Most of us hear that and go duh, because it is such an obvious truth. We accept it and believe it yet we go out and play our round expecting guess what.....perfection. The worst part is most of us can not break 90 in an eighteen hole round, fewer still can break 80 and less than 1% are scratch or better.
No matter what the skill level golfers more than other athletes seem to place unrealistic expectations on themselves. Why, I'm not sure. Many of my friends play tennis yetdon't get upset over a missed return, throw their rackets after a missed serve or let losing a match ruin their day as happens to many golfers. Perhaps it's because at first glance the game of golf appears to be so easy. The ball's not moving, nobody is throwing at us or chasing us or delivering a serve at one hundred miles per hour. All you have to do is swing the club backward and forward to hit a ball that is standing still. Heck, half the time you get to tee the ball up it up making it even easier. Of course then we play for the first time and find out the game is far more difficult than we ever imagined.
Think about all the different variables that can occur in any one round of golf that affect either the ball or your swing. Different weather. Golf course conditions. Everything from different types of grass to well manicured fairways to goat pastures. On one fairway the ball sits up begging to be hit, on the other the ball nestles down in a depression between patches of grass. Fast greens and slow greens. Then there is our physical condition to consider. Some days we are more flexible than others. Our backs do not hurt as much, there is more freedom of movement in our hips and shoulders. Our hands mold to the club perfectly and everything feels good. And finally of course there is that little matter of trying to repeat the same golf swing every time.
Golfer's tend to be very self critical so this month's exercise is to be a little kinder to ourselves. No matter what your skill level you can use the following exercise to reduce your general anxiety on the golf course.
Tapping Routine – Select some phrases that describe how you feel when you make mistakes on the golf course or are not performing up to your expectations. For example “I expect to hit a perfect shot every time”, “Every missed shot is a missed opportunity”, “I feel hopeless after I miss two shots in a row”, “I feel like I'm wasting five hours”, “The game is too hard”, “ I get so angry after hitting a bad shot because it should be easy”, I feel like I'm wasting money paying expensive green fees”, “I'm frustrated that I'm not playing better after taking a lesson”. “Other sports come so easily to me”, “Other people people expect me to be good” These are just samples. There are many more. Follow the example below and then insert your own phrases that best describe your own feelings to zero in on your specific frustrations with this “imperfect” game. Rate your feelings on a particular situation on a scale of one to ten, one being almost nothing and ten being quite intense. Tap on the feelings with the most intensity until they are down to a one or zero.
Set-up Phrase. While tapping on the karate chop point on either hand I would start with;
“Even though I expect to hit perfect shot every time I accept myself.
“Even though to me every missed shot is a missed opportunity I accept myself”
“Even though I feel hopeless after I miss two shots in a row I accept myself”
Eyebrow“I expect to hit perfect shots every time” Side of eye “Every missed shot is a missed opportunity” Under eye “I feel hopeless after I miss two shots in a row” Nose“Other sports come so easily” Chin “Other people expect me to be better” Collarbone “I feel like quitting after playing so poorly” Under arm “I'm to angry to enjoy my friends and the atmosphere” Top of head “I feel like such a loser”
One round of tapping consists of the set up phrase followed by the shortcut phrases. You can do a round on one feeling or you can insert several feelings into one round as I have done above, as long as they are dealing with the same issue.Do a half dozen or so round on the above example then tune in to your anxiety as you imagine yourself playing poorly or missing shots. Then zero in on any phrases or feelings that still give you a bit of a jolt when you focus on them. Tap for several minutes on the new or remaining feelings until they are down to an intensity of one or less.
Eyebrow “What if I could stay happy for an entire round of golf” Side of Eye “How much more would I enjoy myself” Under Eye “Other people might enjoy playing with me more” Nose “I'd probably play better if I was more relaxed” Chin “I could recover after one bad shot, how many shots could I save” Collarbone “How much of nature have I been missing” Under Arm “I intend to choose new results for my golf game” Top of Head “I appreciate how enjoyable a round of golf can be when I'm not mad”
Spend five or ten minutes a day for one week tapping on all the emotions you feel surrounding the fact that golf is an imperfect game and you play it imperfectly and you willfeel bettr playing your next round of golf.