Who would have ever thought that as we enter spring, we wouldn’t be able to get onto the course? What a strange time we’re in. Regardless of how often you golf or your level of play, chances are, you are missing the sport right now in one way or another.
Golf allows you physical activity outdoors, a place to connect with friends, a chance to learn and improve, and for many of us, it’s a large part of our lives. Without it, you might feel a bit lost. That’s normal. And though the situation itself still feels far from normal, we can use this time as an opportunity for trying new ways to stay connected to golf.
Remember what you love about golf and focus on the positives
You may be well aware of what you’re missing and that can cause negative feelings because you can’t play. But you have the chance to turn this around to really focus on all the gifts golf gives you. Focus on the positives and look forward to when you can get back out on the course and really experience those gifts.
Use imagery to maintain and develop your skills
Though you may not be able to play outside on the course, you can play in your mind! Every day if you want, you can take the time to practice your putting, visit the driving range, or play the front nine, all from the comfort of your home, using your imagination. You can even get creative and mentally play some of the courses you’ve been dreaming of. Pebble Beach, anyone?
Stay connected with your golf friends
The social aspect of golf is huge, and we’re missing it right now. Take the time to connect with your fellow golfers. Send a text to say hi, make a phone call, or schedule a zoom check in with them. Chat golf, or not.
Take a virtual lesson
Some pros are offering lessons via platforms like Zoom or Facetime; they can watch your swing and give you feedback. Or, download an app like V1 Golf that helps you improve on your skills. You might not be able to get onto the course, but you can still be working on your skills.
Develop your mental skills
This is the perfect time to not only imagine your golf to develop your imagery skills, but it’s a great time to develop your mental game. Golf is a very mentally demanding game! Use this down time to work on a relaxation skill like breathing, learn how to focus better when you’re distracted, and take the time to understand how to reduce tension from your grip.
Take time for self-care
Golf is likely one of your self-care activities, which means your self-care time has been greatly reduced. Make sure that you’re replacing that time with other activities that help you feel your best. Consider what you gain from golf. Is it the physical aspect you love? Being out in nature? The social connection? Take the time to reflect on what golf gives you and then find other activities that fill those needs as best you can.
Be kind to yourself and others
Even though we all know this, it’s good to remind ourselves: we’re all in a very strange time, and we’re doing our best, even though it may not always seem like it. Be kind to yourself when you get frustrated or emotional; show grace to others when they do the same. You might need to loosen the expectations you have for yourself and others for the time being and focus on staying calm, happy, and connected with those around you.
Though the days feel quite similar, they’re all a bit different, so try each of these strategies on their own or together as needed to help you get through this phase of life without golf.
Sara is a Mental Skills Coach specializing in work with athletes. She received her M.A. in Sports Psychology from John F. Kennedy University and did her undergraduate work at New York University. Sara also helps support busy working moms to develop their mental skills and create more balance at getmombalanced.com.