Mental Breakdowns Can Be Avoid Or Can They

Slowly dropping my handicap index came with many challenges, both mental and physical. The physical challenges were overcome (for the most part) through training, practice and more practice. I do not consider myself and elite golfer even with a low index, but I think I have some game. Most of my successes can be attributed to physically changing my swing, grip, stance, and tempo. As I stated in previous articles, many of these physical skills are intertwined and one cannot be changed without affecting the others. The mental side of my improvement was not as simple or as easily defined. I often wonder if my mental breakdowns were avoidable or was it part of the journey to a lower handicap index.

The mental side of golf is by far the most challenging. I have many aches and pains as I waded through the quagmire of the mental side of golf. The bruises are still evident and every once in awhile they become reinjured. I have experienced my fair share of mental break downs and after some careful consideration, I realize that many of them occurred in specific area. It is simple to avoid now that I have identified my challenge, but getting to this point was a journey.

My mental weakness always pokes its head through during my pre-shot routine. The time when I need to focus the most and I seem to fail the most. Standing behind my ball and preparing to start my pre-shot routine my mind wanders. Sometimes it I am distracted by the the conditions, my ball position or my expectations. Yes, you read the last distraction proper. My expectations cause mental mistakes as much as anything else.

Imagine hitting your ball down the middle of the fairway leaving 120 yards to the middle of the green. The pin is in a favourable position and this PW would be routine. Because of the simplicity of the shot, I forget to focus on my routine that works. My expectations are through the roof and because of that I relax too much. I fade into a mental area that has no value to my game. I just kind of exist in a netherworld where it is difficult to put two coherent golf shots together. I am mentally defeat before I stand over the ball.

120 yards from a middle pin on the 9th hole at Osprey Links

Mental breakdowns are inevitable in golf. They can happen for many reasons. In my case, expectations cause more mental errors than anything else. Are they avoidable? Absolutely they are because when I am playing in a tournament I seem to focus much better than during a friendly. The difference (successes) between the competition and friendly rounds points to fact that my mental breakdowns can be avoidable. Of course I am over simplifying things, but I am trying to cut straight to the chase.

Do you have mental breakdowns when playing golf? If so, do you know your biggest challenge?

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

4 thoughts on “Mental Breakdowns Can Be Avoid Or Can They

  1. I would say I do better coming from behind in our skins games than I do at holding a lead. The pressure of coming from behind boosts me. Being in the lead, at least when I’m not off to a really great start, I’m guessing I get complacent. And a really great start brings pressure on it’s own. Pressure’s I historically haven’t dealt all that well with but of late seem to be doing a little better with. Still though, it’s best that I don’t know where I stand exactly until it’s all over. The pressure of knowing I’m doing great is too much for me I guess. lol

    Liked by 1 person

      • There is always a bright side though. The stat’s say that only .5% of golfers ever shoot par or better in a round on a full size course. I’m in that club. And while they aren’t all golfers there are 8 billion people on the planet. That makes my game better than at least 7,960,000,000 of them. 😂 We have to stay confident. The odds we’re going to win are astronomical. 🤣

        Liked by 1 person

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