Out of the Bunker: The importance of mental clarity


I was reading an article recently that was discussing the top 10 mental mistakes in golf. The list was well thought out and was related in a way that most golfers can understand. I’d like to discuss a few of the mental mistakes that I feel most strongly about.

— Associating with negative people
This is a mistake that applies not only to the golf course, but also in life. Nothing good happens when we associate with negative people. On the golf course, the negative person is the one who is never satisfied with anything they do on the golf course. This attitude can be draining, and it can definitely have a negative effect on your golf game is you are associated with somebody like this.

— Making any particular event or match special
This is an important lesson to learn. I see players all of the time who place so much pressure on themselves to play well, that they don’t enjoy themselves on the golf course. There is value in treating a tournament round of golf the same as a casual round with your friends. Work on convincing yourself in your mind to treat every round of golf the same and you will become a much more consistent player.

— Using extreme self-talk that puts extra pressure on you
This is perhaps the most common mental mistake a player can make. We all suffer from this at certain points on the golf course. Negative self-talk restricts a players ability to fully commit to a plan, and ultimately leads to playing golf out of fear. Rather than focusing on what you’d like to have happen, you instead focus on what you hope doesn’t happen.
Golf is an extremely difficult game to learn, even if you have a great attitude. If you have a poor attitude, golf can be an impossible game to learn. Work on overcoming these mental mistakes and you will be on your way to becoming a better golfer.

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