How to Hit Tough Shots Under Pressure

By Laird Small

Wow, what a shot we have to hit. You know tension is the greatest destroyer of golf swings. What the architect does in designing a course is use hazards in order to create tension in the golfer. Now the architect's job title is protector of par, so they are going to do things to help you goof up; that's what their job is.

How to Reduce Tension in High-Pressure Situations

What your job is is, can you stay away from that and not buy into the tension? If you make a good swing you are going to hit a good shot and that stuff is not going to bother you. Here are a couple of things that I think can help you eliminate this.

  1. First, do your work away from the golf ball. Most players when they have to hit a shot are right over the ball and they create added tension because they are standing over the ball the entire time. So get away from the ball, and what I am going to do here to show you is put a club on the ground behind the ball, and you are going to do all of your work away from the golf club. This is your office space, you are going to get all your stuff done, which means club selection, the type of shot you are going to hit, and also put yourself in a good frame of mind to hit the shot.
  2. Where do you want the ball to go? Once you cross over this line, this is our line of commitment; we are now going to be in a trusting, committing mode. I am going to get right up over the ball and I am going to go and make my swing as freely as I can without thinking of possible outcomes of the shot. It may go in the ocean, it may go in the bunker, all that stuff you can’t be thinking about. You have to be able to trust and let go.

Pressure-Free Swing: Trust and Let Go

Let's take a look at it with a shot. I am back behind the club, I see what I want the ball to do, I make my rehearsal swing that I feel is appropriate to hit the shot there, and now I have to trust and let it go. That came out ok. Give this a shot; I know it will reduce your tension in pressure situations.


Category: Psychology

About the Instructor

Laird Small
Laird Small
Pebble Beach Golf Academy
1700 17-Mile Drive
Pebble Beach, CA 93953
Tel: 831-622-8650