Select Page

Improve your game from your inbox – Admit you’re not perfect

Improve your game from your inbox – Admit you’re not perfect

Coen Welsh on the Psychology of Golf

Golf has many examples of players collapsing from seemingly unassailable leads. Famously Greg Norman and Jordan Spieth at the Masters 20 years apart.

The CJ CUP @ Nine Bridges set the scene for another collapse. Admittedly in a less revered environment, Justin Thomas, made a double bogey on the third hole after being in the joint lead starting the day. This setback opened it up for other players to put some pressure on Thomas. He eventually managed to beat Marc Leishman on the second playoff hole to win his fifth PGA Tour title in 2017.

Tip of the week – Deal with setbacks (quickly)

You may be forgiven to think Justin Thomas can’t lose at the moment. The conditions at the CJ Cup tested his ability and his nerve.

His reaction to the double bogey on the third is classic golf psychology. He told “I just kept telling myself it was a bad golf swing, it wasn’t a mental error or wasn’t a wrong judgement that we made but just a bad golf swing at a pretty bad time but I knew you are going make bogeys out here today.”

This is a perfect example of the reaction you need if you want to be successful on the golf course.

Simply put, admit the mistake and move on. It is impossible to hit perfect shots every time. However, our irrational thoughts force us to believe that we need to make every shot a perfect shot.

If you admit that you will make some poor swings and make peace with that at the outset you will be much better off. After all golf’s rules state “play it as it lies” and that’s what you will have to do many times in a round after hitting a poor shot.

Quote of the week

“I officially have nothing left in the tank at this moment.” – Justin Thomas (after winning 5 times on the PGA Tour in 2017)

For more tips visit



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]