6 Common Mental Mistakes that Golfers Generally Make


Golf is a game which is 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical. The game of golf is played mostly from within, and our mind plays a very significant role in this game.

A golfer has to be mentally strong and take care of many pitfalls on the golf course like the bunkers, trees, difficult greens and water. But these are not the only pitfalls that a golfer has to be alert of. He should be watchful about the mental pitfalls, which intensely affect a golfer’s performance on the course. These mental mistakes are difficult to notice but they surely exist and if not corrected on time can cost you your golf championship trophy.

However, you can only correct your mistakes when you are aware about them. This article, tells you six most common mental mistakes that golfers generally make.

Mental Mistake # 1. Expecting Too Much from Yourself :   One of the most common and biggest mental mistakes that a golfer makes is, putting a lot of pressure on himself by expecting too much. Expectation is a self-created pressure, which a golfer needs to eliminate if he wants to become a better golfer. Expectation demands that we should play in a certain way, and if we don’t, it leads us to frustration and self-doubt. Having too high expectations of yourself is one of the biggest causes of a loss of self confidence and not playing to your potential.
Solution :  Focus on your pre-shot routine and play only one shot at a time; this will help you focus on your process and when the process is right, the outcome will automatically be good.
Mental Mistake # 2. Focusing on What You Don’t Want :   Mental blocks and challenges arise when you focus on what you do not want instead of focusing on what you want. When you focus on what you do not want, you end up getting more of it only. For example, when you focus on not hitting the bunker, then what would be first thing that your mind visualizes? The first picture that would come in your mind would be the bunker and you would certainly hit the bunker.
Solution :   Our subconscious mind does not understand negative; that is why when you say “I don’t want to hit the ball in the bunker”, your mind will immediately think about the hitting the ball in the bunker. Visualize yourself playing a wonderful shot.
Mental Mistake # 3. Taking a Negative Emotion from One Bad Shot to the Next Shot :   most of the golfers make the mistake of taking the negative emotion from one bad shot to the next shot. Everyone plays a bad shot; even a top golfer does. It is quite natural to get angry after a bad shot, but it is important that you understand not to let your anger ruin the next shot.
Solution :   You may get nervous after a bad shot but do not let that nervousness takeover your next shot. Whenever it happens, take a deep breath, exhale and smile as you exhale. You will feel relaxed and easy as you smile. Ask yourself, “What is my goal for the next shot?” and focus on your shot. Practice this small exercise in the driving range and make it a habit.
Mental Mistake # 4. Playing a Shot When You are Mentally Not Ready :   Many golfers commit this mental mistake; they play a shot when they are mentally not ready for it. They knew something wasn't right but they played the shot in a hurry, which resulted in missed shots.
Solution :   Whenever you feel that you are not mentally prepared or ready to play a shot, you should back-off and start all over again. If you play a shot when you were not ready and when you could not give your one hundred percent, you will certainly end up playing a bad shot. Backing off will help you keep your score low.
Mental Mistake # 5. Going Against Your Own Gut-instinct :   Our subconscious mind communicates with us always; specially before and after the shot but often times we ignore what it says. Sometimes golfers go against their own gut-instinct. Your subconscious mind knows everything about your abilities and your game, and it also knows the shot you should choose to hit. Then your subconscious mind sends you this information in the form of gut-instinct or intuition.
Solution :   Learn to listen and trust your gut-instincts as most of time our instinct is right.
Mental Mistake # 6. Criticizing Yourself Too Much After a Bad Shot :   Most of the golfers create negative blocks for their own self by constantly criticizing their own self for the last shot that they messed up. The consequences of self-criticism are dangerous; more dangerous than other’s criticism.
Solution :   Observe what you are talking to yourself during the game. This is called self-talk. If your self-talk is negative, you need to change it to positive. Initially you have to deliberately change your negative self-talk to positive until it becomes a habit. Keep repeating positive words so that you become positive.