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Improve your game from your inbox – Don’t Lose Yourself

Improve your game from your inbox – Don’t Lose Yourself

Coen Welsh on the Psychology of Golf

Haydn Porteous won the D+D REAL Czech Masters for his second win on the European Tour. His first came at the Joburg Open last season. He had this to say after this win: “When you start playing on the European Tour you start to lose yourself. You lose how you got out here in the first place and to then find yourself again and do the things you do to normally get on the Tour, is key.”

Eminem won a Grammy Award for this advice with the lyrics:

“You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime…”

While that might be good advice if you want to become a rapper, Haydn Porteous said the opposite in the quote above. For him, the key is not to lose yourself.

Tip of the week – Stick to the plan

In previous posts I have referred to the phenomenon that amateur golfers often manifest, and you may have experienced this yourself.

You just played a great hole then you mess up on the next!

To overcome this phenomenon it is important that you regroup after each hole you finished playing. This is especially important after a bad hole, but also true for a good hole.

What tends to happen is that subconsciously you tell yourself that you’ve got this and you lose your concentration. Instead of doing the right things before your next tee shot you are still revelling in the glory of the birdie you just got. Then you try to do something impossible and make a mess of it.

Therefore, before you take your next tee shot take a moment to celebrate. I particularly enjoy the way Jordan Spieth celebrates after winning a tournament with a little double fist pump.

Find a celebration that works for you and reward yourself after a good shot or a good hole. Then as Ben Hogan said: “The most important shot in golf is the next one.” Focus on the plan you had before the round and hit it clean.

Quote of the week

The mind messes up more shots than the body. -Tommy Bolt.



About The Author

Coen Welsh

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 or send a comment to [email protected]