On 10th June 2023 Ocean Meets Green officially became a winner’s brand!*
It was the final day of the European Mid-Amateur Ladies’ Championship at Bogogno Golf Resort in Italy.
At the start of the final round I had a 2-shot lead. Through 9 holes I extended that lead to 4 shots. After 17 holes I slipped to second place with one shot behind. And after 18 played holes I went into a 3-way playoff.
I walked away with the win on the first play-off hole. Sounds like a rollercoaster, right? It certainly was!
If you’re interested in the full story or see some video snippets from this dramatic final day, head to the EGA website by clicking this link.
What it felt like being chased - a little insight into my golfing brain
To be completely honest with you, this was the first significant win for me.
I won smaller tournaments before, but winning on a European level is different. I had also secured several top 10 and top 5 finishes in other European tournaments, but I have never before started the final round as the leader. And with that came being outside my comfort zone.
I’m not going to lie. I was quite nervous during the first 2 holes. My heart was pumping, and my breathing was quick. I felt slightly dizzy over my first couple of putts and my hands were shaking.
But I didn’t come unprepared. Over the last 9 months I’ve been working on methods and processes to calm my nervous system in those stressful and unknown situations.
Some of the things that I find extremely helpful are:
- Breathwork and learning to control my breathing – I’m doing this with cold showers in the mornings, occasional guided breathing sessions as well as meditations. I’ve learnt that my breath is a tool that I have with me at all times. And that it is a powerful tool if I learn how to use it.
- Focussing on the process not the outcome – my pre-shot routine and the process before each shot are the one thing I can control, always. So I make sure I religiously stick to my routine as that gives me security in situations outside my comfort zone.
- Mantras – I usually have a mantra for every round. Sometimes the mantra stays the same for a few rounds or even a few tournaments in a row. During the European Championship my mantra was: Keep doing what you’re doing. I had won a smaller tournament the week before and felt confident with my game. Before I left for Italy my brother told me: ‘keep doing what you’re doing’ and it stuck with me.
Being kind to myself – I noticed that whenever I’m talking nicely to myself (that little voice inside of my head) I tend to score better. My experience on the course, regardless of the result, is a much more enjoyable one when I treat myself with kindness. This method ties in with the mantras a little bit. I have a couple of sentences that I keep telling myself, such as: ‘I belong here’ and ‘I got this’. If I don’t score well or make a shot that I’m not satisfied with I tell myself ‘That’s okay, I’m doing my best and my best is good enough’ or ‘You’re doing fantastic’.
Why I'm writing this
Of course I also have days where I may feel more disappointed when I make bogeys than on other days. Some days I feel completely zen and other days I’m on the edge quickly. I’ve experienced rounds where I tried all of those methods and none of them worked. And that’s okay. Being human means that emotions fluctuate, that’s what makes us human after all.
I’m writing all this to pass on what has worked for me. And if you are in a similar situation soon, whether that’s on the golf course or just life in general, you might find one of those tools helpful too.
I'll be back soon with more insights into my tournament life and the little things that help me compete and perform under pressure.
*I like that claim! ;)