I think if you took a poll of regular golfers, they’d say that there is no more frustrating sport than the game of golf. There are thousands of hours of YouTube clips on the internet of golfers melting down on the course if something goes wrong, to prove this point.
From throwing to breaking clubs, dumping out bags in the fairway or launching golf balls into nearby water after putting out, the spectacle of expressing anger on the course is a storied tradition.
But as funny as we may think those tantrums are on video, we all know that anger can ruin a round. So what do we need to do to manage that anger and allow the bad shots to melt away? And better yet, how do we recover our round in the face of bad play?
Here are two tips that will have you playing more evenly after an errant shot and helping you post the best scores of your life in the process.
1.) There’s Nothing Wrong With Intensity
Controlling your anger on the golf course is not about dampening your competitive nature. Intensity keeps us sharp and focused on the task at hand. Where intensity can get us in trouble is when we lose perspective and allow the frustration to manifest into a physical demonstration. You need to be mentally prepared.
Intense players have expectations and can become unhinged when those ideals are not met. Every golfer needs a routine before they hit the golf ball, especially the beginners and the same is true for dealing with the reality of each shot. So, whether it be through rhythmic breathing or some other outlet such as reinforcing your confidence, you must find a way to push away the anger in the seconds after poor play.
2.) Find Healthy Ways of Dealing With Adversity on the Course
This second tip dovetails nicely with the first item on our list. It is not healthy to throw clubs or snap the shafts of your irons after a lousy shot. Outward displays of anger linger for long periods after the shot that set you on a road of negativity. A training aid might be the best to help you in correcting your lousy shot.
Golfers must slow themselves down after a terrible outcome and instead focus on recovering the hole with the next shot. In the moments after adversity on the course, it is essential to use good “self-talk” and remind yourself that one bad shot does not cost you an entire round. There are clever ways to win a golf play, after a bad shot.
One of the best aspects of golf is that it is ultimately a challenge against one’s self. But that also can create a self-destructive atmosphere when goals aren’t met that cost the golfer their ability to focus and clearly make decisions.
The best way to keep your mind centered is by always having a dependable routine to calm yourself down in those moments when you are crossing over into blind rage.