Accuracy in Golf and the Fear of Failure

Ask any golfer around ‘What should you do if you want to hit the ball beyond 60 yards?’ The reply would be to hit it harder than you usually do.

It is true that exercising brute force in a golf shot will take it farther than the normal shot. But, the mind is where the distance is achieved. You can hit the ball as hard as you like but accuracy in golf stems from the mind. The main reason why you hit the golf ball in the duck pond is that you hit it hard but don’t calculate the power in terms of distance.

Human error aside, being accurate in golf is achievable for a person with average mental strength. You don’t have to be precise as long as you can achieve what you set out to do.

Clear your mind of what you should be doing and try to think of a calming pleasant memory or sensation.

And to be more accurate, try to put at the front of your mind something which you can achieve with success all the time. Something very simple – but which is always successful. Tim Gallwey in The Inner Game of Golf tells us that reaching down and picking the golf ball out of the cup is something we can do 100% of the time. He also relates that we will be surprised at first that a thought like that will allow us to hit the golf ball straight down the fairway on a drive.

Desire to Win > Fear of Failure

One of the major reasons why several golfers don’t win is that they fear losing more than desire to win. The fear of failure can corrode the ability of a golfer. Even if you have the skill of Ernie Els, the fear of losing the game can bring you down to the level of a beginner.

This is one of the most important aspects of golf in general. Without overcoming the fear of failure, getting mind over putter will be highly improbable.

Gio Valiante writes in his book, ‘The golfer’s greatest enemy is fear’. In a nutshell, if you are afraid of losing the game or getting your shot wrong, you are not going to win. The skill of your opponent may be supreme but your mind can let you down.

In this case, you have to put out the fear of embarrassment. No golfer likes to lose and this feeling can grow up to a level where it translates into fear. This aspect of mental golf separates the average players from the great players. Those who can focus on getting things right instead of worrying about the consequences of getting them wrong will be successful.

The desire to win is present in the every person. It’s just that you have to channel it such that it overpowers your fear of failure.

So, What about Fear of Success?

Absurd as it may sound, some people do fear being successful. Not to say you should be a narcissist, but at least you need to know your potential. Some people underestimate their capabilities in the golfing arena and end up feeling afraid of actually winning. This is a great deterrent to any prospects they have of finding success.

All you can do is convince yourself that there is nothing immoral about succeeding. Being empathic is a good trait but limiting yourself because of it is not.

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