Coronavirus Anxiety: What To Do With It with Dr. Shannon Reece


Dr. Shannon Reece is a sports psychologist, and the founder of She has taught golfers of all different levels how to maximize what’s between the ears to become better golfers. She is here today to share about the anxiety surrounding the Coronavirus and what to do with it.

Marcela: What’s your advice on how to deal with the anxiety we’re feeling about the pandemic? 

Dr Shannon Reece: While we can’t deny what we are actually going through right now, we don’t want to willingly roll around in it and just stay bogged down by it. We have to acknowledge our emotions and stress levels at this point in time, but we can proactively move ourselves forward from it because to just stay mired in negativity is unproductive and unhealthy.

We need to focus on doing whatever we can do to control that part of our life so, getting enough rest, drinking enough fluids, minimize stress levels as much as possible. While, yes, it is valid and being experienced by lots and lots of people right now, it’s not something that we want to allow to linger. So, that’s a decision that we can make, and something that we can affectively manage.

1. Don’t stay bogged down in negative emotions.

2. Acknowledge your emotions and stress level.

3. To stay mired in negativity is unproductive and unhealthy.

4. Get enough rest, drink enough fluids, minimize stress levels as much as possible.

5. Make a decision to not allow your feelings of negativity to linger.

Marcela: How valuable is to talk about this to our friends and our extended network?

Dr. Reece: I think it can be very cathartic. Again, we want to make sure that we’re steering even the conversations that we are having with family and friends in a direction that inspires hope, that helps us focus on the things that we can directly control. Make sure in those conversations that you are working in concert with those casual acquaintances as well as deep friendships and family relationships to nurture one another, to support one another, and encourage one-another. There is nothing wrong with talking about it, I just think we need to talk about it in a positive and productive way.

It can be very cathartic to talk about our feelings… But be sure to:

1. Try to steer your conversations in a direction that inspires hope.

2. Focus on the things that we can directly control.

3. Nurture, support, and encourage one-another.

Dr. Reece: I go live on my FB page every Tuesday and Thursday Morning. There are currently 47 videos that you can go through. Inside every one of those videos is a link to a guide that I created in 2019, How to Avoid The Bad Habits That Are Costing You Strokes.

If mental game training is new for you, this is a great, free, PDF resource that you can sign up and I will send it to you automatically.

You can start making those mindset shifts that are going to have an impact on your score and you JOY in the game. There are more resources you can access at

Goal Mapping For Golf with Dr. Shannon Reece

ladies linked at water

Regardless of your golf handicap, everyone encounters a time when they feel they need some help with the psychology of the sport, right?  Enter Dr Shannon Reece, sport psychologist and founder of  Training For Optimal Performance. 

While confined to our homes, Dr Reece and I had a Zoom call where we talked about how to golf map for golf.  Here’s an excerpt:

What is goal mapping and how do we do it?

Goal mapping is a great exercise that enables you to take action and move yourself in the direction of reaching a goal.

Rather than set empty goals… Learn how to take action to actually reach your goals

Goal mapping is an exercise that we go through to clearly lay out over a specific timeline, the activities that we need to be engaged in that are measurable, and broken down into bite-sized pieces, small enough so we can know exactly what we need to do today.

And we can stay very present and centered, which is crucial at this point in time. Perhaps you would like to shave three strokes off of your scoring average over the next three months. So, we’re looking at something that we can realistically accomplish in a specific frame of time and then break down into bite sized pieces.

There are activities you can do away from the course, if being around others right now is a concern. The power of your mind is amazing when you focus it in positive and productive way

Would you like to shave three strokes off your scoring average?

Lay out activities that are measurable, and broken down into bite-sized pieces to know exactly what you need to do today.

It can be very overwhelming when all we see is the enormity of the list and we don’t quite know where to start. But, if you can kind of break it down and prioritize things, and then look at the amount of time you have, and work backwards, or reverse-engineer – what do I need to do first? How much time will that take? Do I have that time on my schedule this week? (Most of us probably do!) And then schedule it! Execute, execute, execute!

Prioritize your list and then reverse-engineer in terms of time each step will take

Follow Dr. Shannon Reece Fans and Girlfriends Guide to Golf on Facebook for more in our continuing series on the mental game.

How to Hit a Provisional Ball

Provisional Ball on the tee box

Okay, so you’ve just hit a tee shot and you’re worried you might not be able to find your ball. There are a few things you should know about how to hit a provisional ball.


If your ball could be either out of bounds or lost OUTSIDE a penalty area you may hit a provisional ball under penalty of stroke-and-distance, which means if you cannot find your ball within three minutes of when you begin to search for it, your provisional ball becomes the ball in play, and that will cost you one penalty stroke.

Out-of-Bounds are defined by white stakes. Those stakes cannot be removed and you cannot hit a ball that is lying out of bounds.   18.2


You have three minutes in which to find your original ball, and if you, your opponent, fellow competitor or a caddie finds your ball within that time you must continue play with the original ball.

And beginning in 2019 if you or anyone else accidentally causes your ball to move while searching for it, there is no penalty. Simply replace the ball on it’s original spot or the estimated spot.

18.3b "Before the stroke is made you must that you are going to play a provisional ball."


Rule 7.4

There is no penalty if the player’s ball is accidentally moved by the player, opponent or anyone else while trying to find or identify it.



Sometimes we hit our provisional ball really well and we hope no one finds our original ball, or we might even ask that no one look for it. It’s courteous to oblige by that request, but an opponent or competitor may certainly look for it anyway and if found within the three minutes (by anyone) and then identified as yours, you’d have to play it.


Penalty Areas are defined by red or yellow stakes. If your original ball is known or virtually certain to be in a Penalty Area you cannot hit a provisional ball. So, if your ball is headed towards a Penalty Area and the only place it could be lost is within the Penalty Area, then you cannot hit a Provisional Ball and instead you proceed under the rules for Penalty Areas.


Pop over to my Instagram to see tons more videos like this one!

Are You Competitive?

Are you competitive?

Do you consider yourself a competitive person? If you’re an elite athlete, you’re probably a very competitive person by nature. But what about the recreational golfer? Do you need to be competitive in order to enter and enjoy tournaments?

I’ve played in dozens of tournaments like the member/member, member/guest, member/pro, club championship, season-long match play and couples tournaments.

Are they “serious tournaments”? Well, yes and no.

They’re tournaments with a format and rules to follow, and play is governed by the USGA rules of golf. And no, you can’t take a breakfast ball! 😂 Golf is a gentleman’s sport (gentle person really) and relies on the integrity of the players.

matching golf outfits is one of our favorite things about ladies' tournaments

Country Club golf is supposed to be fun. My two home courses Lahontan Golf Club and The Santaluz Club go to great efforts and expense to create fun, beautiful, festive women’s events for their members and their guests. We’ve truly had some of the best experiences of our lives at these tournaments. The food, the flowers, the music… and the wonderful ladies who join are all so much fun!

I think these types of events are “competitive light”. In other words, the rules are followed, but most of the ladies are there to enjoy the festivities, have a few cocktails and play the best rounds they can (without getting up at 5am to warm up for two hours). Most of the ladies take their bad luck and bad shots with a grain of salt and even when they’re no longer in the running for a trophy, they root for their girlfriends.

I find our ladies to be competitive in that they show up to a tournament with hopes of winning a trophy, but aren’t so invested that they are disappointed when things don’t go as well as they would have liked.

They try their best, but don’t beat themselves up. They focus but don’t lose sight of the cocktail hour after the round. They spend more time working on matching outfits than practicing their bunker shots. I call it “competitive light” because it’s fun to bring a trophy home, but even more fun to be with our girlfriends, where we can laugh and enjoy the golf lifestyle that is ohhhh, so good.

The Santaluz Club always serves delicious, healthy food during their ladies tournaments!

7 Gifts For Golfers Under $40

7 Gifts For Golfers Under $40

It’s that time of year again when you have to get creative and somehow find gifts your friends & family will love. In my efforts to help,  I’ve found the 7 best gifts for golfers under $40 that won’t break the bank! 

Magnetic Rangefinder Case

If you have a range finder then you know how hard it is to keep track of it in the cart. This magnetic rangefinder case is the perfect way to keep your rangefinder in sight and ready to shoot your distance to the pin. 

Tumbler That Fits In The Golf Cart Cup Holder

This Classic Tumbler from Simple Modern comes in several colors and size options and fits into a golf cart cup holder, making it the perfect way to bring your coffee, iced tea, flavored waters (or something a little stronger) out on the course with you! 

Warm Beanie

Keeping your head and ears warm is a key element to enjoying  your round in the winter. This Daily Sports beanie with floral embroidery will make you a bit more comfy out there. 

Putt For Dough

Does the phrase”drive for show, putt for dough” resonate with you? Putting is everything and this Puttout Pressure Putt Trainer comes in five colors and folds up nicely for storage. And it rewards you for an accurate putt by pushing the ball back to you. 

You Can't Go Wrong With Golf Gloves

These FootJoy FJ Spectrum golf gloves come in 12 different colors, so why not grab a few for stocking stuffers? I love the dark fuchsia, camp blue and light pink if anyone’s shopping for me!

Personalized Balls

Everyone can use more golf balls, right?  Having personalized balls means not having to mark them with a dot or line, saving you a couple of minutes at the first tee, and giving you more time  for a practice swing and deep breath. 

Throwing Some Shade... On Her Face

I’m one of those people who gets a headache if my visor is on too tight, so I totally appreciate the adjustable coil on this slate gray visor from GloveIt. I have a ton of these in lots of colors and love their durability and look. 

There aren’t many shopping days left, so I hope this gets you off to a good start, or at least gets your creative juices flowing form some fun, inexpensive gifts for the golfers in your life. 


What are your favorite little golf tools and accessories?

Defined Areas of the Course

It may seem silly to describe the areas of the course in a video, especially if you have already been playing for a while. However, in 2019 the new rules of golf contain quite a few new terms. Knowing the Defined Areas of The Course will help you understand which rules apply (or don’t apply) in certain areas of the course.

Continue reading

Accidental Double Hit

Accidental Double Hit is No Longer a Penalty!

One of the changes that I’m really happy about is Rule 10.1 – an accidental double hit is no longer a penalty!

If you accidentally double hit your ball (which can happen sometimes when when you’re in a rough or when you’re in a bunker) there is no longer a penalty.  And it can happen anywhere on the course. Just play it as it lies and go on with your round! Pretty cool, huh?

The Nitty Gritty:

Rule 10.1a (USGA)

If the player’s club accidentally hits the ball more than once, there has been only one stroke and there is no penalty.

Check out USGA’s site for exceptions and further details, but we can breathe a sigh of relief here.