Every time you hit a bad shot, have a bad hole, or make a mental mistake stop for a second and ask yourself this question. What would I tell my playing partners if they did the same thing? I highly doubt you would tell them “that was stupid” or “geez what were you thinking” or “you’re terrible”. More than likely you would tell them “it’s OK” or “shake it off” and not really have much emotion towards their shot. You may feel bad for them if they are having a rough day but you would never put them down or belittle their golf skills. So why do that to yourself? Why beat yourself up about a bad shot or mental mistake? Shouldn’t you be as quick to boost your own self up as you would be to do it for somebody else?
We can all be our own worst enemy and while a small amount of criticism towards yourself can be a good motivator, you should NEVER talk negatively towards yourself when you are on the golf course (or off the course for that matter). When you hit a bad shot you need to analyze what you did wrong but don’t dwell on the fact that the results weren’t what you wanted. Think about the process and what went wrong with it.
Did you not consider a factor when making your club selection?
Did you simply just choose the wrong club for the shot? Did you not execute properly?
Did you not swing with 100% commitment to hitting your target?
Try to focus on the process you went through and don’t put so much emphasis on the negative result. Any negative self-talk will begin to chip away at your confidence and self-esteem. Have your best friend or golf buddy write down a few positive words or phrases they think about you and stick them in your bag. You can also do an exercise that Lynn Marriott and Pia Nilsson, co-creators of Vision 54, include in one of their books and their app which has you start with 10 tees in one pocket and you take one out every time you have a negative or unproductive thought. This will make you become more aware of how you talk to yourself and how your thoughts negatively impact your results.