​Les Kincaid's




Many players can perform well on the practice tee and have developed a sound swing. Indeed learning how to swing properly and gaining an understanding of the nuances of course management is a prerequisite for becoming a good golfer. However, once the basic swing has been mastered the next step is to learn how to manage the thoughts and emotions that inevitably arise during play. The best golfers in the world have learned to maintain emotional equilibrium on the course and channel energy productively. Research demonstrates that anger, anxiety, embarrassment, and fear of failure, can and does combine to create brain states that trigger high emotional arousal within the player. When this happens the fight or flight response is activated and the brain secretes undesirable neurotransmitter substances like nor-epinephrine, which can lead to the release of adrenalin into the muscles. When this arousal occurs, physiological changes occur such as an increase in:  heart rate, blood pressure, and pulse and blood lactate levels. Blood lactate levels influence muscle tension and that in turn affects the flexibility of the player and ultimately the swing itself. The fight or flight response can also reduce the flow of blood to the hands and other extremities contributing to a subsequent loss of feel for the club. This especially affects putting, even with great golfers, and is often seen in late Sunday afternoon pro tournaments. The secret to managing your game, then, comes down to effectively managing your thoughts and inner dialogue in order to cope with the inevitable frustrations and disappointments involved in golf. Positive thinking is most important as well as keeping your mind entirely on you game the entire round.