Golf Is Really is Mind Over Matter

What is the game of golf to you? Very simply, golf is a game and as such is to be

That’s a simple enough statement but like many things in life, we unnecessarily
complicate the game, which leads to frustration, even anger and a general loss of
self-belief in our ability to play the game to the best of our abilities.

Why can’t we just treat the game as a game? There are several reasons depending
upon the level to which we play. Obviously the viewpoint of a tournament
professional will be different from that of a club golfer.

Irrespective of our golfing status, the greatest obstacle that gets in the way of our enjoyment is increased expectation of what we can achieve. This has usually been preceded by some form of success – either in competition or maybe handicap

So let’s take a different view and go back to the beginning. How do you gain
proficiency in anything? Think about learning to walk, talk, ride a bike, drive a car, build a career – in fact anything you have ever done.


You have LEARNED, usually through a series of progressions to enable you to reach
a given standard. Why then do we expect golf to be any different?

Playing golf to be the best you can be requires exactly the same level of learning and practice as any other discipline you have ever learned. If you want to achieve high levels of success, you will need to learn well and practise more than the average player. It’s as simple as that. Surely you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand that but why do we make it so difficult for ourselves to keep everything in perspective?

Set out your stall in the early days, decide to what level you want to play as soon as you are able and plan accordingly to reach your goals. Of course the plan will have to be adjusted en route, depending on the level of success you attain and the way the rest of your life pans out.

Well, how did you learn to walk or talk, etc? You acquired a series of good habits that enabled you to do these things. And so it is with golf. Learn good habits as early in your golfing life as possible.

Equate a poor golf shot to falling off your bike when you were learning – you
just got back on it and carried on without a thought for the fall. Do the
same with golf. Forget the bad shot and focus on the next.

Remember what you have learned from the professionals, trust yourself to
make the shot and just do it.

Imagine in your mind the shot you want to play – the shot you have practised
many times – and just do it.

Shut everything around you out and concentrate on the shot in hand – you’ve done this many times in practise.

Don’t try too hard, it creates tension in your body and will reduce your ability
to swing the club freely.

Keep your mind and body still and relaxed, trust yourself and let it happen.

Don’t get tied up in technical thoughts on the course – leave that to the range
and go with what you have on the course.

Don’t question why you are playing well, just carry on doing what is making
you successful.

Build on your good rounds. Your best streak / round is your FULL potential.

The best players make less mistakes – that is where consistency comes from.

Don’t think or try to control your actions. Just do it – again and again until


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David MacKenzie

is a golf coach and golf publisher and lives in Washington DC. He is the founder of Golf State of Mind a teaching program designed to help golfers eliminate negative mental interference and play with confidence.

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