Golf Mental Game Strategy | How To Concentrate And Stay Focused

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Golf Mental Game Strategy

Golf Mental Game Strategy – Do You Have A Game Plan?

How many times have you hit that shot and your golf mental game strategy goes out the window… Or you don’t even have a mental game strategy.

That shot was downright dammed awful…

Hit it fat, hit it thin, shanked it, hooked, it, sliced it, duffed it, dropped kicked it whatever it was, it was nasty!

For the next 3 – 4 holes or even longer you carry that shot around with you. You get angry with yourself, make split-second decisions.

As a result of that one shot and you’ve kept it in your mind, holding on to it. Unintentionally you’ve actually made your game worse.

Now I know that’s not your mental game strategy, right? Well, I hope it’s not.

In this article, I’m going to talk about an approach to a realistic metal game strategy that will help you concentrate and focus.

Follow these simple mental game strategies and you’ll start to see an improvement in your golf game.

As the saying goes, 100 shots to build up your confidence and 1 shot to lose it…. The key is how do you get past this mindset.

 

Golf The Mental Game

  • “What separates great players from the good ones is not so much ability as brainpower and emotional equilibrium”.

the great Arnold Palmer

Other famous golf pros have said similar things. – Golf is 80% mental, 10% luck, and 10% skill.

The game of golf is going to screw with your mind!

That’s the truth, whether you are a pro or an armature, whether you are experienced or just starting out on weekends.

At some point in time, this sport will get inside your head and mess with it as nothing else can do!

I know that sounds crazy but it’s true…

I’ve been playing the game for over 10 years now – along the way I learned something about how the mental side of golf affects my round. I’ve worked hard on my golf mental fitness.

These mental game strategies that I’m going to share with you are what I employ on the course. These have helped me immensely to concentrate and stay focused for 18 holes.

Me and My Son On The Golf Course 2019
My son and I at Redwood Park Golf Course, Auckland, New Zealand May 2019.

Improve Your Mental Game With These Strategy Tips

Golf is a mental game as much as it is a physical one. If you want to play your best, you need to be in the right frame of mind. Here are some tips for improving your golf mental strategies.

Your personal golf mental preparation checklist.

#1. Don’t Carry Those Bad Shots Around With You

I’ve briefly talked about this, hit that bad shot, and learn to let it go.

Sure, don’t get me wrong it isn’t great, it gets to me as well.

But learn to let it go, carrying that bad shot around with you throughout the game, what’s the point? Right

It’s not going to make your game any better in fact it will make it worse. Learn to let those bad shots go, just let it go.

#2. Commitment, Commitment, Commitment

I can’t say this enough, commitment, faced with a challenging difficult shot, commit to it!

Once you’ve decided what course of action you’re going to take and have selected your club. It’s time to commit! 

Don’t take that half-hearted swing or the hit and hope approach.

Trust your swing and commit to the process of hitting that shot.

Think about the shot you’re trying to achieve, and commit to it.

However be realistic, don’t try for your career-best once-in-a-lifetime shot.

When you commit to that realistic shot, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the result.

#3. How To Visualize Your Next Shot

This leads to visualizing your next shot, drive, pitch, chip or putt visualize it!

How you’re shot is going to move, where you want it to land and stop.

Visualizing your shot before you swing through the ball will help greatly with your swing tempo and ball control.  

Do this for every shot. Visualize it.

Visualize Your Next Shot

#4. Giving Yourself Advice That Is Not Helpful

How often on the golf course do you give yourself advice that is not helpful?  

For example…  

  • “Don’t hook it left, there’s some serious trouble over there”.
  • “Don’t miss this short putt because that will be embarrassing!”
  • “Don’t be short and hit that pitch shot into the bunker”. 

Just don’t… be your own worst enemy.

Don’t think about how bad it is going to be just hit – it’s not going to do anything but make your game worse!

I know, I’ve been there before and experienced the frustration of my thoughts taking over my swing!

It took me a while to figure out that if I focused on something positive when those pesky thoughts invaded, then they became powerless against me.

Next time you find yourself on the course and saying Don’t try this.  

Be aware of your thoughts going through your mind.  

When you notice thoughts that aren’t helpful, simply say to yourself in your head…  “Not helpful”.  

Then replace the “not helpful” thought with a positive one or at the very least a neutral one.

#5. Have A Pre-Shot Routine

A solid pre-shot routine is critical to good, consistent golf.

Pre-shot routines work and are a fantastic way of releasing the tension in your mind and body right before you hit your shot.

A pre-shot routine will help with your concentration and keep you focused on the shot at hand.

A waggle of your club, a slight pressing of the club head on the ground, or a small leg bounce.

Whatever your routine will be only you will know, this can be anything. However, it should only take 3 – 5 seconds max.

If you don’t have a pre-shot routine start to build one.

A good starting point is to think about what eases tension in your mind and body.

  • Just remember freezing over the ball for any longer than 6 seconds thinking about the shot you are about to play will have an unfavorable outcome.

#6. Make Your Practice Time Count

You go to the range and smash the ball like a demon, straight and long, one after another…

You go to the golf course and get up onto the first tee and smash it, like at the range. Oh, you’ve hooked it OB!

On the range, there’s no consequence for a bad shot.

So, on the range, you’re not worried about hooking it because there’s no O.B. to the left for example.

You’re not worried about hitting the ball well to carry water because there is none… You get the idea.

On the golf course, you only get 1 shot, and each shot matters.

When you’re standing on a tee with O.B. on the right or water to the left it can cause panic.

However there is one very simple thing you can do to help you in these situations, and that’s this…

When you’re on the golf course, imagine yourself being at a driving range.

Basically, play as if you were practicing your swing and not worrying about all the obstacles in front of or around you.

Pick an area that’s clear that you can hit your ball too, don’t think about, or look at all the trouble.

Remove all those distractions from your mind!

The advice I’m giving you is to pick a target and focus on that.

You’re wasting your time if you don’t do this at the driving range, so why not take my advice for once?

Because you can imagine yourself on the range as much as you want.

But if you’re not in the habit of picking out targets to hit your shots to when you practice then naturally this is not going to transfer over to the golf course.

Monster Golf Swing

My Golf Mental Game Strategy Tips

These simple mental game strategies will help you to get better at golf.

The next time you’re on the golf course, start practicing these strategies. Get into the habit of employing a mental game strategy.

I’m sure these will help you towards lowering your scores.  

If you’ve found these tips helpful you will find this even better.  Mental Golf Mastery

Jeff Richmond has a complete step-by-step program that will help you to replicate the mental processes that golf pros go through when they play golf.

Remember a solid golf mental game strategy is 80% of the game.

Other Factors To Consider

Other factors to consider will help towards your mental game strategy.

These are factors sometimes overlooked or not considered.

They are…

  • Damage control, avoiding danger.
  • Tension in your body.
  • Trying to hole those 30-foot putts.

These elements, addressing them in a realistic manner will work towards an overall positive outcome for your mental game strategy.

Now I’ll break them down and go into detail.

The Mastery Of Damage Control

Being a good and consistent striker of the golf ball is not the sole qualification for success.

Whether at the highest level of the game or, more importantly, in your regular weekend fourball.

There are many players with limited ability as prime ball-strikers who have been highly successful on the course when it matters,

Much of this is because they have the ability to make the right decision at the right moment.

They can assess correctly what they are capable of and what’s possible and stick to their decision.

No player no matter how great they are can play consistently well every time they step onto the golf course.

Finding A Way

Professional players even when they’re not on top of their game, can still manage to score well – because they invariably find a way around it.

They limit the damage sufficiently and avoid recording a confidence-shattering high score.

This is something we can all learn from.

A golf course should be looked upon as an obstacle course, where there are easier ways and more difficult routes.

Golf is not about how but how many, remember that.

Round Of Golf Score Chart

The chart above would be a typical round for some. All these needless shots, add up to let’s say 12 strokes, or potentially the difference between a score of 90 and 78!

An immediate and very often dramatic improvement in your scores will be a result of you limiting the damage and finding a way around it.

Keeping Things Simple

Playing Over Water

if you are not certain that you can carry over water with anything less than your career-best shot then don’t think about trying it.

Lay up short of the hazard and try for the pitch and putt approach.

You have a chance of pulling it off and at worst only dropping one shot.

Failure to carry the water will be damaging, resulting in losing your ball, and dropping at least 2 shots or more.  

Playing Long Par 4’s and 5’s

At long par 4’s where you know you have little chance of reaching the green in 2 shots.

Decide from where you would ideally like to play your third shot to give the best chance of making par or at worst bogey.

Don’t force your drive in the hope of accomplishing your career-best once-in-a-lifetime shot.

Keep the ball in play and focus on the decision you’ve made.

  • Remember – While a par 4 is better than a bogey, a five is still two shots better than a seven. Ultimately every shot counts.

Your Approach To The Green

You don’t always have to play aggressively and attack the hole with your approach shot.

It is much easier to hole out with two putts from the center of the green, no matter where the hole is.

Rather than attacking the hole and having to get up and down from a greenside bunker or a difficult chip from deep rough because your approach was off-line. 

My Practice Time

Tension In Your Body

Any golf coach worth their weight in gold will tell you that tension in your body is a golf swing killer! Pros and good golfers know this and they work hard to reduce tension.

You grip the club too tight – which creates tension. You jerk your swing from the top on the downswing trying to hit the skin off the ball – creating tension, this is the number one swing, killer!

Tension has the opposite effect on your swing speed and it actually slows it down. Reducing tension in your body from your neck to your toes will help to unlock these powerful muscles hiding in your back, your arms, and all the way down through to your legs.

You’re hitting the ball great. Had a string of good holes, you’re feeling confident with your golf game.
One great shot after another. Out of nowhere, you have a string of bad inconsistent shots, one after another.

So what has happened, what have you done differently? Did you lose your swing?
Of course, you didn’t. Does your golf swing need a big overhaul?
Of course, it doesn’t because not long ago you were hitting great shots.

So what’s the cause of going from hitting it great one second to hitting it bad the next?

Well, the most common reason is that you had excessive tension in your body.
When you swing a golf club you need tension in certain muscles because you’re swinging a golf club so fast.

If you had no tension as you swung then the club would come flying out of your hands. The problem golfers face is using excessive tension in their bodies to hit golf shots… There’s good and bad news with this.

  • The bad news is that if you don’t do anything about this habit of hitting shots with excessive tension, then you’ll always be plagued by inconsistency.
  • The good news, however, is that you can actually train yourself to hit golf shots consistently with only the necessary amount of tension in the appropriate muscles.
On The Putting Green

Stop Trying To Hole Putts

Isn’t that what you’re meant to do? Well, yes and no.

When you’re putting your goal should be for the ball to go in the hole. But here’s the thing…

Have you ever hit a putt that you thought was perfect but for some reason the ball didn’t fall in?

So, what happened didn’t you try hard enough?

Maybe if you tried a bit harder the ball would have gone in.

Obviously, that’s stupid thinking.

But when I watch a lot of people putting, they are trying really hard!

I’m not pointing fingers either, because I’ve been guilty of this too.

Everyone knows that with putting that there’s luck involved.

You can hit a perfect putt and the ball may not go in. You can hit a putt that you swear was going to miss and it goes in.

So why do we steer putts?

When you watch the pros, very rarely do you see them steer putts.

They put a nice stroke on the ball, hold their finish, and watch the outcome.

But most average golfers stroke the ball, never hold their finish and are trying to guide the ball into the hole with their putter and body.

Or in other words, trying too hard… Look, when you putt you shouldn’t overemphasize that you are trying to hole the putt.

You shouldn’t say things like “I need to hole this” or “come on, try really hard to hole this”. That sort of thinking creates tension. And when you’re tense while putting, for some reason the ball does not fall in.

Instead, Here’s What You Should Do

  • Pick a line and pace for each putt and focus on hitting the putt along the line you’ve chosen with good speed, then let the outcome take care of itself.
  • Instead of trying to hole the putt, you should be trying to do the task of putting, as well as you can.
    Then, let the outcome take care of itself.
  • What I’m talking about is focus 

Focus on something you can control, e.g. your putting routine, your putting stroke, your mental attitude, your line, your speed.

Don’t focus on something you can’t control, i.e. trying to hole the ball.  

Do this the next time you putt and you will hole more putts without trying.

However, this entire concept relates to every shot you play.

Because if you’re overly tense and steering your putts, you’re more than likely going to be overly tense on your drives, your iron shots, your pitch shots, your chip shots, bunker shots, you get the picture.

If as you’re reading this and thinking about your golf game you think that you’re often steering your shots and feel tense at the end of your swings.

Then this is a major problem for you.

And the only way you’re going to improve your golf mental game strategy is by learning how to hit shots with ONLY the necessary amount of tension.  

Imagine Playing Golf

Imagine playing golf… effortlessly holing 3-foot putts without any tension or trying to steer your putts.

Being laser pinpoint focused, in the “golf zone”.

Crushing drive after drive, concentration levels at an all-time high.

Hitting your irons crisply without concern for hitting them fat or thin. Pitching and chipping without worrying about duffing them.

What’s the secret to doing that?

Well, it’s not going to the course and smashing every drive, iron, and pitch shot in the hope it goes the distance.

Because you can do this until your end of days… it doesn’t work!

Or you can do the… “I don’t really care about this shot”… type of thing.

That works great until you start to notice that you’re scoring really well – then you start to care about your score.

Then BANG you start posting some big numbers.

Instead, what you need to do, is to find a proven program that will teach you EXACTLY what steps you need to take to become a golf master strategist.

Mental Golf Mastery Program
Golf Mental Game Strategy

My Takeaway

  • Golf mental game strategy tips I’ve put together for you combined with the Mental Golf Mastery program are powerful tools to help you lower your golf scores.
  • Imagine getting inside the mind of a top golf pro. Then imagine replicating the type of thinking and processes they go through. How many shots would you save if you could do that?
  • The mental game strategy, most golfers tend to focus on skill, and technique and overlook the mental strategy aspects of the game.
  • Wanting to remove tension from your body when on the course or reduce those stress levels when you hit a bad shot or work to improve your golf game strategy the Mental Golf Mastery program is for you.
  • Looking for the secrets that golf’s most mentally tough players use to think clearly and rationally on the golf course. Outwit and outplay their playing partners and ultimately shoot lower scores.
  • If you’re trying to lower your golf score and are having issues with tension, damage control. Not focusing or keep having not helpful thoughts running through your brain. This will be impacting on your confidence and enjoyment, The Mental Golf Mastery program is exactly what you need.

You Can Start Your Journey Today
To Becoming Laser Pinpoint Focused Master Golf Strategist!

Golf Mental Game Strategy