1. Don’t try miraculous recovery shots to make up for your bad shot.
This will more than likely snowball and lead to a bigger number and more frustration. As Tom Watson says, “Take Your Medicine” and pitch out.
2. Don’t start analyzing your swing.
The more technical you get on the golf course, the more distracted you become from the shot and the target. Save this for the range.
3. Everyone hits bad shots, even the very best.
Give up the ego and make the next shot a great one that kick-starts your round again.
4. Have an escape from the game.
There are many ways to do this but come up with a place you can go in your head when you feel like you’re getting overwhelmed. Examples are: Looking up into the sky, thinking about family or your favorite vacation spot. I heard recently that Jesper Parnevik used to solve math problems to take his mind away from the game.
5. Learn how to breathe and focus on that.
Try deep belly breathing to get rid of negative energy and keep you in the present.
6. Keep sticking to your process and Shot Routine to get you back in the comfort zone.
Have a really solid pre-shot routine and stick to it. After we start to hit a few bad ones, the routine is something we start to forget as we start to get more swing focused. This is counter productive. Go through your routine and become even more focused on what you want the ball to do, not your body/swing.
The best tip of all for us weekend players is just try to enjoy it whatever happens! You’re not sitting and your desk working, you’re outside in the fresh air with your buddies.
Want to learn hundreds of mental game tips like this? Check out the Golf State of Mind Mental Game Fundamentals and Practice Drills eBook.