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Golf Tips On Playing The Mental Game

 

Tips from top golf instructors on playing from the rough. We all end up there some part of the game. These tips will help you get out, without losing a stroke.

 

Mastering the First Tee

Keep control of the first-tee by checking your breathing. If you are at all tense about that first tee off, you will tend to breathe with shallow breaths, quick and short.

To relax your brain and muscles, give them oxygen. Breathe deeply in through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth. Let the relaxing exhalation flow over you.

 

Mental Strokes Come First

To break 90, mentally remove every pin and instead concentrate on hitting greens. Take dead aim at the center of each green. Do this from every distance outside 50 yards.

 

Just Let It Happen

Most golfers start out trying far too hard to hit the ball hard. This kills their shot. Watch the tour pros. They have consistent swings with the no sudden bursts or effort. The whole swing appears effortless.

Consistent iron players have the same pace from start to finish.

Don't try to "make" your club hit the ball, "let it" hit the ball.

By the time your brain realizes you have struck the ball, it is actually 15 yards away. Practice your drills and then trust your brain knows what it has to do to effect the swing.

 

Set Your Tempo To Music

Once you feel you have the mechanics of the swing sorted, set it to music.

Each time you go through your address routine, dial up the appropriate piece in your mind, and just let yourself follow the music cues.

Practice hitting balls on the range to this music for about two weeks. When you approach that first tee, you will find that the music makes the world disappear, and your swing take on its own energy.

The choice of music will be unique for your swing. I use the first few bars of "Fly Me To The Moon" very successfully.

 

Use Your Natural Tendencies

Whatever your natural ball flight, you can use it to your advantage, because you can always eliminate one side of the golf course. You can always start a reliable fade down the left side of the fairway, for example, whether it goes straight, fades slightly or fades a lot, you're still in the fairway. A draw works similarly from the right side.

 

Feel Your Shots

Achieving an ideal balance of good "feel" with good mechanics is the secret recipe of consistently good golf.

If you want to learn a new shot, watch others play it [just be selective that you are picking a good example!]  Check out the library of sample shots we are collecting for you.

Let that image ingrain into your brain. Study the mechanics of the shot. This helps your brain and your body internalise the motion required to effect the move.

When you are out on the course, forget about all the mechanics and do's and don'ts. Just feel the shot and let it happen.

 

Build Your Own Reference Library

When you peform a really good shot, replay it a few times in your mind in detail.

Use these replays to relive the moments as you are out walking or driving to work [ keep you eyes on the road though!]

On the course, when you feel the first hint of emotional stress coming on, play back your best shots, including the positive emotions you felt.

 

The Game Is Only One Hole Long

Treat every hole as if it is the whole game. Once you have played a hole, forget it!.  You can even apply this down to a stroke level. Don't let emotions start building up. Remember, it's only a game, and it is played one hole at a time. Don't become one of those players who carries every bad shot with them for at least 3 more holes. If you find you are struggling, just forget about the golf for an instance and just look around the beautiful surroundings you are in, and remind yourself of the pleasure of just being there.

 

Forget The Flag

Amateur golfers concentrate too much on aiming for the flag. This severely hurts their scoring ability and enjoyment. Instead, do what Jack Nicklaus did for his entire career. Hit mostly to the center of the green.

 

The Yips

The yips are thought to be a psychological element of golf, and is more common in more experienced golfers than beginners. This is simply because Golfers who have played for a long time, utlising poor mechanics, have many missed putts before. That fear of missing becomes so great it takes hold in the mind. It takes many years of bad practice before the yips take over.

 

Feed Your Mental Energy

The average 18 hole game takes 4 hours. This is a long time to go without food. Avoid bonking or getting edgy through lack of food. Carry an energy bar, a piece of fruit, or nuts in your bag. Keep your brain hydrated, drink plenty of fluids.

Next: Tips for Teeing Off

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