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Lower Your Golf Scores: Mental Golf Confidence
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Lower Your Golf Scores: Mental Golf Confidence

The mental side of golf is an important part of the game, perhaps more so than in other ball sports, as you have a lot of time to think about your next shot.

Sports such as tennis, squash, cricket, baseball etc., are more reactive because the ball is moving while you play, which means you do not have time to over think your options or for doubts to creep in about your ability to play a particular shot.

Do not underestimate your subconscious

The problem is that with time to think, your subconscious remembers your previous experiences both good and bad and will influence the way you play the next shot.

If I say to you think about an orange elephant, the chances are you will visualise an orange elephant. It is the same with good shots and bad shots.

For example, if you believe you cannot play sand shots, because nine times out of ten you fail to get out of sand. Your subconscious remembers, so the chances are the same will happen again.

For success, you must be able to build up a positive picture of the shot you need to play without fear of what might happen.

Build your confidence

Self-confidence and positivity comes with knowledge and understanding, but does not happen overnight. If you have a mental block about a particular shot, firstly, you must rebuild your confidence.

Assuming your technique is sound, rebuilding should begin out on the practice range with shot repetition. You must practice until you feel confident enough to try the shot out on the course. Many golfers can execute shots on the practice area, but freeze when on the course. Tension definitely kills golf shots.

When you feel you have mastered your problem shot on the practice range, play a few casual holes on the course to build confidence where it matters. If all is well, try your revitalised skills and confidence in a sociable round of golf before trying it in competition.

Of course, you are still not going to get it right every time. However, if you have managed to re-train your subconscious to accept you have the capability to play the shot, your success rate should be higher.

Mind games

While at home, try visualisation exercises. Imagine yourself playing the shot with the perfect outcome. This will add positive experiences to your memory banks. The plan is to replace negative thoughts with positive ones so that you are relaxed, confident and positive, and able to play the shot automatically.

Be realistic

Another important point to remember is to be realistic about what you can do and what you cannot do. If you are not Phil Mickleson, there is no sense in trying to use a 64-degree wedge to play over a sand trap to a tight pin position or to drive the ball 300yds+. You will not fool your subconscious, so assess each situation realistically.

Turn things around

If you would like a quick fix to your technique to get you started, consider golf tuition from a professional golf coach. If you would like to strengthen your mental approach, consider coaching from a qualified mind factor coach. Ultimately, knowledge, understanding and practice on the range will give you the confidence to overcome your problem shots and lower your scores.

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