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Question on Mental Game:

How can I approach the game mentally when I start to tire on the back nine and start to hit bad shots? Do I need to toughen up or approach it in a different manner like consider bogeys as good as pars?
--John Peter M. from Brooksville, FL

Hi John. Thanks for writing I'm looking forward to helping you with your game.

When it comes to falling apart on the back mind we need to look at 4 areas of your game.

1) Nutrition
2) Mental Game
3) Swing Mechanics
4) Fitness Level

It is quite common for those that get dehydrated to lose focus very easily. Make sure to hydrate appropriately before you tee off and drink some water consistently on every hole. The same goes for nutrition. We need protein to sustain and some carbs, but be sure to avoid overly sugary snacks and those that lack valuable nutrition. If you are eating well and hydrating you should keep your energy levels up pretty well for an 18 hole round of golf.

Next there is overall fitness. Obviously if you are out of shape in general or in poor shape for golf, it's going to show up as the round progresses. For this I would recommend that you check out our Golf Fitness section here to get ideas on how to properly train for golf and maybe consider hiring a golf fitness certified instructor to help you in that area. Here's the link to our section:
You will find a bunch of good articles and drills to help with that part of your game.

Your mind can certainly have lot to do with your focus level and ability to strike the ball well. If you are tense or nervous your focus becomes too wide and your swing in turn will become jerky. Here are a couple good articles that can help you stay in the zone and maintain a good mind set throughout the round:

Pre-Shot Routine:

Thinking Your Way To Victory:

Last, swing mechanics could have a lot to do with this. I haven't seen your motion so I can't make any direct comments about it, but if mechanics are not solid, as you tire, they are only going to get worse. If you have a particular swing flaw that plagues you it will rear it's ugly head once you start to fatigue. If you have any areas that you'd like to improve and need work on I'd love to help you so please feel free to submit another question with the details.

We just need to pick apart your game in these areas and get to work on the weak spots. Don't give in and accept bogey golf! Anything can improve.

I hope this information helps!


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