How to Show up to Each Round Focused and Confident
Can a golfer be mentally tough?
Many people believe mental toughness is reserved for physically combative sports such as, hockey, football, boxing, etc.
Golf, by all measures, is a mentally demanding sport.
In football, fields are the same size. In hockey, weather is controlled and consistent. But golfers play under unique circumstances every time they play a round of golf.
Individual golf courses have distinct features: distance from tee to pin, hazards, grass type, length of grass. Variations in weather affect course conditions, the flight of the ball, and a golfer’s physiology.
Additionally, golfers are trying to hit a small ball hundreds of yards into a small hole in the ground over a period of approximately four hours.
Golf requires a high level of mental toughness to win out over the course conditions, opposing players and your own mindset.
A golfer from our Golf Mental Game Survey asked the following question related to the mental demands of the sport and mental toughness:
“How can I reduce my handicap to where it was 6 years ago?”
Many golfers become frustrated with this. We congratulate you on staying committed to your golf game.
When you play a round of golf, ignoring past performances can seem like an impossible challenge.
As much as you want to play your best, subconsciously, you expect not to play well.
Not only are you trying to navigate the course, you are also trying to navigate through the critical thoughts running through your mind.
You overthink each shot and predict the worst outcome. Your negative predictions ultimately become your reality.
Mental toughness is continuing the pursuit of your goals despite past results.
Mental toughness is arriving for the round with confidence, focus and trust in your skills.
Mental toughness is overcoming distractions, immersing yourself in the moment without thinking about the end score, and knowing you will return to play another round in the future.
PGA professional Tony Finau has 36 top-10 finishes without a victory since he won the Puerto Rico Open in 2016. Finau keeps pushing forward over and over, working toward a Tour win. That’s mental toughness.
The mental toughness Finau displays is committing to improvement despite his past finishes.
FINAU: “There’s no question, I definitely feel like I’m a tough player mentally, as tough as they come, and I feel like I have to be. When you’ve come close to winning as many times as I have, I think you could go one of two ways. I always look at my life and my game as a glass half full. I’ve always looked at my life that way and it’s helped me, but it definitely has made me tough. Again, I think life has been my biggest teacher and I’m showing that resiliency.”
Becoming a Mentally Tough Golfer:
When you don’t have a good round or stretch of rounds, how do you respond? You want to learn from the past and take a growth perspective. How will you improve your game in the next week pf practice?
You don’t want to take it personally and take the round home with you…. That means your self-esteem is tied to your performance. Try to leave the golf on the golf course when you finish.
Tomorrow is another day, another opportunity.
Related Articles for Golf Confidence:
- Avoid Making Comparisons for Golf Confidence
- Improve Self-Talk for Golfers
- Improve Your Mindset During Shot-Making
Learn Proven Strategies to Perform with Confidence!
Do you suffer from fragile self-confidence after missed hits, playing with strict or high expectations that undermine confidence or the inability to play freely and relaxed on the course?
If you suffer from lack of focus, low self-confidence or other mental game obstacles on the course, you cant reach your true golf potential…
Successful golfers have learned how to perform with ultimate confidence in competition, so we’ve developed The Golfer’s Mental Edge Workbook and CD program to help you do this!
The Golfer’s Mental Edge program includes the top 8 mental training sessions I do with my personal students to help them boost their mental game and improve consistency on the course.
The Golfer’s Mental Edge program includes 8 confidence-boosting CDs, MP3 audio recordings, and an 8-session golfer’s mental edge workbook.