Four Ways To Improve Your Golf Mental Game

November 01, 2021

Mental Game Upgrades

By Gabe Hearn

Throughout this series of articles, I️ am going to discuss what I️ like to call the four C’s.

Confidence, commitment, consistency, composure

The first and probably the most important part to achieve a strong mental game is Confidence. Confidence is the most important single factor in this game, and no matter how great your natural talent, there is only one way to obtain and sustain it: work.” ~ Jack Nicklaus.

Having the right amount of confidence is one of the most important parts of great performance on the course.

Self belief is the first step, you need to believe in yourself at all times. If you start the round with the thought that your not a good golfer than you are already setting yourself up for failure. A good way to gain more self belief is to think about another skill that you have improved at. Remind yourself of the improvements you have made in your life and your golf game.

Stay positive. Always keep a positive outlook on your swing and your golf game.  If you don’t think you are capable of playing good golf, you are going to prove yourself right time and time again.

Remember what went well. Take five minutes after every round and either write down the good shots or just make a mental note on how the shot felt and how you felt afterwards.

Visualize and Feel. The more vividly you can see the target and the shot you intend to hit, the less you will see what you fear. Putting the intention into the subconscious mind, can help synchronize the body and mind and increase the chance of success.

Develop a Strong Shot Routine. When you have a good pre shot routine, even when you are in a high pressure situation you can still feel comfortable and confident.

Confidence is the key component to playing good golf and training yourself to do these steps will definitely upgrade your game.

Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated; it satisfies the soul and frustrates the intellect. It is at the same time rewarding and maddening – and it is without a doubt the greatest game mankind has ever invented.” -Arnold Palmer

golf mental game upgrades
“Playing with a high level of commitment can be the thing that takes your game to a new level.” Megan Padua

We all want our swings to be that much better and to hit the ball that much farther, but if we don’t trust the swing we have and fully commit to each shot, then we’re making it that much harder on ourselves to hit the shots we want to and to shoot a good score.
When we’re standing over the ball about to hit that downhill chip shot or that long iron shot into the green, it’s much easier for those negative thoughts or images of the swing or shot we don’t want to creep in.

Before each shot, picture the best shot you have hit with that club. Remember what it felt like after you hit it just the way you intended. Visualize the ball flying to the target you have chosen. This is a method that Freddy Couples does, as well as many other great players.
Hitting a shot with total commitment means that you have already accepted the outcome no matter what happens. If we have this mindset on a consistent basis, it will help free us so that we can make our best swing.

There are two things that can help you stay committed to your shots:

  • Strengthen Your Pre-Shot Routine
    • Developing a strong, quick, pre-shot routine is key to being able to commit to your shots. When walking up to your ball, you are in the preparation zone, factoring in all the elements that you need to take into account before each shot. 
    • When you step up to your ball, your pre-shot routine should take over. You should be fully committed, only thinking about the process, not the results. 
  • Control Your Breathing
    • Take steady deep breaths and exhale before each shot. This will help release tension and relax you. 

Doing these things will take time and experience, but practicing and focusing on these points will exponentially increase your confidence and commitment in your golf game.

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