Do Emotions Affect Your Golf Game?

Golf is a game of emotional highs and lows. Hitting a great shot sends your thoughts and emotions in a positive motion and poor shots do the exact opposite. Any amateur golfer will attest that the emotional roller coaster is natural during every round of golf. What if there was a way to limit the lows and accentuate the highs after every swing. This process is obviously mental, but many golfers do not understand that they hold the key to a better game through focused, positive thought. It is not difficult and anyone can do it; it is a golf mindset developed through a simple process which results in better emotional stability while on the links.

Years back, a volleyball coach that I knew, always told his players “you are right, you Can’t” if they used that negative word. He told the young athletes that as soon as they say they can’t do something, their mind and body will immediately agree. He further explained that the biggest effect of that word lies in the six inches of real estate between their ears! (The Grateful Golfer)

The above simple wisdom applies to our emotional approach to our golf game. If we allow ourselves to be dragged around the golf course by our emotions, I would suggest that we are not in charge of our game. We are slaves to the highs and lows of our shot making. After years of competing, I realized that emotion stability during each shot is critical. It took a few very poor shots to understand this concept, but now, my control over my emotions is second nature. The process I follow is very simple. I focus on the positive aspects of my game and give very little brain power to the negative shots I make.

To be fair, I still get annoyed after making a poor shot that I feel I should have made; however, I am not as emotionally invested in the result as in the past. I taught myself to let go of the negativity and focus on the positive success I am going to make on the next shot. I taught myself to accept that I am going to make poor golf shots and not to tie my emotions to them.

Walter Hagen once said: “Every golfer can expect to have four bad shots in a round and when you do, just put them out of your mind. This, of course is hard to do when you’ve had them and you’re not even off the first tee.” Of course the last part of the quote is a joke (hopefully) however the first part about hitting bad shots rings crystal clear. Every golfer will hit bad shots during a round of golf. It is all part of the game and how we emotionally respond will have a tremendous impact on our score.

Teaching emotional toughness is not difficult. Preparing mentally and emotionally to play our best golf is not a difficult process. We teach ourselves to focus on the positive aspects of our game as often as possible. The process is preparing to succeed. It happens on and off the golf course. What you think about in that vital six inches of real estate between our ears will change our game and lower our golf scores.

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

4 thoughts on “Do Emotions Affect Your Golf Game?

  1. Jim I call match play “The emotional rollercoaster” Watching your opponent go from a seemingly impossible position to winning a hole can be hard to accept but it happens often.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well on this I think it’s more about the golfers makeup. Some do well redirecting anger and disappointment. Some do well when they get excited about their game. For me, I seek something more stable.

    It’s not that I won’t kick myself over a bad shot, but my mind will move on immediately as I leave the shot and start working on the next. I find it a waste of time to allow any emotion to move from shot to shot. Good or bad I want to leave them behind.

    Looks like my area dodged the storm. No power here all day but nothing worse.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin,

      I follow the stay calm as much as possible approach to golf. It is helps with my game. A little excitement is fine, but exuberance is not in the cards for me. Great to hear that you missed the brunt of the storm. I was thinking about you yesterday. I hope that Florida can get back to normal as soon as possible.

      Cheers Jim


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