Everyone knows that golf is a physical game, but did you know there’s also something called “the inner game” of golf?
Some professional golfers even think of golf as being 90% mental and 10% physical.
As players look for the edge, mental training for golf is becoming a popular topic that many are seeking further understanding about in order to get the upper hand against their opponents.
Mental Golf Game
The grey matter between our ears is capable of amazing power and latest scientific studies show that we use less that 5% (some studies even state much lower) of our brain’s total potential.
This is absolutely staggering! And, when you combine these studies with the belief of many professional golfers stating that the game of golf is more mental than physical, you will come to understand that improving your mental golfing abilities, even slightly, can totally revolutionize your game.
Mind Tricks for golf
So what exactly is mental training for golf and how can one use it to improve their game?
The subject of mental performance and training is broad but at its very essence it’s about using your internal senses (hearing, seeing, and feeling) to enhance your physical game play.
This ‘golf mentality’ is usually done by mental rehearsal and visualization practices.
Although there are many ways to use mental rehearsal to improve your golf game I will give you a powerful exercise that you can use to improve any area of your game.
For best results do the following exercise 1 – 2 times per day for ten days straight.
Golf Mental Training Exercise:
Step One – Sit in a comfortable chair or lie down on a supported surface like a bed. Make sure you choose a place where you’ll be undisturbed for the next 15 – 20 minutes.
Close your eyes.
Step Two – Start by paying attention to your breathing and notice as you breath in and out. Don’t try to change it yet, just pay attention to it for a minute or so.
After “watching” it, gradually start to slow it down so that your out breath (exhale) is twice as long as your in breath (inhale).
Also make sure you are breathing from your lower abdomen as this can heighten relaxation.
After a few minutes of deep and slow belly breathing you will find your natural ability to visualize has increased.
Step Three – Now that you are in a relaxed state, think about something you want to improve. Do you need to improve your back swing, grip, or positioning? Do you always mess up on the follow through? Is your ball a magnet for hazards?
Whatever you want to fix and improve, make a note of it and then imagine you are on the golf course in the context of where the problem you want to fix happens.
For this step you don’t want to be associated to the image, instead observe yourself from someone else eyes such as a third party.
Step Four – See yourself performing the skill or technique that you want to improve flawlessly.
Keep on doing this until you are happy with the way the image looks. You may want to move around and see your shot from many different angles.
Step Five – Now you should associate into the image. This means seeing through your own eyes now, instead of being the outside observer.
Practice the same skill or technique perfectly. See, hear and feel yourself performing perfectly. Take as long as you need to do this.
The more you keep repeating this step, the more you will “wire” in the changes to your brains neurology and establish a new positive habit.
Step Six – When you’re ready open your eyes and come back to waking consciousness.
Okay, how did that feel and what did I just have you do?
This was a simple golf psychology exercise. The mind doesn’t know the difference between something vividly imagined and something that is actually real. By running through this exercise in your mind and seeing yourself do something perfectly, you are influencing the result on a physical level also.
And the more you see, hear, and feel yourself performing at your best the more likely it is that this will happen in the physical world.
Golf Mental Tips Focus– Master The Inner Game
Mental focus training techniques are proven to work, in fact many Olympic athletes use these types of exercises to help them win gold medals.
So don’t you think it would be wise to use these techniques to help you improve your golf skill and fix up any mistakes so you can lower your score?
Don’t under estimate the power of this mental training for golf exercise. Use it everyday for at least ten days and you will experience amazing results that will last long term.
Before I tell you what my golf mental game tips are I need to give you a warning about someone. Right this very second there is an enemy who is very close to you, so close that you could feel their heartbeat.
This enemy is the toughest opponent you will ever face and can cause you all types of trouble on the golf course if you do not learn how to control them.
This enemy is responsible for a large number of mistakes you make while you play golf. It can exploit your weaknesses, spiral your emotions out of control, cause the yips, and put a giant stop sign in between you and your golfing potential.
Doesn’t sound too nice does it?
Now get up if you are sitting down and walk over to a mirror. Take a good look. If you haven’t guessed by now that enemy I am talking about is the person staring back at you.
Well, in fact the enemy is actually not what you are looking at but rather within you. The enemy is your fears, doubts, frustrations, negativity, and self imposed limitations.
Don’t worry … there is good news!
You have both the enemy within you and you also have a winner who can help you succeed no matter what the cost. The winner within you is responsible for your dreams, certainty, belief, positivity, focus, determination, and unlimited potential.
The aim of this article is to help bring out that inner winner so that you can master the physical game of golf by getting control of that gray matter between your ears. So if you want to give yourself a serious edge next time you play, these three golf mental game tips can do that and much more.
Golf Mental Game Tips
Tip One – Keep A Golf Success Journal
We all have moments on the golf course when we deliver an amazing performance, where it seems as though the golf gods have blessed us and we can do no wrong. These moments are something you need to capture, memorize, and analyze so that you can use them to bring out your best more consistently.
If all you do is let your best performances slip away and become a distant memory, you can’t tap into their power.
Keep a golf success journal and write down all the times you have a successful game, an awesome practice session, or you are in the zone. Specifically you want to write down what happened, what it felt like, what was you body doing, what was going through your mind, and anything else unique about the situation.
Once you get specific about what occurred when you were playing at your best you will have a blueprint for success.
The more you replay the events in your head as you go over your success journal, preferably a few times a week, the more you will be training your mind to create these magical moments physically, each time you play.
This will also work wonders for your confidence!
Tip Two – Learn To Meditate
An article on golf mental game tips would not be complete if I left out this powerful technique. Meditation can dramatically boost your golfing performance.
Many successful professional sports people use meditation practice so that they can easily enter “the zone” or a state of flow.
Regularly practicing meditation can help to enhance your awareness of your body and the present moment. Also being able to control your emotions is a key skill if you want to fulfill your potential, and meditation is a great way to be able to do this.
Awareness of your body is vital when it comes to your swing and the way you are distributing your weight to gain control. Being in the present moment is the only time when you are playing the actual game of golf.
You are not playing in the past and you are not playing in the future. Each time you place that ball on the tee, getting in position and swinging, you are playing in the present moment.
Meditation can help keep your mind focused on the present moment so it stays sharp and focused on your shot and where you want it to go.
Meditation is actually very simple in theory but in practice it is very difficult.
Golf Meditation Tips
To mediate, find a quiet place and sit in a chair or on the floor with your legs crossed.
Close your eyes, and become aware of your breath as it goes in and out. This is your only focus for your meditation session which could last between from 5 – 20 minutes for starters.
While you try to focus on your breath your mind will be very active and your thoughts will try and distract you. Your mind will keep drifting away from the focus on your breath. Once this happens, keep bringing your awareness back to your breath.
With practice you will be able to stay super focused, aware, centered, and in the moment. You will also be able to achieve this on the golf course as well.
If you’re completely new to mediation then I suggest you try HeadSpace. This app can be easily downloaded on mobile or tablet and gives you 10 free introductory lessons which will introduce you to the basic concept of mediation. It’s the most widely used mediation app on the planet so you’re in safe hands.
Tip Three – Focus On The Positive
If you want the inner enemy to take control of your body and destroy your golf game, the surest way to do this is to let negative thinking get the better of you. But if you want your inner winner to rise to the occasion you are going to need to focus on the positive.
The key is to focus on what you want to happen, not on what you don’t want to happen. This is a super simple principle but it is rare to find someone who does this consistently.
Your ability to focus on the positive can be difficult at times, like when you are down on the scorecard, stuck in a bunker, or are faced with hazards. These situations can all be very testing but at times like these you really need to stay positive and focus on what you want to have happen and the end result.
This could be focusing on delivering the perfect swing, getting out of the bunker with ease, staying under par, or winning a tournament.
So anytime you catch yourself thinking negatively on the golf course, do your best to think the complete opposite. If you do this enough times over a long enough period, focusing on the positive will become a habit and work on autopilot.
This is one of the most powerful of the three golf mental game tips, which you can do no matter where you are. You will feel the benefits immediately!
I hope you enjoyed this article and I wish you well on your journey to mastering the inner game of golf.