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Staying cool headed while playing the game of golf.

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    I never take God's name in vain but other than that it is open season!

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    I threw a club when I was young and my grandpa took me right off the course. He told me I wasn't good enough to get mad. When I start feeding my family playing this game  then I can get upset.

    Golf is a sport most of us here pay to play. If you're not having fun, don't do it.  Like Devo said, the self loathing golfer is the king of the self fulfilling prophecy, and also my least favorite person to get paired up with.  Stay positive, stay relaxed, enjoy your time on the course.

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    Devin_Gmitter
    miniwarmthLike many of the comments above, I used to get visibly and verbally upset. Nowadays it takes an awful lot to push me to that point. That said, i think I keep a lot of it in and this too has a negative effect on my game.  

    The second most golfer's realize they are not good enough at the game to get mad I guarantee they play better!  Having temper tantrums only hurts your psyche, I would know!  

    In college I was quite the hothead, then soon after graduating, of course I took the game less serious and started having more fun on the course.  Not surprisingly, my scores started going lower and lower. Golf is a game and games are meant to be fun.

    Bringing me to another point, "negative self talk" is one sure fire way to play your worse! The second you say I "can't do this or that on the course" I can bet you one thing, you won't accomplish what you are trying.  Saying to yourself, "I STINK" or "I'm horrible" does not help either, replace it with "I could use some work on this aspect."   A positive look at things can only help!  Plus you will be far more pleasant to play with!

    Read Zen Golf while you are at it!

    Devin and miniwarmth are on the mark. One holdover habit I have from my days playing competitively was to diminish the results of a shot. I would hit it down the middle, but miss the perfect center clubface hit and respond to playing partners who would offer up the usual compliment of "nice shot" or "great drive" with my own, "didn't really hit that one" or a"a bit high/low on the face".Man, did that kind of comment come out wrong! While i was honestly assessing the shot, playing partners would interpret what they saw as a perfectly acceptable shot as some sort of arrogant and snobbish comment.Quickly I came to the conclusion that rankling playing partners with my comments meant that my comments were simply, wrong to utter. I now take what I think of a positive self critique and utter it only to myself and I remember that in fact a shot in the short grass is indeed a good shot!I try to be humble and accept praise when it is offered and to offer praise when it is warranted. The old adage my Mom preached is applicable: If you cannot say something nice, don't say anything at all!

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    I'm not sure we've discussed this topic before, and it is indeed an important one. In my younger days I was a hockey player, where part of the sport was violent reactions and retaliation. If one got upset, it was acceptable to, shall we say, knock the stuffing out of the opponent. Frankly, golf was the first sport where quiet, decorum, and playing the game from a stationary position was how the game was played.

    Learning to be calm, collected, and level headed (not getting leveled) was a huge adjustment for me. Everything that has been mentioned was "me in spades." And then the light was shared with me by my first instructor. He took me to the range, took me by the shoulders and said; "you are never going to play on the Tour. Golf is your hobby, and not your profession, so go out and learn how to have fun."

    I remind people of that to this day, mostly because I didn't take golf up until my late 30's. And John was absolutely correct. The more I just play the game for fun and taking the good with the bad, the better I play.

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    I use to be a total hothead when I starting playing as a kid. I hate to say it but I have broken a few clubs over the years & said more than my share of cuss words. I have mellowed out a lot since I started back playing, I know I will never be great, just trying to be decent. I occasionally play with 3 older guys who got upset when I cuss so that stopped playing with me. I have learned to tone it down a bit & now they ask me to play sometimes. I guess I'm finally growing up! LOL

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    The book " Golf  is not a game of  perfect  " by Bob Rotella is a good read and has some tid bits in it on how play and control your negative emotions and vibes.

    Little thing's like for an example if you been leaving puts short do not tell yourself  "don't leave this one short "   rather  remind  yourself to hit it firm - think more positive do not let  any negative thoughts creep in.

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    Thanks for the tip T2. Just added it to my list.