Do you ever wonder why your head sometimes gets in the way of your game? Often times, even the most advanced golfers struggle to maintain a consistent golf swing or miss an easy putt. Maybe it’s even difficult to concentrate for a full 18 holes of golf.
If any of these roadblocks sound familiar, then it's likely you would benefit from some proven mental golf tips to strengthen your golf game.
The good news is, mental toughness is not unreachable. It takes a bit of patience, some practice and self awareness to play at a higher level than you currently are at.
As an instructor, I have had the privilege to play alongside and teach some great golfers over the years; however, I’ve noticed a commonality that for many, the mental approach to the game is where they struggle most. I see it time and time again. A golfer starts out his round with a string of pars only to double or triple bogey the middle nine holes and ruin his score.
That one bad shot starts to get into his or her head and he or she begins trying to fix their swing to compensate. This is where the problem lies. Instead of trying to overcompensate for the bad shot, a golfer must learn how to avoid the frustration that can infiltrate his mind during a difficult round of golf.
First, I suggest lowering the bar a little bit. The game is about accepting the result of your shot and working on it to improve. Setting the bar of expectations too high can only cause pressure to build and frustrations to take over when you do underperform. Rather than obsessing on the score, focus more on the process.
Inevitably even a professional golfer will have a bad game. This is where a “go-to shot” can come in handy. This is a shot that you can rely on to get you desirable accuracy and distance. For some, the go-to shot might be a 5-iron they can play and for others, maybe it’s an 8-iron. Whatever you choose, this shot will help build your confidence when you get off track.
A bad shot can easily distract you and get inside your head. While you move on to the next hole, talk about something other than the last round to help you stay relaxed and focused. Don’t over analyze holes you have already played or shots you wish you could do over. Talking about something unrelated will help keep your mind occupied and keep you grounded until you are ready to take your next shot. The key here is distraction.
Visualize yourself playing each hole well as you walk around the course. Imagine what it feels like to hit the ball off the tee and getting it close to the green. This mental activity feeds your subconscious and can actually condition you to succeed while playing.
Learning the mental side of golf and working with a personal coach to customize a plan are both powerful ways to help improve your game.