Tough day on the course? Try this…

When you’re out playing golf and the course is extremely challenging, what can you do (other than play one shot at a time)?

Here are two really great tips to help you stay in control.

Tip #1:

A revolutionary concept was developed by Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriot who have trained many champions including Annika Sorenstam with their Golf54 approach.

One of their key concepts was in playing golf with a visual ‘Think Box’ and ‘Play Box’. The Think Box was the area where you evaluate all aspects of the shot in front of you. This is where you will be determining your shot selection by factoring in critical information.

  • Yardage from target (measuring to lay-up area/front edge of green/pin position, etc.)
  • Wind (downwind/headwind/crosswind)
  • Lie (ball on sitting down in rough/perched up on tuft of grass/sitting on short grass)
  • Slope (ball above/below feet, upslope/downslope)
  • Course conditions (wet/hard/soft)
  • Elevation change in shot (uphill or downhill to target)

You will also be evaluating the specific target, shape of the shot and club selection from these details.

Once you have made these decisions, you take a step forward into the tee box or ‘play box’ where the only thing you are now thinking of is execution of the shot.

Once you cross the decision line between the two, you must be fully committed to the shot at hand.

Tip #2:

Managing your emotions on the golf course is a critical part of the game. Allowing your emotions to go too high or low can have a negative impact on your performance and create needless distractions.

Dr. Mo Pickens recommends creating a ‘groan zone’ on the golf course. Your groan zone is a physical boundary that you designate to express your emotions. It helps you stay mentally composed.

Having various emotions are normal. It is the way you react to them that creates the issues with your game. Let’s say you are on the tee and go through your regular set up routine. You hit the ball and it does not go where you want it to.

You can feel anger, frustration and disappointment. However, these emotions should be contained within a physical boundary that you establish in advance as part of your routine.  This process creates a healthy boundary for your emotions.

Examples of physical boundaries that you can set might be as you walk to put your club back into your bag. Once you place the club back into your bag, the emotion has been expressed. You can also use the tee box as a physical boundary. Once you hit your shot and return your club to your bag, you can use the short walk to express your emotions. However, you need to train yourself that once you leave the tee box area, your shot and an emotions related to it are done.