My goodness, how many times have you been told to relax on the golf course? If you had a way to measure this advice and how often it is dispensed your brilliance as a mathematician would be greatly sought after by NASA.
There is no need to have uptight golfers filling the courses, but I do think that trying to relax
is a tad on the oxymoronic side! Golf is not and never will be Yoga or Tantra. It requires focus, concentration, physical agility and controlled aggression
. Relaxing requires beach sand and a frozen umbrella drink.
Here is a different thought to carry in your bag the next time you tee it up: Be at ease
. This was the advice of the late, great Harvey Penick. He felt that if you tried to relax
too much, you would either become very tense trying to relax or fall over from drowsiness.
The idea of golf is to be at ease. Although there are some exceptions to this rule, not many people play good golf when they are not at ease. Again, golf is a game of controlled aggression
. We are striking a ball and sending it screaming through the air at great speeds and it must drop from very high altitudes! This is not a relaxing act. It can be manipulated to a certain extent, however, through being at ease with yourself and your game.
Here are some tips to help play at-ease golf
- Stretch for at least ten minutes before teeing off.
- Try not to consume caffeinated beverages before or during a round.
- If you had a very bad day at work, just hit balls for a while to clear your mind before teeing off and help get you in golf mode.
- Do not play for money if you cannot keep your mind off the bet.
- If you hit a bad shot, think of the best things (spouse, kids, car, really great smoker in your back yard!) in your life to get you smiling again.
- Play with people you like!
Each golfer will vary to some degree in figuring out what it takes to put them at ease. As long as no laws are broken and you still enjoy the game, do what you need to do to prepare to play at-ease golf