Aim & Alignment Series
The Golfers Mind
Anger And State Management. Get Control Of your
Emotions For Great Golf and More Fun Playing!
When Seve Ballesteros at the height of his golfing prowess was asked in an interview how he kept from getting angry whenever he missed a putt or shot, he replied. "I have instant amnesia." Instead of getting angry and then remaining that way for a time, Seve merely forgot it and went straight back to the business of playing golf one shot at a time.
Another story of Seve 3 putting a green in a major tournament. Afterwards he was asked in an interview what happened to which he replied. "I putt, I miss. I putt, I miss, I putt, I make." This shows how he was able to instantly forget the last putt and just go ahead and make another putt and keep doing that until the ball went in the hole, a classic example of staying in the present.
Most amateur golfers and far too many pro's (in my opinion) get upset and angry when things don't go to plan during a round of golf. To make matters worse, golfers tend to carry their anger for at least several holes or worse still (disaster round) the entire round after having made a mistake, missed a short putt, or hit one in the rubbish.
It is very important to understand that your anger adversely affects your body chemistry
and muscle tension thus your ability to perform properly. If you allow anger to be
a part of your emotional make-
Consider also that if your anger is severe at times, people will start to avoid playing with you.
Here is a game plan for greatly reducing and eventually eliminating anger, if not completely, then at least making it rare, mild and very quickly under control. You can get so good at this that your playing partners will not even know when you do have a rare little flare up.
I would like to point out that it is possible to virtually eliminate all anger on
the course but your off-
Firstly, the instant you become aware that your anger is rising from the depths, say "Stop!" to yourself, take 2 or 3 deep breaths and then acknowledge that you are upset. There is no need to try to suppress your anger (don't try fighting it) and you must not try to rationalize that you have a right to be angry or upset either because your anger will build and fester the more you focus on it.
Once you have acknowledged the fact that you reacted and got angry, know that you were merely reacting in an instinctive way to an event that your mind perceived as bad. Know also that you do have a choice in how you behave and respond emotionally to events in your life. This may not always be easy to do but it's true non the less. Now you have a choice, you can continue to be upset, humiliated and angry or you can decide to release all of the emotions that are causing this poor state.
If you continue to hold onto the anger, you will continue to get more bad results causing (probably) more anger and an out of control spiral into a disaster round, or you can decide to release it and get back to playing golf, which is supposed to be fun. If you are not having fun, you re not playing golf. You are playing a game like "What will people think of me?!" or some other equally silly game.
Here is an excellent technique to release anger. Take some deep breaths. Inhale slowly
over 4 -
Talk to yourself in an understanding but proud way. Tell yourself that you are not going to be controlled emotionally by events but that you are in control of your own emotions. Acknowledge that you do not have the experience of Tiger Woods and yet he still messes up, so it's both inevitable and acceptable if you do. This is what makes golf great. It is the mental challenges that are set us which must be conquered if we are to play our best golf.
Remember that even if you practiced more than Tiger Woods, got coaching from the best in the world, played only when conditions were fantastic and only when you felt physically great, you would still hit bad shots.
Put things into context. It's only a game and if you play badly this does not mean that you are a bad person. A bad shot does not mean you are an idiot, it just means you are normal. Ask yourself how much effort you put into practicing the physical and mental side of golf. If it is less than Tiger woods then you don't have a right to get cross about a bad shot.
Ask yourself if you want to let and event ruin your golf or do you want to forget about it and walk away? Challenge yourself from now on and see how quickly you can get the breathing techniques going and walk away from bad shots. The more you practice it the better you will get at it.
Also very powerful is to imagine yourself as a golfer who stays in control, has amnesia
for bad shots and walks away, able to play the next shot on it's own with confidence.
If you vividly imagine yourself like this when-
Even the best golfers in the world know that they are going mess up and hit bad shots and they work on accepting them and then focussing only on the next shot so that they do not allow a past event to ruin the next shot.
Shouldn't you be doing the same? Well, only if you want to increase your enjoyment of golf, play better, and have more friends on the course.
Golf Coach and Psychologist
Author Mark Wright -
Copyright Mark Wright 2009
You may copy and use this article on your web-