How Good Is Your Mental Game?

22nd July 2019

Golf can be a difficult game. A player can - and often will - spend many hours honing their technical skills, perfecting their swing, their techniques, their grip on the club and a hundred other technical details. But what about the mental aspect?

Golf can be one of the most mentally challenging sports. As strange as it may sound initially, every golfer knows if your self-belief starts to falter, so does your game. Most top golfers now employ sports psychologists for that very reason. They realise that a huge part of the game of golf is actually played in the mind.

So how do the rest of us - those without the assistance of a personal sports psychologist - improve our mental game? Here are some tips to hopefully keep your brain as sharp as your swing!

  • Focus - think about what you focus on when you take a shot. What did you focus on during a good, or a bad, shot that made it successful/unsuccessful? Try and figure out what your focus should be to make the most of your game.
  • Stay positive - It may sound simple, but this can be difficult when you’re having one of those days where the ball just won’t behave itself and luck is not on your side. But if you subconsciously ‘give up’ and listen to the voice of self-doubt in your head, you may as well go home.
  • Learn to accept how the game is going - you may not win this game, so change your target for the game, from winning to a personal challenge. Set yourself a target and try to achieve it. Make sure you remain in the present, that way if the game doesn’t work out how you planned in the beginning, you won’t feel so much pressure. And if you do find the pressure mounting, just take a moment, relax, and let the tension go. After all, golf shouldn’t be a chore, it’s a game to be enjoyed.