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How Does The Opinion Of Others Influence Your Golf Game?

Updated: Mar 12

le regard des autres

The opinion of others or the opinion of oneself?

Are you scared on the first hole, the first drive, and say to yourself: ''What will my friends say or think if I miss my drive?'' Or when you play with strangers: ''I'm going to show them how good I am, I don't want to lose face''. Or the opposite because you’re a beginner: “I’m bad and I’m going to slow them down.” No matter what stories you tell yourself, the first step is to question yourself and ask: “Am I judging myself, comparing myself to others to look good?”

Humans like to tell stories to reassure themselves or to calm down. During my first improv class, my coach told us: ''You don't need to sink yourselves, the others will take care of it for you.'' No matter what we do, whatever we say or think, there will always be someone who will judge us.

Here’s something that happened to me last year (2023) during my stay in France. I played regularly at the Hossegor golf club in Hossegor in Les Landes. One day I was matched with a couple. As soon as we were introduced, the lady said to me: “Oh no, I don’t want to play with you. I saw you on the driving range and you’re too good for me.’’ After a bit of discussion, she ended up accepting. Throughout the round, I felt her being anxious, observant, and tense until I missed a 3-foot putt. She exclaimed: “Ah! You're not that good after all!'' I stopped for a few seconds. It’s as if she was waiting for that precise moment to release her stress. I looked at her, smiled, and then started laughing.

No matter what your level of play is, people will tend to compare themselves to you and even make comments to reassure themselves, to stroke their ego, to cheer themselves up, and more. As a professional golfer, I get observed every time I play and people expect PGA Tour-level performances.

Self-esteem and self-confidence are dominant factors linked to the way others view us. How do I perceive myself? How I perceive myself, without external validation. Know my strengths, my faults, and my points for improvement. These tips will help reduce the effects of the opinion of others and as a result, your outlook towards yourself will become much stronger.

Another way or exercise to reduce the effects of the influence of others is to have the courage to be your authentic self. For example, embrace who you are, add humor to your game, look up at the clouds, and listen to the birds to help refocus your mind and

bring yourself back into the moment. Accept imperfection. Take a pencil and paper, then write down the names of the people whose gaze affects you most. When this is done, ask yourself: "Do I want to be like them?" If the answer is NO, then forget about what they might think.

Another way or exercise to reduce the effect of the opinion of others is to have the courage to lay yourself bare. For example, try taking theater or improv classes, or walking down the street with a clown nose on. Try karaoke or any other activity that will take you out of your comfort zone. These types of challenges will help you realize that these moments are not life or death, which should help your ego eventually calm down.

Michel Dubord

CPGA Professional/ Mental Coach

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