When you play well, golf is fun. Golf is a game, and as such should be rewarding by itself, just for the experience. Golf can be made more enjoyable when all your expectations aren’t centered on rewards like praise or prizes. Learn to have fun on the golf course whether you are playing well or poorly. Every golf shot and every golf course has its own unique beauty and challenges. Learn from the challenges and enjoy the beauty.
To play better, set some goals for yourself so you will be able to measure your success. An important aspect to your mental golf game is good goal setting. It is necessary to have a plan to improve. Organizing your plan with specific progressive steps will keep your motivation high. Analyze your game to determine where you lose the most strokes. More than likely it is in your short game, since it comprises 65% of all shots.
To lower your score, learn to love your scoring clubs. Begin by putting for 5-10 minutes every day, either on your carpet or putting green, enjoying the movement of the putter, while holding your eyes transfixed on a spot on the golf ball. See your short game as an art form instead of shots that you “have to make” for a certain score. Enjoy the rhythm, tempo (speed), the sound, and the feel of the putter.
Here are 9 mental tips to lower your score and enjoy your golf more
1 Whatever you are trying to do, don’t. Trying means steering. Make up your mind to hit to your target and Just Do It!
2 Don’t give yourself instruction. Become aware of your body and swing. Imagine feeling your body swinging the golf club easily and effortlessly.
3 Be decisive about what you are going to do. Indecision is the enemy of golfers. Don’t hit a shot until you have absolutely made up your mind about what you want to do with the shot.
4 Believe in yourself no matter what the results are. Believe in your ability to play well. Trust that you can improve.
5 Emotionalize only good shots. Emotions of fear, doubt, anger, and anxiety will sabotage your game. Be positive in talking to yourself and others.
6 Feel your balance, rhythm, and tempo. Instead of focusing your attention on a specific part of the body or part of the golf swing, go beyond the mechanics and find your own rhythm and tempo.
7 Leave all problems at home. Golf requires a balanced emotional level. Relax your mind and body with deep breathing.
8 Stay in the NOW. Give each shot your full attention as if it is the only shot you will hit today. Be fully present. Play one shot at a time.
9 Let go of all expectations. Don’t add up your score until you are finished. Enjoy each shot as its own reward.
To recapture your joy on the course try out some of these tips and remember to have fun playing the game. Enjoy all aspects of being on the golf course, not just the score.