3 Common Golf Mental Game Mistakes
Are you aware your mental approach is blocking your true potential? After assessing a shot and deciding what to focus on, this is when all shots first begin in the mind. These thoughts will determine how you feel and swing the club in reference to your ability. The result of your mental game either helps your body make a good swing or it creates interference that causes errant shots and big numbers.
Here are 3 common golf mental game mistakes. When you enjoy a game of golf become observant and see if you can notice any of these.
A Negative Attitude
Don’t have a negative attitude and focus on things that are unnecessary or unhelpful. Focusing on these makes the game less enjoyable for all in the group. For example: focusing on where to NOT hit the ball, talking about the aspects of the course you don’t like and doubting your ability to hit a good shot. This thinking lowers confidence and puts doubt in your mind or introduces an undesirable target.
Ever complain much? This is also part of a negative attitude. Examples of complaining include speed of play, course surfaces and the weather. Instead of focusing on what is wrong, focus on what is right.
Solution – keep a positive attitude by only focusing on what you want to achieve or what you can influence. Talk about what you like, remember times when you were successful and discuss the aspects of the day that are enjoyable.
The way a golfer focuses and programs their mind before they play a shot is referred to as incorrect programming. An example of this is swinging the club without considering and deciding upon a clear and precise target. Don’t be like other golfers who program their mind with what they don’t want to do or even talk about what they did wrong last week. When they do, they then show great skill and manage to execute in the way they just discussed.
Solution – think about what you want to accomplish and program your mind and body with a good pre-shot routine. Analyse the environmental factors that will influence the shot, have a clear target and decide how the ball will get there. This will help you visualize the shot in your mind and feel the swing required to send the ball to your target.
Focusing on Score
Having a score conscious mind while you play leads to emotional shifts that affect the way you swing the club. By focusing on your score, your mind is no longer in the present moment and often interferes with your ability to execute well on the course as well as reducing concentration abilities and generating emotions that are incompatible with good execution. Don’t be the golfer getting off to a good start and then dropping shots when you begin to think about your score.
Solution – rather than focusing on your score, focus on the process of each shot. Keep your mind present by avoiding thoughts about the way you are playing. Keep the game simple by stating basic objectives. For example, hit the fairway or maintain a good rhythm. Stay focused and aim to keep your emotions relaxed and balanced. Remember, that there will be plenty of time later to add up your score and see how well you played.
The result of your mental game will either unlock or hinder your true potential on the course. To practice your mental game, check out some of our golf vacations here.