The problem in golf isn’t bad shots. Those happen. They always will and you can’t prevent them.

The real problem is hitting back-to-back bad shots. One mistake turns into two, which turns into a blow-up hole and a round ruined. So how do you prevent those from happening?

That’s a topic I was especially interested in reading in Jon Sherman’s new book, The Foundations of Winning Golf. Sherman is performance coach to PGA Tour player Mackenzie Hughes, and an accomplished player himself who qualified for the US Mid-Amateur last year.

When it comes to preventing blow-up holes, he’s got some advice for you…

1. Study the bad more than the good

In golf, it’s the good shots that stick with you, which makes sense. Hitting a towering iron shot that’s tracking straight towards the pin is one the best feelings there is. But when it comes to preventing blow-up holes, you need to reset your priorities.

“The truth is you will deal with far more adversity during a round of golf,” Sherman writes. “Players who can turn a triple-bogey into a bogey will find themselves at the top of the leaderboard far more often… strive to be the player who can maintain their composure when your round takes a wrong turn.”

2. One round, many moments

Yes, the round of golf you’re playing is one thing, with one score at the end. But that’s not the best way to think about things as you’re playing it.

“Start thinking about golf as a series of independent decisions,” he says. “Think of each shot as a new opportunity to make the right decision, go through your process and be committed to your execution.”

3. Lock down your routine

You won’t be able to hit every shot the way you want to. There’s simply too much you can’t control. Golfers can control their actions before the shot, however. Their routine; make that your priority.

Sherman says a good pre-shot routine can take many forms, but each consist of the same three pieces: analysis, rehearsal/preparation and execution.

“Having a pre-shot routine is something that literally every golfer can do. It can give you a sense of comfort when you’re under pressure, or not playing well,” he says. “Golfers should strive to become creatures of habit… a pre shot routine is a good habit to have.”