When the Chips are down...
When you're playing well, it’s so easy to manage your game. Your swing feels great, your ball goes exactly where you want it to, even bounces off rough areas playing to your advantage. Hey, how often does that happen in reality? More often than not, we have to grind our game out, struggling to keep a score together. Most golfers take the easy option and resign themselves to the fact that the golfing gods are not acting in their favour and give up. But this is where you need to be mentally tough and act like a triage nurse. Yes your game may have gone to the dogs, your golfing body is leaking shots, but taking a few seconds out to assess the situation and decide what measures need to be made, can mean you saving face and not going up the dreaded 0.1 on your handicap. Top 3 tips:
Man-up and accept the challenge - If you feel its going to be one of those days early on in the round, instead of giving up, dig your heels in and put up a good fight, create a backbone of steel. Whilst giving up is the easy option, you will never become a better player if you don't start to exercise your mental prowess. Stay committed to each and every shot. Break the game down to smaller challenges, like how well can I play the next 3 holes, or lets work on my shot accuracy when playing into the green, or lets sink this long putt in 2. This will keep you motivated and focused on the moment.
Don't play aggressively - stick to your original game plan. Golfers who fall into this trap make bad decisions and take on shots that aren't going to end up well. Trying to thread the ball through the tightest of gaps in the trees or firing at sucker pins on the green protected by water and trouble, is not the way to improve your game. It's like adding fuel to the flames, you'll only end up getting more frustrated and increasing your score. If you want to prevent your score from getting ridiculous, stick to the smart strategy.
Have fun - we get so caught up in the frustration, that we forget we're playing this game as a leisure pursuit and as a tour pro for a living. It's our downtime, to relax and have some fun, not a game of life or death. I know it hurts when you play badly, no-one wants to feel miserable and when you let your frustration take over, no-one enjoys playing with you either. So get back to being that kid again and enjoy the game for what it is; out in amazing locations whilst playing with your mates. After lockdown and losing people to Covid-19 be grateful you get the opportunity to play this beautiful game
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