Lexi Thompson’s strategy for staying patient on the course can help your game too

Lexi Thompson has some tips for staying patient on the course

Getty Images

It’s something you hear from pros all the time: “I just tried to stay patient.”

Usually, that means they’re feeling confident in the state of their games, and simply waiting for birdie opportunities that they know will eventually befall them.

It’s a state of mind that can be unfamiliar to recreational players. Many of us are simply hanging on for dear life during out rounds, exulting when something good happens to us and doing our best to mitigate the damage on our (many) bad shots.

But being patient is more than simply waiting for birdie opportunities.

Lexi Thompson has had plenty of experience with the art of practicing patience, and her second round at this week’s Dana Open was no exception. She opened with two bogeys on her first six holes, dropping all the way down to four under par.

Lucy Li takes a swing.
Former child phenom Lucy Li earns LPGA Tour card for 2023 season
By: Josh Berhow

But then, a flurry of birdies: a three-hole run on Nos. 16-18, and two more on Nos. 3 and 5. Her lone bogey on her final 12 holes was on the par-4 4th.

Thanks to her resurgence, Thompson got back in the hunt, only a few shots behind third-round leader Lucy Li.

After her round, Thompson was asked about the key to her patience, and her answer was relevant to not just her own game, but for anyone who is looking to gain more mental control on the course.

“I think we learn something new every single day, and patience is the biggest thing with golf,” she said. “It’ll test you, like today with the start that I had. But you just have to stay in the moment and focus on your pre-shot routine, really visualizing your shots out there. At least for me, that’s what I have to do. And just stay in the moment and not get too flustered, and I think that showed with making those birdies and coming back.”

Of course, Thompson’s advice is easy to say and much harder to put into practice. But her play on Friday is proof that it can help.

So next time you need a lift on the course, try Thompson’s advice and focus on your pre-shot routine and visualization. What works for her could work for you too.

jessica marksbury

Golf.com Photographer

As a four-year member of Columbia’s inaugural class of female varsity golfers, Jessica can out-birdie everyone on the masthead. She can out-hustle them in the office, too, where she’s primarily responsible for producing both print and online features, and overseeing major special projects, such as GOLF’s inaugural Style Is­sue, which debuted in February 2018. Her origi­nal interview series, “A Round With,” debuted in November of 2015, and appeared in both in the magazine and in video form on GOLF.com.