Frustration In Golf
Does the frustration from missing putts cause a spill over effect into other areas of your game? According to one reader, David, he thinks that, on his worst putting days, it leaks into the rest of his game.
He went on to say there are three reasons for this:
- Missing short putts puts a premium on getting close.
- General frustration blurs a golfer’s focus.
- The round is shot, so you lose interest in the score, and focus is lost.
I think everyone understands the first reason missing can spill over… You start trying too hard to hit it close or chip it close.
Numbers 2 and 3 above are related and not given enough attention. These relate to the emotional reaction to missing putts…
I agree with David that when you become frustrated with missing or the round being shot to heck, this can spill over and affect your entire game.
Frustration can cause players to:
- Speed up the pace of their routine
- Make bad or hasty decisions
- Try to force shots (or makeup for that bogey)
- Lose interest in the round
None of the above will help you play good golf. But how do you deal with the frustration so it does not spill over and affect your entire game?
First, make sure you slow down and take your time during decision-making in your routine. Too many golfers will get up over the ball and slap at it when frustrated.
Second, be prepared to talk yourself down. What this means is to have a coping response ready to go when you start to feel hot under the collar.
Your beliefs and expectations about missing are what cause frustration, not the fact you missed.
You might say to yourself, “it’s only one putt” or “I’m not going to make everything I look at” or “have faith that the putts will drop soon.”
Third, if you lose interest in the round because your score has ballooned on you, you might be too focused on score or too score-conscious.
When a target score dominates your mind, and you have a couple bad holes, this will lead to frustration when not playing within your comfort zone or on track to hit your target.
I teach my students to not be so focused on the score they are shooting by instead focusing on the small things that will help them execute good golf shots.
I can tell you that your frustration will keep you locked in a negative cycle that will not allow you to salvage the golf round.
Check Out Our Video of The Week, What is Mental Toughness for Athletes?
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“Yes! Awesome tips and they worked great. I was having a tough time mentally with putts inside of 4 feet for self imposed fear of missing them. After doing all of your drills I found myself just looking at the hole on the shorts putts similar to a free throw. Seems to be working. Thank you so much!”