr says:
Thanks for writing, Tim. I loved your Club Championship story as well. Guys if you have not read it here it is:
SpaceMaNy0 says:
I'm most surprised Tiger told him what he thinks before a shot.
Tim Horan says:
Thanks for all your comments guys - @gbogey by identifying problem holes you are already thinking negatively about that hole. If you must try imagining playing the hole backwards...envisage the ball trickling into the hole, from where was the approach shot and how that got there from the drive. You are then thinking positively about the hole and not about avoiding the hazards.
mjaber says:
@GBogey... Using the "best score" format described actually helps to identify the trouble holes, which may not always be the one you think it is.
mustang6560 says:
So far, my best eclectic round on my home course in 2013 is 77 (38, 39), which matches my lowest career score too.
mantajim says:
Every fall our Senior Mens Association has a two day 'Electic' tournament. It's one of the favorites all year. The tune 'Tommorrow, tomorrow' is heard alot on that first day.
mantajim says:
Ok, don't hate me! Best Eclectic last 20 scores 59. So far this year, 58 rounds 53. And in all rounds posted at my home course (903), eagles on five different holes, 49. Thanks oob for making that so easy to figure
Wayneo says:
Excellent article. A new fresh way to look at things.

Thanks for this.
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