Sports Psychology Tips: How Much of Golf is Psychological?
Some say 50% or is it nearer 90%?
Different people have different answers on this – some say 50%, some 70%…I’ve even heard people say 90%.
So why, then, if such a large percentage of the game is in the head, do most golfers neglect it or often leave it till their game is in a bad place?
It’s been evident over the 10 years that I’ve been supporting golfers, that the majority first work on the technical side of their game before coming to the conclusion that they need to look in the mirror and make some changes to their mental game.
One of my former clients said: “I know roughly what drills my coach will help me with to improve my technique but I have don’t have a clue what to practise on to improve my mental game.”
This is pretty common, most golfers don’t know how to go about improving their mental game and this is why they then go on to do different things for the sake of it, such as:
- Change their swing
- Purchase new equipment
- Sack their caddy
- Change their coach
- Adjust their grip
Yes, improving your technique can improve performance, I agree, it has for me as a 4 handicap golfer. It has helped me play better and more consistently without spending too much time practising. Setting aside simple strategies to ensure my mental game is good is, however, also key to my consistency.
But in most cases, golfers fail to consider making changes to their mental game. They often read tips in magazines, but don’t put them into practise.
So how do you know if you should make technical or mental game changes?
It is often a problem with your mindset when you:
- Hit the ball well on the driving range but not on the course
- Get overly fearful when you get a card in your hand
- Are anxious that you steer the ball
- You choke towards the end of a round when playing well
- Experience bogey holes and feel helpless to play them better
- You try to swing perfectly when competing
- Lose your cool after a bad hole or shot
Many golfers do strive to get better and improve their game. You’ll see many bashing balls on practise areas and ranges up and down the country. How many are practising effectively and how many could benefit from some mental game support I wonder!
Improving the mental game might not be as simple as improving technique but it can be hugely helpful.
To learn more about how working on your mental game can help you sign up to The Mental Edge for regular updates.
Or to get in touch to improve your golf in 2020 with one 2 one Golf Psychology Coaching with a Leading Sport Psychologist, David Charlton, based near Newcastle upon Tyne.
Personalised golf imagery and hypnosis audios are also available on request.
Sports Psychologist located near Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK and willing to travel Internationally. Managing Director – Inspiring Sporting Excellence. With over 10 years experience supporting athletes, coaches, parents and teams to achieve their goals, quickly.
T: +44 7734 697769
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