Marshall: Learn to Control Your Emotions

Golf instructor John Marshall has written an interesting article about a topic that causes many golfers to struggle: How to handle your emotions on the course. Here’s what he has to say:

“We all we all struggle with controlling our emotions on the golf course. It’s called unmet expectations and I have been there, done that myself on more than a few occasions. If you’re like most golfers, you feel a rather unpleasant release of internal chemicals when a shot heads left and splashes or rolls 40 feet into a divot. The key is to create a reward system that strengthens the chemicals released on good shots and eliminates the chemicals on bad shots. Remember, your mind releases the chemicals only on strong emotions. It doesn’t distinguish between good shots or bad shots and will work hard to replicate the thought that released those hormones. Therefore it is important to only provide emotion on positive shots. This also means that you have to completely accept a bad shot with zero emotions.

This is harder than rewarding yourself for positive shots because our basic human programming focuses more on bad things than good things because bad things can kill you. Good things really aren’t that important, except for the chemical rush you receive.

There are some techniques to accept bad results. Probably the easiest one is just to say delete to yourself or say it out loud, preferably under your breath. Next, quickly turn your attention to something different. If the shot comes into your head again, just say delete again. There is no reason to die the same death over and over again. Learn to say delete and move on. I have been using these techniques over the past few days and am convinced they work. Less negative emotion translates to more fun. That’s the goal, right?”

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About the Author

Hello and Welcome to The Georgia Golfer I'm Stan Awtrey, the writer and administrator for this site. I love to watch and play, although my 19 handicap index would indicate that I'm better at watching. I've played more than 200 different courses over the years, including Augusta National (twice).