Did you ever wonder why the game of golf is so hard compared to other sports? This is a popular question with many of the clients I work with, especially beginners. Actually when you think about it the game of golf is not so hard. All you really have to do is swing the club back then swing it through in the direction of the target, brushing the grass and hitting the ball in the process. Most people of all ages and size with reasonable coordination can accomplish this without too much trouble.
So what happens to us when we put a golf club in our hand that causes us to melt down? Could the reason be that we have only one chance to be perfect. Think about other sports you play or have played such as baseball or tennis. In baseball you get multiple chances to get a hit. Three strikes, four balls plus if you keep fouling, you keep swinging. Foul balls in golf cost you a one stroke penalty. In tennis you can serve at least a couple of times plus a few times more if it’s a let serve and your ball touches the net. You also get multiple choices to score a point as long as you keep hitting it back over the net. The penalties are not as severe in these sports for missing a shot compared to golf.
In golf you get one swing or one putt to hit a good shot. Your second chances cost you another shot or worse a couple of shots more if you hit it out of bounds or in the water. Think about the pressure we put on ourselves to be perfect with the tee ball, with the shot to the green or with that six foot putt for birdie. How many times after a bad shot have you dropped another ball only to hit it squarely on the clubface or hit a second putt after the first one missed and it goes in dead center of the cup. How much less mental pressure would there be if we knew those second chances did not cost us anything. Alas, in the real world misses in the golf swing cost us a great deal and so the need to be perfect with just one attempt causes us enormous stress on each swing. Fear can be one of the greatest inhibitors to performance there is.
So what is one to do. Well you could return to playing baseball and tennis or if you want to keep playing the game of golf start changing your mental concept. Adjust your expectations and recognize how performance anxiety over having just one chance to be perfect is affecting your approach to the game and how you swing.
Next month I’ll show you some questions to ask yourself and some ideas on what to what to tap on to reduce your fears and tension about the golf swing.
Remember to try EFT on everything. Use it on the course for anxiety over shots or putts, frustration with playing partners, slow play. The uses are endless. Next time you have a headache or sore shoulder try EFT on that problem as well.