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Mental Game Practice?

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I was asked a question the other day as to how a golfer would practice their mental game. To be honest, I was at a bit of a loss for a precise answer. 

I know, I consider my focusing before practice shots to be a form mental practice.

I tend to practice different, tougher shots, so I am not easily (mentally) surprised when playing for a score. 

I tend to practice in a relaxed state of mind, while not letting any disturbing sounds, or other issues bother me. 

I know prior to a round, I will never   assume the lotus position, and hum to myself. 

So, if you do practice your mental game, how do you do it?

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Practice it under harsher tougher conditions (with consequences) than you typically face when you play.

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I don't really think you are going to get a precise answer without being specific to what you mean by "mental game". Do you mean like focus, comfort under stress, confidence, etc? Do you consider game planning/prep part of the mental game or playing with unfamiliar people? It's similar to asking someone "how do you become successful?", it depends.

Without knowing the details, I would say the only way to practice it is to play more. Some sort of competitive golf would probably be best.

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Mental lapses such as a loss of focus, putting too much emphasis on how a round is going, and sometimes not making logical decisions can add strokes.

By far the most costly is getting pissed when I have too many blowup holes and my score is destined for failure. As far as practicing to improve that particular weakness, I’m not sure how to go about it. Getting pissed when something doesn’t go my way is not a logical reaction to anything. I suppose managing expectations would be a good start. Maybe adjusting my goal could help. For example, if breaking 90 after a series of poor holes has become out of the question, see if I can do well enough on the remaining holes to stay below 95.

Lack of focus is easy enough to recognize and adjust to on the fly.

Making smarter decisions requires experience and knowledge of my skills, maybe even becoming more familiar with options under the rules of golf. I love the challenge that trouble shots offer. But I have to recognize an unplayable lie when I see it.

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On 9/28/2018 at 12:29 PM, iacas said:

Practice it under harsher tougher conditions (with consequences) than you typically face when you play.

This, exactly.

Play tournaments, or play for enough money that it bothers you a bit to lose.  Not the kid’s college fund, but you need to feel a sting.  Whether that’s $5, $50, or $500 is up to you and your situation...

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I think mental game practice should be tangible.  It is impractical to expect to not think about score or not have emotional ups and downs over 3-4 hours. Trying to control that is not significantly impactful or in some cases can be even counterproductive. 

A pre-shot routine that has a few check points that you do on the practice range should be a prime candidate for mental game practice.

Do you have a pre-shot routine? If you have one, do you perform it consistently 70-100 times a round? If you do it consistently, do you check all your boxes each time? 

I have ways to go myself with a pre-shot but I am finding I swing more freely any time I do it successfully.

 

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Mastering Golf's Mental Game: Your Ultimate Guide to Better On-Course Performance and Lower Scores

by Michael Lardon and Matthew Rudy

This book is pretty good.

It lays out a simple and effective way to practice your mental game each round. It focuses heavily on pre-shot routine as the key to a great mental game. 

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Hard one.. i really don´t know. But the mental game it´s really important in golf. Keep your feet in the ground when you are playing really well and keep your nerves calm when you are not having your best day.

Life also have to do with it. When everything in my life it OK it´s easier to forgive myself for a bad shot or holes, it´s easier to bounce back from it and it also it´s easier to keep your condifence up despite a couple of bad shots.
if not golf turn in something really important (to scape reallity) and failure is not admisible. Bad shots turns to really bad rounds and good ones are just one bad shot to go downhill.

It´s not concidence for me that i had a really good year personally last year and i played the best golf in my life and this year was really hard for me and go up from +1 to 3 handicap in just a blink of an eye.

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11 hours ago, David in FL said:

Play tournaments, or play for enough money that it bothers you a bit to lose.  Not the kid’s college fund, but you need to feel a sting.

Back in the younger days, I played a couple of courses and clubs where there were gangsome money games 2-3 days a week open to all. There team scores, individual scores, greenies, low putts...so much trash only the eldest members could explain it. You learned to get good, defined by getting the ball in the hole anyway you could, REAL fast! Lots of fun when you won! When you lost your pot money, not so much. Best, -Masrv

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