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Connorl 10-04-2013 08:42 PM

How to stay mentally focused
Alright, with the quest to become a good golfer comes the frustration of "I can throw this line" vs the reality of how many times out of 10 you can actually hit said line.

My issue here lately is I keep getting really frustrated when I take extra strokes (I'm sure some of you can relate.) Whether it be from missing a putt I know I can make or shanking a drive or hitting a tree, I can feel myself getting irritated. Sometimes I get so upset it bleeds over into the rest of the round and causes me to not even have fun.

I know this is an issue that nearly everyone has, and I'm pretty sure it comes from having expectations. I play with a 1000 rated player everytime I play and I see him puring lines and hitting putts and I start thinking "well I do know that I have pured this line before" or "I can make this putt" and it will come around and bite me for sure. Whether I go for the 2 on a par 3 and end up in the shule or missing a putt from a long distance only to have it sail past another 20' to a possible 3-putt.

I guess what I'm asking is how do I play a round without getting frustrated after carding a 7 or missing an easy bid for birdie? How do I stay mentally focused even after it seems like I slammed in every shrub or bush or limb for 3 holes in a row? How can I be content with just getting up and down every hole I play (it seems sometimes)

sidewinder22 10-04-2013 08:49 PM

Zen golf, detach your thoughts from expectations and results. Sometimes it's better to just not care and say "F*** it" and shoot. This is also why some people play better drunk.

Connorl 10-04-2013 08:54 PM


Originally Posted by sidewinder22 (Post 2193470)
Zen golf, detach your thoughts from expectations and results. Sometimes it's better to just not care and say "F*** it" and shoot. This is also why some people play better drunk.

sidewinder! my constant source of info on this website! I was looking forward to a reply from you. my next question is how can I apply this to a round?

When I step up to a tee, I see my intended line and I take a deep breath and throw the line. When It clearly does not do what i wanted, this is when I get frustrated (especially when I know I can and have pured this line before). How can I play without expectations when I know that I CAN AND HAVE done said task before?

iacas 10-04-2013 08:57 PM

The only thing you can control is the process.

Once the disc is out of your hands, it's quite literally out of your hands. You have no control over the result, only the preparation, the process.

Routine helps.

sidewinder22 10-04-2013 09:26 PM

Yeah ^ part of it just a matter of practice and trusting your swing and being able to be relaxed. Just because you can and have doesn't mean you will in the moment. If you have thoughts of, I must hit this, then you are already tense and not relaxed which robs muscle speed and length. The throw should be more of a reaction than a thought process. Like a catch and shoot 3 point jumper in basketball, you don't think about it, you react. It's harder to get to that point in golf because you have more time to think like a free throw and how many awesome jump shooters have terrible free throws...many. Golf is not a game of perfect, allow yourself 3 or 10 mistakes a round, most fun wins, enjoy the scenery, the weather, the people you play with, a bad day of disc golf still beats most anything else.

Kodachrome 10-04-2013 09:27 PM

here's my main thing: every tee i come up to i make sure i'm loose, even if i'm upset i take a second and clear my mind. wiggle my arms around, take a deep breath, bounce on my toes, shake it out. i can be angry; sometimes being angry and competitive REALLY gives me a boost i need, actually, but i *NEED* to be loose. even if you're angry, you can hone that to a focal point, feed everything into that and empty your mind until the only thing left is the shot. it gets me into a weird sort of zen zone.

that said, if i DO screw up i have a policy: any screwup is going to add, at MAXIMUM (unless i go OB of course), one stroke to my score. one ****up=one stroke. don't be a hero. take your stroke; you screwed up so you earned it, and don't go adding any more by trying to erase your mistake if you don't have a relatively safe way out. "relatively" for me can be as low as 60/40 depending on how frisky i feel. ;) but i also take the shot understanding the potential consequences, so at worst i will only be disappointed.

i go into every round at every course with a best possible score already in my head and what i CAN throw on every single hole also in my head. i keep a +/-1 stroke for several holes where i know things might turn out differently. it helps me manage my expectations while still remaining within my "acceptable" score range. of course, i will NEVER throw as if i expect to make anything other than par or a birdie.

if you screw up, go back to making the shot you KNOW you WILL make, not trying to hit the shot you know you CAN make. this will get you back on track with those expectations because a 3 is a 3, whether you had an outstanding drive and missed a long birdie putt or had a short, controlled drive and an easy upshot. sometimes i feel long putts are more dangerous than upshots.

missing putts screws with my head the most. i have a bad habit of doinking the basket and then being afraid . . . so i doink the basket for the rest of the round. shameful. i usually laugh and say something about shaming my family, then suck up and make sure i run it the next time. it's a mental game. if you know what makes you tick, then you'll know how to overcome your frustration. when my putts get timid it's because i'm extending my arm at the basket instead of shifting my weight more. i keep my body back because i'm tense and it can't move forward/backward fluidly. my arm doesn't follow through for the same reason.

Broken Shoulder 10-04-2013 09:31 PM

I'm not sure there is a magic elixir for this. I used to get pretty upset with myself in disc golf and bowling, and I know it affected my scores. But I got older...and a little wiser...and a little more mature...and I realized that I'm out on the course or bowling with my buddies because I'm having fun. (Supposed to be anyway.) I realized that I'm playing a game... no one is going hungry if I bogey or miss a spare... my insurance premiums aren't going up if I go OB or roll one in the gutter... I think I just developed an appreciation for the fact that I'm doing something I really enjoy so getting upset about it takes that enjoyment away. I'm a little more patient and then more patient with myself.

Now if I'm a top pro with money on the line.... I don't know man. Everyone says one hole at a time, but not how to be in that mindset. Maybe you need your own little happy place you can visualize when things go bad. Some kind of little mental trick you can play on yourself. Draw a Far Side cartoon on the bottom of your putter. If you figure it out though, don't tell anyone. Write a book and get paid. :)

Central Scrutinizer 10-05-2013 01:27 AM

DO NOT picture people around you just in underwear before making your throw!

Stardoggy 10-05-2013 01:07 PM

The more comfortable you get with your throws, the more good lines you'll hit, and the better you'll feel. Until then, just remember it's a fun game, and that you WILL get better.

zugthug1705 10-05-2013 01:58 PM

I think everyone has a different capacity to stay focused. Some of my A.D.D/O.C.D people know what I'm talking about... I can try to do everything to clear my head, and then just as I'm starting my run-up, "Where are all these gnats coming from??" *BOOM* Hit the first tree and get pissed. But I'm sure you can apply a lot of what ^these guys will tell you.

Also, maybe play with some people closer to your skill level? It helps some people to play with really good players as much as possible, but sometimes I also enjoy being the best in my group and realizing I'm not the only one who makes mistakes :D

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