Block out distractions like a pro with advice from Joel Dahmen

March 4, 2020

Tour pros have to put up with all of the distractions that come with a rowdy crowd on a Sunday with millions of dollars on the line. Just last weekend during the Honda Classic, there was a question of whether a fan’s loud yell impacted Tommy Fleetwood’s ill-fated water ball on the 18th hole when he needed a birdie to force a playoff to keep his bid for his first PGA Tour win alive.

While the average golfer won’t face that kind of pressure, an annoying playing partner or a loud group behind you blasting music can be enough to throw off your game.

So how should you learn to block out distractions on the course?

Joel Dahmen has a simple solutions: seek them out.

“At home, I play with a bunch of guys, we’re playing, and we’re playing as fast as we can,” Dahmen said. “So we’re running around doing that. And stuff out here [on Tour] doesn’t bother me that much.”

Dahmen’s advice is simple yet effective. Seeking out distractions will help desensitize yourself to annoying disturbances like a chatty playing partner, an obnoxious dog barking or that group behind you bumping house music.

Dahmen’s method for learning to block out distractions also sounds more fun than most of the serious training and practice Tour pros do. “If I can play through music and guys drinking beers, then it’s not too hard out here.”

It sounds counterintuitive, but having a raucous, fun time out on the course a few times a month will help you get used to all kinds of distractions. Even better, you’ll have fun doing it and won’t even notice the hard work you’re putting in until it’s time to focus and take some money off your buddies or hole the final putt at the club championship.

So the next time you feel like your golf buddies are being too much, embrace it (while being respectful of the course) and it will help you in the long run.

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