You've just played a bad round of golf that leaves you wondering where it all went wrong and feeling like screaming into the wind. Thankfully, a fear of looking insane in front of your buddies encourages you to stifle any desire to let off steam, but the frustration remains as you trudge towards the car park.
As the clouds of disappointment part, you commit to taking it on the chin and getting on with your day. Then, later that night, as the evening draws to a close, those memories come flooding back: a few lost balls here, a horrific slice OB there, and - for good measure - a couple of punch-in-the-gut short putts that just lipped out.
How do you shake it off and bounce back after a particularly bad round of golf? We have a few ideas below.
Don't panic - it happens!
No matter how strong your game is, tough rounds will still happen. Those days on the golf course where we feel utterly useless are certainly no fun, but they're an inescapable reality for each of us.
When they arrive, it will sting a little, but with often no correlation between one round and the next, there's no need to hit the panic button prematurely.
Let's consign today's score to the history books - you can't change it. What you CAN change is what happens tomorrow. Try to bury the memories as quickly as possible. It was nothing more than a bump in the road; you need to think positive thoughts the next time you arrive at the first tee.
The beauty of golf lies in the endless possibilities when you stand over your next opening tee shot. Over those next four hours, you could break 80/90/100 for the first time. Perhaps you'll bag your first-ever eagle, hit your longest-ever drive, or even join the hole-in-one club. This lousy round won't matter a jot then.
Get a fresh perspective
A post-round review is something every golfer should consider. It offers a fresh perspective on your round. It can remind you of the facets of your game which work well and highlight areas of weakness.
When you get a bit of time at home, take out your Hole19 App and delve deeper into your Round Summary. Here you'll find all the key stats from your round: Driving Accuracy, Greens in Regulation, Putts, Recovery Performance and more.
When you've trawled through your summary, you'll usually conclude that your round wasn't as bad as it initially seemed.
Hold on to the positives
Now that you've looked at your Round Summary, we're pretty sure you've found a glimmer of hope somewhere.
Maybe your 'fairways hit' percentage was decent, and your approach shots let you down. Or you could have been solid enough tee to green, but you didn't perform with the putter.
Whatever the reality of your round, make sure you take away the positives. Golf improvement is as much a mental journey as anything else. Dust yourself down and get ready to post a good number next time out.
Hit the range again
Heading to the range after a dodgy round can be the perfect way to exorcise a few demons and get back in the zone. Importantly, don't get too technical. Your swing is likely fine. Instead, your focus should be on finding some sort of rhythm and tempo again. Check your fundamentals too.
While we advise not getting too technical, as we always say... don't be a machine-gunner either. You're going to get no benefit from mindlessly blasting golf balls. Take at least 30-40 balls where you aim for a chosen target and swing your swing - focusing on the feels/moves that have served you well in the past.
When it feels like you've ironed out the kinks, it might be an idea to not overdo it and work on other parts of your game with the remaining balls.
Declutter your mind
After a bad round, it's important to take some downtime and actively avoid thinking about your swing.
Don't carry your frustrations through the rest of your day. Do whatever makes you happy away from the course. Spend time with the family. Enjoy a movie night. Head out with your mates for a few drinks (and then a few more). Whatever it takes to shake it off and dust yourself down.
If one poor round becomes a few, and you've hit the range with no noticeable progress, you could consider taking a few weeks away from the game. Sometimes we can become muddled in our thinking, possibly from trying too hard - watching too many videos, reading too many books and the like. A mini-detox could be just the tonic to help you get back to basics.
Relive past glories
Positive reinforcement is one of the most potent mental attributes a golfer can possess. Having the ability to recall great shots and impressive rounds reminds you that you can play quality golf. It's also a much better use of your downtime than obsessing over your recent poor score.
To help you reminisce and take inspiration from bygone achievements, you have one of the many powerful Premium features at your fingertips. The Highlights section of your Hole19 App will list your greatest fist-pump moments during your golf career to date.
Your lowest score, your longest drive, fewest putts, highest recovery percentage... the list goes on. Add in the tantalising future promise of glories to come, and suddenly, things don't look so bleak.
More than one bad round? Time for a lesson
It's a staple of many of our list of 'top tips' and that's simply because almost every golfer can benefit from engaging with a local (or online) golf pro.
Having someone who knows the game inside out looking at your swing from a variety of angles will flag up issues with your swing and, best of all, the fixes that could start to unlock your true potential.
The key takeaway: at the end of the day, it was just a bad round of golf. Life could be much worse. Change your mental outlook, put in a bit of practice, and you'll bounce back like a boss in no time.
If you enjoyed this article, take a look at our recent piece on golf etiquette and how to avoid annoying your playing partners. You can read it here.