It is not unusual to get mad after barely missing a putt. You get mad, tap it in and then you really get mad as the dickens. Unfortunately, anger can negatively affect your performance on the next hole and ruin a nice day. Rather than try to repress your anger, think about controlling it. Use a three step reprimand process to turn anger into a positive emotion. Here is how it works.
- Go ahead and get angry after barely missing a putt.
- Tap the ball in.
- After tapping the ball in, and while retrieving the ball from the cup, silently reprimand yourself. (You idiot. Expletive. Expletive. For crying out loud what were you thinking? Expletive. You stink…)
- As you step away from the cup begin a transition to positive thoughts… (That is not like me. That is not the Jim Payne I know. I’m better than that…). You do this for three steps.
- As you take the fourth step away from the hole immediately begin a positive thought process directed toward correcting what you did wrong. The correction must be positive not negative. Examples of positive correction: Head down. Sweet spot. Smooth as silk. Examples of negative corrections are: Don’t look up. Don’t hit it on the toe. Don’t drag the putter.
If you are still mad at yourself as you take the fourth step and carry your anger to the next hole, shame on you. You have lost control of your own thoughts and allowed the missed putt to enter the privacy of your own mind. Remember, it is normal to get mad, but beyond the third step negative emotion will negatively affect your performance on the next hole. You can’t control the ball, you only influence it. But you have 100% control on how you respond and react to any putt. Golf is too good a game to let putting get you down.