I took one of my junior golf students to play in the Philadelphia Section’s Pro Junior Tournament at Linwood Country Club.
Eric is a talented golfer. He plays on his high school golf team and enjoyed a successful season this past spring. He has played in a variety of matches and tournaments during the short time he has been playing the game.
But this tournament was a different environment for him. He was a little intimidated by the level of play he expected to see. He was playing with adults with much more experience than him. We played on a course he has never played before. The weather was unpredictable. We had showers on and off with the threat of thunderstorms throughout the round that did eventually end the tournament before everyone finished. Our day was over after the 14th hole.
This combination of factors caused Eric to be a little nervous at the start of our round. These are all variables that every golfer will experience at some point. And we all know that golf is as much a mental game as it is physical. From tour players to teenagers, we all battle the mental side of the game.
So, how do we deal with the mental stuff that gets in the way of our golf game? Here’s what I told Eric while we were out on the course.
- Relax, don’t worry about the results.
- You know how to play, so just go play. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself.
- Don’t let a bad shot dictate the rest of your game…that shot is gone, so just focus on the next one.
- Stick to your routine.
- Be natural…let your game unfold.
Once Eric began to relax and not try so hard, his game improved, his confidence level increased and he played the game the way he knows how.
What do you do when your thoughts get the better of you on the golf course? Share your strategies.