Golf is just as much a mental sport as it is a physical one. Without the right frame of mind, you can easily feel like all your skill has left you when you need it the most. In addition, it can feel much more difficult to control your thoughts during the pressures of competition. Learn how to improve your golf game and your mental golf game with these helpful suggestions.
1. Form a Routine
Many professional players use a set pre-shot routine to focus their minds on the process of hitting the ball rather than focusing on external factors—such as their nervousness. It can take the form of any small movements and thoughts that are easy for you to perform repetitively before you take a swing.
You might align your club with the ball in the same way each time, perform a practice swing, and/or visualize how you want the shot to go. Find what works best for your playing style, and you’ll have a trusty tool to lean on when the stress is mounting.
2. Use Relaxation Techniques
When your head is apprehensive, this can likewise cause your body to tense up and worsen your form. Use simple relaxation techniques to loosen your body once more as you prepare for your next swing. A popular method is to intentionally zero in on different body parts, tighten the muscles there for a few seconds while you hold your breath, and then release them as you let out a breath.
You can start from your feet and move up to your neck, repeating this process until you’ve done it with your whole body. By practicing this, you’ll end up more physically tranquil and nimble. The technique is useful both when you are practicing and between shots during a game when you are waiting for your turn.
3. Establish your feel first
Most of you are aware that Jack Nicklaus was a fan of making sure he dialed in his feel on shorter shots before he moved into his full swings—and this is one of the greatest golf tips that has been making its way around for decades. Establishing your feel on shots from 15-45 yards is a great way to warm up and get your swing in sync before you move on to your longer clubs.
Try this in your next practice session!
4. Compete More
As a golfer, facing some competitive pressure is inevitable. You could do all sorts of things to prepare yourself during practice, but at some point, you must face and overcome your worries if you’re going to enjoy the spork. If you join a golf league or otherwise put yourself in more games where the stakes are bit higher than when you are alone, your mind will eventually adapt.
With more exposure, you will become more comfortable performing your swings with your opponents and other spectators around you. Get out on the course more often, and you’ll gain confidence and feel less devastated by the occasional blunder.