You want to have a great outing any time you hit the course, but at this point in your golf journey, you know that’s not always going to be the case. Golf is hard. You know that. On a practice day, it can be annoying or frustrating when you’re not up to par, but what about when that off-day happens during a competition? Or, even when you’re playing well, you’re still not doing as well as the rest of your foursome? We’ve all had those days where someone else is playing better than we are.

What can you do when your competitors are having a better day than you? Here are three strategies you can use to get your head back in the game and enjoy your time out on the course.

Remember Who and What You Control

In any competitive sport, it’s easy to get caught up in what the other athletes are doing and how they’re doing it. That’s normal. But—and you probably already know this—it’s not helpful to worry about the other people, especially in golf. The way they play literally has no impact on you. Unless you let it.

Try to create a habit of focusing on yourself and the elements of your game that you can have an impact on: your breath, your focus, your swing, your mental state, etc. Create an affirmation such as “I control my game” to repeat to yourself, or a reminder such as “focus on me” that you can use to regain focus on what is within your control. This will take time to get good at so continue to practice anytime you’re focused on your competition.

Learn to Manage Pressure

Competitions are like pressure cookers, and all of us handle pressure differently. First off, remember that pressure isn’t bad; you need it to create diamonds, after all, so it’s about how you harness or manage that pressure. There will be pressure in golf. The competitors who learn to manage that pressure well are likely to experience more success and less stress than those who don’t learn to deal with the pressure that competition will inevitably bring.

Utilize strategies like deep breathing and positive thinking to manage the physical and mental reactions to pressure and stress. Find ways to practice these skills in your lessons, driving range visits, and practice rounds. Using mental skills to handle pressures in life will help you be more prepared to handle pressure on the course, and with practice in life, you’ll learn more about what skills help you and how.

Take the Game One Hole at a Time

When your competitors are doing better than you are, it’s easy to extrapolate that out to be true of the whole round or event. But guess what? You will have many opportunities to improve. Like the first tip states, focus on yourself, aiming to not worry about how anyone else is doing. Next, focus on this hole, and even more specifically, this shot.

If you’re getting too far ahead of yourself, whether you’re worried about competitors or your own game, you’re missing the opportunity to be in the moment and make the most of the next swing. When you can take the game one small piece at a time, not only do you give yourself the best chance of playing the way you want to, but you can also block out what’s going on with other competitors. Then, at the end of the round, no matter where you place, you set yourself up to feel good about how you played.

There will be days where your competitors are playing better than you. It has happened before and it will happen again. The reality is we can’t control any other golfer except ourselves. Instead of letting others get in our head, we can work on creating the mentality of staying focused on ourselves, in this moment, and on what we want to do right now.

Becoming a golfer who isn’t concerned about other’s play takes time and energy. This mentality isn’t easy to create and maintain, but over time, and by working on it, you’ll likely find that you care less about what others are doing and how they’re performing. This will give you the ability to focus more on yourself and play golf the way you want to.