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 Choosing To Feel Great On The Golf Course 
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Post Choosing To Feel Great On The Golf Course
Choosing To Feel Great On The Golf Course
by: Steven Latham

Have you experienced times in the past times where you felt less than optimal on the golf course? This article is about helping you modify habitual patterns of thinking and feeling so you can be more resourceful in the future.

The first thing to recognise about unwanted feelings on the golf course is that:


Your feelings are an expression of the relationship between your behaviour, and the intention behind your behaviour. Behind every behaviour is an intention. When our intention matches our behaviour we feel calm and at peace with ourselves. Our focus and concentration improves and we experience optimal performances. On the contrary, if we have an intention that is not being fulfilled our concentration will suffer. We will most likely feel some form of discomfort and experience negative emotion.

Often when golfers experience negative emotion on the golf course, it’s because their not in the desired ‘frame of mind’ for playing golf. Have you ever had the experience where you didn’t feel like playing golf, but you went out anyway? How did you feel during that game as compared to a time when you were highly motivated and enthusiastic about playing? I’m sure you felt much more comfortable when you were enthusiastic about playing.

Consider this scenario: a businessman is about to close an important deal, a deal he’s been working on it for months. It looks as though the deal is about to be closed, but he just needs to complete one last project to polish off his proposal. The working week ends, and the proposal is not finished. His closure meeting is scheduled for the following Monday. He only needs 2 hours to finish his proposal and commits to doing that first thing Saturday morning. Later that day, a buddy calls him up and invites him for a game of golf. The game is on an exclusive course and the only available tee time is 8am. He tells his buddy he has to pass but his buddy, keen to enjoy his friends company, convinces him to play. Reluctantly, the man agrees to golf. How do you think that man will feel playing golf the next day? Will he be focused unconsciously on enjoying his game of golf? How is he likely to play compared with if he finished his proposal and played in the afternoon?

The above scenario is not uncommon. Most golfers have multiple commitments in their lives: work, family etc. Being able to manage one’s priorities so that all intentions can be satisfied is an important skill, when mastered it will go along way to helping you feel consistently well on the golf course. Hence, my first recommendation for managing your feelings on the golf course is to:

1) Schedule in time for your golf when it will be easiest for you to satisfy your intention for playing. This may sound obvious, but how many golfers do this?

Recall a time in the past when you felt enthusiastic about golf. How were you thinking about the game at that time? Run a quick replay in your mind of the weeks leading up to your enthusiastic frame of mind. What happened? What lead to you feeling enthusiastic about your game? This is such an important question and leads to my 2nd recommendation for managing your feelings on the golf course:

2) What needs to happen, either in your mind (thinking) or in your behaviour to result in you feeling enthusiastic about your golf?

When you’re enthusiastic about golf it is almost impossible to not feel great on the golf course. The trap for a lot of golfers is falling into to the ‘I must play well to enjoy it’ trap. This trap can be disastrous. When you’re in the optimal frame of mind for golf, you can enjoy your game regardless of how you score. It comes down to what your intention is for playing. For example if your intention is to enjoy the game, then be aware of that when making decisions affecting your golf. Will buying that new driver lead to more enjoyment? Will playing better lead to more enjoyment? Will becoming a member of a more challenging golf course lead to more enjoyment? Of course, you will find that often your intentions will collide with other intentions you may have outside of golf. For example, joining a more challenging golf course may help you to enjoy the game more, but it may negatively impact on your intention to spend that extra money on an extension to the house.

My 3rd and final recommendation for feeling great on the golf course is to:

3) Look at your golf in relation to all of the other areas of your life. What other areas of your life does your golf impact on? How can you play and enjoy the game of golf without it negatively impacting on any other areas of your life?

For more golf psychology instruction, be sure to check out the link in the resource box of this article.

About The Author
Steven Latham is a Golf Psychology Coach. For a FREE copy of chapter 1 of his Golf Psychology Drill Book please visit
The author invites you to visit:

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Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:05 pm
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