The Mental Game Of Golf

Golf, The Game Of Two Heads


The mental game of golf is a game of two heads, the golf club head and your own head, and it's the link between these two heads that is the real game of golf. What is more important is that golf can be a game of two minds, the one you imagine you are playing and the one you are actually playing. Seldom are they the same.

Even worse is the indecision that can happen in your own mind, you can start your golf swing with one plan in mind and just after you start the downswing your plan suddenly changes, this is done without the desire to change your mind, it happens in an instant and there is nothing you can do to about it, and it is too late to stop the shot.

A simple thing like a hazard can instigate this change in thinking, you suddenly become more aware of it, or doubt your ability to avoid it. A sudden stray thought or a loss in confidence can cause it too, whatever the cause, the outcome is usually the same, the result is normally a bad shot.

It's also a hard one to deal with, it doesn't happen all the time. It's intermittent nature means that you are seldom prepared for it, it's not your golf swing or stance that you can change to cure it, and it's not your golf equipment either, it's a mental thing and one that you have to practice hard to stop it. Routine is a great way to avoid these moments, repeating the same things before we initiate our golf swing has the tendency to boost our confidence.

The golf professionals call it a pre-shot routine, and each pro will advise you to follow a different one depending on what their favorite one is. The truth is that whatever one you use does not really matter, what matters most is that you find a pre-shot routine that suits you and you use it before every shot.

Another helpful routine to lessen the occurrence is to have the same golf swing thoughts for every shot. Again, it does not matter what these swing thoughts are, the important bit is to have them. Concentrating on having a smooth, rhythmical, controlled and precise golf swing will leave less room for these changes of mind to take place, just remember to always do it.

There is an awful lot more to the mental game of golf, entire books have been written on the subject, and they don't all agree with each other, however, in my experience, having a pre-shot routine and having the same golf swing thoughts for every shot eliminates a lot of the faults caused by the mind aspect of the game.

Have a look at Golf and the Axis of Power.

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