Most golfers think that course management is what you do to get out of deep trouble. It is more than that. Course management comes into play on every shot with some shots being more important than others.
A good mental game includes good course management. Efficient course management is your ability to play around the golf course the way it was designed by the architect, avoiding the trouble and placing each shot in the best position to hit the next shot. It requires you to plan and concentrate before every shot.
The golf course is set up so you will make hundreds of decisions. Course management is smart golf; thinking positively to avoid mistakes. The game of golf is about managing imperfection. Golf is about managing yourself around the golf course without letting your ego take over (Tin Cup experience).
When you change the way you see the world, your world changes. When you change the way you see the golf course you can see opportunities. You see the obstacles and make plans to avoid them.
Your course management depends upon a myriad of things including your skill level, your personality, course conditions and the pressure of the situation. It is important to have a strategy for playing each hole so you will be prepared ahead of time to handle the feelings that might arise to deter you.
You can be a genius at course management if you are confident with your wedges and putter. Then it won’t matter if you miss greens.
You have learned from experience how to manage your home golf course well because you know your plan. When you play a new course, you need to concentrate on creating the shots you want.
Golf is a game of manoeuvring the ball around the course and having fun doing it.
Have you ever heard someone say, “He had a great round today, he was really focused?” When a professional is playing very well, the adjective that is often used to describe his mental state is “focused.” What does it mean to say that someone is focused? Focus is defined as “a point at which rays of light appear to diverge, or the clarity of an image rendered by an optical system.” Of all our different senses, focus is associated mostly with sight or the eyes. It is the ability of our eyes to zoom in on an object, or, in the case of golf, the target. For example, look at an object such as a book. Focus on the book. Now focus on the book with an increase in intensity. Next, focus on the book with an even higher increase in energy. Notice what happens when you increase your intensity. You get more absorbed into the object, and you may notice more details. The energy from your eyes to the object increases with greater fervour and all the other senses move to the background as you eyes become primary. The more you see with your eyes, the less you think with your brain. Let me repeat this truth, the more you see with your eyes, the less you think with your brain.
We know from a variety of studies that athletes performing at a high level have very little chatter in their brain, and their focus is extremely high. What happens when you are nervous or struggling on the golf course? Often you begin to increase the self talk and thinking, while decreasing the energy available for focusing. In an attempt to think through the struggle on the course, one often makes the problem worst by increasing the thinking, and diminishing the focus. I am not saying that thinking is bad,I am simply saying that lots of thinking during actual performance is usually detrimental.
When you miss a fairway you are confronted with a number of options as to what you will do to extricate yourself from the situation. You might have to hit a golf shot with a hook or slice curve, or hit it higher or lower than usual.
If you practice hitting straight shots on the driving range most of the time you again will find yourself in a difficult position to bounce back if you cannot competently shape your shots to get you back into play or better.
Without exception top class tournament professional golfers are experts at controlling ball-flight and our students practice curving shots into small targets on the range so they are completely confident at playing these important shots when they arise.
How about you? Can you hook and slice when you need to?…
It’s club championship time shortly. It’s an exciting time for many but it can also be a nerve-wracking experience that, for many players, ends in disappointment. A lot of golfers perform far below their potential and expectations in the club championship because they’re not as prepared as they could be. They don’t arrive on the first tee with as much confidence as they should. Also, many golfers aren’t sure how to be their own best coach – how to effectively execute shots and a sound game plan under tournament pressure.
1.Plan ahead. Give yourself the necessary practice and playing time to prepare for the club championship. Be clear on your preparation for this event at least three weeks prior – write it down. Block your calendar and plan sufficient practice time and pre-event rounds.
2.Practice effectively. Good performance in tournament golf is largely attributable to consistent tee shot execution: minimal errors and penalty strokes, high percentage putting conversions in the 4-10 foot range, and sound wedge play. Spend a high percentage of your pre-event practice time and effort on these skills to build competence and confidence.
3.Hole out in casual rounds don’t fall into the trap of not holing your short putts in casual rounds before the club championship. The habit of accepting “gimmies” – short putts in the 2-5 foot range – is common place. Expect to be nervous and miss a lot more of these critical length putts in competition if you don’t practice holing them out in your regular social rounds. If the putts are in fact that easy, then putt them in the hole.
4.Coaching check a week or two before the event it is a good idea to have a coaching session with your Professional – not a technical session but rather a session on key scoring skills and to discuss your game plan and execution strategies. Tap into your professional’s experience and expertise.
5.Set realistic goals in sports, less than 10 per cent of participants can expect “career” performances in major events. Preparing your best beforehand makes this highly probable. Know your skill and performance level, for example, a typical 12 handicap may likely have a 79-85 scoring range. Set up a game plan and shot strategies that are in alignment with your range. Don’t try to play a game that you don’t have. Don’t force shots – let the magic happen!
6.Create a written game plan. Write down how you plan to play each hole. Know your tendencies and where you feel the most confident and the most vulnerable on the course. Be appropriately aggressive and don’t be shy to play cautious on holes that are potential blow-ups for you. your plan should be focused on enabling you to hit as many greens in regulation as possible and planning for the most probable up and down conversion spots when you miss greens.
7.Focus on deep breathing to get relaxed over your shots. When golfers peak perform they are in a calm and relaxed state over the ball. Focus your energy and attention on using your breathing. Here’s a technique. Breath-in deeply through an imaginary straw and completely empty your lungs when you exhale; soften your body tension and lower your mental tension when you are over the ball. as the great George Knudson said, “don’t play golf to relax – relax to play great golf.”
8.Think the “right” stuff. Players perform their best in competition when they engage the right side of their brain – this is where the athlete lives. Right brain thoughts are “external” on the target, tempo, desired flight and simple performance cues like “full back and through” or “smooth roll.” Be careful not to play “golf swing” in competition: this can be a deadly performance buster – it is left-brained thinking on technique or a “to do” list. Leave this thinking on the practice tee.
9.See yourself succeeding. Visualize and imagine yourself executing your game plan – escaping from trouble and hitting good shots. Winners see themselves winning before they begin. Moe Norman always said that Jack nicklaus had the Green Jacket on his breakfast plate on Thursday before the first round of the masters.
“Players perform their best in competition when they engage the right side of their brain – this is where the athlete lives.”
10.Just play, enjoy the opportunity to compete and challenge yourself. expect some mistakes and deal with poor shots. Don’t make the tournament bigger than it is. Your identity and personal self-concept are not related to your golf score in the club championship. Smile and have fun!
The shot routine is one of three routines associated with playing each golf shot. This one is usually called the pre-shot routine and is often considered the only one. The three routines are the decision routine (selecting club, shot type and target), shot routine (from standing behind the ball to hitting the ball) and the post-shot routine (responses to good and poor shots).
Learning a strong mental pre-shot routine is the single most important thing you can do to improve your mental game, and your golf.
But not just any mental routine. Your mental routine must:
Compliment your learning style
Ease you into narrowing your focus
Free you to hit athletic, artistic, creative, right brain shots or putts
And tap into your powers of self-fulfilling prophesy!
Sound complicated? It’s not. In fact, an effective mental pre-shot routine
Simplifies your thoughts
Makes the game easier
Allows you to think the same for every shot and putt, whether it is to win the Masters or a friendly round with your friends.
We regard the mental pre-shot routine as one of the essentials of a strong mental game. It lends to a very challenging sport….
We have long used the pre-shot routine as an excellent and effective standard for measuring and monitoring skill development in all other parts of your game.
The Three Step Journey to a Great Mental Pre-Shot Routine
To make this fun and easy, start by assuming that you are of two brains. Let’s call the left brain the “thinker/analyzer” and the right brain the “athletic/creator”
Around the green create a shot easy or more difficult to a specific target. Using 1 ball, you must hit 10 shots to that same target. Before hitting each shot you must run around the green. Once back at the ball, run through your full pre-shot routine prior to hitting each shot. After you have hit your shot pick up your ball and start to run around the green again. Repeat 10 times. It is important to note the quality of shots early in the drill compared to the last half of the drill. Do they drop off? What can you do to help deal with the lack of breath or the heart beating more quickly? Allocate points in relation to where the shot finishes. 5 points if you hole out, 2 points if the ball finishes within 1 club length, 0 points if outside of 1 club length.
Repeat this drill a various stages of you practice.
Have you done it? I have. We have all done it at some point or another. Hitting a great tee shot quickly followed by a really poor second shot seemingly from nowhere. Completely out of the blue. It is extremely frustrating. What really is the challenge is to not do it too often. But why does it happen? Continue Reading→
Ball position has enormous influence on how our body reacts in an attempt to find the ball with the club head. If positioned correctly you can swing with more freedom, but if it is in the wrong position you will have to make a compensation to guarantee a suitable ball flight.
Spine tilt at address is also a key aspect in your set up. Tilting your spine to the right will make the aspects of your downswing easier to accomplish. The shifting and turning of your hips towards the target will be made more easily is you start with some spine tilt at address and maintain it throughout the backswing.
A balanced set up will help produce better body motion in both directions. You should also place your weight just slightly toward the balls of your feet.
In your backswing the idea really is to keep your arm movement to a minimum. Swinging the club head not the grip will ensure power is created and maintained throughout the backswing. The arms are moved by the turning of the body. Your right leg will act as an axis, rotating your hips, torso, and shoulders away from the ball. Throughout your backswing your club face should remain slightly closed in relation to the target line.
The transition is a series of events that occur as the backswing evolves into the downswing. This is your source of power. It gives the sensation of rhythm, coordination and flow. The change of direction from the backswing to the downswing is an aspect of the swing that will determine distance, accuracy and consistency.
The foundation of consistency is a solid pre shot routine. Repeating the same mental and physical steps before every shot a key ingredient to a successful outcome. Your pre shot routine is your own. Define it and own it. Certain fundamentals must be included when establishing your own routine.
(a) Selection of Club and Shot, Make Positive Decision (No Indecision)
(b) Level of Involvement in Continue Reading→