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Golf requires focus more than anything else. When on the field, what mental tips should players practice to minimize anxiety?

“Golf is mainly on a five-and-a-half-inch course…
the space between your ears.”
– Bobby Jones

Golf can be mistaken as an easy sport.

After all, the audience can see the golfer merely striking their club and hitting the ball nearer the hole. But they fail to see the mental and psychological gymnastics the players are doing.

Golf Psychology, the Sport Beyond Ability

Although golfers still require skills to succeed, proficiency isn’t everything. What good is competence if, under the slightest pressure, players buckle?

Unlike any other sport, golf is more of a mental game than a physical one. In fact, according to a pro-player, if it were to be defined in numbers, it’s said to be 90% about mental strength and only 10% physical. This is precisely why golf mental tips are more important than physical endurance.

Golf is undeniably a mentally challenging sport. Some of the common questions golfers would wonder revolves around “How do I overcome golf anxiety?” proving how much mental strain the sport has.

Beyond being a hit or miss, it’s an individual pursuit without anybody’s assistance if things turn sour. With this, golf specialists don’t only have to practice their swings. Instead, they would have to shape their self-belief and stop irrational thoughts from influencing their game. While psychologists helping players isn’t anything new in sports, for golfers, these are more focused on teaching them to frame their minds positively before a game and to find themselves a happy place before swinging.

How to be Better at Golf Mentally?

a photo of someone showing how to mentally prepare for a golf game | Image by LipikStockMedia on Freepik

Philip Ripley Ward writes a solo golfer’s guide to success, and a significant part of this is dedicated to golf mental tips. Golf Is Not What You Think follows the author’s experience in the field and the ups and downs he’s experienced as he masters how to swing his club confidently. In his book, readers become well-versed in the game, realizing their numerous misconceptions about the sport.

What may seem like a laidback sport is actually a taxing and intimidating mental game. Philip Ripley Ward details what he’s learned after “circling the mountain” for 40 years.

Although the book is presented humorously, readers gain more insights about life regardless of whether they’ve ever played golf. They’ll realize how reflective of life the sport is, connecting lessons specific to the fieldwork with life in general. With this, they’ll also learn the importance of mental health and grit to the sport.

There’s no right or wrong way to get better at golf. People can join training or clubs, which can help build their skills. But to get mentally better, here are some golf mental tips to follow.

The Importance of Golf Mental Tips

Golf is an enduring game. With 18 holes to accomplish, time is of the essence. Although players must focus on their goals, there’s much time for their minds to wander carelessly. The slightest distraction can let balls wander away from the supposed hole.

With everything, how do players mentally prepare for a golf game?

Pro-players partake in multiple rituals and routines before their games. Given how mentally taxing the sport can be, golf mental tips usually involve breathing exercises, self-talk, and the overall improvement of attitude toward the sport. Here are some tips to consider for starters:

Master Self-Talk

Mind over body is applicable for most sports, but it’s significantly important for golf. Played on an open field, there are many uncontrollable elements that can influence players’ game. From weather to breaks and even their competitors, golf games can be made or broken by these factors.

But beyond these, there’s one thing layers can control: their self-talk.

Practicing positive self-talk is one of the most important golf mental tips. When unchecked, how players view themselves and the game can sabotage their swing. This is why it’s crucial for them to become aware of their language patterns.

a photo of someone showing focus as a golf psychology | Image by freepik

Learn When to Focus

Golf requires players’ focus, but they don’t have to do so throughout the competition—that’s simply impossible. Imagine 4-5 hours of undisrupted focus. That would be mentally exhausting, which can lead to fatigue during the last parts of the stint. One of the best golf mental tips that sounds contradictory is learning how to turn this focus off during unnecessary moments.

Golfers must learn when to focus and when to relax throughout the course. This pattern is referred to as narrow and wide focus, which allows their minds to refresh when it’s their turn.

When it comes to golfing, less is more. The less they focus throughout, especially when it’s not their turn, the more they’ll be able to do better during their turn.

Visualize Success

Perhaps one of the most effective golf mental tips is to visualize success. When it comes to sports that rely heavily on mental grit, the difference has a lot to do with how they visualize their game. Visualization is a powerful tool that helps players improve their game. This has more to do with their mental headspace, which enhances their gameplay.

If you want to learn more about golf, how players succeed, and their competition, get a copy of Philip Ripley Ward’s Golf Is Not What You Think.

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