How to Manage Pressure in Golf Rounds
What is your view on “pressure?”
How have you played in pressure moments in the past?
Some golfers see pressure as negative and describe tough rounds as nerve-wracking or anxiety-ridden. These golfers tend to fall apart when they start feeling even low levels of pressure.
For these golfers, pressure escalates quickly and throws off their game dramatically. These golfers have difficulty focusing on their shot because all they can think about is, “What if I hit a bad shot?” Or, “What if I miss this putt?”
When you see pressure as a negative thing, pressure becomes your dominant focus instead of just playing the game or the shot in front of you.
There are two things you should know about pressure:
- A little bit of pressure is a good thing. Pressure can become a motivating force that allows you to place all your efforts and focus in the present moment.
- You have the ability to set the pressure thermostat. You can keep pressure in the optimal range by viewing situations as challenges, learning how to effectively focus and utilizing relaxation strategies when necessary.
A good example of effectively managing pressure is the 2018 Farmers Insurance Open.
The Open was an epic drama. Jason Day and Alex Noren battled four rounds and 6 playoff holes before a winner was declared.
Talk about pressure… The six-hole playoff was the longest playoff in the tournament’s 67-year history.
To add to the pressure, Day was seeking to climb back to the No. 1 ranking for the first time since 2016 while Noren was looking for his first PGA Tour win.
Day and Noren matched each other on the first five playoff holes; birdie, birdie, par, par and birdie. Just then, the golfers were informed they would have to continue the playoff the following day due to darkness.
So, after grinding through five playoff holes, Day and Noren would have an entire night to think about what was at stake.
It took only one additional playoff hole and an 18-inch birdie putt for Day to claim the title on Monday morning.
This type of pressure would make many golfers crumble. Interestingly enough, Day and Noren stayed composed.
Neither golfer spoke a word about pressure after the fifth playoff hole. Noren commented on the excitement of the playoff.
NOREN: “Too dark right now, I could barely see the last putt. Very enjoyable. This is what I play for.”
Day also appeared calm and ready for the battle to continue the next day.
DAY: “Alex [Noren] is playing some tremendous golf. I’ll try to get some rest and play all day tomorrow if I need to get a win.”
Day and Noren embraced the pressure and and you can learn to do the same.
Let pressure be your friend rather than your foe, that way, pressure can work for you instead of against you.
How to Manage Pressure in Competition:
Don’t try to be better than your best. Some golfers try too hard which only increases pressure for themselves. Avoiding cramming for the big game.
Embrace the pressure as this is the reason you love to play. Make the added Adrenalin work for you. Know that you are going to feel pumped up and that’s a normal reaction.
Improve your golf performance with mental game coaching for golfers!
Learn Proven Strategies to Perform with Confidence!
Do you suffer from fragile self-confidence after missed hits, playing with strict or high expectations that undermine confidence or the inability to play freely and relaxed on the course?
If you suffer from lack of focus, low self-confidence or other mental game obstacles on the course, you cant reach your true golf potential…
What are mental game customers saying?
“The mental side is everything in golf—the ability to see your shot or line and trust that you can hit that shot or putt. Dr. Cohn has helped me trust my game and putting stroke.”
~Frank Lickliter, PGA Tour, Nike Tour Winner
“I would like to thank you again for our last mental coaching session, which did offer me yesterday my personal best round ever! On a golf course where I had never scored better than 77, I scored a 73 in competition. I cannot believe the incredible inner work this simple session has produced on me and I would like to thank you again for that.”
~Emmanuel Grizaud, Amateur Golfer
“I want to tell you how much I appreciate all your help. You have made an enormous amount of difference in my game. I feel much better because of your help; I don’t feel the tension like I did before. You should feel very good about what you do for people—it is truly a gift!. I know my students and myself have benefited enormously from Dr. Patrick Cohn’s teaching.”
~Jim Dahline, PGA Professional
“Dr. Cohn has helped me improve confidence and build a consistence pre-shot routine that helps me stay confident, and learn how to play one shot at a time during competition. He also taught me that I don’t have to hit every shot perfect to score well.”
~Brian Belden, Winner 2003 AJGA Steel City Junior Classic & Marsh Junior at Hawk Pointe