Handling Slow Play and Delays

Learning how to handle slow play or delays will help lower your score. Whether you are a recreational golfer or a professional on tour, I am sure you can recall experiences where you blamed slow play or delays for costing you strokes.

Usually, there are two reasons why slow play will result in you shooting a higher score. The first reason is because you allow yourself to become upset or angry over the reasons for slow play. The second is because you are on a roll or in the zone and the delay takes you out of your rhythm. The first one is easier to handle than the second, but both can be overcome if you know how.

If you objectively look at the reasons for slow play you will realize that they are nothing more than facts. You may not like these facts, but they are merely facts. A recreational golfer with a low handicap can become very frustrated when someone in his group or the group in front of him is a high handicap golfer and takes forever to get his ball in the hole.

A golfer on tour can be reduced to talking to himself when one of his fellow professionals ponders a prolonged time in lining up his putt or making a decision what to do next on a difficult shot. In both cases they do not have control over the facts for the slow play, but they do have control over their emotions.

Since anger affects your brain's chemistry and diminishes you ability to perform, it is important to understand this and control your anger. You can control your anger, by realizing that you are allowing a fact to get you upset and it is going to cost you strokes. Change your focus from being impatient and make allowances for the slow play. Otherwise, your frustrations will build and will result in a bad shot.

Don't blame the other golfer for your bad shot. If you are honest with yourself, you will acknowledge that your anger caused you to make that bad shot. Train your mind never to let a fact get you upset. If a fact does get to you, release your anger by changing your focus and taking several slow deep breaths before stepping up to the ball. If you reduce your anger, you will shoot a lower score.

When you are on a roll, a delay in play can break your rhythm. The first thing you must do is make sure that you don't get upset or angry which will throw off your chemistry and game. The next thing is to relax and replay the last several shots over and over in your mind until play is resumed. Since your mind does not know the difference between what is real and what is imagined, this will give you a much better chance to keep your chemistry at a high level and continue being on a roll.


P.S.: Did you know that there are different types of eye sight and eye coordination capabilities? When playing a round of golf over 5 or more kilometres, and having to aim every shot or stroke, seeing properly is a key element for better golf. Here is a book I have personally read and can recommend: Improve your eye coordination capabilities



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