I just made a horrific swing! My ball went in the lake, and there goes my greatest round ever. We’ve all said this at one point in another to ourselves or to our friends. The natural thing to do is be angry, stressed out, and let it ruin the rest of your round or even day. The reality is, even the best professional golfers in the world make bad swings. (They just don’t do it as often as your average sunday golfer). The main point I’m making is: What are you going to do about it? Are you going to let that bad swing define the rest of your game? Are you going to quit because you always make a bad swing at the wrong time? NO, I won’t let you. What separates the winners from the losers is getting back on the horse after he just kicked you in the mouth. Take control! Make the next shot your best one of the day, and keep that mentality until your in the parking lot talking to your buddies about how great your recovery was after you hit it in the water. Here are some tips that I’ve acquired throughout my experience:
1. LAUGH! I know it sounds weird, but honestly whenever I hit a bad shot I laugh about it, not hysterically, just a simple chuckle. It helps keep the anger out of my mind.
2. You can curse, sometimes it does make people feel better. I understand it’s going to happen. Just don’t let it happen all the time. Whisper the curse words to yourself, or put your hat over your mouth so others can’t read your lips.
3. Count to 5,10, 20, 50, or 100. However long it will take you to forget you made a bad swing and you notice yourself counting for no reason. Trust me it works, and you will gradually improve on how long it takes you to get over it. You may have to start at 100 but if you keep doing it your going to get tired of counting and realize that your over the bad shot after counting to 3.
4. Crack a joke. You don’t have to right away but maybe a few minutes after the shot when you start to look at the future of your round and get those negative thoughts going through your head, it tricks your mind to thinking about telling the joke rather than what’s happening with your golf game.
5. Sing a song. Now I don’t expect you to all of a sudden act like your Kelly Clarkson on stage and start singing at the top of your lungs (actually try it, could be funny). But just sing to your self or hum to yourself. Even sing a song that you just made up: “I just hit a bad shot and I do it a lot, but it’s all I got.” I don’t know whatever song pops into your head.
6. Think about something positive or funny. Share it with others randomly if you want. You can think of things like: Remember that time TJ posted on his blog that youtube video of that guy losing it on the golf course. That will help you get over things quickly.
7. Take a look around you. Most likely your playing with enjoyable people. Hopefully its a nice day out. Take it all in. Enjoy that your just playing a game. Or would you rather be stuck behind a cubicle at some dead end job, looking a your facebook page. (that’s what I thought) ENJOY!
8.Take a deep breath. This works wonders for me. It not only calms you down but notice your heart rate goes down as well and your not strangling that club as hard as you can on the next shot.
9. Walk it out. Not a problem at all, even if you have a cart. Most likely there’s two of you in the cart, let them drive and you just take a nice stroll down the fairway and refer back to the previous steps.
10. On the next shot talk to yourself on how your going to hit this one. Stay positive. Talk about everything from the distance you have, to what club your going to hit, and whether you want to hit it on the green or in the fairway. For example: I just hit on in the lake, (refer to previous steps) then say okay, that’s over and done with. Now I have 180 yards, I’m going to hit a 6 iron a little left of the flag so it hits that mound and rolls right next to the cup. Try it, comes with practice, but it helps you stay in the NOW! If you focus on that shot and that shot alone, you can’t think about the past or the future, your just thinking about this shot right now.
You don’t have to do all 10 of these tips at once. Maybe pick one and try it out, if it doesn’t work try another one. Find out what works for you in order to stay positive and produce a better shot than the last one you just hit. If you have any other ones that I missed and it helps you through thick and thin, let me know. I could always use the extra advice no matter what it is.