Too many people avoid playing golf because of the perceived pressure. Any televised tournament features hundreds of attendees in hushed silence as the golfer thoughtfully chooses his club and makes (if things go well) a seemingly stunning shot landing the ball approximately where they intended. Golf lessons focus on precision–from angles to weight to balance and, of course, the perfect swing. Resources to help you choose the right club for the shot are abundant. It’s easy for the stress of all these elements to come together and feel it’s just too much for a relaxing morning under the sun. Yet, it doesn’t need to be. One of the most fantastic qualities of the game is that you can enjoy stress-free golf regardless of your skills.
Be clear about your expectations of yourself.
You don’t need to focus on achieving the lowest score possible or even worry about performing at your personal best. It’s completely acceptable to arrive at the course with other goals in mind. For example, you might find it enjoyable to attempt to take the most challenging shot at every hole rather than the one you would typically feel most skilled at completing. Or, your goal might be to spend more time with your friends, and the actual score isn’t a focus at all. There are times when every golfer is focused on perfecting their game, but it doesn’t need to be every time they step onto the fairway.
Use techniques to minimize your stress on the course.
If you tend to get very nervous about your game, particularly if you’re playing with people you don’t know as well, there are things you can do to get your mind and body to relax.
- Chew gum. The chewing motion releases chemicals in your brain that will calm your nerves. Some scientists believe this is because your brain is tricked into thinking it is eating food and feels it is not in danger. Regardless, just make sure you properly dispose of it afterward.
- Breathe. Taking slow, deep breaths will help to lower your heart rate. You should feel your blood pressure drop and your muscles relax.
- Be positive. A positive mindset can do wonders for reducing stress and anxiety. Think about the next swing you’re about to take and visualize yourself succeeding. Don’t overthink your past mistakes, but keep your mind focused on what’s yet to come. When you feel your body start to tense, tell your mind it’s because you’re excited about the challenge.
Reward yourself for going outside of your comfort zone.
Everyone likes a prize for a job well done, so why not reward yourself? When you’ve had a morning where you didn’t feel like getting out of bed to head to the course or felt a strong wave of anxiety about playing with unfamiliar work colleagues, reward yourself for taking on the challenge. Make plans to have a 19th hole meal at the club’s restaurant, or kick back with some friends and laugh about the swings-gone-wrong over your favorite beverage. Science has shown that when your brain is anticipating a reward, it begins to release dopamine, creating feelings of pleasure, satisfaction, and motivation.
Take the first step by scheduling a tee time at the Eagle Point Golf Club.
If you’re trying to get back into the swing of things, visit our website to schedule a tee time and get your golf game on your calendar. Our staff is dedicated to ensuring every player has a stress-free golf experience. We have everything you need for a fun and relaxing day on the golf course. Stop for a quick bite at The Osprey’s Nest or enjoy a full meal at our world-class Talon Grill. Increase your confidence with a personalized lesson at our Golf Academy. Or simply plan to rest your feet on our deck with your favorite beverage in hand. We’re excited to see you at the course!