This is an important question that every golfer will struggle with during almost every round of golf. I am not sure what your game is like, but I am certain that during every round I will hit a shot that will result in less than ideal results. It is the nature of being an amateur and I have learned over the years that how I respond to these trying times will have a direct correlation to my golf score. I have discusses this in the past and concluded that my response to adversity is purely mental. With my golf season just around the corner, I thought it was time to focus on mentally preparing for the ups and downs of each round. To that end, I have to reacquaint my thought process where I can play my best golf when I make a poor shot.
The first question most readers ask is: who the heck do we do that? It would be easy for me to suggest to adopt the a zen like relaxation approach to golf, but we know that would be folly. We could take a page out of the Lion Kink movie, but that is likely to never happen when playing.
The of course there is the Caddie Shack version of how to adopt a Zen like attitude to golf:
In reality, neither of these approaches will help me accept that ‘stuff’ happens on the golf course that will raise our blood pressure. The trick is how to react to these adverse times in order to produce the best golf shots we can. Everyone has their own method that helps them understand and look past the poor shot and attempt to recovery quickly from adversity.
For me, I like the whole game approach to adversity. I figure that out of my 75 shots, 5 will be awesome, 5 will be poor and 65 will be within the realm of normality. It is how I react to those 5 poor shots that could turn my 75 to a 72 or 79. I accept that I will need to work to rebound from a poor shot. It is this acceptance that helps me beat the adversity challenges and actually can propel my game to higher level. Acceptance of all the shots is very important to help manage my emotional response to shots because I am not surprised by what I see.
To be fair, there are some shots elicit a more frustrated response, but even those are not really surprise; more of a disappointment than anything else. Thus, I can approach the adversity of poor shots with a positive attitude that allows me to stay focused and what I need to accomplish to return to the path of normalcy.
Everything I am trying to describe is purely a mental exercise. I am comfortable that I my swing will not disappear for long, so I need to keep in the proper frame of mind to ignore the adversity and focus on making the correct shot to keep my scores low. I am not sure I describing this all properly, but I think you get my gist. Our response to adversity on the golf course is important and purely mental.
Let me know what you think and if I am missing something.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!