Mental Golf Articles:
- The Four Mental Steps
After you have hit the golf ball, LEARN from that experience. All of your successes and failures are LEARNING opportunities if you use the right feedback. Make a mental note of what you did RIGHT and store it away for the future. Not what you could have done better (not criticism!) and tell yourself to make the necessary adjustments in the future.
- Relaxed and poised
One of the keys to playing well is the ability to relax and play without stress and tension. Once you are relaxed, the key to playing at your best is your ability to become poised to enter the zone. This is quite an undertaking for the average golfer, but poise under pressure is what all great golfers have in common.
- A Free Second Chance
A real story: I was addressing my ball on the back nine this weekend and a group on the hole next to us started their cart and were yelling to each other just as I started my backswing....
- Serving Two Masters
Even though there is a huge difference in the natural talent and mechanical skills within this wide range of golfers, there is a common denominator that can help all of them. All golfers, including Tiger Woods, experience a certain degree of negative emotions, which adversely affect their brain's chemistry and performance.
- Positive Brain Washing
What is positive brain washing and why does it work? Since your mind is programmed to repeat similar responses to what is your habit, you are going to respond to certain facts with negative emotions unless you have been 100% positive during your entire life.
- Playing in the Present
One of the hardest things to communicate to a golfer is the importance of changing their worldview from outcome to process thinking because they have been conditioned by society from birth to judge their success from their results.
- The Power of Shaking It Off
When things don't go your way during a round of golf, do you dwell on the negative or do you shake it off and keep on going? You will always be better off staying positive than letting old man golf with his amazing bag of tricks frustrate you and get you down.
- The Ceremony of Golf
If you want another insight into the mental game, read Eugen Herrigel's classic book "Zen in the Art of Archery". It is his account of the six years he spent as a student of one of Japan's great kyudo (archery) masters. His purpose was to learn or understand what is meant by "detachment" and how to achieve it.
- Going to the Next Level
You already have the answer to reach the next level, but it will require effort and practice to put it to use. So stop looking for another answer. The mental golf game is simple to understand. It's the doing that is the hard part, but like everything else it gets easier the more you practice.
- Success or Disappointment?
If you want to have more success in golf, it is important to inoculate your mind to be free of disappointment. The dictionary defines disappoint as "to fail to meet the expectation or hope of".
- Swing Thoughts
Ideally, the best swing thought is no thought at all. When you are playing at your best, you are playing on instinct. When you are in the zone, the fastest way to lose it is to start thinking.
- Match Play Mindset
Good consistent golfers have the advantage over sporadic golfers during stroke play. However, they can have their hands full when playing a sporadic golfer during match play unless they have the right mindset.
- Staying Alive
It would be great to be able to shoot good scores all the time, but golf is not that kind of a game. Some days everything goes your way and scoring is easy. Other days everything seems to go against you. It is on these days that you really have to have a strong mental game to keep your sanity and bring in a reasonable score.
- Missing Is Good
How many golfers do you know appreciate the value and importance of missing a shot or putt? Do you know when missing is good? One golfer once stated - "The one aspect that throws me off the most is missing 'makeable' putts. It immediately translates into poor tee-shots on the next hole. To be more precise, it is misreading the break or poor thinking in regard to speed & line that upsets me. What can I do."
- Don't Be Intimidated
How do you feel when you are playing against an over powering player who is better than you are? If you feel intimidated, you have already conceded the game to your opponent before you hit your first ball. Here is a game plan that will give you a fighting chance to beat a golfer who has a better mechanical game than you have at present. Be happy because if you get intimidated your mental game can be corrected very quickly if you put your mind to it.
- Handling Tension
A college golf coach told me that he could always tell when a golfer was tense during his short game. His many years as a coach and as a PGA rules official has made him very aware from countless observations that when golfers get tense they shorten their normal back swing or putting stroke, which causes them to miss their target. He smiled while shaking his head and said it happens every time.
- First-tee Mindset
Many golfers experience anxiety and get the jitters when they step to the first tee. How about you?
- Focus on SuccessTo those of you who have read my preceding thoughts, you are well aware that associating negative emotions to facts adversely affects your brain chemistry and performance. So what do you focus on when faced with facts that challenge your ability to pull off difficult shots?
- Visualize Better Golf Shots
You can use visualization before you make a shot or after the shot. By using both approaches, you will greatly increase your ability to improve your golf and lower your score.
- A New Beginning
New Year's Day is special because it marks the beginning of a New Year. Many individuals make New Year's resolutions to improve their lives. Unfortunately, many of these resolutions go by the wayside in only a couple of weeks or days.
- Golf Is a Game to Be Played
When you play to win, you create tension and pressure that adversely affects your brain's chemistry and your ability to perform. If you play to play, you are relaxed and give yourself a chance to perform at a much higher level so you can win. However, as true as this is, most golfers continue to get caught up in the outcome and winning, which causes their game to suffer.
- What Is Your Number?
I am sure you will agree that you play better golf when you are confident than when you have doubt or are negative. The reason for this is because confidence creates positive emotions, which enhance your brain's chemistry and increase your ability to perform.
- Playing In The Zone
When you are in the "zone", it is almost magical how easy it is to accomplish even the most difficult shots. However, not many golfers can enter the zone at will or maintain being in the zone once they realize that they are in it.
- Cock A Doodle Do
My brain seems to focus on negative outcome...what can happen bad, rather the a good clear picture of the shot in my minds eye. What can I do?
- You Have to Believe
What about those days when it just doesn?t work. I find that I can be process oriented and accept bad shots most of the time, but when it goes really bad, I need to find a way to back on track sooner.
- Trust the Process
In the October, 2000 issue of Golf Magazine, Dr. Richard Coop wrote an interesting article called "Earning Trust". He referenced a doctoral dissertation at the University of Virginia on how athletes handle a lack of trust in their abilities.
- Three Steps to Lower Scores
The three steps to lower scores are desire, awareness and transformation. Each step has different degrees of intensity, which will result in a variety of results.
- Don't Lose Your Focus
I have a "mental problem" that bothers me and sometimes affects my game. A couple years ago I was playing and an older friend was on the tee. I was behind his line and he hit a bad shot.
- How Good Do You Want To Be?
If you ask Tiger Woods that question, he would just smile at you. If you asked him that question while he was in his youth, he probably would have told you "I want to be the best golfer to ever play the game."
- Thinking Is Stinking ? Part One
What are you thinking about when you are performing at your best in anything you do? If you are honest with yourself, you will realize that the answer is always the same. You are not thinking. You are operating on instinct!
- Thinking Is Stinking - Part Two
Some golfers with high handicaps are actually mechanically better than their scores reflect. Upon reading these tips, they happily find themselves dropping 8 to 10 strokes.
- List Your Mental Traps
What are mental traps? Mental traps are facts that can lead to frustration and other negative emotions, which play havoc with your performance.
- The U.S. Open's Mental Test
Davis Love III explained, "A U.S. Open is not only just a golf test; it's a mental test and you try to win that battle. It comes down to scrambling, who can get the ball up-and-down and make putts and be patient."
- Eliminating The Yips
The first step in eliminating the yips is to understand why you have them. The yips are caused from having fear about missing a putt. It may be a recent condition or one that you have had for years.
- Handling Frustration
Losing a tournament in a play off frustrates even accomplished professional golfers. Plus, the best golf courses are designed to be difficult to play to emotionally frustrate a golfer. Yes, Old Man Golf just loves to frustrate you and leave you talking or cursing to yourself.
- Optimum Intensity Levels
Very typically a golfer will say it would probably take him the first three or four holes of the tournament to settle down. This led to a discussion on optimum intensity levels and how to stay within the upper and lower ranges.
- You Have To Admire Tiger
Does the idea of love your competition seem strange to you? If so, it is because many individuals have been programmed to view their competition as their enemy - one, who is to be despised or burned in effigy at a football game. Of course, this does not hold true for the gentlemen's game of golf.
- Don't Be Afraid To Fail
Do you remember the movie "Tin Cup"? Kevin Costner had a chance to play it safe on the last hole and come in second at the U.S. Open. But, he chose not to lay up short of the water and take a safe second shot...
- The Mental Side of Getting in Shape
There are many articles available about the benefits of being in shape as well as suggesting a variety of specific exercises to help improve your game. Here are some insights about the mental side.
- Does Cause and Effect Exist In Golf?
Jim Furyk can chalk up his incredible comeback at the Doral-Ryder Open to Tiger Woods. Jim was 6 shots behind on with seven holes to play and rallied with five birdies to win.
- Handling Slow Play and Delays
Learning how to handle slow play or delays will help lower your score. Whether you are a recreational golfer or a professional on tour, I am sure you can recall experiences where you blamed slow play or delays for costing you strokes.
- Don't Throw Away Shots!
Tom Lehman broke his four-year PGA victory drought by winning the Phoenix Open. Tom credited watching Tiger Woods with his improvement. He was inspired by the way Woods remained cool even when struggling.
- Play the Percentages and Lower Your Score!
Recently, a golfer asked; ?What are my thoughts on making long putts?? The golfer who asked is preparing to play and win on the PGA tour. He was struggling trying to make 30-foot putts during a round of golf and was coming up short.
- Handling Tournament Pressure
What mindset allows you to have a swing that holds up under the most intense tournament pressure on the professional tours?
- Anger or Instant Amnesia?
While in his prime, Seve Ballesteros was asked during an interview how he keeps from getting angry when he misses a putt or shot. He replied, "Instant amnesia." Instead of getting and remaining angry, Seve merely forgot it and went right back to the business of playing golf.
- How To Improve Your Golf
First, you begin by asking yourself, "How strong is my desire to improve?" The strength of desire necessary to improve is in direct proportion to the degree of success you wish to attain...
- Fear Can Not Exist In The Present
Many of the golfers have commented about the statement that fear cannot exist in the present. They had never looked at fear in that light. But, they all acknowledged that the concept makes total sense. If you think about it, I'm sure that you will agree as well.
- Why Is Bruce Fleisher Winning?
Bruce Fleisher's 17-under 199 was a tournament record at the 1999 Silverado Country Club's Transamerica Seniors Championship. Fleisher won his sixth Senior PGA Tournament of the year and raised his winnings for the year to $2,114,630 with the first prize of $165,000.
- The Ryder Cup: Facts and Emotion
Two historical events took place at The Country Club, the home of the 1999 Ryder Cup. First, the Americans made a comeback of historical proportions.
- Your Greatest Opponent!
You probably have heard many times that your greatest opponent is yourself, not old man golf. The following is a brief explanation why.
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