How To Handle A Bad Day On The Golf Course: 9 Ways To Save Your Day

Have you ever let a bad day on the golf course ruin the rest of your day? Or even the rest of the week?

If you take golf seriously, then the answer will most likely be yes.

It’s common to take golf personally. Most of the time, you only have yourself to blame, it’s just you and that ball in a war for dominance.

But a bad day on the golf course isn’t the end of the world, nor should it be the end of what could be a good day.

There are so many things about playing golf that can make your day, rather than ruining it, regardless of how you play.

We all love this sport for a reason, and whatever that reason may be, it can be the best and worst thing about the game.

So if you’re struggling to deal with a bad day on the golf course, keep reading as we go over some of the things you can remind yourself if you’re having a bad day for whatever reason.

Let’s get started!

a bad day on the golf course, angry golfer breaks club

How to Handle a bad day on the golf course

1. The swing’s not listening

Sometimes, your swing just isn’t doing what you want it to.

You’re hitting hooks, your slicing and topping every other shot, or you’re overshooting your mark every time. Won’t somebody think of the scorecard?

This has happened to every golfer. No one has a great day every time they hit the links.

Whatever the reason may be, sometimes your body just won’t do what you want it to.

And the best way to get around this is: to accept it. Nothing else is going to save your day.

You might be able to save your swing, with some of our great tips for the various swing errors and mistakes you might make on any given day, but you’ll only save your day if you accept that sometimes that’s just how it is.

If you were to follow any given group of four around any course in the world, at least one of them will be furious about the way they’re playing, even if they’re playing what looks like a better game than you’ve ever played.

Just take a breath. A bad day on the gold course will only become an awful day if you let it.

Shake the tension out of your body, crack a joke, point out how you’re playing without moaning or seeming like a crybaby by complaining for the rest of the day.

Don’t ruin other golfers’ days just because yours isn’t going well!

2. Prepare for the weather

There’s no telling how many golfers days have been ruined by a sudden bout of rain. If only they had access to the constant stream of information that the internet provides.

But we do!

Just check the weather the night before you’re set to play!

You can even play in snow if you need to, golf is a sport for all climates, regardless of what anyone says.

If the weather says it’s going to rain, bring an umbrella and a towel to dry your hands, wear a waterproof jacket with a hood, prepare to be wet.

If you love golf as much as we do, you’ll still leave the house in the morning with your clubs in your car.

Even if temperatures are high you can play golf, just bring plenty of water and aim for the shade!

a bad day on the golf course, golfer throws bag

3. Bring snacks

Throughout history, people have cured a bad mood with a hearty meal. the word “hangry” exists for a reason.

If you’re suffering from a bad day on the golf course, a chocolate bar in your pocket might be a quick fix!

We would recommend bringing out a snack or two if you plan on playing a full 18 any way, even if you’re the most happy-go-lucky golfer to ever exist.

Some people forget that golf is a sport, and therefore requires a fair bit of energy exertion.

Golf can be a physically demanding sport, prepare to be tired, don’t let your game suffer on the back 9!

You don’t need a full meal, a brownie or a protein bar and a bag of crisps is enough to get you through the worst of it!

4. you didn’t warm up

There’s no telling how many times a bad day on the golf course could have been prevented with a good warm up routine.

You don’t need to hit the gym or run a 5k in order to be properly warmed up for a good round of golf, but you should definitely play some golf.

All you need to do is spend a bit of time in the driving range and hit some balls. Nothing will prepare you for golf more than golf.

It seems so obvious that it’s almost a moot point.

We would wager that a bad day on the golf course can almost always be put down to not warming up properly.

If you have a hard time with your short game, pull out your pitching wedge or 9-iron and make some practice shots. If you can’t hit a straight drive, you know what to do.

We would recommend not warming up for more than 30-minutes of low intensity practice.

You don’t want to exhaust yourself before you play, you’re hoping to set yourself up for success, not for failure.

a bad day on the golf course, golfer breaks club

5. Someone is playing better than you


Nothing stings as much as someone else being better than you at golf. We all know it’s true. Especially if it’s your friend, or god forbid a family member.

I know that nothing makes me play worse than watching whoever I’m playing with hit a great shot, or hit a birdie with no effort.

The key is to not let it get to you, or even better, to let it spur you on.

If they’re having a great day, then why can’t you?

Think about it like streamlining in cycling. You can use them to play better yourself.

If they hit a shot that looks good to you, why not aim to where they’ve played. Golf is a game of tactics, don’t let anyone psych you out.

6. gap your clubs

Just like with the weather, if you’re reading this you have access to the internet.

And if you have access to the internet, you can look up the distances for the course you’re about to play.

Plan accordingly!

Being able to gap your golf clubs is a skill that every golfer should possess. You’ll only be able to play well if you learn how to prepare well!

This is why the pros have caddies who can help them with this key planning component, but you can be your own caddy if you put the work in now!

golfer makes a swing

7. Don’t get distracted

Turn your phone on silent and play some golf.

No one likes the guy who’s constantly texting and ignoring the way that everyone is playing.

Don’t text and drive!

Getting distracted by your phone is just going to bring you out of the game.

As much as we all wish we could play golf all the time, we can’t, so enjoy the time you have on the course and put it to good use.

8. Don’t let the trash talk get to you

Don’t listen to them – they’re just jealous.

We all do it from time to time, trash talk is a part of golf now, but don’t let it get you down.

If you’re dishing it out, you’ve got to be able to take it. No one likes a taste of their own medicine, but if it’s coming to you, it’s coming to you.

That being said, if you know that someone in your group is especially adept as dealing out the insults, maybe it’s not your day to be sending quip after quip.

9. Golf is a great game

There’s a quote from the great American author Kurt Vonnegut that I think everyone should know.

“If this isn’t nice, what is?”

Vonnegut wondered why people couldn’t be happy in the moment, and enjoy what they have if everything was going well. We could all learn a lot from that, especially golfers.

Golf is a sport where you get to walk, or ride, around beautiful landscapes, most with a handful of great vistas, and soak in the scenery.

You can wander through green fields with good friends on a sunny day and enjoy life, maybe you take a few beers with you, maybe you play well or your buddy does.

There are so many things to like about golf, even on bad day. A bad day at golf is better than a bad day anywhere else!

So, that’s our guide to how to handle a bad day on the golf course!

We all have them, and we will all have plenty more. You’ve just got to keep on swinging and know that soon it will all look up.

As my Grandpa likes to say: golf is a year of awful shots that make you never want to play the sport again, and then you play a shot so good you wonder why you’re not on the PGA tour.

Keep reading for our guide to on how to play a shot out of water!

Photo of author
Adam is a writer and lifelong golfer who probably spends more time talking about golf than he does playing it nowadays!

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