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Staying Positive on the Golf Course

Kara Schuster
Kara Schuster receiving instruction from PGA Professional Bill Decker

Series: New Golfer

Published: Monday, May 26, 2014 | 9:16 a.m.

Think about it… There’s really only one great golfer I can think of whose outbursts on course have led him to a great game and career, and that is, Tiger Woods. However, for those of us who are not Tiger, and may never reach his level, is frustration helping our game or hurting it? 

What if we all took a tip from yoga and used the following exercise after a bad stroke? A common practice in yoga is controlled breathing with visualization. Taking a deep breath and then imagining on the exhale all tension and negative energy leaving our bodies after a swing could be an interesting experiment. 

My challenge to all new golfers is to not allow frustration to even have a home in the game. I know this may be easier said than done. For example, in soccer you can run faster to win back a ball even if you don’t have the greatest shot. In baseball you may have a good hit but not be able to get on base. But in golf, you can only swing the club.

Perhaps that’s my whole point. If we can only swing the club, can we afford to get frustrated in the learning curve? If we can visualize doing better on the next shot, or worse comes to worst, only do better on a different day, maybe a positive outlook will be enough to get us laughing at ourselves. Look for the positives… maybe you made a really impressive divot. Awesome! 

The reality is that there are so many studies today that show the true effects of a positive outlook. So, take a deep breath, have a beer, or do whatever it takes to eliminate the frustration from your game so that you can stay engaged in this great sport. It will only help your experience be that much more enjoyable!