How Can I Lower My Golf Handicap?

By: Chris McCann

Sure, Tiger Woods is physically gifted and has practiced golf for years. But that's not what Makes Tiger so great. It's his mental makeup, intestinal fortitude, heart of a champion, or what ever you want to call it that makes him stand above the others. But enough about Tiger, what about you? How can you get to that point, where you just know you are going to hit a great golf shot every time you step up to the ball.

Let me share with you a few mental muscle building techniques that I think will really help you out. If you are already a decent golfer and have the proper swing techniques down then this is the part of your game you are really going to want to focus on to take you game to the next level. If you'r a beginner and are still struggling to find that proper swing technique, then I will explain some things you can work on as well. But let's start with the mental aspect of the game first.

Have you ever noticed that the real good looking, successful, confident guys are typically the best golfers in your group. If you haven't, think back with some of your buddies or relative who you've played with and see if I am right. The reason being is because success translates to all areas of your life. Confidence breeds confidence. Being a lousy golfer is usually due to a bad self image or lack of self esteem.

If this is an area in life where you struggle and you want to get better in (trust me your golf game will improve as your self image improves) I would suggest begin a reading program. I'm not going to recommend any particular books, but you can google the subject and see what comes up. Try to read at least one book a month and see how much your self confidence grows in a 12 month span (it won't happen over night).

Now for some more golf specific mental help... If you don't envision every shot before you swing, you're missing out on a huge aspect of what makes the great ones great. Not just in golf but every sport. You have to see that drive going down the middle of the fairway, you have to actually see in your mind that 7 iron dropping the ball right next to the pin. You have to see that putt dropping in the bottom of the cup. Start visualizing EVERY shot and watch your handicap get lower and lower.

Another mental edge you can get is by getting into the zone for each shot. I'm going to steal this from a Kevin Costner in For Love of the Game where he says "Clear the mechanism". If you really want to be great at golf, you have to completely eliminate all distractions around you. You shouldn't hear other golfers talking, birds chirping, etc. You need to get in the zone and focus on nothing but hitting the great shot you just imagined in your mind.

If you can work on those 3 things, I guarantee you will lower your handicap immensely. Golf truly is a mental game. You spend so much time on the practice range working on technique, you need to spend equal amount of time working on the mental aspect of the game. If you are a beginner, or just need help with the physical part of the game (don't we all) there are plenty of resources online for that also.

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