How to Produce Your Best Game Under Pressure
Did you know that there are sensible ways to help you play your best golf game even when you are under pressure?
There are! And here are some tips on how you can beat the pressure every time.
1. To Beat It, Feel It:
A lot of golfers will not know that they are playing under pressure until they have made several bad shots. One
of the key elements to playing your best under pressure is to realize that you ARE playing under pressure.
That word "pressure" can mean different things to different people. For some of us, playing in front of a crowd
can lead to pressure. For others, a few bad shots can lead to the feeling of being under pressure to regain those
In all cases, the player has to realize that he or she is feeling some sense of pressure or dread before they
can deal with it.
2. The Spin Cycle:
Playing under pressure will often result in two things, for sure. One is we tense up. Our muscles will tense and
we become less flexible than normal. The second thing that often happens is we begin to swing the club harder than
Either of these reactions will produce poor shots. And one poor shot leads to another as we continue to try to
bully our way out of the cycle.
The ultimate key to playing under pressure is to relax. Yes, that is easier said than done, but it must be
accomplished. As soon as you realize that you are playing under pressure, take these steps:
Breathe: Taking a few deep breaths can do wonders when it comes to relaxing the mind and the body. The trick is
to breathe in slowly and exhale slowly. Not only does this help to relax the muscles, but it also oxygenates the
Stretch: Pressure will lead to tense muscles. This is so common that it can be thought of as universal. It will
happen to all of us. Tense muscles lead to poor golf swings, and that, too, is certain.
In order to relieve the tension in your muscles do a bit of stretching immediately before you take your stance.
Even a few shoulder twists will help relax your muscles.
Pre-Shot Routine: If you have been reading my newsletters, you
already know that I advocate players to have a pre-shot routine that they design themselves. If you have one, now
is the time to perform it.
Performing this routine will help to settle your nerves. Think of it as a foundation on which you can build your
Swing Normally: Many players will often fall into the trap of thinking if they hit the ball harder their game
will improve. This almost never works out that way. What usually happens is a duck hook, screaming slice, or
embarrassing miss-the-ball entirely shot.
Avoid the temptation to smack the ball as hard as you can. Instead, have faith in your own swing. You have been
using this swing for some time now, so trust it to pull you out of this trouble now.
Grinning: For many golfers, when pressure begins it builds. In other words, it only gets worse if one does not
address it. Even so, golf is a game and should be enjoyed.
If you make a bogus shot, miss a few putts, or hit five hooks in a row, smile! Laugh out loud if you need to.
Let some humor get into your body, even if it is at your own expense. This, too, can go a long way in relieving
stress and pressure.
Remember to check out "The Amazing Golf Mind" for a great technique to reducing pressure: