Mere mortals mostly can’t afford luxuries like mind-doctors dedicated to getting our golf games up to scratch. But there are some psychological pointers available free of charge that can really help the average amateur player to mentally toughen up on the green.
So, until you win the jackpot playing the real slots NZ has to offer and can afford to employ your own private shrink to tighten up your game, ask yourself whether you’re putting all these relatively simple strategies to use before, during, and after a round.
Amateurs who get the most out of their golf games will not make a habit of posting No Returns. They tend to give it all they have got until the final putt has dropped.
If you reach a point where it’s not possible to beat your best score, why not change your target? It might well be how you beat your handicap. If things slide, then maybe you can still play to your current handicap, or break 90, or just play the next shot the best you can.
Stay in the Present
If your mind is running ahead of you all the time, how can you possibly focus on the task before you? You can’t control what will happen in the next half-hour, or what happened in the last one.
All you can do is concentrate on the chip, putt, or shot in front of you, and do the best you can. You can bet your bottom dollar that if your mind is always on the present moment, your scores are going to drop.
We all have those bad days where we can’t hit to save our lives, but don’t bemoan your fate on the greens. Make a point of focussing on the positives.
If you’ve picked a line and started the ball there, then you have putted well, you just need to work on reading the green a little more accurately, for example.
The Past is the Past
A wonderful way to let off some steam and not hold on to past mistakes is the 10-Yard Rule.
It’s one of the psychological strategies Tiger Woods employs, and concerns venting your frustration, internally, naturally, after a bad shot, until you are 10 yards on from wherever it happened.
After you cross that imaginary line, it’s in the past, and should be put out of your mind so you can be present for the next stroke.
Treat Each Shot as a New Challenge
Every time you reach that ball, your goal is to get it in to the hole from wherever you are in as few shots as you can. Don’t think about what’s happened before now, or imagine the worst-case scenario.
Just work out how to get the ball in to the hole in the most efficient way you can. If you’ve played a bad shot that’s ended up in a difficult spot, try treating it as a new challenge. Don’t wallow in the predicament, start right away from scratch. Remember, your aim is to get down in as few shots as you can from your current situation, no matter what that is.