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Need help on the mental game. How to keep focus.


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Basically, I have a couple of groups I play with where my game just falls apart.

I play 75% of the time as a single and even though I'll get paired with strangers a good bit of the time, I'm able to focus on my game and play fairly well.

When I play with the relatives or with the work buddies, it turns into a 'smoke and joke' fest and my 82 can turn in to 102.  It drives me nuts but I can't seem to shake it.

It's not pressure to do well or getting nervous.  It's just my brain's not in golf mode and before I know it, the round is over and I've posted a big score.

Just curious if there are any good books or other resources out there that deal with this mental side of the game?

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Dr. Bob Rotella books. If I recall correctly, "Golf is a game of confidence" is one that centers mainly on routine, which would be helpful. Quick summary: find a pre-shot routine that you can trust and stick with it. Even if you're partying and unfocused on the course, you can put that on pause and find your zone for a few seconds before you hit your shot.
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I feel your pain...I always seem to have my best rounds when I am alone.  Luckily for me I rarely get paired with others.  I seem to be more in that 'zone' if you will.  But when I play with my dad (no one my age enjoys playing golf at the hour I do) I seem to fall off big time...Personally, a lot of it has to do with the side conversations, competition, pressure.  I do find it rather *convenient* that my best rounds are when I am alone :)

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Originally Posted by Dave

Basically, I have a couple of groups I play with where my game just falls apart.

I play 75% of the time as a single and even though I'll get paired with strangers a good bit of the time, I'm able to focus on my game and play fairly well.

When I play with the relatives or with the work buddies, it turns into a 'smoke and joke' fest and my 82 can turn in to 102.  It drives me nuts but I can't seem to shake it.

It's not pressure to do well or getting nervous.  It's just my brain's not in golf mode and before I know it, the round is over and I've posted a big score.

Just curious if there are any good books or other resources out there that deal with this mental side of the game?

Maybe its the pace. I know when i play with some of the guys in my league. If your not use to it, you can feel rushed. They play fast. I mean pick club, one practice swing, and hit. And they don't take long to pick a club.

If not, then i would say try to create a game to play, maybe set mini goals during the round. Like, try to hit +2 on the next three holes. Just to gain focus.

I also recommend developing an action that gets you into your preshot routine. Like, tugging on your glove, or taking a breath, or tapping the club. Something routine that clicks you over to golf mode. Then you can divert your time between a casual round with the friends and playing good golf.

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Originally Posted by Dave

Basically, I have a couple of groups I play with where my game just falls apart.

I play 75% of the time as a single and even though I'll get paired with strangers a good bit of the time, I'm able to focus on my game and play fairly well.

When I play with the relatives or with the work buddies, it turns into a 'smoke and joke' fest and my 82 can turn in to 102.  It drives me nuts but I can't seem to shake it.

It's not pressure to do well or getting nervous.  It's just my brain's not in golf mode and before I know it, the round is over and I've posted a big score.

Just curious if there are any good books or other resources out there that deal with this mental side of the game?

Honestly, I don't think this means there's anything wrong with your mental game, just your perspective. To think about it from a Zen Buddhist perspective, it just means your body and mind want to dedicate more energy to enjoying your time with your relatives and buddies than scoring your best. Let it be that. Hanging with buddies and family is important. Maybe that's a time to work on shot making rather than scoring. Then when you play in a more serious environment, worry about your score.

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it's all in YOUR mind...nothing to do with partners/weather/even rub of the green.. wither you play THAT particular round scoring-minded, or you play it socially-minded...can't be both, or you'd see the Pros smoking and joking on Tour...they don't. YOU must decide before you roll outta bed which it's gonna be......anything more than that is nothing that military basic training won't cure, much less AIT.

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Note: This thread is 2736 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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