Certainly there are different approaches to a day at the golf course. There is no shame for those who want golf to be nothing more than an escape and a place to have a couple of beers with their friends. But for those that want more from their golfing experience, the game of golf demands shot-by-shot focus. For those looking to embrace that challenge and prepare mentally for golf, the mental aspect of golf must be conquered.
Here’s three ways to conquer your mental golf approach for your next 18 holes:
1.Dump The Baggage
A cluttered mind will ruin a round. If life is hectic and you are trying to press a quick 9 holes in your day, then don’t expect a special score. Your focus will come-and-go and that will greatly affect what you need to do on each shot.
If pressed for time, go to the range and pound balls for enjoyment. It’s cheaper and far more relaxing. But if you’ve allotted the time to properly warm up and prepare for 18 holes, then it’s time to buckle down. Focus on breaking each shot down to its’ most essential parts. For example, on the tee box, focus on alignment. Approach shots should have a specific destination, not just aiming for the green. Putts should be made with a still head not following the golf ball as it goes to the hole.
Golf is a game where mental routine is rewarded so don’t get lost in the trees of your mind. Find the clear mental path with each swing and each thought, and success in golf will follow.
2.Practice Your Game With Purpose
Here’s something that’s incredibly easy yet most looking to break 80 ignore and that is how strategic game play impacts your final scorecard. Heading out to the course and looking to hit center of fairway and then center of green will only get you so far. The professionals don’t use that strategy so why should you expect to see lower scores if that is your main goal? Shot shaping is essential for breaking into the tier of low handicappers. The ability to hit a fade or draw on command based on what the course demands is absolutely necessary to getting into the 70s. It’s the difference between being on the green facing a 10-feet birdie putt or a 50-foot lag hoping to get close enough for par. To hone that skill you must have discipline to learn it and that stretches to all aspects of the game. From the opening drive to the final putt you should practice your game with purpose.
3.Stay Within Yourself
Nothing is more defeating than an amateur that heads to the course trying to be Jordan Spieth. This simply means, “Be yourself.” If you normally hit a drive 225 yards, then embrace this and tailor your game accordingly. If you find yourself hitting 25% of fairways off the tee with a driver but 60% with a hybrid, then by all means, stop hitting your driver. If a clean hybrid swing gives you the best chance to score, then take it. And this stretches to all areas of your game. Don’t hit a wild flop shot if a bump and run will accomplish your goal of a short par putt. On long putts, make the hole two feet wide in your mind and try to put it in the center. You may make one in fifty and that’s great, but if you can keep your lag putts inside this mythical two foot hole, you will make a ton of pars.
Every golfer faces a mental challenge when he/she tees that first golf ball on hole one. And it’s this game between our own ears that dictates the score we bring home. Therefore, golf can be simple when the fundamentals we’ve learned are stripped to their core and our minds are free to execute.
We recommend to encourage oneself to look at your game with honesty and direction. In doing so you can craft a plan to attack any course and be proud of the result.