Control Emotions, Gain More Yards

Let’s say you just finished the last hole with a double bogey and you’re mad at yourself. Or maybe you just made a mistake and you just missed a short putt. As you get to the next tee, all of the sudden in your mind you say, “I’m going to kill my next tee shot.” That’s really the first mistake you have made.

You’ve got to step back and regroup because that hole is over. You’ve got to treat each hole as a mini tournament in your mind. As you’re standing on the next tee, you really need to slow down. Take a few breaths and make a practice swing to calm yourself down. Or maybe the reverse is true. Maybe you’re standing on the tee box of a par-5 hole and you really need to hit the ball 10-yards farther.

There are many mistakes that can happen when you’re emotionally upset or when you’re intentionally trying to hit the ball farther off the tee. Here are just a few of them:

  • Gripping the club really tight.
  • Standing farther away from the ball because it feels stronger having the arms out and away from the body.
  • Swinging the club back so fast that a backswing turn cannot be completed before the lower body runs away from the arms.
  • Arms swing so fast that the body can’t support the swinging motion.

If you make any of these mistakes, that 10 more yards that you’re trying to get can really turn into a very bad golf shot.

Here’s what I think you should do that will help you get 10 more yards:

  • Take a wider stance.
  • Relax your arms, let them hand down.
  • Make a bigger, but slower waggle.
  • Make sure your arms and body get fully turned going back. Jack Nicklaus used to say “I’m going to grip it lighter and then I’m going to make a bigger turn.”
  • What’s going to happen if you make these changes? Everything in your swing should feel like it’s going forward together to apply the clubhead to the golf ball.

Think about these things the next time your upset or you’re looking to get 10 more yards.

Rick Smith