Under Pressure

This is a slightly self absorbed post, I must apologise, but my thoughts may help you in the way you approach competition golf one day, who knows.

So I recently played in a Pro Am at Flackwell Heath.

Starting Double, Par, Quad was not the best of starts. +6 through 3 holes.

I had a burning desire to get those 6 shots back from the 4th hole onwards. I kept slamming the ball near the hole with the irons or wedges and grafted out some solid pars that had zero chance of being worse and were very close to being birdies.

I’ve not had that hunger for many years now but it was a delightful feeling.

Chasing birdies was a great way for me to approach the subsequent holes. Although the birdies weren’t quite happening, I had no danger of missing tap in par putts and had a feeling of momentum.

A few days later, I played Leighton Buzzard, my childhood golf course and finished -3 for 9 holes. I had good chances on the first 8 holes and bogeyed the 9th after thinking “ooh I’ve not had any bogeys”.

Anyhow, my approach on these fine holes still had that chasing birdies mentality and I feel like its a state of mind I want to get in to more often. -3 was the worst it could have been.

Your brain is such a powerful tool. For better or for worse.

The fundamental this boils down to is how are you motivated?:

NEED TO ACHIEVE – chasing birdies

NEED TO AVOID FAILURE – protective pars

Sometimes I feel like people expect me to shoot under par all the time but that’s not realistic. That’s me trying to avoid failure by what I perceive from imaginary people.

In reality, who really cares what I shoot in small events? Nobody is placing bets on me at this level. All that really needs to happen is to enjoy myself like the rest of us.

I quite enjoy making birdies or at least getting close to it springs me to the next tee box like a child running for the ice cream van. God I love this cruel game.

I feel like I’ve got a -10 in me deep down, lurking.

Qualifying round for the PGA Championship is looming for tomorrow (Tuesday), this is the regional qualifier to get in to the main event but my approach will be:

Enjoy yourself – chasing birdies is fun so continue with my current mindset and see what damage can be done.

Comment if you’ve had anything similar or what your thoughts have been like while in good form! Each person will have a unique approach that works.

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