Breaking free from golf score

I think I’m so focused on results…that I never truly enjoy the game.

What if I played just one game without worrying about score? I’ll still take it, but I won’t become defined by it.

What if I just play for fun? Just for one game and see how it goes? Don’t care what the score is, just go out and play?

Maybe this will free up my game to a new level. Maybe, if score isn’t important to me, I’ll be automatic automatically. It will just happen because I’m not concerned with score.


This came through from a regular during the week. Here are my thoughts…


What’s stopping you? Why can’t you approach golf with a new focus? Sometimes the best way to learn is to jump into the deep end. Explore. Have some fun and not take things so seriously.

While it may not be possible to entirely forget about your score, there’s no doubt peak performance can be reached when you think less about it.

In my 3 round challenge I encourage a golfer to play with this mindset. It’s not a life sentence but long enough for something remarkable to happen. And if you’re brave enough you’ll almost certainly learn something profound.

A few weeks ago I teed up for my fourth game of the year (I really do need to play more). Things didn’t start out too well.

My first shot was a debacle. My second was worse, leaving an impossible recovery and I settled for a very shaky bogey.

Then, on the second (a shortish par 5) I hooked my drive into the trees. Immediately Pesky got in my ear.

“You’re no good”
“You’re going to embarrass yourself today”
“You haven’t been playing much so its OK to shoot a high score”

Blah. Blah. Blah.

There was a time when Pesky would have destroyed me. I’d have listened to all of his crap and hacked my way around the course. I would have made all sorts of excuses and got nothing out of the round (except for a massive dose of frustration).

Things are different now. I’ve mastered the art of Automatic Golf and when I start playing badly it’s a sign for me to relax. To breathe and get my head into the moment. I actually force myself to stop thinking and analysing and get back to the heart of the game.

Hitting that stupid little white ball to the target.

And this is what I did. I made a commitment to myself from the rough on the 2nd hole to swing freely and enjoy the day. I pledged to play golf. No more bullshit. No more feeling sorry for myself or making excuses. Time to play golf. To let my Automatic Golf game shine.

I hit a nice recovery on two and sank a putt for birdie.

I chipped in on the next. Another birdie.

Par on 4 (only just missed the birdie). Then I got hot.

I birdied 6 of the next seven holes. Can’t recall a better stretch of holes I’ve played. It was remarkable and a whole lot of fun.

So while there’s no guarantee you’re going to shoot your best score each time, Automatic Golf is about making the game easier. Allowing you to stop all the thinking (and having the awareness to pick up on it when you lose track) so you maximise your chances of playing well. The first step is to start. Commit to letting go and stop stressing about your swing, score or handicap. What have you got to lose?

Resources: If you’d like a really good introduction into Automatic Golf and natural learning, please check out this book. If you want to dive head on, then check out my home study guide.

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  • Adam

    Reply Reply September 14, 2017

    Awareness is key. You need to know when you’ve left your routine or your automatic mindset, because it does happen sometimes. You have to be aware of your feelings and emotions, and bring them to the shot at hand. Commit to the shot, and hit it.

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