Golf and Your Mental Game: Self Compassion and Acceptance: Fear and Loathing on the Golf Course

In a perfect world you make a bad shot and you accept it then you move on with a clear head and attitude to your next shot. Moving on to that next shot not suffering mentally takes practice and discipline. Unfortunately, many golfers I encountered as a golf Marshall have difficulty accepting a bad shot particularly if they have had a string of bad shots. Then a negativity storm starts brewing in the golfer’s head. Sort of like that priest in the Da Vinci Code who self flagellates! I have seen many golfers criticize themselves out loud for being stupid by trying to get that extra long drive over the creek but ending up in the creek. It is almost as if there is a bad case of self loathing, anger, frustration and the inability to detach the mind from the bad shot. The mind refuses to back down and face the fact a bad shot has been made and accept it non-judgementally. I say try and accept that shot then offer yourself some self compassion. You are far from perfect. You are entitled to bad shots as that is part of the game of golf. What good does beating up yourself do? It increases your suffering to the point you start disliking yourself and even demeaning yourself. This is more than “keeping a stiff upper lip” but accepting the negative and forgiving yourself. So if you end up in the creek accept what you can’t change and if necessary forgive yourself.

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food and drink, travel, and lifestyle issues. He is one of the few non-national writers to be certified as a wine specialist by the Society of Wine Educators, in Washington, DC. Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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