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Tips to Improve Mental Game

Golf Psychology: 5 Tips to Improve Your Mental Game

Timothy Gallway wrote his influential series of books about the "Inner Game" in the 1970's. They have since sold over a million copies. The "Inner Game of Golf" is one of many sources of advice about the psychological aspects of golf.

Practice all you like on the golf range and practice ground. There is another side to golf that operates between the ears. Learn more about golf psychology and how you can improve your mental game with these 5 great tips.

1. Practice Mindfulness

Everybody from Zen Buddhists to corporate executives, are doing it. Mindfulness is the go-to solution to all modern wows so what can it do for golfers?

Do you ever find yourself thinking about the last drive that got you into the sand trap while you address your sand covered ball? Do you think ahead to the opportunity for a par on the next hole while you are still putting?

Mindfulness is in part about staying in the present. Dwelling on the past or anticipating the future gets in the way of you concentrating on the here and now. Bring your attention to the present by concentrating on your breathing and then on the ball and the task at hand.

2. Manage Emotions

If you hit a poor shot you may be disappointed or even angry with yourself. Holding on to that emotion is damaging to your score as well as to your enjoyment of the game. Develop your golf mental game to defuse these negative emotions.

Give yourself a few moments of emotional reaction and then mentally and physically move on. Try counting your steps or your breaths to distract yourself. As you put your club back in the bag imagine putting away the bad shot.

Chat with your fellow players. Think about something pleasurable. Use a mental golf tip and take your thoughts to a happier place.

3. Keep it Simple

When everything is going wrong you need to go back to basics. Keeping it simple so you can rebuild confidence. The mental side of golf is sometimes about restoring self-belief.

You will have a club that you can rely on. It may be a mid-range iron such as a seven. You know you can hit the ball cleanly and effectively with that club.

If all else fails, use your most reliable club even if the conditions don't suggest it. Use this as a way of steadying yourself and building confidence. Hitting the ball well will re-enforce your confidence and give you something to build on.

4. Think About What You Did Well

Even if a put didn't drop, think about what you did right. Perhaps the line was good. Perhaps you hit the ball the right distance.

Dwelling on the negative aspect of a shot is not the whole story. Recognize what you are doing right and build on that next time. On the next hole, you can get it right.

5. Develop a Pre-Shot Routine

You will have seen professional golfers go through what is sometimes an elaborate pre-shot routine. This series of steps repeated every time keeps your mind focused on the task at hand. It stops negative thoughts, regrets, and fears from interfering with your concentration.

Practice Golf Psychology

You may spend hours on the golf range or practice ground. If you don't practice your mental approach to the game you could be wasting your time. Golf psychology is as vital as a great swing.

For more ideas to improve your golf, click here.