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The Mental Game in Two Words - Page 2

post #19 of 82


Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post

i have to agree with, that you can trick yourself into being confident. I was standing over a putt, ones i usually miss. Then i just grinned and said to myself, im going to make this putt. I put it dead smack center, perfect putt. 


It just takes practice, actually i would say its takes getting use to. 

Ahh, but is it a trick or the effect of quantum mechanics on golf?


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post #20 of 82

No its mental...


When i was standing over a putt, i would start to think, am i on the right line. Then i just thought to myself, shut up, hit the damn putt your going to make it, and i did.


Or standing over a tough tee shot, i usually try to bring up the feeling of hitting a good tee shot from a previous round.


As for competition, i just relish in it. I am always a competative guy, i like it. The key to it, is to get rid of the negative feelings you get from under performing, and focusing on the positive of succeeding. From there you can get rid of get rid of getting angry at yourself.


For example i learned my golf game goes in spurts. I will par 3 holes, then if i get a bogey it might be bogey golf for a few holes. Its during that time i really try to buckle down and teach myself how to enjoy the moment, and playing the game. Everyone can enjoy playing golf good, its tough to stay that way when things start to slide.


Like they say you learn more by your mistakes than by your successes. With this you just have to learn how to channel your mind.


post #21 of 82
Enjoying competition/pressure may have a genetic component, but I feel it is mostly learned/nurtured. Success breeds success. Surround yourself with quality, successful, competitive people and you have a much better chance of acquiring the behaviors, feelings, and thoughts that promote achievement. Being physically fit and prepared certainly helps--it lowers resting heart rate and reduces angry/depressive/negative/anxious states.

John Wooden's pyramid of success
post #22 of 82
Thanks for putting it so simply... a1_smile.gif


Acknowledging that the pressure is there and being positive about it has really helped. I have now replaced the anxiety with a more methodical thought process. I can't do anything about where the ball has ended up, but I can do something about where it will be after my next shot.   


Addressing the ball with a clearer head has been invaluable. Been taking a lot of money off my mates since coming across this thread hahha!

post #23 of 82

I think there is a difference in "enjoying the pressure" and then trying to "enjoy undue pressure that you put on yourself."   I have always been a player that wanted the putt to win the hole.  I wanted to be the guy that hit that critical drive down the gut when it couldn't miss the fairway. I wanted to be the guy that stuck the long bunker shot close to save par.  That pressure is there because of the game or situation and is easily enjoyed.  My cousin, on the other hand, would put tremendous undue pressure on himself on MANY shots.  IMO, when you put the pressure on yourself like that, it is a different kind of pressure.  Many times when you put the pressure on yourself, it seems to be because the shot that you are trying to hit is not something that is in your game.  In that situation, the confidence is something that will be hard to come by.  If you stick to the shots that you know you can hit, the pressure becomes much more enjoyable...especially when you pull it off.  I used to be mentally weaker with my game.  Not so much that the pressure got to me, but that I would get angry when I didn't pull off the shot that I was trying to hit.  I have since changed my outlook on all of that and my game is MUCH more enjoyable now. 



With that being said, I also agree with the confidence tricking.  If I come up to a shot in a situation where I am not confident, I usually just tell myself that it's no different than hitting any other shot that I know I can hit.  Make a good swing and the ball will do what it's supposed to. 


I LOVE PRESSURE!!   And I thrive on the shots that I am told I can't hit!!

post #24 of 82
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

Players who do not enjoy being in the limelight (again, even if it's just to win a $2 nassau) simply avoid it or attempt to get out of it quickly


Coupled with a poor swing, this is the reason why I've struggled to be a good tournament player. I hate being in the limelight (with regards to anything really) and want to get out of it as quickly as possible. Simply put, I don't enjoy pressure. A large part of that has been a lack of confidence in my own ability.


post #25 of 82

I have a type A personality and when I was a junior golfer I would get angry and throw clubs and basically act like a real jack wagon.  As I matured....and I sure have at age 58 I have done better with the temper (remember type A's have a hard time finding a happy middle). 

Enjoy pressure?  I am not sure while in the moment I enjoy it, but I don't fear it either.  I practice playing under pressure even if I am playing by myself.  I make it a competition.  There have been numerous times playing in amateur events that the pressure got the best of me.  But, going through those moments has made me a better player. I think the more you put yourself in those pressure situations the better you will play in them going forward.  You may not succeed in every situation, but you will not fear the next one either.

post #26 of 82

I love this idea.  Golf is about tricking your mind into thinking your Tiger Woods and not to be upset when you dont perform like him.  Learning to love the pressure is a great way to have fun over your club championship winning putt instead of trembling and choking your putter out.  


Before every round, i love to go to putting green and sink a bunch of differnet types of putts within 10 feet.  I like to build up a memory bank of all these types of putts, and when it comes down to it on the course, i can just tell myself, i just sank this putt on the practice green, so whats the difference, just grip the putter extra soft, visualize the putt and execute.


Golf is about having confidence in your game and being able to visualize and be confident of the shot that is gonna come out.  The second you start thinking about the water on the right, or how you just lipped out the same putt on the previous hole, the negative thoughts will become reality and you've just been owned by pressure.  


In the end, Golf is just a game, and there will always be another one.  So just go out, have fun and you will see improvment in your game.

post #27 of 82

My mental strength is my biggest downfall. I can hit great shots on the range or on a sim all day, but seem to want to hit one a bit too hard every now and then if I have a water carry even though I have the right club in my hand. Its a big pitfall in my game and I need to address it, especially if I have bad thoughts about the last poor shot I hit from the same place. 

post #28 of 82

Pressure is a self inflicted wound...


You are worried about something that has not happened


Stay in the present 

post #29 of 82
Originally Posted by Arte View Post

Pressure is a self inflicted wound...


You are worried about something that has not happened


Stay in the present 

Good point, but it is easier said than done. Thinking ahead is something I need to work on eliminating.
post #30 of 82

On Enjoy pressure.... Hi guys. I think it is more about controlling tension - which is really energy.  You can do amazing things when your energy and awareness is high but you can also tip over the edge. Saying to someone "relax or stay calm" doesn't help much.

I see amateurs frequently crack under the pressure after shooting a good 9 holes (everyone does now and then). We all need coping strategies for controlling the adrenalin which comes with these situations. Routines and swing thoughts that can keep that energy in check. You must learn what thoughts keep you calm and use them when the heat is on (no thy self).


Okay here is an actual coping strategy for keeping your swing in tempo whilst under pressure. I got in from one of Jim Flecks books years ago when I was breaking new ground in my early twenties. I am one who gets pretty "jazzed up" so I definitely need strategies for keeping that energy in check so I can and harness it for good! Okay under pressure and generally I used this swing thought/feeling for many years...


I try and see the club head throughout the swing. I actually make sure I'm conscious of the shaft and where it is on my transition. Pretty hard to follow it after this point but if you can be smooth on the transition that energy can be harnessed (you could say it is just proper sequencing).

What it does is it joins the club, brain and body together. If your inner eye can see that shaft on the transition everything will be working in sequence. It is like a "control rod". My actual words were or are - "see the club shaft coming down, see the club head coming down". Use this mantra whilst you swing back, Over and Over. Before you know it you have eased your mind off the pressure as you are occupied with seeing and feeling the club shaft coming down at transition.  This has pulled me through many high pressure situations.

Try it out. Takes a little practice, but stick with it. Many of the greats have used similar swing thoughts to create this relaxed feeling from the top (Watson wants soft arms at the top and Bobby Jones tried to let his arms drop from the top).

If you have Any questions, let me know.



post #31 of 82

I learned during my third year of playing so so golf that the mental side of golf had to be considered in order to improve. In my mind I started to draw on an idea to develop consistency in my entire game. When it came together for me there were three words, concentration, control, and then confidence. I started to develop my swing from that day forward into a completely different level. I believe it could be said I went two levels from where I had been. Low nineties scores to mid seventies. All in a short six month timeframe. Not I only was I stunned from the change, everyone of my friends I played with back then were stunned. What happened is I used the thought of those three words, put it to practice, and they all led to a fourth "C" word, consistency.

post #32 of 82

If you last shot was good, remember it, if it was so so or bad start thinking about the next shot, plan your shots in advance as you approach your ball, if you know what you are going to do in advance it will take away the pressure and indecision.


post #33 of 82

Wanted to share my recent experience with the "mental game".  I've been struggling in some recent team play matches.  Team play is 16 members from my club against 16 players from another club in our division, we play home and away matches.  Last year I ended team play with 2 losses, not playing all that bad just getting beat by guys that I had to give a couple shots to (sandbaggers)a2_wink.gif  Then in the first match this season I was 3 up with 5 to play and ended up halving the match, which obviously felt like a loss, and in the second match last week played one of my worst rounds in a long time, losing 3 down.  I'm usually a steady player and a consistent point earner, so to lose 4 in a row was depressing.  


In all the practice rounds I had been playing well but when I got into the match I felt very uncomfortable.  So this week when I practiced I put the camera away, ok I filmed a FEW swings, but focused on hitting shots like I was playing a match.  Go through my whole routine, pick a specific target and picturing a shot I would hit on the course.  Seems like common sense right?  Funny how I got out of that routine, a practice routine I use to do all the time.


Long story short I finally won a match yesterday and hit it well.  Putting sucked but I feel my practice during the week help me stay in the match for all 18 holes.  To further help me "enjoy the pressure", as Erik puts it,  I would tell myself before every hole, "I'm gonna birdie this hole".  Truth is I made zero birdies, 3 bogeys(2 of which were 3 putts) and 15 pars but just talking to myself like that allowed me to enjoy being out there competing rather than scared of screwing up.


post #34 of 82

I am by no means saying that there is no such thing as bad mental game, because there is such a thing.  IMO many times someones "mental game" can be greatly improved from proper preparation.  Hardly anyone prepares properly and then they blame it on there mental game.

post #35 of 82

This may sound like I'm an arrogant, cocky bastard of double digit handicapper, but I actually DO enhoy pressure, of all kinds. For example, I just played a tight basketball game and hit a 3 to get us withing 5 in the 4th quarter. Although, in golf, the most pressure I face is put on by myself

post #36 of 82

Enjoy Pressure? Why create, thrive on or focus on something that has a negative connotation?


How about "Stay Positive" for the two words? With a positive attitude on the golf course any situation can become a good situation. Prime example, Bill Haas in his play off hole today at The Riviera. He took a "difficult" situation and turned it into the right play. Which, as we know, won him the golf tournament.


My two words, stay positive.

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