Anger is an Emotional Golf Hazard

“What do you do when you get angry on the golf course?*

Because of the behavior that was acceptable in your early childhood environment, you can express anger in different ways. Road rage and throwing golf clubs are examples. Some golfers slam their golf clubs, some golfers verbally beat themselves up, some golfers cry due to the sadness of failure, and some golfers stuff the frustration deep down inside themselves.

In golf it is important to experience the feeling and then release the thought that connects with it as soon as possible so you won’t carry it over to the following holes. Blocking or suppressing the emotion only delays dealing with it. Usually we get angry because things don’t go our way. We feel afraid that we have lost control of the situation and feel unworthy.

To release the emotion of frustration of missing a shot, exhale forcibly and perhaps say a swear word to yourself, but not a self-incriminating word. Another way is to release the feeling by shaking your hands back and forth. This action will release the negative energy from your mind and body and return you to a calm, focused state.

How do you deal with a bad shot or a mental error?

Most players react with anger. Anger is only a temporary motivator resulting from a fear of failure or helplessness. Anger produces adrenaline, which causes the golfer to become overaroused and forget the skills so carefully practiced. The golfer then forces the game with power, strength, and aggression. The arousal level is boosted above optimum, and balance, rhythm, and thinking capabilities are lost. The golfer makes mistakes as a result. The angrier you get, the more mistakes you make, confirming that you really are playing poorly.

When you focus on your mistakes, fear of failing, or keeping your score going, your emotions can control you. It is best to release the anger quickly and then refocus on the next shot. Most champions stay calm in the face of adversity, forget about the mistake, and move on. Use your positive energy to prepare for the next shot instead of analyzing the error, which is not in the past. Reprogram your brain to forget mistakes by putting the situation into a delete file in your computer brain.”

*Excerpts are from Chapter 7: Emotions; “THE HEART OF GOLF,  Access Your Supreme Intelligence for Peak Performances”

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