You probably can remember at least a dozen times when you or a pro golfer on TV is playing incredibly well until one hole, he/she starts melting down, making bogeys, doubles, and worse.
This bogey-train is a bad spell put on you by exception of no one except yourself. What I mean is that this “bad” break, is really all in your head when you start messing up one hole, then following with another and another and so on.
These bad spells are probably one of the leading causes of high golf scores including the pros.
For one, you need to be able to control your emotions, not just physically but inward, within yourself. In other words, you need to learn how to not beat yourself on the golf course as the only thing standing between great golf and bad golf isn’t your nearest competitor but just your tiny, weeny brain.
Okay, j/k, perhaps your brain is big but that doesn’t mean you have learned how to control your emotions.
The emotional control I am talking about is the one that is near “normal” state, not too happy and not too sad (or angry).
These demons in your brain are the ones you will need to beat if you have a bad hole.
A simple way Jack Nicklaus used to do (as said in one of his books) is to focus sharply on the next shot after hitting a bad shot instead of dwelling on it. This works pretty well and I have additional tips for breaking your bad spells. That is to really be nonchalant or “don’t care” whether you hit it great of bad on all your shots. Freddy Couples does this well, you should watch him play golf next time on the golf course. I don’t think Tiger does as well on this andi think he could actually play even better if he could control his emotions better.
Whateever you do, if you get a bogey or worse on a hole, make sure you make par or better on the next hole. It’s about breaking your bad patterns in golf. You will always have some bad holes in golf, even if you shoot 66, but you will have to learn to spring back from those on the hole right after to maximize your scoring abilities and limit the effects of psychological negativity.
Another tip is to take a deep breath after a bad hole, then really “visualize” what you need to do to create a miracle comeback hole. A lot of times, these simple visualizations will do more than expected. I have done things like triple-bogeying the 15th hole then I imagined myself birding out 16, 17, and the 18th hole which I promptly did and ended up 2nd for a tournament I’ve played in.
You see, your mind is everything in golf and lots of other sports. You will see that when you can control your mind and emtions better, you will play better golf.