The Mental Game
When you hit a bad shot (and believe me, every golfer hits these!), your reaction and coping mechanisms are crucial to the rest of your game.
I believe that expressing yourself after a bad shot by talking to yourself or putting the club back into your bag forcefully is okay. The key is to remember to walk away from that bad shot, whether on the tee, the fairway or the green, and find a way to forget it!
When I played competitive golf on the Tour, I would take a couple of deep breaths, smile and begin to focus on the task at hand. Notice that professionals on TV may grimace, toss a club, turn their backs in disgust, or all of the above. What they have trained themselves to do mentally is to not focus on it. Moving on, taking responsibility for the game and capitalizing on opportunities by not focusing on the negatives is what can get them and you, back into the game. Phil Mickelson is the king of bad shot recovery – he views some of his worst shots as opportunities to score and make a comeback and doesn’t rehash his bad shots repeatedly.
As soon as you have walked away from the spot of “your demise”, try smiling, whistling or just take a few deep breaths. Do not hold onto that bad shot. It will kill your round and your game.
Take a deep breath and enjoy this great game of golf!
Happy Golfing! See you next months!