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Pre- shot routine, pre-shot routine, pre- shot routine. Have one for every shot and get "lost" in it. Thats the best way I know to handle pressure.

 

I can't agree more. When I finally broke par last week I can say I was prepared every shot in my round except for a chip on the 9th hole which lead to a bogey. As I walked up to my 8 footer on 18 for par and 69 my mind was clear, went through my routine, commited, and excecuted. Having a reliable but more importantly and consistent pre-shot routine is crucial to focusing and executing shots.

[b]Golfer | Clubfitter | Kayaker | Photographer[/b]

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I agree with Comprargolf. Listen to your favorite song before you play and sing it to yourself in you head during the round. It helps keep me relaxed. Also, try to remember that everyone else is nervous too. They are all playing the same course. Just pretend like you are playing a normal round at your home course with your buddies.

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I've played in alot of tournaments and it will get easier the more you play. There is no better microscope for your game than tournament golf. It will uncover your weaknesses, but then you know what to work on.

 

To play devils advocate with a couple of the previous posts, and I don't want to come across as condescending, just my .02, take it for what its worth.

 

When you say "I'm going to hit this club so I don't go in the water" your conscous mind hears WATER, and guess what usually happens. Thats why you should always play the shot that gives you the best chance of hitting the fairway. Sounds too simple, but thats how the mind is wired. A previous post suggested to take the approach "if I loose this tournament its not the end of the world" is giving you a big "out" and when things get tough guess what your mind is going to want to do. Your correct, its not the end of the world, but I don't think that I know of anyone that entered a competition with the goal of not succeeding on some level.

 

Your smart. Your mind is never going to fall for the "I'm playing with my friends" routine, because your not. Your nervous, like the previous poster mentioned, so is everyone else. Observe what the pressure does to you. Do you get chatty, do you walk faster, does your tempo get faster. Make note of these differences so you know what to address later.

 

Your always going to be nervous when your doing something that you have a vested intrest in, try to enjoy it as best you can.

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another thing in pressure situations you have to be confident. Having played many sports and been clutch i just will hit a game winning hit in baseball or make the winning shot in basketball. All i do is act like ice water is running through my veins. Act like you messed up and you need to make up for it.

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Concentrate on my breathing and hum 'Swing Life Away' by Rise Against. I have listened to many of Dr Karl Morris' tapes and he places importance on breathing technique. That's is where that idea came from.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Whenever I've been nervous on the course I've pulled off some clutch plays, like sticking a 4 iron to 20 feet on the 1st hole representing my club after my opponents stuck it to 4 feet. I also played the back 9 at my course in -1 to shoot 75 (my personal best) or winning the last 2 holes against the low hcper in the club in the club matchplay to take it to extra holes, where I won on the 19th. It's all about your outlook. I love when I get nervous as I can rely on those experiences

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