Managing Your Emotions on the Golf Course

I am a really lucky person. I absolutely love the game of golf, and “bad shots” just don’t get to me in the way that they do a lot of other golfers. To me, when that ball ends up tucked under the rim of a sand trap, or right up behind a tree trunk, I am provided with an opportunity to be creative; I relish the opportunity to try something new on the golf course and then just watch what “pops out”.

I guess that I’m lucky in that the score doesn’t matter to me. I’m not playing golf to earn enough money to feed the family or pay the mortgage. I play golf because I enjoy golf, and everything which goes with it – the friends you make, the scenery, the fresh air, the exercise. The majority of golfers are in a similar position in that their livelihood does not depend upon them holing out on the 18th for a birdie.

Not all club golfers, however, enjoy their “bad shots” or respond to them in a positive manner. Somehow, a fear of embarrassment or a competitive nature can get in the way of true enjoyment of the game. I’m not denying that golf throws up many an opportunity for frustration; the game of golf is extremely challenging to one’s emotional stability!

If you are a beginner at golf, it helps to recognize that it is a really tricky game to play involving a long club, a small ball and a really large distance to cover. Don’t worry about what other people think; those other golfers started off in exactly the same place as you. They understand how that club can seem to turn itself into an octopus in your hands and how that ball can get all stubborn and refuse to move in the right direction (if indeed it decides to move at all).

And remember that you do get better at golf with practice so do not be disheartened. Whenever you go to the range or play a few holes there are always a few lovely shots which “pop out”; replay these in your mind’s eye and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment over and over again. You know that you are capable of hitting shots like this and they will happen more and more frequently. This is what gets you excited and chomping at the bit to get out there and play again!

Please don’t allow your shoulders to slump and your gaze to just contemplate the grass upon the fairway. Your body language reflects your moods and emotions. When you feel down, everything about your body language heads south. Square your shoulders, raise your eyes and enjoy the beauty of the golf course; laugh with your friends, and know that this is just a tricky little game which is going to get easier and easier with practice, so long as you don’t worry about it. Just as your moods are reflected in your body language, as you consciously lift your eyes and shoulders up, this will have a reciprocal effect upon your emotions. Always keep your head high when playing golf. Keep your head up and feel uplifted; allow your head to stay down and you will feel down.

The other thing that is really helpful is to not forget the task in hand. The aim of the game is to hit the ball with the clubface and move that ball forwards in the right direction. As a beginner it can be really complicated trying to remember how you are meant to stand, and how your hands are meant to go, and each movement in the swing, and how far to stand from the ball, and how high to tee the ball up…and all too easy to forget that all you need to do is to aim in the right direction and then hit the ball!

Golf is a really unique game and well worth the trials and tribulations encountered in its learning. What other game can you play on your own as well as with others, in groups of two, three or four? And players of all levels can play together without an individual’s game being compromised? And people of almost any fitness level and age can enjoy? And be outside in the fresh air? And play on different courses all over the globe? I could go on and on about the beauty of this game but think I’ve probably said enough! This is a very GREAT game.

Enjoy your golf!

Roseanna Leaton, specialist in hypnosis recordings to help manage your emotions and play great golf.