How to recover from a bad golf shot | by Luke Donald

All weekend warriors and even Tour pros encounter the odd difficult moment out on the course when it’s hard to control your anger and emotions. Dwelling on your mistakes doesn’t help anything, and the mental side of the sport can be the most challenging to master. Here seven-time European Tour winner, Luke Donald, explains the best way to recover from a bad shot or hole so it doesn’t ruin your round. 

“Golf is a very difficult game and you’re always going to struggle a little bit here and there,” said Donald on Peter Finch Golf’s YouTube channel. “We all hit bad shots and have bad holes but I think it’s important to realise that every shot is individual so just because you’ve hit a bad one, the next one doesn’t have to be bad too. It’s very easy to go to that dark hole of bad self-talk with thoughts like: “Here we go again…”/ “What am I doing?”/ “How do I get out of this?”

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“It happens to professionals as well as amateurs but I think it’s very important to change that language and attitude. Even just with good posture – getting your shoulders back and looking up can help. (Former England cricketer) Michael Vaughan spoke to Rory McIlroy after his nightmare at Augusta in 2011 and said your posture is looking really down because your shoulders are down and slumped. You just have to work on getting your posture back and looking up to the sky.

“Having that inner self positive talk about what you want to achieve rather than what you want to avoid is half the battle. Try make everything more challenge orientated. Say to yourself, ‘Watch this shot’, I’m going to show you how good a shot this is. If you start doing this, it’s likely you’ll start hitting better shots.”

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