How to Improve Your Comeback Shot: Tips and Tricks for Coming Back After a Bad Hole

Could your comeback shot use a little help? Don’t worry, most players struggle with the comeback shot. It hits when you realize you’ve just bombed a hole. The overwhelming mental struggle you have to face before the next shot could stop anyone, but not you. You know the tips and tricks for taking a bad hole, and turning it around.

Be positive

Just because you had a bad hole, doesn’t mean you should start in on the internal name-calling or bashing that you tend to want to do. Don’t get too mad at yourself or start to feel too sorry for yourself.

That last hole doesn’t define or represent what kind of golfer you really are. It was simply a bad hole, so don’t let it affect the rest of your game. Try to coach yourself in your head, rather than tear yourself to pieces. Analyze what you did wrong, and try to work on it during the next hole.

Make a Plan

Always try to create a plan for every hole. Which side is best? What will you use? It’s best to come up with a plan to help your play stay structured and slightly controllable. Try to make this decision before you come up to swing, do it when you’re relaxed.

Stick to your pre-shot routines. Just because you blew the last hole, doesn’t mean you should change everything. Take a time out mentally, and take a breath. Give yourself a break before the next hole.

Have Confidence in Your Swing

You’ll never have a great game of golf if you can’t stay positive. Use your last hole, and give yourself small goals to build up to as your game progresses. This will help to build your confidence back on the course.

You should be confident after a bad hole. You can’t let yourself completely lose your game. Having a positive mind-set is a choice, so choose to move on, and work on your game. If you’re having trouble with a certain hole, try using a similar hole that you’ve played before in your mind. If this past hole went well for you, try using that confidence to analyze and plan out this hole.

Mental Game

Any golfer knows that golf is as much a technique game as it is a mental game. If you have a bad hole, or even a bad game, give yourself a break. Make it fun, and don’t like your mind trip you up. Shake off the negativity from a bad hole, and learn from it. Stick to your routines, give yourself a mental timeout between holes. Stick to a plan for each hole, and try to simply enjoy yourself.

Unusual Golf Rules

Let’s face it, to those that aren’t already familiar with the sport, it’s rules and scoring, Golf can seem a little strange. Most non-golfers don’t understand the appeal or the pull that golf has on its devoted fans. The scoring is weird, the terminology is unlike any used in other sports. Golf can appear at times to be a wacky mystery. And with the odd rules that follow, it’s easy to see what some just simply don’t understand about the game. Here are some established and unusual golf rules.

Cactus

Some of us have never played on a golf course with cacti, or cactus. For those of you that have, have you ever wondered what you would do if you chipped a ball a little too close to one? Good thing there’s a rule in place for such situations like this. If your ball lands near a cactus, you may protect yourself from the prickly cactus, by wrapping your arm or leg closest in a towel. For some unknown reason, you are forbidden from wrapping the cactus in a towel.

Water Hazards

Every golfer has experienced the unfortunate realization that their ball is headed straight toward a water feature. But if your ball lands in a water hazard, did you know you are allowed to take a stroke? Even more peculiar, you are not allowed to wait for the current to move your golf ball into a better position.

Faulty Golf Clubs

If you’re taking a swing and your club head falls off, you may be entitled to another swing. It is dependent upon what part of the swing that your club head fell off during. If you swing and your club head falls off during your downswing, it counts as a stroke. But if your club head falls off during your back swing, it does not count as a stroke.

Discarded Fruit

If your ball lands inside an abandoned orange peel, you must play the ball as it lies, or decide that it’s unplayable. If you’re playing a course with apple trees, the same rules apply. A half-eaten apple laying on the course is still considered a natural object, therefor you can’t remove it without a penalty.

Snakes

If you are unlucky enough to encounter a snake on the golf course, there are rules to abide by. Unfortunately for you live snakes are considered outside agencies, and they cannot be removed before play. A dead snake, however, is treated as a loose impediment and can be removed.

There are many odd rules and circumstances that arise in golf, but it can be part of what makes the game so fun. The next time you head out to play a round you may want to ask if your clubhouse is out of bounds. If it’s not, and you’re unlucky enough to land a shot inside, you should be allowed to open a door or window to continue on with your game.

Top Golf Destinations

In the midst of winter, you may be sliding into a depression, and it’s not the dark morning and nights, or bitter cold that’s doing it. It’s the lack of fresh green grass appearing on the fairway, because the grass is covered in feet of snow. So, when your lack of golf starts to get you down, plan a golf vacation. (Or just read about it here, and imagine you’re there.) Here are some top golf vacation destinations.

Dominican Republic

Bonus: not only do you get to play golf here, but it’s also warm and sunny. This could be a great mid-winter escape. In 2016, the big news in the DR was that the Playa Grande on the North Shore was reopened. It was originally designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., and his son Rees Jones re-designed the back nine. The course features ocean views from nearly every hole. It’s an expensive escape, but we hear it’s well worth it.

There are plenty other golf courses in the DR to choose from as well. Look into Casa De Campo’s “Teeth of the Dog” course, Pete Dye’s course. This course was also the site of the Latin America Amateur Championship in January 2016. Also, check out the Dye Fore Course at Casa De Campo.

San Diego

Golf Advisor highly recommends three courses in the San Diego area: Rams Hill, Aviara Golf Club and Maderas Golf Club. Rams Hill is more remote but has a pretty decent green fee, that makes it worth the jaunt. All of these courses are set in the hills, so be sure to actually head to the beach. What good is a vacation to a warm area without a little sand in the bottom of your suitcase?

Austin

While Austin, Texas may be on your bucket list anyway, what with its thriving culture, music, foodie, etc. scene, you may be able to kill two bird with one stone here. Austin was the stomping grounds of a few golf icons, like Crenshaw, Penick and Spieth. The Austin Country Club, which hosted the World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play, is a great club to try. Other courses to check out: Barton Creek, Fazio Canyons and Fazio Foothills.

Hilton Head, SC

Fit in the sights of miles and miles of beaches, with a little golf on the side. South Carolina could be a great vacation for the whole family, not just you and your buddies. The Oyster Reef Golf Club in Hilton Head is part of the Heritage Golf Collection. There’s another Robert Trent Jones Course at the Palmetto Dunes Oceanfront Course. Check out the Kiawah’s Ocean Course, the re-opened Ocean Course at the Sea Pines Resort, and more.

Phoenix/ Scotsdale, AZ

While this area of the country might be slightly drier than most, it still boasts some spectacular golf courses. The newest course is Wickenburg Ranch, opened in 2014. Other courses have seen renovations too. The gold course at the Wigwam Resort saw a renovation by Tom Lehman, to the Robert Trent Jones Sr. designed course.

Plan a golf vacation with your buddies, or plan a warm getaway with your family. Either way there are plenty of golf courses that aren’t covered in snow year-round for you to explore.