Playing Golf Under Pressure By Tommy Fleetwood

Ask any golfer and they will tell you that the hardest shot in golf is one you have to perform. As amateurs, this type of pressure can sometimes cause us fits because we do not always feel the confidence to be successful. Playing golf under pressure, regardless of the level, is something that all players must develop in order to succeed. Shooting consistently low golf scores is something that low handicap golfers, like myself, strife for and playing under pressure is a must. So, the obvious question is how?

After years of playing successful, competitive golf and playing anchor for most scramble teams, I would suggest that I have some ability to perform under pressure. I could lay out an long diatribe about why this particular skill is important, however I think that anyone who has played a few rounds understands that how important this skill actually is go shooting our best scores. So, I will ask the obvious question again……how?

Before I chime in, I think it is important that your watch this video by Tommy Fleetwood. It hits the heart of this topic:

The simple solution to playing golf under pressure is preparation. Setting ourselves up for success happens away from the course in the practice area. Depending on your skill level, this practice will be as simple as improving your swing mechanics. For other players, like myself, we need to take things up a notch in order to gain the confidence to hit any shot at any time.

Speaking of taking my practice sessions up to the next level. I found a great drill by Brian Penn from All About Golf. It is focuses improving my short game through random shots around a practice area. It is a drill designed for mid to low handicap players, but could be used by higher handicappers with some modifications. Brian’s main point is: “Making practice harder than the real game is the secret sauce.” To read more about this drill, head over to the article called YOU CAN BENEFIT FROM HARD PRACTICE.

Playing consistent golf under pressure is key to lower golf scores. ‘Actually’ playing golf under pressure is important, however, as Tommy Fleetwood suggests, preparation and practice before hitting the links is the real key. I completely agree with Fleetwood. How about you?

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


8 thoughts on “Playing Golf Under Pressure By Tommy Fleetwood

  1. Playing golf under pressure to me is all about being mentally tough and it applies to players of all skill levels. I don’t believe that focusing on swing mechanics is going to solve the issue since the issue is mental rather than physical. Please don’t misunderstand me, I am not saying practice is not important, it is.
    My home course is an annual host to the playability test for Class B golf professionals and I frequently am a marker for the Ontario PGA. The vast majority of the participants are highly skilled golfers that work relentlessly on their swings. I have played practice rounds with so many over the years and then watched so many of them collapse on the day. The course is set up at roughly 6200 yards and the requirement is to be equal or less than 155 over 36 holes. Less than 30% make it. The problem is not skill, it is the ability to perform under pressure.
    I also play a lot in club championship. The majority of participants will play some of their worst games, especially on the first day. A lot play better the next day when the pressure is off.
    The only way to improve your play under pressure is to learn to play under pressure and that is becoming mentally stronger. I have noticed that golfers that are the big fish in the small pond usually fare worse as they are not challenged by players of a similar skill level. Playing regular rounds with players of similar skill certainly helps.
    Nowhere is pressure more evident than putting. So many people allow ridiculous gimme putts, so when they have to putt everything out, the first missed short putt derails them.
    I play most of my golf with friends that have similar skill levels to mine. We have been accustomed to playing under pressure. Either of us would rather lose in a close match than win in a runaway. The result is that we all perform in a respectable fashion in club events.
    In short, to play better under pressure, play more under pressure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lorne

      I agree with you in part; to be able to perform under pressure, one must not worry about mechanics at all. That is level of mental strength is garnered from practice and repeated efforts in the practice area. After a player becomes confident with their swing, then pressure becomes a bit less of an issue when playing. I guess it is a matter of what came first, the chicken or the egg.

      Cheers Jim


      • With pressure comes tension and I don’t think more practice is going to help much. In the Play Ability Test I mentioned, these guys have practiced very hard. You can see the tension in their faces and it really affects their short game and putting, despite them putting hours into practice. In my opinion, learning to play under pressure is essential to perform when needed.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Jim, Fleetwood’s perspective is interesting since he has “all the skills. “. He can focus on creating tons of pressure in practice. The rest of us need to build our skills and create pressure. Would love to have all the skills 😊.

    Thanks for the mention!


    Liked by 1 person

  3. From Hank Haney – “There’s no way to avoid the work that comes with building a good swing, but the best way to create a great base for improvement is to make 100 practice swings with an iron every day. You don’t need a ball, and you can do them in your living room in front of the TV.”

    I’m not swinging every day. But I’m usually getting 4 days a week with a club in my hand. I need to up that a bit and make more and better use of the little range out my back door if I want to make faster progress. I know Haney is right. Before I moved here I used a spot in the back yard for my swing practice. No ball, just a line drawn with the head of the club on a sandy patch and the intention to have the club contact the ground at the line or just after.

    I was out there most nights when the weather permitted and that work did wonders on curing the fat shots from my game. And that surely helps the confidence levels.

    Liked by 1 person

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