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Improve your game from your inbox – Emotional Control

Improve your game from your inbox – Emotional Control

Golf Psychology
By Coen Welsh – Wesley Bryan won the 2017 RBC Heritage in his first season of the PGA Tour. During his win, he showed remarkable emotional control. He described his nerves going through the 17th hole on Sunday to “No. 17, I got up, and I just threw up a little bit in my mouth. And I was like, shoot, I guess this is what nervous feels like,” he said.

“I was super nervous, but I didn’t really know it. It’s not like I had my hands shaking or I was like getting ahead in my thought process. I just went purple a bit and, yeah, a bit more than a burp came up.

“But coming down the stretch the last four holes I didn’t really miss a shot. And it’s really satisfying to know that under the gun I was able to perform.”

This is an example of what we are discussing this week. Emotional Control.

Tip of the week – Emotional Control

This week we would like to share two tips from to deal with emotions on the golf course.

1.) The two second rule

Allow yourself two seconds of emotional release after a bad shot or putt. Senior Tour Pro Dave Stockton gives himself no more than two seconds to react to any “less than ideal” shot or putt. Only two seconds to release frustration then he would quickly take his thoughts to something he could truly control, namely his mental routine (rather than a past shot he had no control over).

This paid off hugely for him. It helped him win 14 times on the Champions tour. This also applies to the emotional release after a particularly good shot. Often, we find amateur golfers have a “birdie hangover”. After making a birdie or a par on a difficult hole they end up blowing the next hole. Use the two second rule to overcome that.

2.) Fake It Till You Make It

The best pro’s, when playing their best, do not give away the quality of their shot by their mannerisms? Just watching them, it can be really difficult to tell whether they hit a great shot or a not so great shot.

So try after every shot or putt to turn on your very best acting skills. Pretend you are confident, cool and collected just like you may have seen your favourite champion do. Or like you yourself might have done when you were playing your very best.

This way you will find that the power of intention will take over and you will no longer have to fake it, you will be doing it authentically. (With thanks to

Quote of the week

“It’s a big confidence booster knowing that you can hit a driver in a 10-yard area,” – George Bryan IV. This week’s quote is from the brother of the RBC Heritage winner Wesley Bryan. (Before becoming a winner on the PGA Tour the Bryan Bros made their fame doing trick shots on YouTube. Check them out here:

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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A Guest Contributor is any of a number of experts who contribute articles and columns under their own respective names. They are regarded as authorities in their disciplines, and their work is usually published with limited editing only. They may also contribute to other publications. - Ed.