Mental golf helps you play your best at every shot. How? We all take shots that go horribly wrong. What makes the pros great is that they don’t let that shot set a trend. They get right back on track. How? They’ve trained their minds to deal with the tension and frustration. They’ve worked on their mental game to the extent where they are in control of their tension. And when you’re in control, you play like a pro.
Here’s a little tip… Fact: You can’t be upset about your last shot at the same time that you want to focus on your next shot. So when you hit one SMACK onto the rough… Stop! Go ahead and whistle a few bars of “I’ve been working on the railroad”. Can’t whistle? Humming will work too. Now, picture your next shot, and know that you will absolutely, without a doubt, hit the ball precisely where you want it to be. Ron Herridge, PGA golf pro and director of golf instruction, wrote an article where he gives a few tips (including the one we’re discussing now). Read it here:
A question I am often asked is, “How do I improve my mental game during a round?”
This is a very intriguing question that the answer often depends on the player and his or her personality type. Generally speaking there are certain traits that all champion golfers exude while playing, regardless of personality type.The first thing that a player should try to do is set their expectations at a realistic level. Too many players expect every shot to be perfect and therefore tend to “try too hard” during the round.
Golf at all levels is a game where missed shots are not only common, but will actually be prominent throughout the round. The championship player, although bothered by a poor shot, will tend to look to the next shot as an opportunity to recover rather than a need to “fix”. The every day golfer seems mostly to spend the day adjusting after each unacceptable outcome.
The most important element to performing better is to follow the “recipe” that makes your swing work best, treating each shot as an opportunity to succeed.
The second fault of the average player is the failure to weigh risk versus reward. The best players will very seldom take chances (risks) unless the outcome will be positively affected (rewarded) by the proper execution of the shot. I often see players trying to play a shot just because they think it is the correct shot to play. The fact is there is no one blueprint to playing a good round of golf. Each shot is certainly set up by the previous.
Harvey Penick was noted as saying, “Learn a basic shot, one you can hit under pressure. If you can execute this shot, you will very rarely have to hit a fancy one.” His words ring true when deciding the best shot to play during a round. Before playing a shot, a golfer should ask himself what will be the benefit of pulling it off, and conversely, the penalty for not.
Of course, the more confident the golfer is with repeating his desired motion, the more the golfer will learn to trust the shot. To achieve this receive sound instruction from a professional you trust and are comfortable with, then carry on practicing and playing. Golfers should try to keep their on course “intellectualizing” to a minimum. Remember, golf is a game, not a math problem.
So let’s recap Herridge’s advice: 1) Focus on the shot at hand – not the mistakes. 2) Don’t play risky shots. 3) Get a shot you are comfortable with (that you can do under pressure). So now you see how mental golf helps you play your best at every shot. So much of golf is played in the mind. The pros know these “shortcuts” to amazing golf. Shouldn’t you?
You too can start to play “in the zone” every time you step onto the course. Have any other easy tips to share? Let us hear them in the comments section below.