How to Overcome Frustration on the Golf Course

How Jason Day Overcame a Winning Drought

Managing Frustration When Your Blowing Up

Frustration on the golf course? Most golfers are very familiar with it.

There is nothing more frustrating than when you are playing well but you are just not getting the bounces or your putts are just falling inches short of the cup.

Try recalling a time when you were in top form…

You had that feeling that you were going to shoot the best round of your life. Everything was clicking, but a couple of unlucky bounces worked their way into your game somewhere in the middle of your round.

You starting thinking, “I’m just not getting the breaks today” and you continued to add strokes to your score. Soon, “I’m not getting the breaks” turned into “I’m having a bad day”.

Since you were no longer on track for shooting a respectable score, you stopped battling and just went through the motions.

In this scenario, frustration is natural.

The problem is that when frustration affects your mindset it causes you to stop grinding.

Sure, you may not shoot a personal best score but you can keep fighting so you can build confidence and momentum for the next time you play a round of golf.

Coming back, even if it means playing solid golf for the last two holes, instills a sense of confidence that you can rebound. Knowing you can rebound helps maintain focus in future rounds when you experience a bit of adversity.

This scenario is what Tiger Woods experienced in the third round of the 2019 Memorial Tournament. Woods was within three strokes of the lead after shooting four under par midway through the third round.

From the 10th hole onward, Woods experienced some bad breaks causing him to shoot two-under-par 70 and practically eliminating him from contention.

Woods voiced his frustration after the round.

WOODS: “I’d never seen a round that lipped out more shots than today. Six lip-outs or seven lip-outs today. It was unreal. It’s frustrating, because that was the highest round I could possibly have shot today. Seventy could easily have been nothing today. I had it going, I was playing well. The wind was a little bit tricky, but I was hitting it flush enough where I was getting through the wind. As I said, I got nothing out of the round today.”

Coming into the final round, Woods was intent playing a solid round building momentum for the U.S. Open.

WOODS: “I’m so far back, and there’s too many guys [in front]. I’m not going to win the golf tournament but, hopefully, I go out and play a positive round of golf tomorrow and get something out of my round like I haven’t done the first three days and get some positive momentum going into the [U.S.] Open.”

Even though you may not be on target for winning or shooting your best score, you can’t let frustration take you out of your game.

Take each hole as an opportunity to find momentum, work on your composure, and save some confidence to play better golf in future rounds.

Managing Frustration:

Know that bad play is only temporary. Momentum is not on your side in the moment, but you’re still the game golfer.

Let go of the bad stretch of holes quickly and do not dwell or replay the bad shots in your mind.

Every hole is a new opportunity to turn around you game! Don’t buy into the mindset that “it’s just not my day today.”

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2 thoughts on “How to Overcome Frustration on the Golf Course”

  1. I am 71. Good athlete. Golf since age 11. I have studied Ben Hogan and I am learning the basics from his book of five fundamentals. I am very hard on myself both on and off the golf course when I make mistakes. If you have a book, I could read I would buy it from you.


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