What Happens When You Miss An Important Putt?
When you miss a critical putt, how does it affect your next shot?
Are you able to regain your composure after a bad tournament, hole or shot?
Can you recall a time when your golf game unraveled after a bad hole?
Did you become angry or frustrated? You probably experienced intense emotions that caused you to have difficulty focusing on your next shot.
You may have lost confidence in your golf game which, most likely, affected your next tournament.
Playing great golf requires composure…
Composure is the ability to manage your emotions and focus in the present during critical moments during a competition.
Every golfer reveres top players for their ability to be poised under pressure.
If you think about it, composure is a skill like putting. The more you practice effectively, the better you get!
Since you cannot eliminate emotions while playing golf, you must learn effective mental strategies to develop and strengthen your ability to maintain composure.
One great way to learn effective mental strategies is to model the approach top golfers utilize during pressure situations.
Billy Horschel recently won the 2014 BMW Championship and the TOUR Championship by Coca‑Cola — to secure the FedEx Cup title.
Horschel became the youngest player to win the FedEx Cup by managing the ups and downs throughout the FedEx Cup and playing poised under pressure.
Horschel was frustrated after missing the cut at The Barclays and knew he needed to change his mentality during tournaments.
HORSCHEL: “The year I had, I wasn’t sure this [FedExCup title] was going to happen, but I kept believing. But at the same time, coming home from Barclays and talking to my wife, I sort of said there’s a couple of things I need to do mentally different on the golf course and be a little bit less hard on myself, get out of my own way, commit to some shots better.”
Horschel made a crucial long putt on the 16th hole at the TOUR Championship that kept him in contention for the victory. Instead of focusing on the pressure of a key putt, Horschel recalled his successful key putts in previous tournaments.
HORSCHEL: “The putt was huge on 16. I thought back to about the putt I made at No. 10 at Denver last week, where I made a big par putt on that hole, and I’m like I’m due for — I made a lot of long putts this week, but I still feel like there’s a lot more putts to be made and I knew I was due for a long one.”
Try these mental strategies to be poised under pressure:
Tip #1: Give yourself a break. One way to manage your emotions is to be less hard on yourself. Let go of perfection. You don’t need to be perfect. From the start of the tournament, know that there will be some bad shots that requires you to re-group and re-focus!
Tip #2: You must commit to every shot shot. This means that you should avoid second-guessing your decisions. Hit every shot with an objective and a clean plan. When you notice you are indecisive, back off and commit to a plan.
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