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IMGCA Article - The Mental Game of Golf


Tips On The Mental Game of Golf

Jamie A Young

The most important principle in correct mental golf is to "Think Positive." Put plainly, it is the decision and practice of focusing on and thinking of only what you want to happen. Second, "Play By Instinct" is the practice of allowing your body's unconscious ability to dominate your game. This article will explore a few additional concepts that are designed to help you improve your thought processes on the golf course and lower your scores.

First, Let it happen. This is a crucial perspective and feeling you have to discover and embrace in your golf game to shoot your lowest scores. It could also be termed "relinquish control" or "let go." All of these phrases are hinting at the truth that when you stop trying to "make it happen" and stop "trying to control," you will ironically receive control and freedom. I like this analogy: "The harder you squeeze a handful of sand, the faster it falls through the cracks between your fingers." When you are over-analyzing every facet of your game, your score, the course, your playing partners, etc. you might think you're gaining control, or at least that is obviously your aim. But in reality, you have no control using this approach. Next time you play, focus on keeping it simple and having fun with each shot and admit to yourself that you have no knowledge of what score you're going to shoot. The mystery of the way things will turn out is just not of your concern. Just do your best, focus on the good things, and enjoy the unfolding of events with a beautiful naivety.

Second, Use your imagination. While gleefully enjoying your round of golf as it unfolds before you, it is good to use your imagination or "mind's eye" before every shot. Every great golfer has always utilized the power of mental imagery. Jack Nicklaus talks about imagining and visualizing every shot in vivid detail prior to even approaching the ball. This is related to the "Play by instinct" section. Part of the process of playing by instinct is giving your unconscious mind what it needs to work with. Unless you have a unique ability to just go completely unconscious and think nothing at all, the best and usual alternative is to think well and use positive mental imagery. Before each and every shot, visualize in your mind exactly what you imagine your shot looking like. Visualize the ball leaving the club face, flying wherever you want it to go, landing, and rolling to where you'd like to see it end up. Paint a detailed picture in your mind, feel this shot in your body and hands and then make your swing. This "see it, feel it, trust it" concept is taught brilliantly in a book called "Seven Days in Utopia," a must read.

I hope these concepts help you and your golf game. Overall, try to experience the right perspective which is to appreciate how blessed we are to play the game of golf. Unless you're playing golf for a living, focus more on having a good time than your score. The results will come.

Jamie Young is an accomplished golf writer both on and offline. Her primary position is as contributing golf writer to PureBold makes unique golf accessories and equipment. Their flagship products are premium cabretta leather golf gloves in 10 distinct colors: Purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, red, pink, gray, black, and white.

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