Mental Preparation and Playing Golf in Poor Conditions

How to Mentally Prepare For Bad Weather Conditions

Golf is a thousand-plus yard obstacle course that you have to navigate through putting a small ball in a small hole.

The layout of a golf course can be both challenging and, for many golfers, frustrating.

Now let’s add an even greater obstacle to that challenge… the weather.

Bad weather exponentially increases the challenges on the golf course.

Gusting winds and wet greens can lead to greater than usual high scores.

Even the reverse is true when excessive heat and sun glare add to the challenges during a round of golf.

If you are not mentally prepared to face the added challenges of extreme weather conditions, intense negative emotions such as anger, frustration, misery and dejection become challenges that are insurmountable.

That is when you are doomed to shoot some of the worst scores in your entire golfing life.

Let’s look at a common scenario…

You have been waiting all week for a particular tournament.

Your swing felt good.

Your putting game was clicking.

You have played some great practice rounds prior to the tournament and you felt you were ready for a breakout round and shooting your personal best score.

You woke up in the morning to find it had rained in the night and the forecast on the day of the tournament was possible light rain and wind.

Despite the conditions, you were still excited to get on the course.

Unfortunately, you quickly realized that you would be battling a slick course and windy conditions.

You watched the golfers ahead of you shoot bogey after bogey.

You followed suit on the first hole with a bogey.

You were so angry because this tournament was “the ONE”.

Hole after hole, the wind hindered your ability the put the ball where you wanted it to go.

Mentally, you were beaten early in the round, your focus was gone and you eliminated your chances to compete for a top finish.

Playing your best golf doesn’t always mean shooting a personal best score.

Playing your best golf means playing your best under the course conditions and circumstances you are facing.

It means being mentally prepared to adjust your game, adapt to your environment, let go of your expectations about what you should shoot, and play smart golf.

Weather conditions proved to be a tremendous challenge during the 2018 Crystal Lake Central girl’s golf regional at Turnberry Country Club.

The challenge was that the pin placement was on a slope and the gusting winds caused many putts to roll back down the slope away from the hole to where the golfer just putted from.

Many of the golfers had to take five, six, seven or more attempts to sink their putts.

St. Charles North H.S. Megan Furtney shot a 1-under par 71 to win the regional crown despite a round that lasted almost six and a half hours due to the weather.

FURTNEY: “It was definitely a grind out there. The wind was absolutely relentless. Every hole that’s where you were focused on, where is it going, how much is it going to take this ball. Just really making sure you were keeping the ball in decent position. A couple of the par 3s we sat there 20, 30 minutes. It’s frustrating for sure but try to shake it off and keep going and focus on the next shot is all you can do.”

The key to Furtney’s win was that she was mentally prepared to deal with the challenges on the course.

Furtney focused on her strategy for each hole while many golfers were focused on the weather and how it was messing with their scores.

Focusing on strategy keeps you grounded in the present and helps you focus on what you CAN do instead of what the weather is preventing you from doing.

When course conditions are extra challenging, you may not shoot your personal best score but you can play your best under those circumstances if you are able to keep your focus on what you need to do in the moment.

Try this tip to mentally prepared to play your best golf in tough course conditions…

Focus on your game plan for the course and be prepared for the golf course to change from the practice routine to the tournaments round.

Be ready for harsh weather conditions or poor course conditions.

For example, how will you react when you have to play on bumpy greens or a strong cross wind?

And make sure you have the equipment you need to adjust in poor conditions.

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~Suzanne Strudwick, LPGA Tour

“Just wanted to say thank you Patrick for the many years of golf psychology training you have given me to help all the players the Good Lord sends my way and all the knowledge you have assisted me with over the years at the various seminars, tapes, and reading material. It is not often enough that we thank those who have played a significant part in our growing as instructors in this great game of ours. You have helped me in many ways and many of my players are that much better because of your influence in me.”
~Joe Thiel, PGA Master Golf Professional

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