"Another game I play in my head after realizing I'm having another off day is "let's see what I kind of score I can cobble together with today's swing". I chocke down, club up and get into course mgmnt, scramble mode. I have buddies who mentally tank after one or two bad holes. I don't give up......it's fun trying to turn it around!"
The first hole at the course I play most often is a reasonable length par 5, about 475, but it has a creek crossing the fairway right in front of the green. Probably because it's the FIRST hole, I have a helluva time parring that hole (I always figure that par 5's ought to be easy holes to par, b/c you can hit a drive, a lay up, and usually have a short iron to the green). That damn creek and the fact that I'm not loosened up enough at 8:00 in the morning often cause me problems on that hole. The other day, I dumped one in the water and proceeded to double bogey the hole.....so, I'm two over after the first hole!! As you say though, I'm starting to look on that as a challenge. How can I get it back together and play decently for the NEXT 17 holes??? That particular day, I rolled in a birdie putt, and played the back 9 in 2 over, to shoot 78 (about two UNDER my "personal par" of 80!). Aside from being bad company to the rest of my foursome, being in a bad frame of mind after a bad start used to lead me to even more bad holes. Too bad most of us have to wait until we're in our 60's and 70's to figure this part of the game out......!