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Golf is a game of opposites…and fun is part of that.

Golf is a great game that can bring a lot of joy or it can bring frustration and anger. To take it a step further the game actually can be looked at as having a lot of opposites.

Let me start with the idea that trying too hard can result in bad performance. You may get too nervous, swing too hard and make poor decisions. Lower your expectations and you are likely to play better.

Jack Nicklaus once said that to hit the ball further he would swing longer but slower. Again that is the opposite of what many people would do on the course. Let the timing and leverage of a good swing give you a little more distance.

The YIPS have been studied from a variety of aspects. My feeling is the YIPS are related to your high expectations of making putts. To use our theme of opposites would again have you lower your goals and stay calm. With this approach you will perform better and try the approach that a putt will either go in or it will not. With good alignment and a proper stroke, you’ll make your share.

Pitch shots and chip shots can have some YIPS creep in so here is another aspect where you should be calm with lower expectations. Look at the shot you need to play then make a couple of rehearsal swings to get rid of some tension. Brush the ground with these practice swings and then without over-thinking the situation you can make the shot.

So the lesson here today is to stay calm, be patient and with moderate to low expectations you will often play better. People who are naturally calm will adapt to this more easily. If you are a type “A” personality it may be harder, but to know it should allow you to deal with it. Begin this with how you start your day, or arrive at the course. If you are tense and rushing from the office to make the tee-time…you are in trouble. Take your time and get there plenty early, it will be more fun for you and the people you play with.

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