Classic Mental Mistakes To Avoid

Copyright © 1999 - 2035 Craig Townsend

There are many pitfalls in golf to avoid on the course - pitfalls other than the trees, bunkers, difficult greens and rough - and these are far more difficult to notice.

I'm talking about the powerful intangibles that directly affect your performance on the course - your thoughts.

I have enough room here to mention what I regard to be four big traps that golfers commonly fall into - and the number one trap is is focusing upon what you don't want.

So many golfer fall into this trap, and the strange thing is they often do this again and again - and still it continues to happen to them. Fearing a shot simply focuses your powerful mind upon the worst possible outcome - and your subconscious will make absolutely certain that this happens, as that is its job.

Never forget this - we attract what we fear. So if you are thinking negatively about a shot (eg. over the water or trees), you will most likely meet with disaster. Only run positive thoughts and positive movies of your shot through you head at all times before each shot - as one negative thought is all it takes to sabotage your shot.

Another really big trap for golfers is taking the negative emotion from one bad shot into the remiander of your round. OK, it's perfectly natural to get angry at times after a bad shot, but it is absolutely essential that this anger does not spill over into the rest of your round - and even your very next shot.

So when you get angry after a shot, restrict or compartmentalize this anger to a maximum of only one minute after that shot (and one minute only!), and then mentally move on, delete it and forget it.

Remind yourself that there is absolutely no reason why one shot should ruin the remainder of your round, and from that point onward, focus only upon each of your future shots, not the historical ones! You would be surprised (or then again, maybe not) at just how few golfers can actually do this.

There are two other mental mistakes which I also consider important, and one of these is hitting when you are not mentally ready to play the shot. There are two parts to this issue - one is having the awareness to recognise when you are feeling uncomfortable about a shot, and the second is having the fortitude to walk away from the ball and then come back to it to set up once more.

Most golfers ignore this feeling and simply go right ahead with the shot, regardless of the fact that they knew something just wasn't right (which is your subconscious mind's way of trying to communicate this message to you). Sure enough, they usually find out that they were absolutely correct! (after their stroke, that is). So always ensure you feel mentally ready to hit each shot, otherwise walk away and then come back to it.

The last mental mistake I will mention today is that of going against your own gut instinct. As I have mentioned earlier, your subconscious knows everything about your game and your own abilities, and it also knows the exact shot you should choose to hit (and those you should choose to avoid) - and this information usually comes to you in the form of gut instinct.

Good golfers are usually very well-connected to their instincts, and usually follow them most of the time. Those who go against their gut instinct usually find themselves regretting it afterwards - you may often here comments like "I just knew I was going to do that!".

So be aware to avoid these mental pitfalls and generally you will be able to steer clear of most of the stormy weather out there on the course - leave that to your playing partner!


"The Mind controls the body, and the Mind is Unlimited"

The best of success, Craig Townsend


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