How to keep your head above water when on-course disaster strikes.
From bad breaks to bad swings, trouble can strike when you least expect it. And if you’ve ever, say, contracted a sudden case of the shanks, you know that the first step is dealing with the sheer shock. So take a full breath, then two more. Deep breathing soothes frustration and helps you formulate a rescue plan.
2. Take a chill pill
Pressure makes you want to speed up, which only intensifies stress. Sloooow it all down. Keep your swing speed the same. Focus on your actions between shots, not the shots themselves. Take extra time to walk to your ball and read greens. Count to five before executing any action. Breathing helps here too.
3. Play to your strengths
Your goal is to regain both confidence and positive momentum. Play high-percentage shots that you know you can pull off. (No flops, Phil Jr.!) And avoid tapping the weaker parts of your game. If you’re a natural fader, play to that strength. Now’s not the time to experiment with your low draw.
4. Think “success,” not “survival”
True, your all-time low score is probably out the window, but don’t get down on yourself (“I can’t wait for this to be over!”). See the adversity as a challenge and picture the reward you’ll get when you survive it. The best players draw a sense of accomplishment, not relief, after fighting through disaster.