Flow on the golf course (cognitive reframing)


Most of the time, we feel quite comfortable on the golf course. The shots in front of us seem doable, we feel comfortable with our swing. On other days, however, it seems hard to find the peace of mind. These sessions are geared toward finding flow in difficult situations by reframing (put into positive perspective) most common fear triggers that may creep into a round of golf.


Fear triggers / Negative thoughts Flow triggers / Positive thoughts
“This is a difficult shot and I might not make it.” “I see every shot as a new challenge. I can do this. Let’s go baby!”
“I am afraid to play in competition & get beaten by other players.” “I am putting in my best effort and playing my game.”
“I am afraid of playing in front of other people and make a terrible shot.” “The more people watch the better I play.”
“I am closing in on an accomplishment & afraid of screwing it.” “I am enjoying my success and focusing only on my next shot.”
“I am going to hit a socket (shank) & afraid of repeating it.” “It can happen to anyone, so what! I am relaxing & focusing on my rhythm.”
“The person I want to impress is watching, what if I screw up.” “Playing in front of important people really pushes my performance!”
7 “I am in the lead, what if I make bad shots and lose the advantage?” “I don’t even know my score really, I just play my best and enjoy myself.”
“I am scared of failure, I am not sure I can play this round well.” “Failure or success is just an illusion, all that matters is the next shot.”
“I am fearful of letting down expectations of others, I will get disapproval.” “Expectations of others are completely irrelevant, I am doing my best.”
“What if I choke and my game breaks down?” “Only thing that matters is that I experience as much flow as possible.
“I am winning and I don’t feel I deserve it, I am not really that good.” “I am worthy and winning or loosing is just a part of the game.”
“What if I hit a poor shot and start doubting my abilities?” “I never fold and I always keep pushing on.”
“My skills are not good, I am afraid of keeping others waiting.” “My skills are as they are, I approach the game playfully.”
“I’m afraid of missing this putt and make a 3 or 4 putts.” “I am following and trusting my putting routine.”
“What if I hit the obstacles (trees, sand, water)?” “Obstacles are my friends, even if I somehow hit it, the ball will bounce favourably.”
“I’m afraid my short game will be horrible just as it has been in practice.” “No state is permanent, today is a new day, a new me.”
“I am on a first tee and feel anxious about my performance.” “I am off to a great start!”
“I know I don’t play a lot, so I am certain I won’t play well.” “I have no expectations.”
“18 holes lasts really long, my game will break down eventually.” “I flow consistently for 18 holes.”
“I played well in the whole last period, this cannot last.” “My performance may vary but I improve incrementally.”