So, how can you improve the mental aspect of your golf game without compromising the physical part? Here are some killer tips to help you out.
Mind + Body
Both your mind and your body have to work in tandem. Physical golf training cannot be done without mental effort and vice versa. You visualize the golf shot and then your body works to produce it. Without that mental image, you won’t be able to determine where you are going to hit the golf ball.
Having the right attitude is important for having the mindset required for playing golf. A positive and optimistic outlook in golf is what you need when things are not going your way. A negative outlook will have you fearing getting things wrong. That is not the frame of mind you need to have. Focus on your past good shots and try to forget any fears during the next golf shot and what might happen if you botch it up.
Confidence in your golf ability can get you over any limitations in your technique. Self-belief and confidence are two potent weapons which determine if a golf player is great or average. You don’t need to have the skill of Ernie Els or Phil Mickelson to win a round of golf. Trusting yourself to hit the golf ball where you want it to go can take you a long way.
Perhaps the most important part of mental golf is emotional control. It’s natural to be emotional. You will experience all sorts of emotions, from elation to despair, during a game of golf. Keeping them in check is important. You have to maintain control of mind over heart. Getting too nervous or anxious is as dangerous as getting over-confident in golf. There will be a lot of pressure on you when you are playing and emotional control is crucial because it will help you keep calm under pressure.
Sometimes golf players just think too much. When you have made a decision, stick to it. Over-thinking will create doubts in your mind about your ability. This will only add to the pressure you are already facing.
You’ve just hit a golf shot right next to the pond. Now what do you do? Botch up the next shot as well! Here is where mental golf comes into play. You should have the ability to refocus after hitting a bad shot. A bad shot is contagious and can lead to a string of 2 or 3 poor golf swings. Take a low golf club and chip the next shot – make a shot that guarantees success. Try and recover on the very first swing so that you don’t get written out of the game.
Concentration is extremely crucial in golf. Concentrating on the job at hand determines success or failure. This is why it is important that you concentrate on the next golf shot you are going to hit. Sometimes, a golfer is thinking too far ahead and ends up making a hash of his shot.
Last but not the least; you have to enjoy your game. Being able to smile helps calm your nerves as well as keeps your anxiety under check. Remember, a frown uses 43 facial muscles; a smile only 17. Frowning will use up more of your energy so go for the smile instead!
Images by Gorilla Golf Blog, Keith Allison