Category Archives: mental golf tips

By Paul Myers

Golf is a game that can be as challenging mentally as it is physically. In order to play your best golf on a consistent basis, you will have to get your mind in the right place to perform under pressure – like when you feel nervous over a short putt or before hitting a shot over water. Nerves are relatively common on the golf course and you don’t have to try to get rid of them. But if at the least you can learn how to perform with them, you can help make sure they don’t stand in your way of success.

What is Your Barrier?

Every golfer is different, and many have set up a mental barrier for themselves without even knowing it. For example, imagine you are a golfer who usually shoots in the mid to upper 80’s, but has never managed to finish with a score in the 70’s. You might have built that goal up in your mind to the point that it is getting in your way, and could be putting too much pressure on yourself to break the 80 barrier. As you get later in a round and are playing well, you may tighten up and have your play suffer until you are north of 80 like you are used to.

In order to break down that wall and successfully complete a round in the 70’s, you will need to get  ‘out of your own way’. Playing good golf requires focus on each individual shot that you face – hopefully you won’t be thinking about the scorecard in the middle of the round. As long as you are fully committed to every shot that you hit, the score can better take care of itself.

Lose Yourself in the Process

Hitting just one good golf shot can be hard enough, even in practice. Hitting a bunch of them in a row, on the course, when you are feeling nervous, can seem impossible. This could be a case of not trying to run the whole marathon before you take the first step. In order to conquer any challenge you face on the golf course, it can be important to take the process as it comes to you, one shot at a time. You can’t physically birdie the last hole when you are only on the 11th – it just isn’t possible. Instead, you should be doing everything you can to play the 11th hole as well as you are able, and then move on to the next. This might sound like a boring way to go about it, but playing in the present is a better way to succeed.

Chances are that you physical game is already good enough to reach your next goal – you just don’t know it yet. Most golfers are capable of much more than they think they are, but they allow their expectations to hold them back. Try not to place barriers in front of what you can do on the course. Instead, play each shot to the absolute best of your ability, and look forward to seeing what you get at the end of the round.

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By Paul Myers

Many golfers, when they decide they want to make an effort to get better, start by looking at their swing, or their chipping motion, or their putting stroke. Their efforts are sometimes all technical or mechanical in nature, and they figure that if they hit better shots, their scores will go down. Of course, hitting better shots will always help in lowering your score. However, that is only part of the battle. Many amateur golfers can improve just as much by working on their mental game as they can by working on their physical game.

This article offers up five mental golf tips, all relating to the mental side of the game. Work on applying these tips to your own game and you just might be surprised at how powerful the results can be.

Mental Game Tip #1 – Set Specific Goals

A golfer without goals is one that could be destined to remain exactly where he or she is. In order to get better at this game, it can help to have a plan and a direction you are trying to get to. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to decide you want to ‘break 80’ by the end of the year, or any other scoring goal you might have. It can be more specific than that. Instead, you could aim for improving your fairways hit average by 10%, or reducing your average number of putts by two per round. These kind of incremental goals can put you on a path toward continually improving, and the scores should come along with it.

Mental Game Tip #2 – It’s Okay to Miss

This one is specifically geared toward putting, but relates to the whole game as well. When on the green, it is okay to miss a few putts during the round – even short ones. Every golfer misses, from a total beginner to the top players in the world. It can help to take some of the pressure to be perfect off of your shoulders, and simply try your best. It is the nature of the game that some putts are going to miss, so accept that and just make a good stroke each time.

Mental Game Tip #3 – You vs. the Course

Every time you play a round of golf, it is you vs. the course. You aren’t necessarily playing against the other people in a tournament, or even the other people in your group. The course is the thing that gets to play defense against your shots, so focus on defeating it each hole. If you do a good enough job playing against the course, you will very likely succeed when it comes to comparing scores against other golfers.

Mental Game Tip #4 – Don’t Accept the Status Quo

If you want to improve, you should never be satisfied with your game the way it is. There is, and will always be, room for improvement. That doesn’t mean that you need to be throwing clubs and cursing at yourself hole after hole, but you should always have an eye on how you can get better. Even small steps toward improving your game can make a big difference in what you can accomplish on the course. Pay attention to your weaknesses and actively work to improve them.

Mental Game Tip #5 – Use the Switch

‘The switch’ is something that many professional golfers have, and a lot of amateurs don’t. When you are playing a round of golf, you likely chat with your playing partners as you walk or ride up the fairway – nothing wrong with that. However, it can help to be able to flip a ‘switch’ and focus in when it is time to hit your shot. Too many amateurs remain distracted by conversation or other things and never get their mind focused on the task at hand. You should continue to have fun while you play, but when it comes time to hit a shot, it’s time to focus.

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