"Golf is 90 percent mental, ... and the other 10 percent... is mental", says golf guru Jim Flick.
Nevertheless, many golfers, indepently of their level, fail to work on their confidence and on the mental aspect of the game.
Why is the mental aspect of golf so important ? Golfers play against the course, not against each other directly. They hit a stationary object, not one put into motion by an opponent. This means that there is never anyone else to blame but oneself for a bad result. Moreover, in most competitive formats there are no teammates to directly help oneself out. This insight creates a great deal of psychological pressure on the golfer, which exists at all levels of play. Even the best professional golfers sometimes succumb to this pressure, such as getting the "yips" and being unable to make short putts, or having collapses of their full swing.
According to Dr. Alan Shapiro, a psychologist and a devoted golfer, the personality traits that cause problems in your everyday life can also wreak havoc on your golf game. Using his experience Dr. Shapiro has identified six major golf personality types or "Mental Hazards" in his book Golf's Mental Hazards. Those who are worriers in everyday life, tend to be anxious at the tee. Control freaks will probably overanalyze their swing and tend to freeze up over the ball. Those who have a short fuse, stand a good chance to be club throwers, etc.
Photo by Dave Kahn
The Mental Game (Mental Approach to Better Golf, Psychology of Golf,
How to manage the mental hazards in golf)
Trunk Organizer (Black)
With 2 levels which expand for maximum use, large mesh section to store your gloves, tees, snacks, etc., and two end handles to carry it easily. Includes ventilated mesh front door, and lock with key. More information:
- Strategies for self-confidence in golf: four easy steps to instill the confidence of a championship golfer into your game. - Course management: the ability to wisely evaluate the course, the conditions, and the shot in order to evaluate risks and rewards, then make the right decision, to handle serious lies and situations on the course and cope with poor weather conditions.
- Physics of the golf shot: a better understanding of the dynamics behind the golf shot and the concepts of loft and backspin will help you to more accurately hit the ball. - Golf practiceandweight training: tips to train your flexibility, balance, strength and endurance and tricks to maintain your form during the golf's off-season.
- How to become a better scorer at golf, i.e. how to get the most out of your current game by using the right strategy;
- tips on how to improve your golf game, i.e. how to improve your game technically;
Novice golfers will often blame their lack of practice or their equipment before considering rethinking their mental strategy, whereas more experienced players will solely rely on their technique and experience, often neglecting the mental part of the game. Ignoring the fact that your mind may become an enemy in your game may cost you important points on your scoring card.
The mental preparation for the game will help you to stay calm, clear the interference that leads to poor shots, and eliminate bad habits and mental mistakes, in short, turn your mind into an ally, instead of an enemy. Many players carry the negative emotions tied to a bad drive or missed putt to the next hole, or worse, for the rest of the entire round! Other players feel negative thoughts entering their mind when they stand over the ball, while none existed before, and without knowing how to manage these. Again others feel their self-confidence sink into their very golf shoes because they are being influenced by other people's shots.
As Timothy Gallway, the author of The Game of Golf puts it: "Even the masters of the game, from the venerable Jack Nicklaus to the wunderkind Tiger Woods, must battle their mental demons to excel in the crucible of competition. How do they maintain concentration under pressure? How do they avoid the mental and physical tensions that can sabotage any shot, from the simplest putt to a demanding drive?"
Mental techniques will help you not only to prepare your game, but also assist you during the execution phase and teach you how to respond to the results of any golf shot. The psychology of golf entails instant recall of past successes and being able to quickly purge failures.
Important areas to analyse and train are: how to keep your focus and concentration during a round of golf, how to keep your motivation when you only enjoy the game part of the time, how to avoid being influenced by other people's swings, how to transfer the self-assurance and confidence you feel on the practice tee to the golf course, how to reach emotional stability, tough-mindedness, what is tension management, etc.
The Inner Game of Golf
by W. Timothy Gallwey Not a book about how to PLAY golf, but a book about how to LEARN golf. A straightforward application of Eastern psychology that targets the subconscious mind of the golfer as the primary player of the game.