Golf Frustration and Anger

Frustration or anger on the course is NOT a problem and is likely to happen with the game. The problem is when it affects the next shot, your relationships in the group or at home, or your enjoyment of the game.

Below I share with you where anger comes from and how you can start taking back control of this emotion on the course.

Let’s talk about frustration. 

Golf can be a frustrating game, no matter what level of play. And it’s really not a problem being frustrated unless you let it carry over to your next shot. 

Hitting a ball from a frustrated place usually doesn’t produce your best swings, which can then lead to more frustration. 

Frustration starts out with annoyance. It moves to frustration, and then it can build to anger if left unchecked. 

So, let me share with you two main reasons you get frustrated. The first, is that there is a sense of injustice or that when you were wronged in some way. 

You got a bad bounce. Someone walked in your line, the group of front of you is playing really slow or holding you up. You got a bad lie. 

The list goes on. You get frustrated because these things shouldn’t have happened and seem unfair. The second reason is that you have unmet expectations. 

You think you should play to a certain level and you aren’t doing it. And you’re frustrated. 

It sounds like:

“I should hit more greens.” 

“I should have made that birdie putt.” 

“I should score better.” 

“I am better than this.” 

Really when that SHOULD word comes out, you’re looking at disappointment or frustration. 

Likely we’re usually frustrated with one of three things: 

1. Situations on the golf course

2. Other people in our group or on the course or 

3. Ourselves and our ability. 

Your goal is not to avoid frustration. It is going to happen. 

Your goal is to notice the reason you were frustrated, allow it to be there and move on before it builds to anger or you make your next swing. 


Let’s talk about expectations. 

One of the main reasons you get frustrated or disappointed on the golf course is because you have unmet expectations. 

Simply put you think you should be playing better than you are. 

What are your expectations? How many fairways and greens do you think you should hit? How many ups and downs should you have? How many, five footers do you think you should make? 

And in most cases, your expectations exceed reality. So let’s put things into the correct context. Let’s be a bit of a scientist. 

You have a pool of talent at this given moment in time, and it can change for the better or worse. But right now you have data on each club in your bag. If you went to the range of the putting green and you hit 10 balls with each club to a certain target and counted how many greens you hit or drives that landed between two flags. You would have a percentage, same thing with putts. You hit five out of 10 drives in between the two flags that represents the width of a fairway. 

Then your stat is that you hit 50% of fairways in a relaxed and pretty calm environment. 

Which means if you can keep swinging, calm and relaxed on the course, you should hit seven out of the 14 fairways, given that there are four par threes. 

Which also means you should miss seven fairways, but so many golfers go on the golf course and expect not to miss any fairways or pots or wedges. 

These expectations, exceed reality, which is the recipe for frustration and disappointment.

 I encourage you to collect your data, find your percentages, compare it to your expectations. Putting this in check can really help you manage your frustrations about yourself and your golf game. 

All right, you got this. 

You can find more content on my podcast Think Above Par. 

It’s available on your favorite podcast platform. 

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