Change Perspective in Golf to Improve Play
Do you enjoy golf? Do you become excited to face the challenges during a competitive round of golf?
Or do you dread playing competitive rounds and feel anxious under pressure?
Let’s examine the relationship between perspective, nerves, and performance.
Perspective affects your thoughts. If you view pressure as unfavorable, your emotional response will be anxiety. Tough shots will ramp up the anxiety. A tricky shot creates thoughts of doubt, I hope I don’t mess up this eight-foot putt.
This thought creates more stress. You will experience a physiological response (rapid breathing, pounding heart, sweaty palms, muscle tightness) associated with fear. When golfing under these conditions, you have set yourself up for failure. You will, most likely, leave the ball short of the hole or push the ball wide, right, or left.
A positive perspective affects your thoughts differently. Instead of a chance for failure, your focus is locked in on the challenge in front of you. You still experience nerves, but not to the extent that it interferes with your focus.
You are golfing more on autopilot, unaware of the thoughts flowing through your mind. You have a mission to accomplish. This mentality fosters peak performance.
Let’s examine the perspective from the eyes of LPGA golfer Nelly Korda. Korda was sidelined from playing for four months after having surgery to remove a blood clot in her subclavian vein.
Korda rehabbed for over three months before returning to competition at the 2022 U.S. Women’s Open.
KORDA: I’m just happy to be out here. I’m doing what I love, and I’m out here in the heat competing at the U.S. Women’s Open, and a couple months back, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be doing that. So I’m just grateful.
You could sense the excitement in Korda’s tone; she was excited to be competing again, despite playing against the best golfers on tour.
Korda battled the contenders during her comeback tournament. After finishing Saturday’s round with three consecutive bogeys, Korda was asked if she enjoyed the challenge.
KORDA: Yeah, I definitely do. I didn’t really enjoy the challenge on my last three holes, but I do, yeah.
Changing your perspective takes time; it takes reflection and debate. Once you start challenging and changing your attitude or mindset, you will notice that you are more poised during a round.
Tough shots will not seem impossible or overwhelming. You will still experience nerves, but you will be able to manage your nerves and use your nerves to your advantage.
You have the power to change your perspective slowly. Changing your mindset is not easy; it takes work and time, but the reward will make your efforts worthwhile.
Changing your Perspective:
Golfers are emotional beings playing a physical game largely impacted by mental factors. Your perspective is not a genetic quality; it is a choice.
When you start examining your perspective, you will see if your viewpoint is working for you or against you. Then, you can slowly begin to mold a new perspective that will improve your performance and experience on the golf course.
- Playing Golf One Shot at a Time
- Your Expectation Affects Your Golf Game
- How Short-term Goals Helps You Focus
- Subscribe to The Golf Psychology Podcast on iTunes
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