In golf you are always playing against yourself and the golf course. But let‘s face it, all golfers are influenced by other golfers, team mates and opponents alike. So dealing with your own feelings when playing has a big influence on your game. This becomes especially true when you are facing a player that is significantly better than you and is even cocky about it.
Situations like this are great lessons to learn about yourself and your game. When you are up against a tough competitor, there are two things to keep in mind. One is not trying too hard and making every shot into a decision of life and death. The other is to play your own game and stick to your routine as you would normally do. Of course these two are often easier said than done, but in the end your score will benefit the most by focusing on your own game when competition gets tough.
A great game to practice these competitive situations is David vs. Goliath. This game is ideally played in a threesome. On each hole one of the players is David and has to beat the rest of the group in matchplay with no ties. If he manages to do so, he gets two points. If the other two players win the hole, they get one point each. So every player should be in the role of David six times, if you play a full round of eighteen holes.
You can rotate the roles in a specific order on each hole. Or you simply decide before the round who is David and who is Goliath for each hole. I suggest that you play with your full handicaps to make it fair. It is funny how this simple one vs. two situation can influence your whole game for the better and for the worse.
Play eighteen holes of golf in a threesome.
On each hole one player (David) has to beat the other two (Goliath) in matchplay, no ties. Switch roles on every hole.
David gets 2 points for winning. The Goliath team gets 1 point.