Golf: Mental Game Tips

By: Savannah Durbin

I am sure you have heard people say that golf is 90 percent mental. If you have played golf before, I think you will find this point hard to argue. I have had countless times, where a simple thought in my head caused my usually rhythmic swing to shank the ball. When I first started playing golf, the mental aspect of the game was my biggest roadblock in making pars. Take a look at these mental game golf tips, so that at least 90 percent of your golf game will be in top shape.

Visualize

Visualization: in every sport I have played, coaches have preached about visualizing a positive outcome. This technique can definitely be applied to golf too. In your head, if you visualize yourself shanking the ball; there is a good chance that it will happen. It's the same thing with a putt. If you approach your putt with a negative attitude, think, "I'm never going to sink this," and visualize the putt missing, than you will probably miss it. You should be thinking positively. As you are standing above the ball to putt it, imagine the ball going in the hole. Think to yourself, "I am totally going to make this!" Use this same technique on all of your shots. Visualize yourself taking a nice smooth swing, and imagine the ball going exactly where it is aimed.

Don't Count Your Score

When I first started golfing, I made this mistake all the time. I would start playing, get to hole number five or so, and get excited that I was say, only two over par. Then, on holes 6 through 9, I would think, "You have to par this in order to shot a 37!" Of course, this put too much pressure on me, and I would end up choking on one of the remaining holes, triple bogeying one of them. Therefore, don't think about your score! Write it down on the scorecard and forget about it. Don't constantly keep count in your head; play the game shot by shot.

Enjoy Yourself

Again, when I first started golfing, I made the mistake of always stressing about my score. If I was not on track to shoot a new all time best score, then I would get mad, and not enjoy my round. Recently, I learned to stop thinking about the numbers, and concentrate on each individual shot. I learned that I shoot my best while playing with someone else, enjoying conversation. I shot some of my all time best rounds just playing casual social golf. Now this may not be an option during competition, but in a competitive environment, just try to enjoy the game. Don't stress about the numbers.

Golf's mental game can be the source of many angry golfers, lost bets, and broken clubs, but it does not have to be. Ninety percent of your golf game will be ninety percent better, if you just take a laid back, positive approach to the game, and enjoy yourself.

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