Where Does Pressure Come From?
There is often more pressure on golfers when you have a higher rank.
When you are on top, expectations are higher, everyone is watching you to see how you perform and every competitor is trying to be the one to beat you.
Where does that pressure come from?
Pressure comes from within you. Pressure comes from your interpretation and expectation for a tournament.
When you pressure yourself, you have high expectations for your performance, such as to feel that you have to win.
Excessive pressure can hurt your golf performance. When a couple shots go awry, the flood gates of bad shots open up.
Putting pressure on yourself takes you out of your game.
Top-ranked golfer Inbee Park has been on a roll in 2015 winning six of the last 14 tournaments. Even though she has been quite successful, Park tries to focus on playing good golf rather than the pressure to win every tournament.
For instance, Park was trailing by three shots after Round Three in the British Open but she didn’t panic.
PARK: “Just going to try to stick with the same game plan. I think because I didn’t have any expectations, just try to play some good golf and just try to be patient out there. That really helped me this week. Nothing is going to change tomorrow [during the Final Round].”
Park’s strategy worked perfectly as she picked up seven shots in her last 12 holes to shoot a 65 on the Final Round and win the Open by three strokes.
The victory was Park’s fourth major this year and, if Park wins The Evian Championship next month in France, she will complete the modern-day Grand Slam earning all five major titles in one year.
When asked about the pressure of going for the Grand Slam after the Third Round of the British Open, Park repeated her mantra of staying focused on the present and just playing her game.
PARK: “I really haven’t thought about this tournament [British Open] all year long. I just don’t want to put too much pressure on myself. I’m just trying to play good golf, and that’s what I did the last three days, try not to think about it so much. There’s three girls in front of me and I need to play a good round tomorrow to do it. I just have to go out and play good golf. I’m just going to do my best tomorrow.”
Tip for Lessening Pressure and Increasing Success
To lessen your level of pressure, you need to recognize and refocus. Recognize when your pressure level is moving into the danger zone. You need to be aware of the mental and physical symptoms you feel when you feel too much pressure.
Next, choose a physical cue (such as tapping the club head on top of your golf shoes) that brings you back to focusing on executing the next shot in the moment.
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