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How to Get Off the Bogey Train

Here’s a really good, quick way to get your mind back on track when you’re in the middle of a bad stretch of holes during your round.

I had just come off a double bogey on my 15th hole of the day. It’s late in an afternoon round, and I’m tired physically because I’m not in great golfing shape due to lack of playing lately, and I’m fatigued mentally from trying my hardest to focus on every shot I’m hitting without letting my rustiness get to me. This is a moment I’ve experienced many times over the course of my playing career, so I knew from experience it was important that I pay special attention to my attitude.

So while the other guys were teeing off, I stayed at the cart, just drinking water and trying to cool down. I was temperature hot and hot under the collar, so some cooling down was much needed. And I asked myself, “What do I need to hear right now?” And the first thing that came to mind was my need to remember to put everything in perspective. As golfers, we can get very caught up in the bubble by which we’re surrounded. We’re on this beautiful land playing a relaxing game with people that share our exact interest, and we get jaded to that. We forget what we’re actually doing.

So I needed to remind myself of this fact. I didn’t say any of these things to myself, but they would have sufficed. So what did I say to put everything back in perspective? I said “You know what? At the end of the day none of this matters, because I still have a beautiful wife.” I reminded myself that as bad as this round of golf is going, how much worse things could really be. And how truly good my life is. I’m married to an amazing, beautiful woman who loves me and cares for me and wants me to play well, but ultimately it doesn’t matter to her how I do because she’ll love me no matter what.

It’s important (and I mean utterly, excruciatingly important) to remember how good we have it. Especially as golfers. We can get so mad, but look what we’re doing! We’re playing golf!

For me, when I remind myself of how good life is, and put things back in perspective, my shoulders relax, a little smile forms on my mouth, and everything looks a little better. And I can enjoy so much more the amazing game that we play.

This is more than a quick tip. Or a way to hack success. This is a holistic mindset that changes your life. It’s that big. It’s that important. You absolutely have to have the right point of view to enjoy the game.

And you might even get off that bogey train that you think is so terrible.

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