A lot of people say that golf is mostly a mental game. In many ways, that’s true. The slightest lapse of concentration, too much emotion, and the pileup of pressure can really have a negative effect on your golf swing. How, exactly, can you improve your mental golf game so that you improve your game overall.
Here are some things you may want to think about:
1. Have a pre-round strategy. You should at least know what club to hit off the tee so that you can avoid the hazards. That means you need to be aware of how far away the hazards are to your ball so that you can avoid them.
2. Play as if there’s no pressure. There’s always some pressure on you when you play golf, and it’s not always in a tournament situation. Sometimes you just want to be better than the people you’re playing against or you don’t want to be embarrassed. You may even put pressure on yourself by wanting to improve your score from the last sore you played.
Put that all out of your mind. Just think of your shots instead. You shouldn’t have expectations on your results while you’re playing.
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3. Have a routine for everything. A routine is a ritual that’s different for everyone. But you need to have them because rituals relax you and put you in a proper frame of mind.
This means you need a ritual before you start a game, such as what you do in the locker room. You should prepare for the shot the same way each time. When you hit a bad shot, you need a routine that helps you get rid of your frustration.
So when you hit a bad shot, develop a ritual such as taking 10 steps away so you have time to vent your frustration. Then you can come back to your next shot and forget the previous bad shot.
4. Focus on the ball when you hit your shot. After your pre-swing routine, concentrate on a specific spot on the ball where you want to hit it. Just focus on that, and nothing else.
5. Think or talk about anything in between shots. You really can’t dwell on your previous shot while you walk the yards to your next shot, and you can’t think about your next shot until you see the ball.
So talk to your caddy or your playing buddy about any topic that’s not about golf. You can even think about multiples of 13 if that’s your thing. Then when you get to your next shot, your mind is fresh.
6. Practice by putting some pressure on yourself. Just as you should ignore the pressure when you’re playing, you should pressure yourself when you practice. This gives you a mindset that’s similar to when you play an actual game. You may even jog to your ball every time so that your heartbeat goes up.
You should have some sort of consequences for yourself (such as a chore you hate doing) when you do something wrong in practice. This helps you take practice seriously, and it also prepares you for the mental pressure next time.
Write these tips down on a list, and keep them with you when you play golf. Try them out. You may find that taking these tips seriously can actually help improve your mental golf game and your handicap as well.