I think most of us have a guy like your buddy in our groups. I know I do. He expects too much, can't find anything remotely positive to say about a so-so shot that ends up being a great result, etc... sad to say - his condition might be more physical than mental. He's had two heart attacks already this year, albeit minor. He's just wired entirely too tight, golf seems to be more torture to him than enjoyment. Obviously he has some serious medical issues to sort through with blood clotting, etc. - you'd think he would just be happy to be out playing.
He's been cleared to return (last heart attack happened three weeks ago). So I'm playing with him Thursday. Great guy off the course, one of those guys who would go out of his way to help a friend in need, no matter the circumstance. Hopefully the change in blood-thinner meds will help, but I'm not holding my breath. And he's actually a pretty good player. Two seasons ago he finished runner-up in the club championship, and he's in his mid-60's. When his mind doesn't get in the way - he hits it a long ways, great iron player, solid short game, decent putter. He was a legit 4 handicap playing well above his level a couple years ago - one of those memorable stretches that almost got his name on the clubhouse foyer.
And I know it's not easy to go from routinely shooting in the mid-low 70's to shooting in the mid-low 80's after that type of season... but it's mental. And I've told him that he needs to look at things differently, embrace the challenge, do his best and let the score take care of itself. But the first instance of trouble? Dude is finished. He just can't regroup and overcome his attitude.
If anything - I suffer from the exact opposite nowadays. Not that I expect to hit bad shots routinely - but I used to really buckle down and find some focus after a bad shot... for instance - if I 3-putted a green, I would absolutely murder my next tee shot, long and straight. Prof can attest to that - he's seen that happen on more than a few occasions... he used to say that was my strength - using that frustration in a positive, motivational way.
Anymore, I just struggle to really get too amped up after a boo-boo like that. Might have something to do with growing older and having a different perspective, or might have something to do with my physical conditioning these days and just how much easier I fatigue near the latter part of the round. Who knows...
What I do know... however I might sense that I'm struggling with the bounce-back factor after a bad shot - my handicap is 1.8 and trending to 1.5. It hasn't been that low in several years, and the kicker is that it's happened on undoubtedly the toughest, longest layout I've ever played on a regular basis.
Putting.... turning bogeys into par. If there's a secret for a decent ball striker to shoot lower scores, it's all about rolling the rock with some confidence.
With the club champs coming up in a few weeks, I just pray it continues. I figure if I shoot low-mid 70's and someone gets the better of me - they've more than earned it. I've never been one to get upset when I play well and yet still lose.
Not getting ahead of myself, but I think I might surprise a few folks this time around. I've been a member at my new club for 3 seasons now, and unfortunately (because of my daughter's college life beginning around the same timeframe) I've been out of town and not able to participate. But that's not the case this year, I told my wife two months ago - you can make the trip down to Athens and help her get her new apartment squared away - Daddy's on a mission!