Golf is a mentally challenging sport, so you need to be focused and driven. What once was considered a lazy man’s sport, is now a physical sport in addition to mental sport. Here are five tips that competitive golfers can use to maximize their skills and lower their score.
Tip 1: Play Your Own Game
While this may sound like a no-brainer, some golfers tend to outplay their own abilities. If a golfer consistently shoots in the 80s, they should not expect to score below par during a match. This doesn’t mean that it will never happen, but if the average golfer expects to shoot like a professional, this could backfire, leaving their score higher than normal. This tip doesn’t have to only focus on a player’s scoring, but specific shots as well. If a player hits their drive 220 yards, they should not try to muscle up and hit the ball 300 yards. My advice is to play your own game and let the scores come naturally.
Tip 2: Prepare Mentally
When playing competitive golf, a lack of mental preparation can leave a player at a disadvantage. Whether it’s meditation, controlled breathing, or ridding your mind of distractions and narrowing your focus it is a must for golfers. Mental preparation can also be used in the form of visualization. If you visualize a play over and over in your head, you can make it happen. Another form of mental training that a golfer should use is the pre-match planning. This is particularly useful if the player has played the course and has taken notes about what clubs to use. Knowing distances and breaks of the green will take the guessing away during a match.
Tip 3: Prepare Physically
Golf requires physical preparation. Swinging a club as well as hitting the golf ball can help your body build up stamina. If a player consistently hits 50 to 100 balls in an hour, they will have the endurance for a three to four-hour match. An excellent way to build up strength is to do weight bearing exercises or go to the gym or get a personal trainer to help you with sport-specific exercises. Another aspect of physicality that a golfer must have is walking a few miles while carrying their golf bag. The best way to get the body used to this workload is to play practice holes regularly or run every day to build up your aerobic endurance.
Tip 4: Form a Bond With Your Teammates
Bonding with your teammates will make playing the sport more enjoyable. While a player’s talent is not directly related to how close they are to their teammates, having strong bonds with teammates can help improve a player’s performance. In tournaments and matches, a player who is close to their team will have extra motivation and support. Good team dynamics will strengthen your mental play, and you will be more inclined to support one another.
Tip 5: Keep Your Emotions in Check
Some sports are played with emotion; golf is not one of them. Of course, there are some exceptions to the rule. Professional golfers Sergio Garcia and Bubba Watson are known for their open displays of emotion on the golf course, and often rub fans and fellow players the wrong way. For most professionals, you will only see emotion during the end of a tournament. Since golf is such a mental game, blocking out emotions is how golfers keep their focus. As a young golfer, it is best to keep emotions at bay until the round is over or tournament is over.
Image courtesy of: NCAA.com