Golf Tips - Leave Your Frustration Behind You

By Tom Ward

For the next two weeks the PGA TOUR is in town so golfers will have the opportunity to observe top ranked players in action. Outside of watching them play and trying to emulate their swings use this time wisely to see how they handle adversity which is going to happen especially on the weekend coming down the stretch trying to win. The best players in any sport know how to handle being cool in situations where everyone else in self-destucting.

Actually losing your cool can be good because it can help you let off some steam and help you refocus on the task at hand. Often, as all golfers know we keep it bottled up which can impair our performances for the rest of the round. The key is to allow yourself to completely vent, then refocus again immediately. By venting I don't mean throwing or breaking clubs, or cursing. The skill of refocusing is what is the most important element to master. How does a person learn to regain composure after losing it?Just remember that losing your cool is nothing more than focusing on what went wrong, and allowing yourself to get frustrated, angry, ticked off, etc. Think about how you respond when your angry. . . you breathe faster, body tigthens up, heart rate increases and so on. These stress messages your sending to your brain only make your body tighten up more sabotaging your abilities to perform properly. This unfortunate cycle will continue until you learn to break this broken record set on self-destruct. In a tense situation the best way to regain your composure is to work in the opposite direction, to get your body to calm down, this in turn will allow your mind to calm down by taking several deep breathes, and by pushing away any negative thoughts.

There's a good method called "Treeing" which seems appropriate since your on the golf course with plenty of trees. What you do is take your emotions in this case negative thoughts and put them onto something else. Some older cultures throughout the world have used this technique for centuries. They learned to pass their bad feelings or negative emotions to a tree, hence the name. So next time when your on the golf course and your losing your cool find a tree and push or touch it physically releasing your pressure that your feeling into the object and leave it there. After you have dealt with the past it's time to move on to the future which in this case is a new hole, or shot at hand. Remember you can't change the past, but you can profoundly effect your future with the proper mind set. There's no longer a reason to carry all this emotional baggage to the next hole so let it go. So next time you see a player in the woods alot during a round maybe their just getting rid of some issues that are bothering them.

This is all easier said than done, but like all things with a little practice and some discipline you'll be recovering from poor shots quicker and salvaging your round instead of going from bad to worse. The best players in the world all have their own particular methods for staying cool, so watch how they handle poor shots while they are in town. It's traits like staying cool when everyone else is losing their heads that make the difference from being a good player to becoming a great player. *




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Tom P.  Scored 81 at  Diablo Creek Concord, California

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