said golf was a mental game was only half right: it’s
an emotional journey too, too.
Here’s how to keep your mind clear and your
game on track when you encounter the on-course scenarios
that unnerve you most.
heart is racing, your blood pressure rising, your palms
wait, no one is handing out report cards; no stern
English teacher is slashing your paper with red ink; no
one’s pressuring you to ace an exam.
It’s not your grade point average putting you
on the edge – it’s Golf Performance Anxiety, a
completely different type of GPA.
It arises from real or imagined sources – a
member of your foursome who talks too much, for
instance, or insecurity about some aspect of your game.
GPA can sabotage your swing – or, in extreme
cases, make you want to flee the course.
golfers, whether they’re LPGA pros or beginners,
experience anxiety, and it stems from two sources; fear
of what others will think of us and our own internal
judge,” explains Joseph Parent, a Ph.D. in Psychology
and the author of Zen Golf: Mastering the Mental
hosted one of the golf sessions at Women Business &
Golf in 2000.)
difference is that pros possess the keys to managing
learned from experts like Parent – and others we’ve
gathered here – whose stress-building advice can turn
even the worst mind trip into a personally gratifying
the toughest challenge in golf is to climb out of your
head and into your heart,” says teaching pro Lynn
Marriott, co-owner of Coaching for the Future, whose
clients include many tour professionals.
“You have to remember the basic reason you’re
out there – because you love the game – and let
positive emotions be your guide.”
So listen to what our panel of mental coaches,
pros and physiologists have to say.
They’ll help you comfort your golf demons and
clear your head so that you can swing and enjoy the