One of the hardest parts about golf is staying focused on the task at hand, especially after you hit a bad shot that goes slicing into the woods. Unfortunately, that's a lot easier said than done. If you want to keep your cool even after hitting a bad shot, these tips should help you out.
The first thing you need to understand when it comes to hitting a bad golf shot is that it happens to everybody. Even the very best golfers in the world hit a bad shot every now and then, so you can't let one bad shot get to you. If you need evidence of how often golfers hit bad shots and how quickly they bounce back, all you need to do is watch a professional match.
How It Affects the Round
Another thing you have to consider when you hit a bad shot is the fact that it's not going to affect the round as whole too much. Even if you completely botch a hole, you can still play well for the other 17 holes and have yourself a great game. A good way to think about it is to look at how many strokes you lost due to your bad shot. If you only lose a couple strokes as a result of a bad shot, you can easily make up for that over the course of the next few holes.
As a matter of fact, you should always think of golf in terms of the entire round rather than a single hole. There are going to be times when you hit a bad shot or have a bad hole, but that score doesn't determine whether or not you played a good round of golf. As long as you've got more holes to play, you can always improve your score.
Think About Your Mistakes
Hitting a bad shot isn't a matter of poor luck. If you hit a bad shot, it's because you didn't address the ball right, took a bad swing or didn't follow through well enough. Any little mistake you make with your shot can completely change the trajectory of the ball, leaving you stuck in the woods or deep in a water hazard. The best way to bounce back from a bad shot is to correct the mistakes that caused it.
Of course, you don't want to overthink your swing and psych yourself out to the point that you make further mistakes. As soon as you slice a ball, take a moment to think about how your swing felt and how you're going to swing differently next time, then put it out of your head.
Let It Go
As is the case with any mistake in life, there's nothing you can do to go back once you've hit a bad shot. The best thing you can do if you want to move on from a bad shot is simply put it behind you and accept the fact that it has no effect on your future shots. For some people, it's better to simply forget all about a bad shot instead of dwelling on what caused it.
Remember the Fundamentals
At the end of the day, you're capable of making another good swing even if you've made one in the past. Just because you hit a bad swing doesn't mean you're a bad golfer, you just have to access the part of your memory where the motion of a good swing is stored. There are always going to be bad shots and even bad holes, but you have to remember that you understand the fundamentals, and can rebound from that bad shot.
Improve Your Game
The better you get at golf, the fewer bad shots you're going to hit. If you want to avoid hitting bad shots, you need to take some time to practice your swing and master all of the motions. The more time you spend working on your shot and getting the fundamentals down, the less you'll have to worry about bad shots. The problem is that it can be tough to find the time and money to practice enough. If you want to reduce your risk of hitting bad shots, pick up a golf mat and some used golf balls from Rawhide Golf Ball Co. and save money while practicing anywhere.