Never Let Them See You Sweat!

Do you play competitive golf? I do and I think I thrive in competition. Generally, my game is more focused and my ball striking seems to appear. Does this happen to you or when the heat is on, you have challenges with your game?

Besides being a mentally focused on playing well, I have a positive attitude that transfers to my game once I tee it up. Having said that, playing well over a 54 hole event is challenging and sometimes my execution is not quite up to par. The trick is to not let your competitor see you sweat!

Carnoustie shirt follow through 1Every player is different and we all have our own challenges when the pressure is on. Each player has their own coping routine that helps them navigate through a poor shot or bad bounce. Personally, I only do three things to get myself back on track:

First, I stop and take a deep calming breath. I have found that by calming myself before moving forward, I am better prepared to analyse what comes next.

Second, I smile and look around at my surroundings. This helps me refocus my thoughts on the course and the job at hand. By not fixating on my mistake, I am open to playing a great next shot. Sometimes, if I fixate on my shot I am not able to recover. Thus I compound one mistake with another.

Lastly, once I reach my ball, I focus on my options on how to make the best of a bad situation. Sometimes, it means taking my medicine and punching out and others to go for it. I can only focus on getting back on track, by completing steps 1 and 2.

This is whole approach. And it works for me. By calming myself first and not compounding my original error I quickly regain my game. Additionally, it transfers the pressure back to my opponents because they never see me sweat!

Do your opponents see you sweat?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

11 thoughts on “Never Let Them See You Sweat!

  1. Jim,

    I do play competitively as you know but I’d like to play more. When I play my best in competition it is when I let my competitors see me sweat the least (unless it’s really hot out of course :P) …. stay calm and always appear confident.



  2. Besides the standard best ball tourneys, I have yet to play competitive golf. I’m not sure that matters to me at least for now. I’ve been going out mostly alone this year and have played my best games ever that way.

    Today I went out alone and joined a two some on the second hole. I started out great. I had the hotter driver and I’ve been hitting it almost perfectly lately so I wasn’t really in a competitive mode, just enjoying the game and the company. Four holes later, a fourth joined us. He was younger, much bigger and stronger and that brought in the competitive feelings.

    The thing was, I kept hitting the driver flawlessly the rest of the day but my game fell apart anyway. By the last few holes, I was feeling disappointed in myself. Then I miss hit a 4 iron on the last par 5. I topped it. That upset me and instead of letting it go, I carried it with me and followed up with a bad 3 wood again topped but this time right into at ditch right in front of me. That got me mad. The next swing of that 3 wood hit the pin. And I finished up the last two holes fine.

    That’s not the first time getting mad has “fixed” whatever issue I was having which makes me wonder if I am trying too hard to control emotions during a game. That’s not what I was taught. But maybe allowing a bit more emotion in/out would help some of us to focus better.


    • Kevin

      That does happen once in a while to me, but I would suggest that your situation would not work out well for most people. Most people do not handle being mad very well playing golf. I guess there are exceptions to every rule.



  3. Jim, I don’t play nearly as much competitive golf as I used to and you can tell it definitely helps the game to be in competition. As you mentioned, the senses are sharpened and it’s easier to focus. My decrease in participation coincided with the move away of a friend several years ago, who used to push me to compete with him. I realize I can solve this for myself with a change in thinking and a willingness to participate.

    Good thought provoking post. Thanks!


    Liked by 1 person

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