Could your comeback shot use a little help? Don’t worry, most players struggle with the comeback shot. It hits when you realize you’ve just bombed a hole. The overwhelming mental struggle you have to face before the next shot could stop anyone, but not you. You know the mental golf tricks for taking a bad hole, and turning it around. Be positive Just because you had a bad hole, doesn’t mean you should start in on the internal name-calling or bashing that you tend to want to do. Don’t get too mad at yourself or start to feel too sorry for yourself. That last hole doesn’t define or represent what kind of golfer you really are. It was simply a bad hole, so don’t let it affect the rest of your game. Try to coach yourself in your head, rather than tear yourself to pieces. Analyze what you did wrong, and try to work on it during the next hole. Make a Plan Always try to create a plan for every hole. Which side is best? What will you use? It’s best to come up with a plan to help your play stay structured and slightly controllable. Try to make this decision before you come up to swing, do it when you’re relaxed. Stick to your pre-shot routines. Just because you blew the last hole, doesn’t mean you should change everything. Take a time out mentally, and take a breath. Give yourself a break before the next hole. Have Confidence in Your Swing You’ll never have a great game of golf if you can’t stay positive. Use your last hole, and give yourself small goals to build up to as your game progresses. This will help to build your confidence back on the course. You should be confident after a bad hole. You can’t let yourself completely lose your game. Having a positive mind-set is a choice, so choose to move on, and work on your game. If you’re having trouble with a certain hole, try using a similar hole that you’ve played before in your mind. If this past hole went well for you, try using that confidence to analyze and plan out this hole. Mental Game Any golfer knows that golf is as much a technique game as it is a mental game. If you have a bad hole, or even a bad game, give yourself a break. Make it fun, and don’t like your mind trip you up. Shake off the negativity from a bad hole, and learn from it. Stick to your routines, give yourself a mental timeout between holes. Stick to a plan for each hole, and try to simply enjoy yourself.
January 26, 2017 — Natalie Montoya

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