|Cracking under pressure|
|Ask the Golf Coach!|
Q: I play really great golf when I'm relaxed (eg 2/3 over gross - I'm a 7 handicapper) but when it's an important game I get so tense that I can't move the club head away, rotate torso, hinge or release club properly. It's spoiling my enjoyment how can I solve this huge problem?
There is nothing worse than having played above our ability in a casual game, then going to pieces when it matters.
We aspire to challenge ourselves, the course and our opponents.
For example, if I said to you that you couldn't play any competitive golf for a year, your casual golf and frequency of practice would diminish over that time.
We need an edge, whether it is taking a fiver off your mate or attempting to win the Grand Final of the Trilby Tour.
Don't fall to pieces when it counts...
Clearly an issue here is that you are capable of playing comfortably under your handicap.
Whilst this is a good position to be in, we then start to heap pressure on ourselves to perform when it matters.
Woe betide, if we don't perform, as the critic inside of us, will then announce that "you are a complete idiot for not doing what you know you can!"
This leads to feelings such as the inability to take the club away and tension in our hands.
My take on this is that if we have a chance of winning, great! Embrace the opportunity of allowing your shots to flow and see what transpires.
Building up a 'memory trace'
For example in your last round you may have struck a perfect 7 iron in to 10ft and holed for a birdie.
By writing these good experiences down each time we play, we end up with a 'library' of good feelings to draw upon and use in actual play.