Lucy Locket
By Lucy Locket

One of the great aspects of golf as a sport is the handicap system. Golfers don't need to break par to achieve success in their own game. However, for many amateurs, par is the only method of evaluation during a round.

In this video, Scott Cranfield encourages golfers to try a trick Tiger Woods used as an amateur that involves completing their scorecard before they play to help mentally prepare for the round.

Not Every Hole Is Created Equally

Whilst a 460-yard hole and a 290-yard hole may look and play very differently, on paper they could both be par-4s. However, if you are a mid-to-high handicapper your score on these two holes will likely be very different over time. For that reason it is important to be realistic and honest before playing each hole and judge what is an acceptable goal for your game.

Mental Scorecard

Scott recommends players sit down before they tee off and complete their scorecard, marking down an achieveable, acceptable score for each hole. You want to select a score that you would be happy with standing on the tee, but not one that is overly lenient. Don't be too proud to mark down a bogey or higher, the idea is to create an adjusted score for your game.

On Course Psychology

What this practice does is change you mindset on holes when you play them for real. If you know that you often struggle on a 230-yard par-3, but on your scorecard you marked down a 4, you will approach that hole differently on the course. You won't stress or force yourself to go for the flag and may be more relaxed over a par-saving 15 foot putt that is actually a birdie putt in terms of your mental scorecard.