Saturday, 13 September 2014

6 Golf Tips On Staying Positive During A Round

Want to chop strokes off you golf handicap without swinging a club?

Learn to stay positive on the course.

That’s right. Learn to stay positive on the course.

Everyone hits bad shots or experiences bad luck. But getting down on yourself after a bad shot or bad luck can add strokes to your scores and your golf handicap. Staying positive sets the table for low scores.

Next time you watch the pros see how they react to bad shots. They may get angry when they shank one. But they don’t get down because of it. Instead, they gather themselves and address the next shot.

Staying positive after a bad shot is so critical the pros even keeps stats on it. It’s called the “bounce back” rate. It measures how often you make a bogey or worse on one hole, then follow it up with a birdie or better on the next.

Anger Affects Your Swing

Staying angry or getting frustrated affects your swing. When you get angry or frustrated, you tend to tighten your grip. Tightening your grip prevents you from releasing the club properly.

Anger and frustration also affect your body language, which also can hurt your swing. If your chin gets down literally, for instance, you inhibit your shoulder rotation on your backswing. That’s not good.

More important, anger and frustration affects your short game. Nothing hurts your short game more than they do. You rely on feel and touch in your short game more than anywhere else. Stay angry and frustrated and you’ll miss a ton of chip shots and putts. Count on it.

How To Stay Positive

So how do you stay positive throughout a round? Here are 6 golf tips we give students during golf lessons on how to stay positive on the course:

•    Tell yourself to stop

When you start berating yourself for making a bad shot, say “Stop.” Say it out loud if you want. Or, just think it. Either way works. This trick rids you of negative thoughts.

•    Take a deep breathe

When you feel yourself getting angry, take a deep breathe. Hold it. Then exhale slowly. As you exhale, imagine all your negativity flowing out of your body. Repeat the exercise until you feel calm.

•    Reverse negatives to positives

Don’t let a challenging shot intimidate you. Vow to show the shot you’re in charge.  Practice turning a positive into a negative until the effort becomes a habit.

•    Recall past positive experiences

Recall a great shot you hit previously. Maybe it was a great drive or a long putt. Whatever it was, it made you feel fantastic. Visualize creating the same result. Then make it happen.

•    Stay in the moment

Pro athletes say this all the time. What does it mean? It means they practiced “process” versus “outcome” thinking. Analyze your mistake objectively. Determine what you did wrong. Then decide how to fix it and move on. 

•    Focus on the shot at hand

This is perhaps the most important mental golf tip of all. Sounds easy. But it’s not. Train yourself to forget the 2-footer you missed on the previous hole. Use your pre-shot routine to help do this.

Also, don’t think too far ahead on a shot. You need to make this first shot before you can make the second. Focus on the shot at hand.

Don’t let a bad shot or a bad hole get you down. Stay positive. The mental golf tips described above can help. They’re effective and proven. They’ll help you recover when something bad happens.

Staying positive helps is critical to playing well. It’ll help you cut strokes from your golf handicap without swing a club. It’ll even help you break 80.

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