Ok, you’re out on the golf course, a few holes into your round, everybody’s playing well – except you !
It’s normal to feel a little frustrated. Don’t panic, analyse what has gone wrong.
If it was a couple of bad putts then you don’t really have a problem. Decide whether it was speed or a bad read of the green and make adjustments.
If you are pulling everything left it is sometimes because you are trying to hit the ball too hard. Control your nerves. Settle. Relax and let it happen.
The common scenario is “I just can’t hit the ball today”. Usually followed up with thoughts of “why am I playing ?”, “I don’t care” (but you really do), blaming bad lies, wind, hard sand, fast greens, slow play or anybody in any group in front, beside or behind you. I am the first to admit I have used all of these thoughts at one time or another, so I am having a giggle to myself while writing this 🙂
TIME TO RESET !! PRESS – CONTROL, ALT, DELETE…
Firstly, let me remind you that you cannot accept or ask for advice on your stroke while playing. (A player also can’t give advice to you) Rule 8-1
Don’t’ panic or give up. Accept the challenge of turning your game around. Try and work things out and have a good back nine. (one of my last 3 rounds I had 9 points on the front & 25 on the back)
Relax, Breath, Clear your mind. Go back to the basics of golf. Don’t fear your next shot, be deliberate and positive.
- Choose a club you usually hit well
- Get your stance and setup aligned and correct
- Avoid having a mind full of technical clutter and “do’s & don’ts”. This will effect your brains neuromotor output controlling your swing.
- Focus on hitting a target, don’t just hit forwards somewhere out there
- Shorten your backswing. Practice this. Be comfortable with the tempo. Just repeat the same when you are playing your shot.
- Commit to the shot.
Aim to achieve other secondary goals such as :-
- Hitting straight
- Two putting the greens
- Getting out of bunkers on your first attempt
- Keeping the ball on the fairway
- Playing great chip shots
It is very important that you don’t walk the course with a little black cloud over your head, sulk, swear, hit the ground in frustration, whinge, moan, give up or pursue constant audible self talk. All these things are noticed by other players and can put them off their games. You will create a certain reputation for yourself and people may not want to play with you again.
Very good golfers train their minds to accept a bad shot. Once they have achieved this their next shot is unlikely to be affected by lingering frustration. Let’s face it. Everybody hits a percentage of bad shots out on the course: Even pro’s don’t hit every fairway or green in regulation. They too plug in bunkers, get stuck behind trees or loose one in the bushes.
You must accept that these things happen and get on with the game without carrying on because – no one else cares, it’s just a game. Golf is just as much about having a good time, being with friends and being happy and trying to improve than it is about one set of bad nine holes in a round.
At the end of your round relax, enjoy the social experience and in your own time analyse what went wrong. It may only be one error that is repeated with every stroke. Get a lesson, correct the error (maybe take some written notes on the key points of the lesson)
PRACTICE, RELAX, PRACTICE.
Be patient, be mentally strong, be a better golfer.