Golf’s Mind Game – The Mental Side of Golf

So by now if you are a novice or beginner golfer you should have your golf clubs and bag, you should have your golf shoes and all the other golf accessories that are needed to go out to the golf course and enjoy this wonderful game of golf.

Hopefully you have been to the driving range to practice hitting your driver, your long irons and also your short irons. I’m sure you have been to practice putting green to practice probably the most important part of a good round of golf, you’re putting.

So after going through all of this preparation to play good golf when you do get out on the golf course things don’t always go as planned. There are a lot of things that can go wrong, and probably will that you just cannot control.

It is the way that you handle these situations when they arise that can either make or break a good round of golf. That is why we are going to get into another side of golf that get’s overlooked a lot and that is golf’s mind game, or in other words the mental side of golf.

Your Mental Approach

When do you actually start thinking about the round of golf you are going to play? I talk to a lot of golfers who say they start thinking about their round your golf mindof golf in the car on the way to the golf course, believe me that is not mentally healthy.

Some players will sit in their office and visualize hitting their drive on the first hole right down the middle of the fairway. That’s not going to work either. You should not be thinking about draining a thirty-foot putt while out to dinner with your wife or girlfriend either. You could end up with pasta on your pants.

Trying to dream up a good round of golf while you are participating in other things just simply does not work. You will do yourself more harm than good.

No matter how good a golfer you are it is not a good idea to think about a certain hole you might have had trouble with before and try to conquer it beforehand in your mind. Chances are when you get to that hole you’re going to mess it up. That is part of golf’s mind game.

Any thinking beforehand about your round of golf coming up should be about swing thoughts and techniques or you’re putting stroke, anything but your upcoming round of golf.

Your thoughts of having a good round of golf and coming up with a good game plan for the day should start on the first tee. Just think about that first shot and nothing but that first shot. Your mindset should remain the same for each and every shot from then on out until you have completed your round of golf.

Develop A Pre-Shot Routine

Just as you have come up with muscle memory for making different golf swings for different situations on the golf course you now need to have to come up with a mental memory visualization for every shot you may face on the golf course.

Mental side of golfThe best way to accomplish this is to come up with your own pre shot-routine. What this will accomplish is it will clear your mind of any distractions that may be around you.

Remember you should come up with your own pre-shot routine that you are comfortable with so you can be consistent with it for each and every shot. For example: you get to the tee box and take your grip on the club, then stand behind your ball and visualize your shot path you want to take, next stand up to your ball and take a couple of practice swings. Now take your shot and hopefully it goes where you wanted it to.

When it is time to take your shot the main thing you need to do here is focus, focus,focus.Do not be thinking of the last hole or the hole to follow, just focus on the shot at hand and that alone. Jumping ahead in your mind, even about the final score will do nothing but bring bad results.

The Power of Positive Thinking

The minute you get to the golf course and walk to the first tee the only thing you should be thinking is, I’m going to have a good round of golf today. The important thing here is focusing on success as opposed to failure, doing this more good things than bad will happen.

I know this is easier said than done but even the slightest negative thought could potentially ruin your entire round of golf. Even professional golfers make bad shots from time to time but the main thing here is when you do make a bad shot you need to immediately put it behind you and focus on your current shot, you can’t bring that bad shot back.

Better yet, when you do make a bad shot try to make a positive out of it, by that I mean try to learn from it. Try to remember what you did wrong on that particular shot and take it back to the driving range and work on it as to try to not let it happen again.

Just don’t get upset about it on the golf course. In order to play your best golf you need to be relaxed and stress free and getting upset over one or two shots will only build up stress in your body and possibly make things worse. Live and learn.

Retrain Your Mental Approach

In all of professional sports there are today golf is probably the one sport that mind power comes in to play the most. The thing you need to do is make a positive out of your mind power when you need to.

Like I said earlier you need to focus on your shot at the moment and nothing else. Avoid thinking of any past bad shots or any upcoming tough holes, worry about them when you get to them.

Another good mental tip that a lot of players seem to lose focus on is this shot. You are on the tee of a par three hole and the only thing between you and the green is water. This is a situation where golf’s mind game really comes into play.

You have to stand on that tee box and pretend that water is not even there. I would, be safe and take an extra club just to make sure I hit it far enough to clear the water, even if you hit it a little long you will not be in the water. Chip and putt for par and move on. That is way better than hitting in the water and making a bogey or worse.

Finally

Remember bad shots happen to all of us. Even a bad break, like a bad carom off a tree, remember that it would not have happened if you hit a good shot. Remember to put it behind you and focus on the rest of your holes. Remember what you did wrong and take it to the range and work on it.

Golf can be very competitive but it is also meant to be fun, no matter what, always remember that. Granted it is more fun when you are playing well but some days it doesn’t always work out that way.

An eighteen round hole of golf can be a long day and a lot can go wrong but remember why you are there, to have some fun with good friends and have fun. So don’t ever let golf’s mind games get to you. There’s always your next round of golf.

Good Golf To You

Robert

Please remember if you have enjoyed this article please feel free to leave me a comment below and also include any questions you might have and I will respond as soon as possible.

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4 thoughts on “Golf’s Mind Game – The Mental Side of Golf”

  1. What a fantastic article. I have never played golf consistently but when I do play, I love it. One minute I have a great swing, then the next its awful. I love how you compare muscle memory to the mental side of golf. It’s so true. I am going to start playing more I hope and developing a pre-shot routine is something I am going to do.

    Thank you for such a great article

    1. thanks, i’m glad you found my information useful, yes mental is just as important as physical as far as golf goes. Good luck in all your golfing endeavors
      thanks again
      Robert

  2. Hi Robert, I’m not a big golf enthusiast but I actually really enjoyed reading this article. It is so true that your mental approach to anything can have a major impact on how you perform. Being able to focus on one thing at a time greatly enhances your chances of being good at that one thing. Thanks for incorporating positive thinking with a game of golf!

    1. Yes, everything in life includes some sort of mental approach to doing it better. Thank you for enjoying my article of including a mental aspect to golf. You should think about taking up golf, it can be very therapeutic and relaxing.
      all the best
      Robert

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