Every golfer, whether professional or amateur, has been forced to deal with it on the course. It’s called nerves. Perhaps the match is getting tight and you’ve got to make a three-foot putt to win the hole. Maybe you’re staring at a shot over water, and your knuckles turn white as you grip the club. Or it could just be that there isn’t even a match on the line, but you’re playing well and that little voice in your head starts asking when things will go wrong.

Controlling the space between your ears is as important as anything you do on a golf course, and when your nerves get the best of you, nothing good usually happens. Those who can stay calm under pressure, whether it’s from outside forces or self-imposed, are far more likely to succeed.

With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you relax and play your best when you start feeling shaky.

1. Control Your Breathing

Every pro will tell you that when they begin feeling tension, the first thing they do to calm their nerves is to take deep breaths. Deep, relaxing breathing slows the heart rate and relaxes the muscles. You would be amazed at how much calmer it will make you feel.

2. Think Positive

Ever notice how PGA Tour caddies always have something positive to tell their pro? Once a club is selected for a shot, the caddy’s last words are usually something along the lines of “I like it.”

Visualizing success and focusing on a positive outcome rather than worrying about negatives allows you to relax and have a better chance of executing the shot.

The more detailed you are, the better this method works. Imagine a smooth swing and the ball heading right where you want it. Instead of worrying that something bad might happen, you’re anticipating something good. That alone will ease your mind and calm your nerves.

3. Live in the Moment

It’s a cliché we’ve all heard, but taking it one shot at a time works. Don’t worry about water that’s two holes ahead or a bunker that has bedeviled you in the past. Tell yourself the next swing is the only one that matters.

4. Turn Nerves into Excitement

The greatest golfers usually have one thing in common: They live for the moments in competition when everything is on the line. That’s what they prepared for, and when the time comes, they embrace it. Are they nervous? Of course. But they look at it another way, that they are excited.

Your body has the same reaction when you’re excited as when you’re nervous. Switching your mindset from being nervous to being excited can help you turn that nervous energy into useful excitement.

5.  Tempo Tempo, Tempo

When you’re nervous, everything becomes quicker and you tighten up, which causes tension in your muscles, which causes you to hit the ball poorly. Slow everything down, even how you walk. And loosen your grip on the club.

6. Stick to Your Routine

Routine is an important part of playing well and maintaining confidence. And it helps keep you calm. A good golf routine will keep you in the present state where better golf is more likely to occur.

When you change your routine, you enter unknown territory, which leaves you nothing familiar to fall back on, and that’s when nerves rear their ugly head.

7. Don’t Over-Dramatize One Shot

Unless it’s the final hole and the match is on the line, don’t make one shot more important than another. That ramps up the pressure and usually leads to anger or frustration. Instead of getting upset when a shot doesn’t go where you intend it to, accept the fact that your shots aren’t always going to go where you want them. It’s important to remain cool, accept it, and move on.

8. Find Your Happy Place

When the pressure is on, switch your golfing brain off and relax. In the 10 minutes before you tee off, it might be best for you to listen to music or find a quiet place and read a book. Between shots during a round, it could be looking at the trees or admiring the view. Anything that distracts you from performance will help ease anxiety.

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Sunday, June 23rd, 2024

The Golf Courses are open, and Carts are available.

18-hole carts are available up to the 3:00pm starting time.

9-hole golf carts are available up to the 5:00pm starting time.

Drinking water is available at filling stations by the clubhouse. 

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