There is a slew of reasons as to why you might be intimidated by a round of golf or even the course. Not only is it natural to be a bit apprehensive about playing on a course with seemingly unavoidable hazards, dense woods and fast greens, but it’s also normal to be nervous about entering into a competition with a playing partner that you know has a low-handicap, or that you may have not played with before. The fear of embarrassment and underperformance can quickly strangle your confidence and allow anxiety to hijack the instinctive movements of your body. When you’re frightened about how you’ll be viewed in the eyes of others, you’ll begin to experience “performance anxiety” which—regardless of your skillset and power—will eventually deteriorate your composure and poise while playing at a country club in PA. Remember, they say golf is 95% mental and the great Sam Snead once said, “Of all the hazards, fear is the worst.”
In order to prevent your heart rate from increasing and the terrible feeling of your stomach tightening into knots, concentrate on your own strengths instead of someone else’s. You must accept that there’s absolutely nothing you can do regarding your playing partner’s skill set and overall golfing ability. Realize that you might not—for example—drive the ball the farthest, and you won’t always hit it straight. But that’s okay—you accept that…Your ball might not go as far as your opponent’s, but you’ve been able to chip your way out of the worst areas of a course and your putting game is almost always on point. By focusing on the positive aspects of your golf game, you will help to lower your anxiety levels and feel more confident about your competence while playing on any golf course in the Philadelphia area, or anywhere else.
One of the most detrimental things that you can do to your psyche while playing is compare your swing to that of others. Use visualization to watch yourself—in your mind—performing at an exceptional level. As you use your imagination to watch yourself playing a great game of golf, highlight all of your strengths to reinforce the most positive aspects of your game. By doing so, you’ll feel confident about your ability to play and, as a result, enhance your performance on the course. Don’t ever underestimate the power of positive thinking and visualization while competing. As long as you give one-hundred percent, accept the aspects of your game that you must practice, and highlight those that you have mastered or can focus on less; you’ll allow yourself to appreciate a round of golf instead of fearing it.