Everyone at every level of ability has encountered negative thoughts on the golf course or the range. We know it is not productive, but we cannot seem to change it. Here is a way to deal with this courtesy of April Clay.
Golfing out of your Mind Tip:
Let’s say Suzie has missed two key shots in a row and her tension and frustration are beginning to boil. Thoughts of failure and embarrassment begin to enter her mind: “you cannot blow this next shot, it will be all over. What will people think?”
At this juncture, Suzie has a few choices. If she follows this line of thinking and leaves her emotional and mental state unchecked things likely will not turn out well. As her negative thoughts increase, so will her tension. Her swing will change. Doubt will enter.
But there is another choice.
If Suzie can recognize the rise of her frustration as normal she can work with it in a different way. If she accepts and then redirects her thinking; “only this shot, what do I need to do, what is my approach?” she can help herself move back to the process of playing and away from a (emotional) judgement of her play.
Suzie’s routine for dealing with difficult emotions can be summarized like this:
Accept: I feel what I feel because I care about what I’m doing. That is ok, I am going to turn this emotion into a signal to change something up.
Assess: I need to get back to my plan, my task. What is the best way to play this next shot? What approach can I commit to?
Commit: Here a new pathway of thinking is identified. Suzie, having experienced frustration before, knows the value in altering her pre shot routine: align, target, easy swing are her key words.
From: Golfing out of Your Mind (Ebook, by April Clay, Psychologist) available at: