Tip #19 from my book, “Break 80! 52 Ways To Lower Your Golf Score Without Practice” is about overcoming all of the nervousness, tension and tightness golfers face on the course that destroys their swing and putting stroke. Simply put, it comes from fear. Fear of missing to be precise. Sometimes it’s a strong feeling and you can literally shake or tremble but most of the time, it’s very subtle and IS THE CAUSE of not being able to bring your relaxed practice swing to a round that matters.
Typical sport psychology mental game advice to deal with that is the golfer is told to “play in the present moment.” This is good advice, however, most golfers have no idea HOW to play in the present…and the tension and tightness continues no matter how many times you tell yourself to “play in the present.”
No, you need stronger medicine. You need a quick thought that can trigger a different emotion to get you out of the emotion of FEAR that is causing the tension. This mental shift tactic has the potential to do that for you. You’re welcome!
Greens and fairways,
…You’re on your home course at the 12th hole with that out-of-bounds fence line on the right.
…You long ago lost track of how many balls have sailed over that fence and cost you a balloon score.
…Every time you get up on the tee box for this hole you find that you get a pit in your stomach feeling or a twinge in your arms that works it’s way to freezing up your muscles.
…You make it worse by allowing the thought that “I hate this hole” or “I’m not going to hit this one out of bounds.”
…You might even voice it out loud as if you are telling God or The Universe that that is exactly what you want to have happen…
Sam Snead used to say that he was more afraid of a 4-foot putt than a charging elephant on his hunting safaris.
Fear sets in and you feel it.
Boy do you feel it, and you know what usually happens next- right?
I’ve got the shortcut for how to deal with fear when you haven’t learned my emotional mastery process.
The antidote to fear is CURIOSITY and it is now and forever your best friend on the golf course.
Any time you feel any sort of overblown fear going into some unknown situation (like “will I make this putt or not”), you want to tell yourself in the most playful, cheery tone you can muster: “I wonder what this will be like?”
You see, if you go into things for the main reason of satisfying your CURIOSITY, then you will always be successful at that and you will have no fear.
Changing your outcome and then knowing it will happen can rearrange your emotional chemistry in seconds.
Tip #39 from my book, “Break 80! 52 Ways To Lower Your Golf Score Without Practice” is about breaking out of the box that says that golf is only for a full-sized course in a pristine country club setting where we have to dress up and observe all the traditions.
Don’t get me wrong, there is a place for that and I enjoy that just as much. However, let’s face it…we all play golf, ultimately, because it’s fun and enjoyable. So, why don’t we give ourselves the opportunity to expand those possibilities with this awesome game? I say we can.
AND, we can also have fun while working on improving our game…to boot!
After re-reading what I wrote in the book below, I found this guy who created a website to help you have fun and PLAY GOLF EVERYWHERE! I hope you do it.
Greens and Fairways,
Ok, let’s face it…the problem with practicing is that it’s not fun. If it were as fun as the game, then we would MAKE time to do it all the time. That’s the secret here!
One day in my teens, I’m home from school with an illness. I hear dogs barking in the neighborhood and look outside. I see 2 guys chipping from lawn to lawn of the houses on our street. I go out to talk to them and they are having a blast playing what they call “street golf.” They are bouncing the ball off the street and everything else and they weren’t drinking!
Since then, I’ve found a whole society called Guerilla Golfers.
Not long after that, I go to a golfing buddy’s house to watch a sporting event and show up an hour early.
We started with our sand wedge and then injected difficulty into the game with having to chip with our hybrids and then onto other clubs where the starting lie dictated it.
The next day, I killed it on the course!
The thing about this is that we always put something at stake and THAT made it fun.
I used to play a putting game with my young son that had golf balls colored and numbered like billiards balls and you putted then into the holes just like a pool table.
Family time and great putting time all at once!
Are you getting the picture?
Get creative and find ways to make working on your game fun and then it’s not practice!