When you melt down on the course
Get out and go golf now! It’s high time for us Northerners to take full advantage of the weather.
GET EXCITED! Get out there! I know I am. 🙂
Ok, that’s just how I’m feeling right now about this time of year when the Tours are in full swing and the days are the longest….LOVE IT!
We go out with all the hopes in the world, you just feel like this is a fresh new season and this is the year that you are going to break your scoring barrier. We show up to the course smiling and taking deep breaths soaking in the smell of the fresh cut grass and hearing the sounds of balls pinging off drivers on the range – Remember the last blog post where I discussed FOCUSING on what you’re senses are taking in?
You get up on the first tee and pull hook it OB. “No problem, I’ll just take a mulligan and start all over.”
Your next shot is reasonable and your approach comes up short. You chunk your chip, hit the next one 30 feet long and then 3 putt coming back for a triple bogey.
All the air has been taken out of your sails. Maybe you are able to shrug it off and start fresh again on the second hole. But, inevitably, more bad shots show up and you stop scoring about the 13th hole and start calling the round a “practice” round.
All of a sudden, you start making more shots! 5 foot putts start dropping and seem easy. Your body actually starts feeling more flexible and loose and the next few holes has you feeling like a kid again.
What happened here?
Maybe this exact scene hasn’t happened to you but I would bet that the part about letting go of your score and then starting to play well has!
I am going to say something bold here today….
If you have learned the fundamentals of golf and have had some good holes before, then
ALL of your mistakes can be attributed to your mental game.
This is the biggest problem with golfers actually realizing new personal bests for scoring. They just think they need to hit more balls and buy the newest equipment and get another swing tweak and then the game will be all better.
Let’s turn this all around now.
What if you were to just go out the next couple rounds not even caring about your score or even bothering to put it down on the card and just focusing on hitting a few great shots and putts?
What would happen if your whole reason for playing was something other than score?
Even more important…what do you do when you are in the midst of a melt down? How do you stop it? I’ve got an answer for you here today. (Sorry about the rambling above, I’m just writing what comes to mind today).
For instance….I followed my 18 year old son around at the High School State Tournament. He wasn’t playing to his potential through the first 9 holes and thought he was out of it. But as he checked the leader board at the turn, he found out that he would make the cut for the 2nd day if he played the same way on the back. With the bad weather, everyone was turning in high scores.
He got a renewed sense of hope…and then promptly on the 10th hole, he birdies it.
On the par 3 11th, he gets up there and hits a horrible shot that goes into the bushes. Totally miffed after lying 3 near the green, he chokes the chip and ends up with a triple.
He lost it and ended up tripling the next hole and doubling the one after that and ended up not making the cut.
You might be asking, aren’t you the mental game guru? Why couldn’t you help him? Well, I wished I could have but the rules prohibited any contact with the gallery.
What he needed to do after that 3 par miss was to use a powerful tool I call “The observer” in order to stop the meltdown of his emotional state. This is where you pretend you can take yourself out of yourself and observer yourself like another person would and you comment on what you are observing.
This is such an effective mental game technique because of a bunch of reasons. One, you automatically take control of your thoughts instead of your thoughts controlling you. Two, you become bigger than your problem at that moment. You can see more clearly. As an objective observer, it’s easy to see what the problem is and how to solve it. Three, I can’t explain it, but there is some mental magic that happens when you do this technique that shifts your energy. You’ll just have to do this for yourself and experience it.
I’d love to see your comments below
Greens and fairways,