Using 'Damage Control' on the Course

Copyright © 1999 - 2035 Craig Townsend
Minimizing the 'fallout' from a bad shot or hole is essential if you are to finish with a good round. This is a big part of golf psychology, and there are several ways to do this.

First of all, whenever you do miss an easy shot (and everyone does some time), it's important to lessen the emotional impact of the negative thoughts that go through your mind. This helps reduce the fallout and stops your emotions ruining the remainder of the round. The way to do this is to choose words which are less potent, using cute words which have no harmful qualities whatsoever.

For instance, one golfer told me that he has a friend who, instead of saying #@&%!!! after missing a shot, says (with the very same amount of conviction and annoyance in his voice) "you donkey!". Now, it's difficult to take a comment like that too seriously! This means that the emotional impact of the statement has been diminished, and this allows you to get back on track for your next shot with a clear mind.

Secondly, don't worry about the fact that you are getting annoyed - it's perfectly natural, and will not affect the rest of your round as long as you observe a couple of important things: ensure that you diminish the negative thoughts with less harmful words, and then, most importantly, move on. Get over it - leave it behind, erase it from the memory bank, and then, re-focus upon the next shot.

Re-focusing upon the next shot is vital, as this takes your mind off the last shot - and the annoyance of the last shot will not go away until you do this. It's fine to get upset, but don't stay upset, move on and forget about it, and this will ensure you can still play with a sound and clear mind.

So remember that it's fine to blow up after a bad shot, but reduce the fallout by using some different words, which reduce the importance of the situation, and hence the anger. Then, move on - and re-focus your mind onto the next shot. This system will never steer you too far from the winner's circle.


"The Mind controls the body, and the Mind is Unlimited"

The best of success, Craig Townsend

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