HOW TO BE RAGE FREE ON THE GOLF COURSE
Updated: Aug 20, 2020
Golf is a game that tests us physically, mentally and emotionally. Emotions get hot while golfing, especially when the outcome does not line up with the desired expectation.
The mental and emotional stuff on the golf course is just as important as the swing itself. Grip It Girl Golf is working on providing simple and powerful ways for golfers to strengthen their mental game on the golf course and ultimately improve their scores and enjoyment of the game.
Regardless of whether you are a beginner or PGA or LPGA Tour professional, emotional control is essential to play your best golf and reach your full potential on and off the golf course. There are different aspects of emotional control, but we are focusing on that rage, that anger and frustration after an undesired golf shot.
So what is emotional control? Well essentially it's having control of our emotions and how we react to them, instead of our emotions having the control and determining our reactions and our mood. It’s easy to conceptualize however it seems at times impossible to implement, especially on the golf course where we are already vulnerable and our mental focus is high.
As most of us have experienced, the anger or frustration seems completely justified and overpowering. It’s as if that response is the only option. But it often causes a downward emotional spiral and a downward performance spiral. It tenses up our muscles and hinders our focus and decision making, resulting in bad swings, poor decisions and unwanted results. It’s a downward spiral that all golfers and humans experience.
But, there is a solution to help turn every golf outing from being one of frustration, anger or disappointment to being joyful, exciting and satisfying regardless of the results.
So what can we do. We can stop getting angry. Right? Pretty simple. If only. Although believe it or not, that is the start to the solution. We regain our emotional control by not giving power to that emotion, but rather quickly processing it. Below are a few tactics to help us do that.
ANGER CONTROL TACTICS:
1. Pre-play- we are going to set a game plan before we play. Pre Set our mindset. Just like our pre shot routine.We are going to open ourselves up to be ready for any possibility on the golf course, without bias or judgement.
For example - I am excited to play golf today and look forward to playing a great round. I hope to perform at my best but I know I will have some unwanted/bad shots. I know that a bad shot will only affect my score if I react to it. Instead of getting angry when this happens, i will be patient with myself and remember that anger hinders my performance and decision making and prevents me from playing my best golf. Golf is not enjoyable when I get angry so instead of getting mad I will be grateful to be playing and use my energy to focus on the next shot. If I do get angry, that is ok. I have control over my emotions and can let the anger release quickly so I am prepared for my next shot.
2. Focus on your pre shot routine - this channels your focus towards the process and helps expel any unwanted emotions
3. Set a time limit for your anger
4. Force yourself to smile - take a look at your surroundings and bring yourself back to the present moment. You are out in nature playing a beautiful golf course, learning and growing through this challenging game
5. Make it a game not to get angry - during your rounds keep a mental score. If you get angry on a hole that is a bogey, if you don’t let it go before your next shot that is a double bogey. If you hit a poor shot and don’t react with anger, but acceptance and joyful learning you get a birdie
6. Be your own cheerleading, not your own critic. There is no reason to every criticize ourselves, ever. There is enough hardship in this life to have ourselves also be part of the hardship. Be your own cheerleader. Talk yourself through a missed putt with encouraging words. Understand your anger and then remember it is more beneficial for you and your score to quickly let it go.We all need a little more love and support in our lives and who better to give that to us than ourselves.
Take these tricks with you off the golf course and every situation you come up against will become a new possibility. Regaining emotional control is such a wonderful way to continue to empower yourself. Enjoy this amazing golf journey of personal growth.