Playing Golf Under Pressure

Playing Golf Under Pressure

Whether it’s the US Open or a $2.00 Nassau with your buddies everyone feels some kind of pressure when they attempt to perform. An entertainer experiences pressure before starting a show, as does a concert pianist etc. How about Doctors about to perform a major operation…now that’s pressure! Somebody could die…this is only golf.

Let me give you a few tips that helped me. Please understand that we are talking about the mind and individual personal conditions that each of us carry along with us. Differences in personality and mental makeup. Also consider that sometimes the pressure is strictly psychological.

The first hurdle I had to climb was to NOT care what other golfers think. A touring pro I would used to take lessons with would make me rip up my score card after the round whether the score was good or bad. He would say…”it’s over and nobody cares.”

It true…can you remember who finished third in the US Open in 2005? You might not remember who won! I don’t…and yes I don’t care.

You’re not out to impress anyone and if you are concerned that you are going to be looked at in a negative manner just because you had a bad day on the golf course then you need to NOT play competitive golf.

My son Brandon was a football place kicker. I think the pressure place kickers experience is far greater than that of a golfer. You have 40 guys who are sweating on the side line after working their tails off all day and you are asked to make a 35 yard field goal to win the game. You have to face those same guys in the locker room after the game and during practice all week long.

What I taught my son I will now share with you. I always told him, “if you are busy enough trying to accomplish your pre-kick routine then you won’t have time to get nervous.”

I believe you need a very good pre-shot routine before you hit a golf ball. First you decide what club to hit and how the shot will look once you hit it…all in your mind’s eye. Then you start your pre-shot routine of approaching the golf ball the same way every time. Taking the same number of waggles before you hit every time…then let her go. What ever happens…..happens! No use worrying

You have to believe in your practice habits first…believing that you practiced the proper things and that you did them the proper way. Then you need to believe that you’re making the right decision in club selection and shot selection. Then believe in your pre-shot routine and again let it go. Don’t second guess yourself.

Stay focused on these tasks and you won’t have time to get nervous.

Jimmy Demerit gave me a tip once. He said whenever he would get a little tight on the golf course he would just say to himself. “well they can’t electrocute me if I play bad”. He said he would relax and do fine.

Relax and enjoy the game. They won’t electrocute you if you play bad but if I find out I might water board you!

Bobby Lopez, PGA

How The Patterson Driving Range Has Improved!

Yes this might seem like a commercial but if you come to Patterson Sports Park you’ll say this is accurate information. Ricki, the owner of Patterson Sports Park has gone all out in investing back in to the business for everyone’s benefit. Isn’t that refreshing!

The grass tees are looking better. Ricki also built a beautiful brick surface where all the gravel used to be. She planted beautiful flowers and trees to add to the landscape experience, and she bought brand new Srixon range balls which are my favorite.

Why Srixon, because they feel like a real golf ball and not like a rock like some other range balls. Do they go as far as some of the rock hard high compression golf balls? No. But for the better golfer trying to improve their golf game a golf ball that reacts more like the right thing is important. Especially when it calls for “working” the ball, moving it right to left etc.

By the way, the softer golf ball wears out faster so it actually costs her more money yet her prices are the lowest in town! Ask about the Patterson “circle of friends” group where you can get discount cards that make your practice costs even lower.

I’m proud to be associated with Patterson Sports Park and teaching there is a pleasure with all the beautiful surroundings. Oh, did I mention the new putting green? To see a video of the new putting green and Patterson Sports Park just go to my web site and click on “See Video on Patterson Sports Park” about two thirds of the way down the page.

To contact Patterson Sports Directly just call 804.784.4544 or go to their web site at They have an excellent set up for company outings, birthdays and more. They are located on Patterson Ave just east of 288. 12586 Patterson Ave.

Bobby Lopez, PGA

How is the Economy Affecting Golf?

I can tell you one thing….there goes the $799 driver with all the exotic technology out the window. As the economy tightens consumers get smarter and that’s my job as a PGA golf professional…to advise you properly so you are armed with the “correct” information on both golf clubs, golf courses and of course your golf game.

As far as golf clubs are concerned it is a buyer’s market right now just like real estate. You see drivers that are only a year old in a barrel at almost any golf store for one third their original price. Did you know that Tiger was playing with a four year old driver head until just recently?

Golf courses are lowering their prices. Golf outings are down both in number of outings and their participation. Many private golf courses are offering memberships on a monthly basis without paying the up front initiation fee! Now is the time to negotiate a long term agreement if you think the golf course will survive the storm.

If you need help in negotiating or making a decision on anything that relates to golf just pop me off an email from my web site at

Take advantage of the low prices now and lock in for the future.

Bobby Lopez, PGA