I know my limitations and expectations when playing golf. These important mindsets were honed over years of playing well and poorly. Because I feel I have a handle on what shots I can comfortably make, I sometimes disregard the right shot for an easier shot. For some reason my mind wanders into the “I can never make that shot” zone instead of looking at all the variables and choosing the shot that needs to be made. I really dislike it when my mind wanders and I become disappointed at my mental weakness. But what is a golfer to do?!
Interestingly, I know what causes my mental funk. I feel it coming on and try to head it off at the pass. However, because I have foreknowledge of what waits ahead for my game, it does not mean that I can always prevent it. Once I enter this “never make this shot” zone, it generally costs me a few strokes before I can recover. So, what causes this funk you may ask, well let me tell you.
Ultimately, I get tired; either physically or mentally. It is as simple as that. I find that if I walk 18 holes for more that four days in a row, I run out of steam the final holes of rounds above four. Sometimes in the latter half of round four, but only if I am playing in the hot sun and forget to hydrate. Not matter how much training I did before the rounds, this becomes my physical limitation and does affect my game. I realize that many of you are saying I should rest after four rounds and generally I do; however, not always as a result I do not play well the more I play.
Becoming mentally tired is more challenging to identify. There are some rounds of golf that are easy-peasy and I have to think very little because the round unfolds in a simple manner.
Yet, there are other rounds that tax me mentally. I have to make many challenging shots after challenging shots. It is at the end of those rounds that I tired and make shot selection mistakes.
Sometimes it takes a few more rounds (when playing with friends) and others in one round (like competition) when I get mentally tired. Then I just say hello the “I can never make that shot” zone! It is very frustrating and rarely avoidable.
I think many of golfers can relate to my dilemma. When exactly their “never” zone shows up is as unique as the golfer. But, it is a factor of playing plenty of golf. This is a good problem to have, yet I want it to go away and never return! What do you think, is it possible to never say never again on the golf course?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!