How to Improve Mental Toughness on the Golf Course

Overcoming Adversity on the Greens

When mental toughness is talked about in sports, many people conjure up images of athletes competing, physically worn out and mentally exhausted, and still pushing onward.

Some of these “mentally tough” images include…

The marathon runner, who can barely stay upright and stumbles across the finish line…

The basketball player, who returns late in the game after a twisted ankle, scoring significant points late in the game to help his team pull out a close game…

The tennis player, who pushes herself to the brink in hot and humid weather, mounting a comeback late in a match.

These athletes are heralded for their high level of mental toughness.

Mental toughness does not always mean heroic or overcoming the physical demands of a sport.

Mental toughness is the ability to meet the mental challenges and overcome adversity. When it comes to adversity, all golfers know that golf is a sport beset with challenges.

The topic of adversity was one that was brought up by a golfer in our Mental Game of Golf Survey:

“How do you deal with adversity such as really slow greens, or a playing competitor that annoys you, or an inferior player making lucky shot one after another?”

Let’s examine one challenge you identified: playing with a lower-ranked golfer who makes several lucky shots.

You are totally ready for a great round of golf, especially playing with the golfers in your group. Early in the round, you get some unlucky bounces while another golfer in your group seems to get every favorable bounce and roll possible.

You become frustrated that, even though you are hitting great shots, you seem to get no breaks at all.

Little by little, you become angry and tense making it difficult to focus on anything other than the unfairness of the situation.

You wonder, “How is it possible that this ‘less talented’ golfer is shooting a better score?” Your emotions rage inside you and you start making mistakes. Soon, you have totally let your game get away from you.

This scenario requires mental toughness to stay focused and respond in a positive manner. It can be easy to get sucked into the trap of allowing your circumstances take over your game.

Mental toughness helps you fend off distractions.

Though you may feel it is unfair that other golfers get all the breaks, the ability to remain focused on your game is necessary to play at a high level.

Mental toughness in this situation is understanding what important to focus on for you play, instead of allowing the circumstances affect your play.

There will always be adversity in sports. Challenges are the very reason golfers play the game.

Improving Mental Toughness

Mentally tough golfers are proactive and work on their mental skills to rise up to the challenges on the golf course.

How can you approach this situation better the next time you are in the same situation? It helps to think through your response so you can stay composed.

For example, you might think about refocusing on your game. Are you trying to beat the golf course or beat your opponents who are not as good as you? Change your focus to your game plan for the course and get your blinders on when it comes to your playing partner’s performance.

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Golfer’s Mental Edge 2.0

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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?

Successful golfers have learned how to perform with ultimate confidence in competition, so we’ve developed The Golfer’s Mental Edge 2.0 Workbook and Audio program to help you do this! 

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!

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