Hovald’s Mindset for Winning Golf

Hovald’s Mindset for Winning Golf

What Impact Does Mindset Have on Golf Performance?

The short answer is everything. Mindset affects how intently you practice. Mindset affects the content of your thoughts and confidence level.

Mindset affects how you respond to adversity and bad shots or missed putts.

Ultimately mindset affects all the ingredients that go into how well you perform in golf.

Your mindset is your set of beliefs, attitudes, and perceptions about you and your ability to perform in every athletic situation.

The main questions are:

  1. Where does mindset come from?
  2. Is there anything you can do to change your mindset?

In other words, can you train your mindset, and if so, how?

Make no mistake about it; you are one hundred percent in charge of your mindset. That being said, you are also one hundred percent responsible for developing your competitive mindset.

Either you are actively choosing and shaping your mindset, or you are accepting a counter-productive mindset by default.

If you are not actively training your mindset, you are limited in how you improve your game and your response to adversity.

For example, when you have a negative mindset, missing a five-foot putt may send you to the “dark side,” where you want to snap your putter into pieces.

That missed putt may lead you to believe that you have no talent, cannot handle pressure, or think that you have maxed out your potential.

Conversely, when you have a positive mindset, a missed putt is just a missed putt. You may attribute the missed putt to incorrectly reading the greens rather than lacking ability. 

The feedback from the miss improves your decision-making for playing your next putt or your strategy for the rest of the round.

In essence, a positive mindset helps you keep your emotions in check, allowing you to be in control of your game.

Viktor Hovland claimed the 2023 Memorial Tournament by winning a one-hole playoff over Denny McCarthy. Hovland’s win was his fourth career victory on the PGA Tour and his first since 2021.

In the last three major championships, Hovland has finished in the top-seven but has been unable to get over the hump to pull out a win. 

Hovland’s mindset was the difference-maker helping him focus on playing instead of pressure, competing rather than crumbling, and playing his best in the moment.

HOVLAND: “I’ve been playing well, but I’ve just been trying to stay within myself and play my own game. Maybe before, I would have fired at some pins that I shouldn’t have fired at. I just played smart, played my game, and came up clutch this time. It feels even better after some close calls the last few months.”

A positive mindset is a power asset that helps clear your head of extraneous distractions and negative thoughts so you can focus your mental and physical energy on performing your best.

Remember, mindset is a choice. One way to enhance your performance is to reflect on how your mindset affected your play in the past.

Next, isolate the mental factors that negatively impact your performance the most, such as frustration or protecting your score during a low round.

Finally, visualize how you can alter your beliefs and attitudes to improve your performance rather than detract from your play.

Golf psychology is about choosing the right way to respond and think during the round.

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