What conditions affect your golf game the most?
Have you worked to improve your play under these conditions?
Many golfers know their most challenging circumstances, such as playing in breezy conditions, on slow greens or a soaked course, playing late in the day, dealing with spectator noise, or handling pressure late in a round.
Every golfer has particular areas that they find more challenging than others.
In our Golf Mental Game Survey, a collegiate golfer asked the following:
“I get so frustrated when I feel confident and totally prepared for a tournament, then by the start of the tournament, the wind kicks up, or it starts to drizzle. I instantly lose my focus and can’t seem to rebound mentally. What can I do to stay positive?”
Frustration is the most unproductive emotion; it combines anger with despair.
Three aspects are at play with this situation.
First, the belief that you cannot play productively in adverse conditions.
Second, the inability to control your circumstances. For example, you have no control over the weather.
The last component is a lack of preparation. We are not inferring you don’t work intently on your game. Rather, you are not prepared to deal with adverse conditions.
Mental preparation can help you overcome these challenges…
If you were better prepared for challenging conditions, you would have more confidence that you could still compete despite your circumstances.
In other words, preparation leads to improved confidence. With this preparation for adverse circumstances, you will be more focused on what you can control (how you play each shot) and less concerned with what you cannot control (weather or course conditions).
The question is: How can you prepare for challenging circumstances, especially since you cannot replicate certain conditions during a practice round?
There are many techniques, such as visualizing playing in windy conditions, learning to manage stress through relaxation, or improving focus on aspects of performance you can control.
Developing these mental skills will prepare you for adverse conditions and help you play more confidently.
At the 2023 Aramco Saudi Ladies International, Gaby Lopez shot a 66 in windy conditions.
When asked how she was able to shoot a low score despite the conditions, Lopez gave an insightful answer that can be applied during every round of golf.
GABY LOPEZ: “A lot of committed shots and a lot of acceptance out there because it gets tough out there, and it also gets tough internally, so being able to remain calm and be very committed to the shots.”
Lopez commented that working with a sport psychologist helped her maintain her poise despite course conditions.
GABY LOPEZ: “Yeah, I mean, I think just going to remain calm. Been working with my psychologist about just being — just kind of preparation and just being very calm before every shot.”
Preparation is the number one strategy for improved confidence. The better you are prepared for challenging areas on the golf course, the better you will play in those conditions.
Write down the challenges that negatively impact your play. For each challenge, identify three ways you can work on your mental or physical game to counter these circumstances. Identifying your problem areas is only the first step.
Next is the action step. What will you DO to work on these aspects of your game? Improvement only results from action!
Golfer’s Mental Edge 2.0
Do you suffer from fragile self-confidence after missed hitting shots or making mistakes, playing with strict or high expectations that undermine confidence, or the inability to play freely and relaxed on the course?
If you lack focus, have low self-confidence or other mental game obstacles on the course, you cant reach your true golf potential…
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The Golfer’s Mental Edge 2.0 program includes the top 11 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 2.0 audio program includes 11 confidence-boosting CDs, MP3 audio recordings, and an 8-session golfer’s mental edge workbook–plus several bonus programs. Available Now!
- Playing Golf One Shot at a Time
- Your Expectation Affects Your Golf Game
- How Short-term Goals Helps You Focus
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