Mental Game Scorecard

How To Use Your Mental Game Scorecard

When you step onto the first tee, your technical skills are what they are. It’s the mental game of golf that’s going to help you to access your very best skills on that day.

In other words, if we make the mental game the measure of success for every round, we maximize our chances of success.  With my Mental Game Scorecard, you can set mental goals for each round and score yourself on how well you did at achieving them. From my experience of coaching the mental game of golf for over 10 years, the better the mental score, the better the actual score.

Mental Goals For A Round of Golf

Why set mental goals for a round of golf?

In golf there are a lot of variables, which includes the outcome of each shot and your score. When we set “outcome goals”, we are setting goals for things that are not completely within your control – there’s an uncertainty factor. And if we focus on things that are uncertain, it makes us feel stressed, which creates tension and makes focusing harder. Let’s say you set the goal of keeping 3 putts off the card or avoiding double bogeys, then you proceed to have a 3 putt double bogey on the first hole. That’s not going to make you feel good is it?

It’s far better to set goals for things that are 100% within your control, that are process related, not outcome related. Immediately you will feel less performance anxiety when you do this. If you achieve those process goals, it will give you the best possible chance of getting the outcome you want.

Process Goals

When I begin work with a new student, I assess them and identify what they need to be focusing on during their “shot routine” to maximize their chances of hitting a good shot. Once we’ve done this for each type of shot (full shot, short game and putting), those steps become goals and the measure of success for the shot, not the outcome!

I set these Process goals for my Shot Routine (for full shots) last weekend:

  • Clear Target
  • Visualize
  • Breathe
  • Commitment

I scored 88% on my “Mental Game Scorecard” and shot a 74, which for me is a good round. To download your free copy of my Mental Game Scorecard, please click here.

Other Types Of Process Goals

The time in between shots is actually 80% of a round of golf. Many golfers lose shots because they’re focusing on the wrong things during this time, which increases performance anxiety and burns mental energy. For this reason, it’s important to we need to create goals such as the following for the in between shot time:

  • Staying present (focusing on breathing, senses etc)
  • Positive self-talk
  • Thinking about things that keep you positive
  • Talking with playing partners

I also have my students measure their mental performance (in their Post Round Review) by other criteria such as:

  • Strategy
  • Acceptance
  • Pre-round warm-up
  • Golf IQ
  • Nutrition and hydration

How Do You Score The Mental Game of Golf?

Get your FREE Mental Game Scorecard

David MacKenzie

is a mental golf coach and lives in Washington DC. He is the founder of Golf State of Mind, a teaching program designed to help golfers condition their minds to overcome fear and play with confidence.

This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. blank

    Can you please explain how you do the scoring? I see 3/4 or 5 dashes. Where do they stand for.

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      David MacKenzie

      Hi John, thanks for reading. Each dash is a shot is the full process (all 4 process goals achieved). Hope this helps.

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        Victor Warren

        I understand the approach. But I also don’t understand the calculation. Each shot that you stuck to your process for = 1 dash. Count up the dashes at the end of the round. But what does 88% represent?

        1. Avatar photo
          David MacKenzie

          88% of your shots were hit “in your process”. A perfect score (every shot was hit going through all your process goals) would be 100%. It’s very hard to do it, but a great and productive goal to have!

  2. blank

    Hi! Sorry what fo each of the tally marks stand for? Could you walk me through scoring a mock hole? Thank you in advance


  3. blank

    I have the same question…I’m not understanding out to figure out the dashes/tally marks on the scorecard and getting them to equal 64….?

  4. blank

    If I played a par 4 and I did clear the target, I did visualized the shot, did the proper breathing but did not commit because my mind went negative as soon as I stood on the ball shall I give myself 1/2 a dash for the 1st shot? 2nd shot did everything so I give myself a dash but went to the bunker, 3rd shot did the landing spot, visualize but did not feel or felt light hands, again 1/2 a dash,. You only give an example of 4 dashes, how about if you make a double? Thanks for your explanation

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    will brooks

    Each hole has Full Shot Approach Shot/Short Game Putting

    In each of those 3 categories are 4 Processes

    3 x 4 = 12

    Presumably the goal of the Process Goal is to achieve the maximum 12 ticks/dashes/tally marks per hole (which would be most difficult).

    So how do you explain your personal best on a hole is 4 ticks/dashes/tally marks?

    I confess I’m not at all clear on what your getting at.

    1. Avatar photo
      David MacKenzie

      Sorry about the confusion. I was in “my process” for 64 out of the 74 shots I scored in that round. I set myself 4 process goals for each type of shot and if I achieved all of them on a shot, I gave myself a point. If you prefer a simpler version, you can just give yourself one point per hole that you execute your mental process. Hope this clears it up. Mental goals are always better than outcome goals.

  6. blank

    Hi, I’m not able to understand the shot system in relation to the tally. Would you please explain it in detail?
    For each hole.
    Shot no.1 off the tee, gets one tally if achieved.
    Shot no.2 ( approach shot ) gets another tally.
    Shot no .3 ( putt ) gets tally number 3
    Is that how it works?
    At the end if I shoot a level par round (72)
    My tally should match the actual score is that right?

    1. Avatar photo
      David MacKenzie

      Hi Kunal,
      Thank you for your comment. Did you sign up and receive the scorecard? There is a video in there explaining exactly how it works.
      Please let me know,

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