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Golf Psychology Improve your game from your inbox – Letting go of bad shots

Golf Psychology Improve your game from your inbox – Letting go of bad shots

By Coen Welsh – The 2017 Valspar Championship saw Adam Hadwin win despite hitting his tee shot into the water on the 16th hole. That errant tee shot caused his lead to disappear. Cruz told him to forget about it.

Hadwin and his caddy Joe Cruz was very vocal (by golfing standards) all week long and at that point Hadwin said: “You’re right. I can’t be mad.” Hitting a bad shot is inevitable in a round of golf. If the best can do it, so can you. In previous articles I have covered this topic extensively as it is one of the things that can destroy your round. In the tips section we want to share some practical ideas that you can apply to get over a bad shot.

Tip of the week – How to let go of a bad shot

Try laughing! A good way to have less than perfect shots roll off is to just laugh about it.

Strike up a conversation with your playing partners.

Have a “go-to” subject you can take your mind after a shot you consider “bad”.

Look up to the sky: the sheer magnitude of the open space above will quickly make you realize the insignificance of what just happened.

Tiger Woods has his own “ten pace” rule. After he has hit a shot that he did not intend, he gives himself ten paces in which to get over it. Just making that decision to do this will help you.

Have the shot be forgotten by a physical action that represents it, like putting the club back in the bag. (This week’s tips with thanks from Golf State of Mind)

Quote of the week

“Minus one bad shot on 16, it was a lot of fun out there today” – Adam Hadwin

For more tips visit

Coen Welsh, a qualified industrial psychologist, is an expert on the Antecedents and underlying Psychological Conditions predicting Employee Engagement.He has worked in diverse teams in the UK, Egypt and Namibia. Coen regularly gets invited to speak at HR and other conferences. He is a regular contributor to NBC National Radio as well as Tupopyeni and Off-the-Hook on NBC Television. He is a founding member of the Professional Speakers Association of Namibia. You can visit him at

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