Have you ever experienced anxiety on the course? Do you put yourself under pressure and then fluff your next shot? Does it sometimes get to the point where you are boiling over with anger at your game – and feel like hurling your clubs into the nearest bush?
This is all part of the psychology of golf. Crucially, to help overcome this type of negative mindset, it’s important to remember that these emotions are not something that just affect you. Anyone who has ever played golf What Does Golf Stand For – GolfBays, will inevitably have felt the same way at some time or other. Tiger Woods being a fine example. Yes, it happens to the greatest players in the game.
When that sense of frustration or failure wells up inside you, however, it’s fair to say that you are being WAY too hard on yourself. Indeed, keeping your emotions in check – whether that means not getting overly nervous or blowing a gasket when that second ball in a row has plopped into the water - is essential, if you want to get the most from the game. Even if your direction is off, always aim for enjoyment and satisfaction with your performance.
After all, it is only a game – even if doesn’t always feel like it.
Before you go out onto the course Are Golf Simulators good for Beginners? – GolfBays, there’s plenty you can do to make sure you are in the right psychological frame of mind.
Stretching and being warmed up is always important. Regardless of your age, it pays to be as supple and loose as possible when you step up to hit that first tee shot. So, take time to do stretching exercises. And breathing exercises can help too. Nice and slow, nice and slow...
Where possible, take time to hit a bag of balls on the driving range Which is the Best Golf Ball on the market? – GolfBays.
Although life can get in the way – and there are never enough hours in the day – avoid turning up at the course five minutes before your tee time, racing to the pro-shop to pay for your round and then arriving out of breath on the tee box. And you wonder why you didn’t play very well!
Your emotions will be all over the place if you are feeling rushed before you start. And this will only encourage nerves and flashes of temper as the round progresses.
Being in the right frame of mind – and physically ready for action – is one of the best things you can do to keep your emotions on an even keel.
Don’t be so hard on yourself
When you do hit a bad shot, don’t swear at the top of your voice or snap the club over your knee!
At that moment, it might not be the easiest thing to dissect exactly what went wrong. But if you’ve hit that type of shot well before, visualise yourself making a success of the shot, rather than focussing on the error.
Often, when players start making bad shots, they start snatching at the ball or hitting through the shot too quickly. Instead, slow everything down, be more deliberate with your swing or even reduce the length of the swing GolfBays Indoor Centre, to ensure you make cleaner contact. This all helps to restore equilibrium and confidence.
Golfing facts that may make you feel better
Statistically, you may be surprised to learn that pro golfers hit only 60% of fairways in regulation. That means 40% of the time their shots end up in anything from a first cut of rough to a deep lie or even an unplayable shot.
On the green, as much as you might think that your putts should drop from just about any distance, there’s actually only a 50/50 chance that you’ll hole even an 8ft putt.
And your clubface presentation could be a mere 1.5 degrees off from perfection to make the difference between a ball hitting the fairway or going out of bounds. The margin for error is small – which is why even top players often get it wrong. So, don’t think it’s just you.
Keep things in perspective
For most players, playing golf is a hobby Accessories – GolfBays, a pastime, something to be enjoyed with friends or family. There are plenty of bad things happening in the world – certainly far worse than being out on a glorious tree-lined golf course, on a lovely sunny day, having an amiable chat and a laugh or two with your playing partners.
How you react to a duff shot is the important thing. In short, don’t overreact. Hitting a howler doesn’t mean you are a bad person or a failure.
On the basis that you aren’t a pro-golfer who is playing or practising the game ten hours a day, your round of golf is not the difference between putting food on the table or not.
No one is going to think any the worse of you for having a bad round – because anyone who has ever played the game has experienced exactly the same. So, don’t dwell on it. Anger and frustration are most likely to be because your expectations are out of whack with the reality of where your game is positioned.
If you do find you are consistently miscuing a certain shot – always hitting left or right, for instance, maybe it’s time to book a golf lesson Can you improve your game using a golf simulator? – GolfBays to see if you can straighten things out.
Take the pressure off
One of the reasons why golf is such a fascinating game, is because it can be so unpredictable. The course conditions, the wind speed and direction, even who you are playing with, can all make a difference.
But if you can keep yourself mentally in check, regardless of what’s going on around you, then you’ll be in the right frame of mind to play well – and appreciate the experience at the same time. If you hit a bad shot, let it go and look forward to making a better connection on the next one.
Be philosophical about your golf. If you are, the chances are you’ll get more pleasure (and relative success) out of the game.