Worst-Case Wednesday: How To Control Your Golf Rage

Posted by Caroline Mills

Photo by Fevi Yu

As the mercury rises, something about the heat seems to make tempers flare just a little bit quicker.

Summer is mostly about fun and games, though in the case of golf, it can be a fine line that divides a nice afternoon from a frustrating one. Whether you’re on vacation to relax or playing a game with business in mind, you’ll have to keep your cool in more ways than one.

The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Golf by Joshua Piven, David Borgenicht, and James Grace has the protocol for keeping things calm, cool, and collected – and maybe even a better score.


1.     Immediately set down anything you might be inclined to use as a weapon. Drop your clubs, bags, balls, spike-cleaning tools, gold shoes—anything you might use to injure another golfer.

2.     Take ten deep breaths. Breathe by expanding your stomach and abdomen, not your chest. This will cause the oxygen to enter your bloodstream more quickly, calming you down.

3.     Repeat the following words to yourself as you breathe: “It’s just a game. It’s just a game.” Putting the cause of your anger in perspective may help prevent you from causing harm.

4.     If you feel you have been wronged, say so. Be polite but assertive—explain clearly to the person involved why you are angry. Limit the discussion to the specific cause of your anger—do not get into bigger issues such as, “You always act this way.”

5.     Avoid making inflammatory statements.  Making value-judgment and personal insults or implying illegal tactics will not be helpful.

6.     Listen and tolerate. Inevitably, the object of your anger will have a few thoughts of his own. Let him talk—this will decrease the likelihood of further argument, and increase the likelihood of a resolution. Try to see the situation through the other person’s eyes, even if this is difficult. The person you are speaking with will likely follow suit.

7.     Forgive yourself or the other person for the infraction.

8.     Laugh it off. Try to diffuse the situation with humor. Laughter, especially with golf, is often the best medicine.

BE AWARE: However tempting it may be, taking your anger out on an inanimate object such as your clubs, your ball, or your golf cart may only lead to you hurting yourself or irreparably damaging the object. To release your anger, squeeze a golf ball or a plush toy you carry for this purpose.