Golf Mind Play: Emotional Golf

By: Tracy Tresidder

How your game will be affected by your attitude?

Everyone hits a bad shot now and then, its part of the game. If we all played a perfect round all of the time, we would quickly tire of it and move on to something more challenging. The important thing to remember is that if you become angry after hitting a bad shot, you must let go of that emotion quickly or it will carry through the remainder of your game. We all know players who, after hitting a poor shot, use profanity and throw their clubs, and blame their misfortune on everything but their own actions. It not only disrupts other players, it can have an enormous effect on their own performance from that point forward. Of course, anger is a normal reaction to a bad occurrence, but it's how you handle the disappointment that will keep your game from going down the tubes.

What is your current reaction to a bad shot?

As Payne Stewart once said, "A bad attitude is worse than a bad swing." Letting negative emotions get the best of you will defeat your mental game, so it is important during your "off moments" to accept your disappointment and then move on as quickly as possible. The sooner you move on, the sooner you can chalk it up to experience and use the incident as a learning opportunity. No one wants to play with a "club thrower," their belligerent actions disrupt your train of thought and it's difficult to think about anything else. It brings a negative energy to the air and erases the fun from the game.

Those who express negative emotion to an exaggerated level are far less likely to improve their game because they tend to dwell on the negative aspects of their performance, and devote little or no energy to improving themselves. We don't have complete control over the outcome of every shot, but we do have complete control over how we react, and how we apply what we learn from the result of each shot in future rounds of golf.

Tips

1.See mistakes as a learning experience rather than a chance to criticise yourself.

2.Learn to isolate your bad shots and focus on your next shot.

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