Performing well under pressure is a “coping skill” which champions apply naturally and golfers without these skills are only there, to make up the numbers.

Fear will always be a part of golf, and anger is sometimes a problem, just as excitement can be, but golfers can find comfort in the knowledge that there is a very easy way to reduce the effect of these feelings and this knowledge will then enable them to play well instead of failing under the pressure of competition.

Relaxation is the key and it is available to everyone who is prepared to practice it correctly, the golfer can then ask for the pleasant control, which the “peace” of relaxation provides.

The requirement for relaxation can start even before we play, particularly when trying to get to sleep the night before an important event, at these times, possible success or failure can pass through the mind, preventing the sleep needed to provide energy for the following day.

We must understand how to place all of the muscles of our body in a “state of peace”, because only then can we dictate peace of mind.

It may appear obvious that the relaxed feelings needed to sleep are not required at the time we play a shot, all shots need muscular effort, but the controlled muscular effort, which a good understanding of relaxation can provide and with TEMPO, which is a freedom of controlled movement needed to combat golf stress.

This inner calm is often needed when we have an awkward chip or putt, these times our mind can race along, and the endless ‘thinking’ before we attempt the shot extends the worry and stress to a state of impending failure.

If we know how to relax, then this situation is less likely to occur and we will play the shot with the “short time control” which offers success.

To deal with the build up of stress on the course we have to find ways to overcome the inevitable waiting time.

To reduce the worry which waiting can offer, we have to distract our thoughts away from golf until it is our turn to play, like tidying your bag or yourself.

Just do something other than worry about the next shot, and then you will be more successful when it is your time to play, you really could “smell the flowers”.

If you behave sensibly on a golf course and keep your smile going you will then be able to keep calm when there is the need.  If, on the other hand, you lose your temper and get up tight then you must expect less than satisfactory results.