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  • Writer's pictureSean Howell

Why is the mental game of golf important?

The six-inch game most players forget about.

As golfers, we all know the game of golf is the toughest and most infuriating sport on the planet! But at the end of the day, we all love the game. Whether you’re a beginner that got the "golf bug" from friends, been playing the game for years - and especially at high amateur level and professional level.

Anyone can hit a golf ball, chip and putt. But most players forget or underestimate the power your mind has on you, especially while you are playing. As soon as the player gets into a high-pressure situation, the brain goes into overdrive.

This is when doubt comes into play. Second guessing your decisions. Not trusting your gut feeling. You didn't execute the shot you wanted. Maybe you didn't stick to your routine. The weather conditions and the list goes on.

The most important aspect when it comes to the mental side of the sport, will be to have a great attitude. Players underestimate the power that attitude has while playing golf.

Mental toughness and a great attitude will determine whether you will succeed in the game of golf. In turn, it will also determine your performance on the golf course. Yes, attitude may play a small role, but the smaller details that you implement will build up mental toughness.

Key thought: Act professional on and off the golf course.

The question remains, why is the mental side of golf important? Golf as we all know is extremely unpredictable. The only things, we as a golfer – beginner, amateur and professional – can control will be the club selection, routine, alignment, and that's about it. Once the ball leaves the club, it's all in the Golfing Gods’ hands!

This is where the mental side of the game comes into play, especially with what we can control.

Let’s look at the aspects we can control and how these will assist in the mental preparation before every shot.

● Breathing - slow down the heart rate

● Imagination - picture the shot you want to hit

● Use all 5 senses

● Damage control - limiting mistakes

● Trust your decisions and follow through

● Accept the outcome - very important

These are a few points that will help to narrow down your focus and block out any unnecessary noise and distractions.

As with anything, practicing does, in fact, make perfect. It’s important to learn to hone these mental skills to be successful and cope with the ups and downs of the game.

As the saying goes: “Success in golf depends less on strength of body, and more on strength of mind and character.”

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