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Improve your game from your inbox – Control your emotions

Improve your game from your inbox – Control your emotions

Coen Welsch on the Psychology of Golf – The US Open at Erin Hills, once again provided much to talk about. Another first-time winner of a major and the 7th in a row. Another round of 63 and a record equalling low scoring round.

Brooks Koepka, tamed the Erin Hills to get a well-deserved win, while Ricky Fowler must be wondering what he must do to win a major. (He has won THE PLAYERS).

Our focus this week is on the “Chill Brothers”, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka. describes them like this: “Neither one seems to play with a pulse. Neither elicits much emotion on the course. Neither seems particularly interested in performing deep dives on course strategy or swing analyzation.”

This is an example of Emotional Control that I mentioned a few weeks ago.

Tip of the week: Chill, brother!

A funny thing happens to an amateur golfer. When you play a great hole you tend to mess up on the next one and vice versa. When you play an awful hole you tend to do better on the next hole.

This is a function of our emotions going up and down. The elation from getting that birdie or par on a difficult hole is carried with you to the next tee box. When you line up to hit your drive you are still carrying the emotion of the previous hole and it affects your tee shot.

To counter this phenomenon it is important to see each hole as a unique challenge and when you’re done you’re done and move on. I have mentioned Tiger Woods’ two second rule where he allows himself to fret about a bad shot for 2 seconds and then gets on with playing the rest of the holes.

A very important application here is not only the holes where we played poorly, but the holes you did well on. When you step on the tee box for the next hole you have to “forget” your past success and see the new hole as a new challenge unrelated to the previous hole or overall scorecard.

Quote of the week

“I’m not saying the older guys are out by any means, but I think we’re making our presence a little bit more known.” – Ricky Fowler.

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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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