Golf is a game of patience and precision. It’s not always going to go your way. How you handle yourself in these situations can make or break your game. Throwing clubs, kicking your bag and taking a chunk out of the green are unacceptable. These behaviors remind everyone of toddler tantrums at the grocery store when the 2-year old doesn’t get what he wants. Instead, you need to learn what causes you to get upset, then learn to control your temper. We’ll offer strategies for staying calm on the course.
Knowing what sets you off is the first step toward changing your behavior. Are you too focused on the score of the game? It should come as no surprise that many great front nines turn into terrible back nines, as you projected yourself into the final hole with a record score. Similarly, after a less than stellar front nine, you often have a great back nine. This is usually a matter of giving up on counting numbers. Being emotionally influenced by the numbers on the card leaves you very vulnerable to being disappointed and displaying inappropriate behavior.
Everyone is going to have a bad hole – it’s inevitable. But you have to learn to let it go. Fixating on a single bad hole or shot is going to end in built-up frustration. There is nothing worse during a round of golf than a double-bogey, a triple-bogey or, even worse, the dreaded quad-bogey. It can make you feel you’ll never bounce back. But, you need to protect your mindset against the negatives that can permeate your mind and sabotage your game. You must keep the big picture in mind and not segment it into a few isolated bad shots. It won’t help you to give more weight to a bogey at the expense of a few birdies. To be great at golf you need to take the bad with the good while always striving to build on the good.
Are you overly competitive with your foursome? That could lead to disaster when things don’t go your way. Instead of focusing your energy on others, try to stay tuned into your own game. By shifting the focus back to yourself, you can help alleviate those overly competitive feelings that could lead to losing your temper.
Not everyone plays golf at the same pace, and getting behind a slower group can be frustrating. For many golfers, especially those who like to hit their shots quickly, slow play can be the kiss of death. At first you might get slightly agitated, then more frustrated and before you know it, you’re storming off the course in a fit of rage! You can always politely ask to play through. But sometimes slowing down can have merit. Talk to the people you’re playing with. Take time to gather your thoughts, practice chipping or putting and enjoy the scenery. You don’t have to let slow play lead to a tantrum.
Golf is a mental game. When you feel yourself getting angry, ask yourself these questions:
- Is this really worth getting upset about?
- Am I really willing to throw the rest of the round away?
- What will my response say about me?
- In the big scheme of things, how important is this one hole?
- Am I completely focused on hitting this shot?
Step back and carefully assess your answers, when you are satisfied with the results, go ahead and take your shot. It can also help to have a good pre-shot routine. This is a routine you do EVERY time before taking the shot. It allows you to engage in the process and takes your mind off of what has happened and the expected “result” of the current shot.
Playing a good mental game is very important, but the simplest answer to avoiding meltdowns is to improve your aim. LinksWalker manufactures ProVictory OPT golf balls that are designed for spin and distance, while improving accuracy with its patented alignment guide.