How often do you stand over a shot or putt feeling uncertain about your aim, the club you’ve chosen or how the ball might break on the green? On those occasions, how often do you make a confident swing or stroke that produces a good result? Rarely, right?
Fact is, golf’s endless variables force you to make several decisions on even the simplest shots. You’re bound to be indecisive at least a few times each round. As everyone knows, a tentative mindset diminishes confidence, and a lack of self-trust is absolutely fatal in golf.
Since moments of doubt are inevitable, how do you overcome them? Here are several keys:
- Do your thinking before addressing the ball: This seems obvious, but failing to make up your mind completely before stepping to the ball is the root of unconfident swings. Make a decision and commit to it 100 percent, then address the ball. Standing over it, your thoughts should be only on producing the shot you’ve decided on, not whether the decision is correct.
- Make practice swings to mimic the shot: Once you’ve decided how to proceed, make a couple of practice swings or strokes at the exact pace and strength with which you want to hit the ball – with a sense of commitment and purpose. Then hit the shot just like you rehearsed it.
- If you feel indecisive, back off: Don’t linger over the ball letting doubt rule your thoughts. Step back, re-commit to the club and shot, and hit it with only positive images in mind.
Analyze poor results: After a bad shot in a tricky situation, ask yourself if you were completely committed to the swing. If not, there’s your answer. If you were committed, determine exactly what went happened – you picked the wrong club, misjudged a putt’s break, hit the ball too hard -- and use that information to make a better decision when faced with similar variables.