Staying cool headed while playing the game of golf.

Staying cool headed while playing the game of golf.

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    I started playing the game of golf in 1966, for many years, I did not enjoy the game when I played it, because if I hit a bad shot, I would use profane language and I would throw clubs, (it's the clubs fault, right, wrong). I played three times a week, many times 36 holes in one day. This one day in the 1980's, while playing with my best friend, I hit a bad shot, it made me so mad, I through my 7 iron as hard as I could, if not for the golf cart, the iron would have taken my best friend head off. This scared me so bad, I decided, I either must quit the game, or play with a cool head, forget bad shots and improve on the next one. Well, I am still playing today, am now 73 years old and I enjoy the game a lot, I feel it's better to play not so well, then not play at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                     Ron Brandon


    I agree with you 100%.  I used to be a hothead on the course much like you.  My dad once said, "I wish you were so fired up about school as you were golf."  From that day forward, I haven't thrown a tantrum on the course.  Unfortunately, I didn't really follow his advice fully.  I remained a bit of a slacker at school.  As my avatar implies, I did at least graduate from Pitt.

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    While I have never,ever thrown a club ( they cost too much )  I agree a cool head can only help, it's not easy to keep a level head when playing but one thing I have learned thru life's up's and down's is that a poor golf shot is not the worse thing that can happen ,and dwelling on a poor shot will only hurt the next one.

    I may mutter an occasional cuss word under my breath but I have gotten  very good  at focusing on the next shot.


    In my early days you would have said I was a hot head....have broken my share of shafts, then realized, darn, this is expensive....changed my perspective on the game, but the cursing continued....then after retirement I started playing with the Little Rascals and met Jim.....a fine gentleman in his 70s and a very religious man.....who politely one day stated that he did not appreciate me cursing in his presence.....took me back, but I respected him for his honesty......played with him a lot and each time I let one slip, he would simply say "Chuck" and I would say "I'm sorry" and play on....eventually it worked.....old habits are hard to break, but being the kind man he is and his perservance and patience paid off and I thank him........I find playing golf and staying in the moment works better.....lifes lessons......

    • 316 points
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    While I am not generally a hothead, certain situations will turn me innto a *** volcano. Going from the bunker into the water hazard has, in the past, resulted in a vast array of colorful expressions aimed at the club, ball, sand and/or golf architect. ( yes Mr. Dye I am looking at you.) I enjoy playing with an individual who can string together a list of socially unacceptable terms to express their dismay, as long as it does not occur on evey other hole.

    • 1392 points
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    I have to say, I have never thrown a club but I do remember throwing many 'F' bombs a couple of years ago. Nowadays, I try to smile and shrug it off before I get to the next shot. A lot of patience is definitely required for golf but since realizing that it is a game that doesn't compare to life's little unexpected curve-balls I have embraced anything that happens on the course.


    For the average Joe, this is probably the toughest part of golf.  It is very easy to get angry with oneself, and in our society today we have few restrictions in expressing ourselves as a way to vent that self anger.  I must admit I'm guilty.  I try hard to dial it down, especially when playing with new people or in a new group.  It's difficult, but can be done.  I'd love to have the Duffner attitude when I play, neither high nor low, just calm, focused, and polite.  Someday…… Guess I need a person like ChuckZ's Jim to play with.


    I am much more mellow that I used to be and try my hardest to keep my emotions on an even keel ... but sometimes I simply hate this #&%@ing and it makes it absolutely impossible.

    Seriously though I have always used alot of profanity on the course and I am certainly not alone in this respect and must admit to still throwing the occaisonal club in utter frustration.

    Agreed, I am a weak man at times but afraid it is simply incurable.


    Like 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.


    I agree with all of the above comments. Golf is the most frustrating thing I have ever tried. I score in the low 90's. I can't seem to focus for the few seconds that it takes to make a golf swing. I make poor decisions that cost me strokes. Last but not least I let my temper get the better of me much to my dismay. I consider the latter to be a character fault and a weakness.


    Like 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!


    If I have a bad shot, a lot of times I will respond with a "colorful" comment, but seems to work to get my frustration out and it is over.  I then move to thinking "I can get up and down from there" or "I can still save par from there."  For me it is a bot of a release, then move on down the road and get yourself out of whatever you got yourself into.

    At the end of the day, I don't do this for a living (thank God, or I would be living under an overpass) and I am not good enough to get upset about bad shots.


    I drop a few mumbled curse words and I'm off to next shot!

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    Looks like we have quite a large group of "hotheads" on the forum these days.  Or should I say former hotheads.  I am right there alongside all the rest of you, tossing a club or throwing a few F bombs out when I hit a bad shot.  Then one day I was playing and hit so many bad shots, that I just started to laugh about it.  I had the worst case of the giggles over poor play that it helped me realize this game is not easy, and I have to lighten up or it would cause an aneurysm.  So now when I hit a poor shot, I go into "why" mode and figure stuff out.  Was alignment off, to steep in swing, poor grip, and the likes.  And it makes for a fun time, watching me stand there and talk out loiud to myself and say "nice one beavis," or " way to hit it sally."  No offense to Beavis or Sally, whom I am sure are fine golfers.  But just taking it in stride and moving on, cause you can't get that shot back and you have to move on, or the marshall comes and yells at you for playing slow.  


    RAB, you've made a good choice.  Having fun is fun on the golf course.

    Once in the early 2000, I buried a wedge in front of the #16 green.  My friend was watching me chili dipped a pitch and the rest of my bad, and then said, "Great display, No'l!".  I had long thought about that comment and made me look back to who I am... I was becoming an irate golfer.  That wasn't me or my attitude prior, but I was slipping into it.  Never again had I done that...

    Not long ago, a friend of mine was having a terrible day on a round.  Somewhere in the back nine, he threw his 7iron so far and so furious.  We spent some careful time trying to calm him down to get back into good times that we've forgotten about his club.  On the par 5, 18th, a cart from the 17th was slowly approaching us, it was another friend who had found the 7iron on his hand and asked, "Hey, is this yours?"  The guy who threw the club said, "Oh, yes!"  So now, the guy who brought the club turns around and throws his club way out in the desert and slowly rides back to 17th to play his shot without saying another word.  A quiet moment went by, but me and the 2 other guys in our group couldn't help but to burst out laughing... and after a while, so did my buddy who threw his own club.  It's been very pleasant since.