Imagine you’re playing on a terrific day of weather and friendship and on one of your favorite courses. The day just can’ t seem to get any better as you find yourself in ‘The Zone’ and every shot is practically perfect (according to your standards).
Then it happens!
You have that one irritating hole that comes out of nowhere and bites you in the rear. You find yourself and your game in a massive downward spiral of frustration, anger and embarrassment.
Have you been there?
Well, you are not alone. If you have ever picked up a club to play a round of golf, then you certainly have experienced the ‘Bad Hole Blues Zone.’ You go from a lovely day on the course enjoying everything about the game to a mindset of ‘I just need to hold it together’ and pray the round will finish soon.
How do we change this fall from grace? You might not believe this, but you have more control over the outcome after a bad hole than you might realize. Let me try to help you recover faster and get back on track after an explosive hole.
Why do bad holes seem to snowball?
We all need to understand the “why” behind how one bad hole turns into a landslide of bad holes. Golf is 90% mental, yet very few of us spend 90% of our practice working on the mental side of the game. We all need to invest more time into working on the mental side of the game in order to prevent a bad hole from ruining a great day.
The reason that one bad hole takes us to another planet is because…well…we allow it to. We see the bad hole as ‘the unraveling’ to our entire round and then find ourselves emotionally panicked, leading to the ‘OMG, here we go again’ thought process and/or ‘why should I even try, the round is ruined’ mentality.
Time to buckle up and turn that frown upside down!
Techniques to Change the Way on Think about a Bad Hole
1) Disengage Yourself from the Bad Hole: You can avoid a total meltdown by surrendering your emotional attachment to the hole’s outcome and disengage from the crisis. This is when you stop yourself from personalizing the outcome of every single shot.
You, the player, need to think more in the present moment vs. reacting to the past and keeping the past alive in your brain. Golf is meant to be a pleasant experience — an enjoyable time for all. We need to focus more on the good we do vs. the not so good, but our brains tend to want to rehash the bad shots and replay them over and over in our mind throughout the round.
Decide to change the way you approach your game and truly love exactly where your game is at any given moment. Stay in the present and embrace the good and bad. Remind yourself that there is no perfect game, golfer or round. Love all the little imperfections in your game, round, hole, or shot.
The bottom line: Disengage yourself from the ugly shot and embrace the challenge you face ahead with a smile on your face and an internal energy of “I’ve got this’. Staying in the present will help you disengage and be ‘present’ for the next shot.
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