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Golf is a mental game

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  • Golf is a mental game

    This is a great article I thought I would share with you all.

    Golf is a mental game, especially at the higher levels. The problem is that golfers are not educated about the mental game, with the correct mental golf tips, mostly because their instructors or coaches didn’t stress the importance of focus, confidence, or trust when their student’s were learning to play. You see players all the time who have “great talent”, but who haven’t played up to their potential. Most golfers separate the mental and physical parts of the game and think that you first must develop a “perfect” swing before you can work on the mental game, but I think you cannot separate the two. Your mind and body are linked to produce peak performance. Your decisions, thoughts, images, and feelings set up each swing. Golf psychology helps players develop mental skills, through useful mental golf tips, as they learn the mechanics of the game.
    To improve attitude and performance, there are several mental skills that you can learn. I have noticed that golfers who are playing in a zone are composed, in control, confident, and focused. Most golfers have experienced the zone, if only for a short time. And every golfer can learn to develop a mindset that helps them enter the zone more frequently by learning how to be confident, composed, and in control of themselves. Here are 10 of the most important mental skills for golfers:
    (1) An awareness of the zone and the feelings associated with playing in the zone.
    (2) High self-confidence or a strong belief in your skills or ability to play well.
    (3) Immersed in the task or the ability to totally concentrate in the present.
    (4) A narrow focus of attention or the ability to focus on one specific thought without distraction.
    (5) The ability to swing effortlessly or let it happen when it counts.
    (6) Emotional control or the ability to remain calm under pressure.
    (7) Clear and decisive mind or not over thinking and doubting your decisions.
    (8) The ability to refocus or collect yourself after a mistake or bad shot.
    (9) Putting your mind in position to score or knowing how to mentally prepare for a shot or putt.
    (10) Enjoyment or the ability to have fun whether you are 10 over par or two under par.
    If you are not playing as well as can be, maybe it’s time to look at your attitude and mental approach. Are you mentally tripping yourself on the golf course? Are you lacking the confidence you need to play your best? Do you lose your focus often and give away shots easily? Do you struggle with your emotions on the course? Take a time out and ask yourself: “When I play, am I as confident, focused, and trusting as I can possibly be?”

    I think not..............


  • #2
    Re: Golf is a mental game

    Great article.

    If I were to edit anything it would be to remove this:
    Originally posted by Ian Hancock
    I think not..............
    Such an incredibly positive article , with such a negative ending . It completely changes the tone of the article.
    Just my opinion.

    Don't get me wrong I have saved this article as a file on my computer, and I will probably reference it, but I have made my suggested edit.


    • #3
      Re: Golf is a mental game

      Keeping the glass half full, 2k3?


      • #4
        Re: Golf is a mental game

        Originally posted by LowPost42
        Keeping the glass half full, 2k3?
        Here in Ottawa today, we have 3 feet of snow on the ground and a temperature of -18oC (-0.4F) .

        The glass is ALL frozen.


        • #5
          Re: Golf is a mental game

          It's only marginally better just west of Sudbury...


          • #6
            Re: Golf is a mental game

            Here in Sudbury it is cold and I cry when i turn on sports and watch golf. Then it is off to the indoor golf simulator. It keeps my swing going.


            • #7
              Re: Golf is a mental game

              Golfing at Mulligans, scooter? (you lucky nogoodnick!)


              • #8
                Re: Golf is a mental game

                Hi LowPost Yes I go to Mulligans. It is not bad. It is not the same as Timberwolf or Cedar green, but it will have to do


                • #9
                  Re: Golf is a mental game

                  This is starting to become a Canadian hijacking of poor Ian's article.

                  So we can either stop...or...we can invite all the Canuck's on the board to say hello, which will make this the best hijacking ever (probably not but it would be fun).

                  CALLING ALL CANUCK'S, SAY HELLO!


                  • #10
                    Re: Golf is a mental game

                    I've been there a couple times.

                    I can't get a handle on the putting, but it sure helps with my visualisation. But like you said, it sure beats hitting balls into a tarp.


                    • #11
                      Re: Golf is a mental game


                      Thanks Ian for the article. Most important point for me was that one needs to start the mental games as soon as possible. Often mental training feels like professional or competitive stuff.

                      I us mental training for learning skills, but I need to think about controlling my thoughts during a round, too. (Well, It has not been very important, as I have only played 5 times - but two times was in a competition:-)

                      I know that I can not handle pressure. After a good shot, I will miss the next one and T:in from clubhouse is terrible for me. I am very conscious of others watching.

                      I prepared a pre swing routine to help my consentration. I think the list Ian wrote will help me to be aware of other things to look out. OR positively thinking - I will practise my technique so well that I will be confident - I know what I can do - and just let it happen... one shot at a time.

                      dropping 47 HDC to single digit next season...


                      • #12
                        Re: Golf is a mental game

                        golf is a crazy game, its very mental as well but you have to be mental to play it


                        • #13
                          Re: Golf is a mental game

                          Great article Ian...

                          Having read and re-read Dr Bob's "Golf is not a game of perfect" the one thing that has really hit home for me is that expectations can be dangerous. Especially unrealistic ones.

                          We need to have the confidence to "believe" that the ball is going to our chosen target, not "expect" it to.

                          Failing to meet an expectation usually brings disappointment.

                          For me, the really challenging aspect of the game is the mental side, not allowing myself to be disappointed when any shot doesn't come off as intended.

                          As I've improved, as my handicap has gotten lower, my self expectations have gotten higher and I've found of late that I've become prone to McEnroe type outbursts on the course. I've always managed to stop myself short of "helicoptering" a club into the trees, but I'm pretty sure that a loud verbal outburst of frustration is not welcome on a golf course.

                          In my past sporting life, those outbursts were a way to vent frustration.

                          In professional golf, you never (or probably more correctly, very rarely) see a player outwardly vent their frustrations.

                          There is some secret out there somewhere which will allow me to play golf with reckless almost fatalistic abandon whilst maintaining a focus on "the next shot".

                          Pure and simple "Acceptance" of where you find your ball, without at all thinking about what you did previously in putting it there is proving to be a difficult ask and is probably the one thing that will improve my game.

                          Food for thought...



                          • #14
                            Re: Golf is a mental game

                            It appears my son has ressurected this old post from 2006, and I have just read it myself, and your reply.

                            It's funny that I was studying this aspect of the game heavly at this time and when I look back I was struggling with it, now 2 years on my present thoughts follow your thread.

                            I just simply accept where my ball goes good or bad without any negitive thought whatsoever, if it's a bunker 'great' i'm a good bunker player, if it's in the trees then 'great' I now like the challenge, if it's a double bogey then I can make birdie on any hole so just keep playing steady without getting up-set.

                            Today I can be 7/8/9 over for nine and enjoy the challenge of trying to get it back before 18.


                            thanks Liam.

                            P.S my confession, he out drove me several times on Saturday in the family Greensomes......more pressure for the old man.


                            • #15
                              Re: Golf is a mental game

                              Hi Ian,

                              I read my previous reply "...I need to think about controlling my thoughts during a round, too."

                              Now, 250 rounds later, I'd be satisfied with recognition of my own thoughts - looks like controlling thoughts is way too difficult.

                              I'm playing a club competition today and I know I'll be nervous - but I just need to play first three holes with out taking any risks. ( 3/4 swing and middle of the fairway:-)

                              After I'm calm enough to sense my own thoughts, I can start to relax and maybe even do some shots... Can't thing about the score yet. Goal is to hit the sweet-pot as many times as possible. ( .. with least amount of shots used:-)