How to Play Golf Well Under Pressure
Hello again! I have some great tips for you today if you are one of the millions of golfers who have felt under
pressure while playing.
Yes, I said millions! It happens to us all, at some time or another, and that means you are certainly not
Tips on How-To Get Out of the Pressure Cooker!
1. Pay Attention: One of the most valuable tips I can share with you when it comes to playing under pressure is
to pay attention. Pay attention to what, you ask? The particulars, I reply.
In order to fight off pressure, and the negatives that go along with it, you first have to identify what is
bothering you. Are you playing in your first tournament? Is this the first time you played in front of a crowd? Are
you missing your drives or is your putting nonexistent today?
The moment you feel as if you are under pressure, stop, take a breath, and try to narrow down the cause of this
feeling. Once you have narrowed down the cause, you can begin to work out some solutions to play golf well under pressure.
2. Internal versus External: Pressure can creep into your play via two ways: things that are external to you,
and things that are internal to you. External issues might be a crowd watching you as you play in a tournament.
Internal issues are usually related to poor shots or poor judgment.
When you are faced with external issues the best advice is to bring your visualization focus inward. Some people
might think of this as "tunnel" vision, although your other senses may be involved as well. For instance, a
cheering crowd would require "tunnel" hearing, so to speak.
The ability to shut out external factors can be learned. It is not magic, but rather a skill you hone as you
practice doing it. The reason you need to master this skill is because external factors rarely go away just because
you want them to. The crowd isn't going to leave just because they make you nervous. The roaring cheers will not
stop, and the rain will continue to fall, whether you like it or not.
The best time to begin mastering this skill is not when you need it, but right now - when you do not need
Dealing with internal factors is different.
It can be said that golfers are often their own worst critics. For many golfers, the act of being beat up when
they make a poor shot comes from within and not from without. At times, we all do this to ourselves. No one that I
know is immune to this self-destructive behavior, and I include myself.
A good way to alleviate internal pressure is to externalize it. Sounds complicated, but it's not. When you feel
the pressure mounting to make that shot, stop and breathe. Turn off the voices in your head; if you have to, start
humming a tune to drown them out. Visualize the way you "want" the shot to behave rather than how you "fear" it
3. Take the Shot: This last tip is important for both external and internal pressure plays. Once you have your
nerves calmed a bit, step up to the ball and take your shot. Do not waste time or beat around the bush. Step up to
your ball with confidence, address the ball, take a breath, and swing.
We all have to play under pressure at some time but that does not mean that we have to allow it to beat us. Take
control of your emotions and you can beat back that feeling of pressure every time.