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Is golf more mental or physical?

Golf more mental or physical?  

58 members have voted

  1. 1. In your opinion, is golf more of a physical or mental game?

    • More physical.
      39
    • More mental.
      19


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Three questions: 

1) How many guys on the PGA tour are world class athletes in any other sport (e.g., make it to the Olympics), or could become professional athletes in another sport?  Not many.  

2) By contrast, how many NFL players are world class athletes in any other sport (e.g., make it to the Olympics), or could become professional athletes in another sport?  Quite a few. 

3) How good of a golfer would Bobby Jones have been if he had the mental outlook of, say, Babe Ruth?  

Point:  Sure the physical side is important than golf.  But top golfers in general don't have the type of athletic ability that carries over to other sports.  The mental side may be more important in golf than in other traditional sports like football, baseball, hockey, track and field, etc. 

 

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1 hour ago, iacas said:

 

Your confidence is shot because of your physical skills. Root cause.

Excellent Point. But I've  also found from personal experience that limited physical skills are limited even further by overthinking. When I swing at a certain rhythm (with tour tempo tones retrieved from the Apple Store), and get out of my way, the physical tools improve.  At times, it seems like chicken or egg, but yes, lack of physical skill is the origin of the issue.

Edited by Mr. Desmond

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6 hours ago, mvmac said:

Again, that's not what is being discussed in terms of mental game.

To me what mental game means in the context of this thread is more along the lines of ability to focus, controlling your emotions or not letting your emotions negatively affect your game.

15 handicapper gets in the zone = shoots 79
I get in the zone = shoot 68
PGA Tour player gets in the zone = shoots 59

Why are all these scores different? It's because of the golfer's physical abilities. I can go hang out with Buddhist monks for 10 years and I'm never going to shoot 59 because my physical abilities aren't good enough. The physical is the dominant part of the equation.

Ok so remember now,  the ONLY reason I am passionate about this issue is because of what I have done that's not in golf.  It's rooted in competition.  First thing I want to say in response is an emotion in the sense I am meaning it is a sort of reaction.  The level of concentration I am talking about that I experienced many times is devoid of this in action.  Sure reflecting back afterwards we say wow how good do I feel right now and man that was fun.  Stuff like that.  That's in retrospect that sense of accomplishment or gratification or emotion even in defeat as well.  Yes I have done my absolute best in competition many times and been beaten by the better man that day.   I can say that a loss stings but when you realize you played your best and were just not good enough there is a at least a lack of regret.   What more could you have done?   When you get to higher levels of competition in sport and run up against folks who eventually make a living at the highest level available then you learn something about talent.  I will leave it at that,  I already alluded to this in response to @David in FL

Clearly on ones best day as you posted above,  a 15 cap shoots 79.  Saying that is a big deal within the context of this discussion.  The bottom line I am trying to express is that concentration itself is not something you do or do not do in athletics.  There's many levels to it.

I agree totally on the monk thing.  I would laugh at anyone that says that what I am talking about can be done by meditating or Visualization alone without even in golf using the club.  It has to do very much with ones perspective which is really a focal point of concentration in terms of the choice of what to focus on.  Anyone who comes out with bullshit like read this books mental tricks and use a zone to play your best is full of shit.  Everyone here knows this.

Like I said it's my belief that you can setup conditions that make your own personal best performance more likely.  I can ALMOST believe a golfer like Tiger could ALMOST enter a zone at will but I don't believe there's any evidence supporting a notion that this state is one a person can control by willing it alone.  I have never done that even in my own area of expertise in sport.  I know that trying too hard pretty much prevents it totally.

To the op can you practice this 'mental aspect' however we choose to define it?  Of course!  The prerequisite is practice practice practice and how that is done.  To me that goes without saying.  How the practice is done is CRUCIAL to the end product.  Plenty of stuff here golf related on that.

I really hope we can have a civil discussion about a topic and not resort to the typical internet thing where we try to find whose right  and whose wrong.  There's a lot to talk about here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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42 minutes ago, Avalanche said:

Three questions: 

1) How many guys on the PGA tour are world class athletes in any other sport (e.g., make it to the Olympics), or could become professional athletes in another sport?  Not many.  

2) By contrast, how many NFL players are world class athletes in any other sport (e.g., make it to the Olympics), or could become professional athletes in another sport?  Quite a few. 

3) How good of a golfer would Bobby Jones have been if he had the mental outlook of, say, Babe Ruth?  

Point:  Sure the physical side is important than golf.  But top golfers in general don't have the type of athletic ability that carries over to other sports.  The mental side may be more important in golf than in other traditional sports like football, baseball, hockey, track and field, etc. 

False pretense.

How many other world class athletes become PGA Tour stars?

I mean… what kind of question or way of thinking is that? To become world class, you have to dedicate your life to it. The number of people who can become world class in multiple sports is a very, very, very short list, and almost none of them are more recent than Bo Jackson. Babe Didrickson Zaharias springs to mind. Who else? Really?

Plus, your third point is a complete guess. You can't prove that I'm wrong if I say "even better than he was!"


Jack, we're not discussing individuals. That includes you.

Cool. You're an exception. You too can be a special, unique snowflake or flower. Congratulations. For you, occasionally breaking 80 is > 50% mental.

This topic's been spinning its wheels for a long, long time now.

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39 minutes ago, Avalanche said:

Three questions: 

1) How many guys on the PGA tour are world class athletes in any other sport (e.g., make it to the Olympics), or could become professional athletes in another sport?  Not many.  

Right, but they're good at golf.

39 minutes ago, Avalanche said:

2) By contrast, how many NFL players are world class athletes in any other sport (e.g., make it to the Olympics), or could become professional athletes in another sport?  Quite a few. 

Different sports. 

Just like I wouldn't expect an Olympic figure skater to play baseball.

 

39 minutes ago, Avalanche said:

3) How good of a golfer would Bobby Jones have been if he had the mental outlook of, say, Babe Ruth?  

Worse. Babe Ruth was physically huge compared to the rest of the field, so he didn't need any mental game even if he claimed he did.

39 minutes ago, Avalanche said:

Point:  Sure the physical side is important than golf.  But top golfers in general don't have the type of athletic ability that carries over to other sports.  The mental side may be more important in golf than in other traditional sports like football, baseball, hockey, track and field, etc. 

Just to be clear, no one really stated you need to have an Adonis body to play golf. The only thing stated was that you need to train physically more than mentally to maximize your game.

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48 minutes ago, Avalanche said:

Point:  Sure the physical side is important than golf.  But top golfers in general don't have the type of athletic ability that carries over to other sports.  The mental side may be more important in golf than in other traditional sports like football, baseball, hockey, track and field, etc. 

Other sports don't matter, tour players have superior skills required to be really, really good at hitting a small white ball off the ground. 

Again, I would ask someone like you who voted for "golf is more mental",

Would you rather have Nicklaus' mental game with your swing or Nicklaus' swing with your mental game?

23 minutes ago, Jack Watson said:

 There's many levels to it.

I agree with that. We can't always have "perfect" focus on concentration. At the end of the day our physical skills will overwhelming determine what score we shoot.

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20 minutes ago, iacas said:

False pretense.

How many other world class athletes become PGA Tour stars?

I mean… what kind of question or way of thinking is that? To become world class, you have to dedicate your life to it. The number of people who can become world class in multiple sports is a very, very, very short list, and almost none of them are more recent than Bo Jackson. Babe Didrickson Zaharias springs to mind. Who else? Really?

Plus, your third point is a complete guess. You can't prove that I'm wrong if I say "even better than he was!"


Jack, we're not discussing individuals. That includes you.

Cool. You're an exception. You too can be a special, unique snowflake or flower. Congratulations. For you, occasionally breaking 80 is > 50% mental.

This topic's been spinning its wheels for a long, long time now.

Yes, and I think this is a good conclusion. I’ll have my horse meat medium rare...but I think it’s too late...I’ll have to go with medium-medium well...

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