Golf Is a Mental Game, Learn to Master It

by Jeff Skinner

Bobby Jones once said, “Competitive golf is mainly played on a five and a half inch course…the space between your ears.” Anyone who has played golf and tried to improve their game can attest to the accuracy of Jones’s statement. This game is more mental than physical. During a round of golf it is estimated that only five per cent of the time we spend on the course is the physical act of swinging. That leaves too much time for our minds to take over and screw up any chance we had at maintaining a good swing and a positive state of mind.

The mental game of golf is often overlooked by many golfers. We are too willing to spend money on the latest high-tech equipment in an effort to try and improve when we have the capacity to get a better game without parting with a bunch of cash for that new driver. It is the mental game, our state of mind as we play and practice that can help us much more than any new equipment.

I recently listened to an audio program designed to help us with our mental game. “Golf State of Mind” is an audio CD that offers mental strategies and routines to help improve our games. “The Golf State of Mind is a teaching program designed to show golfers the most effective way to discover their true potential. Through learning powerful techniques to visualize, feel and trust your ability, good golf will become an automated sub-conscious process. You will discover the power of your golf mind.”

David MacKenzie is a mental coach and in his “Golf State of Mind” CD, he offers plenty of advice on how to improve your mental state to enable you to play better golf and improve your scores. MacKenzie knows his stuff and he references a few of my favorites during the program, Harvey Penick, Dr. Bob Rotella and Jack Nicklaus.

One of MacKenzie’s practice drills involves hitting balls with a “clear vision” of the ball flight and to be more concerned with the feel of the shot, even to the point of closing your eyes. He also suggests hitting the same club different distances and being aware of the feel of each stroke. I consider myself a feel player and I loved his drills.

I am a big believer in the mental game ruling the physical game on the golf course. MacKenzie’s Golf State of Mind will certainly help you learn the finer points of controlling your mental state and should help your scores. It’s another tool we can use to master those five and a half inches between our ears.


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