John is a wonderful person at home and at work but not on the golf course links. He has 2 daughters ages 3 and 8 that he dotes on constantly. He plays games and dolls with them and genuinely enjoys it. He is very much in love with his wife of 10 years and can’t wait for date nights on Fridays. His friends and family say he is one of the kindest most warm-hearted people on the planet. His co-workers can’t say enough about how John has always been there for them in his sympathy and caring for their issues. His mother told his wife long ago that John has a streak of anger in him but it hasn’t shown up in any big way in their marriage so far.
John loves to play golf on Saturday with the men’s club at his local links course.
Nobody wants to be pared with John though. Why?
As long as everything is going right with John in his game that day, he seems to be the John everyone else knows and loves. And even the members see him this way once they make it to the clubhouse or the 19th hole.
He’s a pretty good player too, with a handicap in single digits.
But…John loses his temper and gets very angry out on the golf course links.
As long as he’s scoring well, then he’s allright. If not, watch out for John as he throws his golf clubs and cuss words out left and right. He berates himself and his clubs and goes on and on about how he stinks at the game. It doesn’t take much to get him started. Usually it’s a 3-putt or an out of bounds shot into the golf course woods. After having one of those or any other major mishap, John rushes up to hit the next ball thinking that he has to quickly erase the last bad shot as soon as possible. He hates feeling the anger. But in his haste and tension, he usually follows up one bad shot with another and the downward spiral begins… and the cusswords start to fly.
Do you have some of John in you? Do you know a John at your club? Maybe you have a playing partner like that or have been paired with one.
What to do about it?
The first thing to know is that anger is an emotion and all emotions are biologically a release of chemicals that cause actions at the cellular level driven by energy. What?
Nevermind that. What you have to do for yourself or for the John you know is get them to focus on something else; something entirely not related to golf as fast as you can.
If they’ve already blown up and lost it, It’s not enough to tell them (or yourself) that “It’s o.k., you’ll make it up” or something like that. It’s too late or too much for that to work. Start with that but get the thoughts somewhere else. Get the person on a subject totally outside of golf. The idea is to get the thoughts elsewhere.
If it’s you we are talking about here, then take that another step.
A 4-year old child if told to pretend to do an action, like say, swimming for instance, wouldn’t need water to give you a good show on how she does it. That’s what you want to do! Go through the motions, talk your way through and actually “pretend” to be somewhere else righ then and there. Experience the feelings and images you would in your mind if you were actually doing it. Put yourself back on your last vacation doing something you love and really “experience it” in your mind.
This will shift your energy and increase your awareness in a heartbeat and allow you to get your body back to neutral or better as fast as possible. Otherwise, you are fighting a cascade of peptides locking onto receptor sites at every cell that will be very difficult to remove….and your golf game suffers.
When you are angry, you are not aware. You get so locked into being angry. Some of us are actually addicted to the chemical release of anger..but that’s another story.
Next time out on the golf course links and anger starts to get to you, be a 4-year old!