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5 Tips for Calming Your Nerves on the Golf Course

The wrong grip can ruin your golf game.

If you're squeezing tight onto your club from nerves, you may need to do something about the nervousness rather than worrying about grip.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to relax when you're out on the course that can help you enjoy yourself more and improve your game.

Keep reading to find out how to calm nerves while golfing.

How to Calm Nerves on the Golf Course

Once you realize that you're getting nervous while golfing, you'll need to take some steps to relax. As you'll soon see, it's easier than you may think to calm your nerves on the course.

These fives ways to curb nervousness on the course can be used together, or you may find that you only need to add one or two to your game. Now, without further ado, here's what you need to do to relax while golfing.

1. Chew Gum

There have been a number of studies done on the effects of chewing gum on the brain. The results are enough to encourage any golfer to consider a pack of gum a vital part of their golfing equipment.

One study looked at a group of 50 people over a period of 14 days. Half of them were asked to chew gum twice per day during the study. Before, during, and after the study, all the participants had to fill out questionaires which focused on their anxiety and depression levels.

At the end of the two weeks, those who had chewed gum reported significantly lower levels of anxiety and depression compared to those who didn't chew gum.

This study showed what many scientists already suspected. The chewing motion releases chemicals in the brain that calm people. It's theorized that your brain recognizes that if you're eating, you're not in danger.

Use this to your advantage on the course by popping a piece of gum in your mouth when you're teeing off.

2. Take Deep Breaths

The next thing you can do to calm your nerves is to take some deep breaths. Often, when you're nervous you start to breathe faster and your heart rate goes up even though you're not aware of it.

According to the American Institute of Stress, the best way to combat the stress you're facing is to take a deep breath.

A deep, relaxing breath triggers your body's relaxation response. Your heart rate will slow, your breathing returns to normal, your blood pressure drops, and your muscles relax.

You would be amazed at how much adding a deep breath before each swing can help you improve your game.

3. Visualize Success

Although it may sound strange, taking a moment to visualize yourself succeeding can help you relax. This works by helping you focus on the positive outcome that you're expecting rather than worrying about the negatives.

The more detailed you can visualize your success, the better this method works. You should see yourself perfectly swinging the club, hitting the ball exactly where you need to, and the ball arching beautifully through the air to land right where you want it to.

What's great about this method is you can take it as far as you want. You can take time on the way to the course to visualize the whole day, including your buddies celebrating your best game ever.

Or, you can simply take a few seconds at the start of each hole to imagine how well it's going to go.

4. Live in the Moment

Before you get too caught up in visualizing every stroke of the game, you need to balance it out with living in the moment. Getting too far ahead of yourself can also be risky and may make you anxious about holes you're not even on yet.

To calm your nerves on the course, take it one swing at a time. Don't worry about getting the ball into the hole if you're not on the green yet. Instead, focus on moving the ball from where you are now to where it needs to be next.

Tell yourself the swing you're on right now is the only one that matters. This will allow you to relax and not worry about what's coming next. It also helps you put all your skills into that one stroke, which will improve the outcome.

5. Get Excited

What happens to your body when you get nervous?

  • Heart rate increases
  • Blood pressure rises
  • Breathing speeds up
  • Sweating

Now, let's consider what happens when you get excited about something:

  • Heart rate increases
  • Blood pressure rises
  • Breathing speeds up
  • Sweating

That wasn't a mistake. When you think about it, your body has the same reaction when you're excited as when you're nervous. This is more than just interesting information, however. You can use this to calm your nerves on the course.

By switching your mindset from being nervous to being excited, this can help you turn that nervous energy into useful excitement.

This trick is used by many athletes, including at the Olympic level. The only difference is athletes in high energy sports can embrace those nerves to power themselves through an adrenaline-filled sport.

As a golfer, you should approach this excitement a little differently. After all, your sport requires more careful focus and precise movements compared to a sprinter who needs to move as fast as they can.

This method should mostly be used leading up to your round of golf. Get excited about heading out onto the course and when you get there, use the other tricks on this list to calm yourself back down so you can fully focus yourself.

Get More Golfing Tips and Tricks

Hopefully, this guide on how to calm nerves on the course will help you enjoy your next game of golf more as it improves your game.

If you want more tips and tricks to help you be the best golfer you can be, be sure to check out our blog. There, we share some of our favorite golfing secrets as well as other golfing news and information.