High Expectations In Golf

Don’t Make a Good Score Your Goal

Having high expectations in golf or trying to beat your best score every time you play will only have a negative effect on your game. Trying too hard and forcing yourself to hit the golf shots needed to score well, creates pressure and tightness, limiting your performance. This is a really important lesson in learning a better mental game of golf.

What does setting high expectations in golf do to your chances of scoring?

When you set scoring goals for yourself you immediately set boundaries from the beginning. When you fail to meet these high expectations in golf, frustration and dissatisfaction set in, leading to more poorly hit golf shots. In golf, you need to give up control to gain control. It’s hard to be accepting of outcomes, when you have expectations. When you have no expectations, you can be accepting and swing more freely.

Your Mental Game Scorecard

A great way to break away from scoring targets is to set yourself goals that have nothing to do with the number on your scorecard. One such goal is simply sticking to your shot routine for x number of shots per round. Even the top players in the world struggle to achieve this for every shot, but they continually work to improve it. If you stick to each step of your routine for a shot, give yourself a point. Total up the points at the end of the round and calculate the % shots in your process. Make this the goal for every round.

Being able to go through a good shot routine and make sure you are mentally prepared for each shot as well as accepting the outcome of the shot, will help you more than continually measuring your game by your score.

To help you with this, I’ve put together a “mental game scorecard”, which will hold you accountable to these “process goals” and distract you from score and having too high expectations in golf.

Try this and you’ll feel more free and hit more god shots.

Photo by Julie Rybarczyk

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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.

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