Staying in a Good Frame of Mind

It is one thing to get yourself in a good frame of mind before a round begins – it is another thing entirely to actually stay in that frame of mind for all 18 holes. This is the far greater challenge, as there are certainly going to be things that go wrong along the way. The golfer who is able to maintain his or her positive mindset all day long is the one most likely to come out ahead.

In this article, we are going to offer some tips on how you can remain in a good frame of mind all the way from the first hole to the last.

  • Expect the unexpected. There is simply no way to chart out an entire round of golf in advance. No matter how well you plan your course management strategy in advance, something is going to go wrong along the way. You will hit a bad drive that forces you to scramble for the rest of the hole, or you will hit a couple of good shots only to three putt for a bogey. Whatever the case, golf is anything but predictable. As a golfer, your job is to ‘roll with the punches’. You need to be able to accept whatever comes your way and deal with it as effectively as possible. If you let poor shots or bad bounces send you in a bad direction mentally, it will be hard to get back on track.
  • Going in and out of focus. One of the common mistakes made by amateur golfers is attempting to hold their focus solely on golf for the entire round. This is nearly impossible to do. It’s hard to focus on any one thing for more than four hours, and that is certainly true of golf. If you want to keep your mind fresh, trying to come in and out of focus throughout the day. For example, let’s imagine you are playing a long par five. On the tee, you will focus on the job at hand, picking out a specific target and making a great swing. Once that shot has been played, you can let your mind move away from golf as you walk up the fairway. Maybe you are chatting with your playing partners about some other topic, or maybe you are just enjoying the scenery. Then, when you arrive at your ball for the second shot, you return to ‘golf mode’ and get ready to play. This process is repeated for the entire round. It’s easier to play this way than trying to focus on golf exclusively for all 18 holes, and you’ll probably have more fun.
  • Don’t let others bring you down. There is a lot of negative thinking on the golf course. Most likely, at least one of the other players in your group will be thinking – and talking – negatively about his or her game. Don’t let this pattern suck you in. If you are going to play up to your potential, you need to think in positive terms about what you are doing on the course. If another golfer wants to be negative, that’s their business. Do your best to remain optimistic and believe in yourself all day long.

The mental side of golf may be nearly as difficult as the physical side. It’s hard to remain positive while playing such a difficult game, and it’s tough to be at your best for the duration of a 4+ hour round. We hope the tips in this article will help you improve your mental game moving forward. Good luck!