Even the best golf players make mistakes. What makes them the best is their capacity to forgive their own mistakes and not allow frustration to follow around the course. They do this because they know taking control of your state of mind will vastly improve the physical aspect of the game. Mastering your emotions on the golf course can feel like an uphill battle, but it’s absolutely necessary to improve your game.
There’s still some time before the snow clears up on the course and you will need to find new ways to practice. The last thing you want to do is take a four-month break and lose the skills you built up throughout the season. There are still many ways for you to gear up for the upcoming season.
Pick up a putter any time golf comes to mind. This can be as simple as taking a few minutes to putt around the house. Make a target on the corner of the wall and practice putting while focusing on your thought process. Picture the shot in your mind and imagine yourself swinging the club perfectly and placing the ball exactly where you want it. This allows you to become comfortable in this position and will keep you calm and focused when the time comes to execute on the green.
Though practicing your full swing in the house can be challenging, you still have options. Most golf courses provide a golf simulator to practice on that will provide you with analytics on each shot such as distance, speed, and accuracy. This is a great opportunity to compare each swing and find the trends in your shot without facing the pressure of being on the course. Learn to become comfortable with yourself stepping up to the tee and remember, conservative play will benefit your mental and physical game far more than letting your frustration send the ball into the woods.
Having a strong mental game is crucial to a successful swing. Be present in the moment. There’s a reason you’ve heard this advice 100 times over. You need to be in the here and now to bring the shot you’re imagining in your head to life. Take a deep breath before stepping up to the tee and let your thoughts and worries go. Acquiring the skillset to clear the noise from your brain is extremely challenging, but your game will improve immensely. This is also a great skill to apply to your life outside of golf.
Remember, we all started playing golf to have fun. Avoid dwelling on a bad shot at the previous hole or stressing out about the brutal par 5 waiting for you around the bend. Frustration heightens your chances of error — especially when driving. Take a moment to collect yourself before driving the ball with frustration. Golf is a mental sport and requires you get in the right state of mind to not only imagine where you want the ball to land, but to actually get it there. Don’t let your mind turn on you.
Matt is an avid golf enthusiast and part of the TruGolf.com team. When he’s not working on his fairway shot, you will find Matt writing about his passion for the process of the game.