Are Your Nerves Affecting Your Game? Here’s How to Fix it
Imagine yourself on the course during the biggest golf tournament of your life. Or, maybe you are on the course with a potential client, trying to win their business. There are a lot of different reasons why you may experience nerves on the course because ultimately, golf is more than just a game. Unfortunately, dealing with anxiety and nerves can immensely affect your game and what your success looks like on the course. If you find yourself feeling nervous before, during or after your game, we have put together a few tips and tricks on how you can fix it. Here are some ways to fight through your nerves and stay as relaxed as possible:
- Keep your body and grip loose. People experiencing nerves or anxiety often feel a tension throughout their entire body, which can move into your hands and fingers. It is important to keep your grip loose because tightness causes more tension.
- Focus on your mental and emotional game. A true golfer knows that your mental and emotional game is just as, if not more important than your physical game! Do not internally put the pressure on yourself and try to stay as relaxed and calm as possible. Putting the pressure on yourself can result in struggling to play consistent golf.
- Breathe, breathe, breathe! When things get tough and you begin to feel nervous and stressed, take time to stop and take a few deep breaths to relax your heart rate and get your mind focused back on the game.
- Do not dwell on bad shots or games. If something goes wrong, give yourself constructive criticism so you are able to move forward, and then focus on the future! Do not dwell on shots that could have gone better or games that should have gone a different way. Keep moving forward and pushing to be a better game player, and realize that mistakes happen to everyone!
Questions You Can Ask Yourself to Improve Your Golf Game
Every golfer can relate to the frustration of consistently practicing and working hard to improve your game without seeing results. It can feel like no matter how much time you spend on the course, how much money you spend on equipment, and how much effort you put into lessons – nothing is changing! If you are not seeing improvement, you must first admit that something is not going as you initially planned. Golf is not easy, and developing and perfecting skills is something that takes time. It is important to keep in mind that this is a very common feeling for many golfers, and we are here to help! Ask yourself the following questions to figure out what exactly is going wrong:
- Are you staying completely focused on the course? Think about what is going through your head when you first get on the course and throughout your game. Are you completely focused on your game, or are you finding your thoughts somewhere else? Make sure that you are paying attention so that you can stay completely, 110% confident throughout the game. Staying focused will also help keep you more alert physically and mentally.
- Do you need to work on any of the basics and fundamentals? Everyone has to start somewhere, and sometimes improvement can best be found through going back to the basics. Think about your posture, your alignment, your grip, and your aim. If you are not completely comfortable with any of these fundamentals, think about working with a coach or mentor to see how you can improve upon each of them.
- What are your goals on the course? How are you working to achieve them? Go into each practice and game with a specific purpose to improve yourself, your skills and your game. Once you are internally aligned on your goals, think about how you are going to reach them. You can do this by visualizing specific scenarios while you are practicing so you are prepared when the time comes during the game itself.
How Does Brain Chemistry Affect Your Golf Game?
Everyone knows that mental health is absolutely vital to living your best life both personally, professionally, as well as on the course. Did you know that your brain chemistry can drastically affect how you play the game of golf? The more that you practice and work on your game, the more training your brain will begin to recognize. Your brain, which controls all of your movements, will utilize its muscle memory before and after each shot that you make on the course, and ultimately, each move that you make throughout each round.
You must be in touch with your senses to be able to play your best game. The more you repeat certain movements on the course, such as putting or swinging, the more your brain will be able to adapt to the movements and analyze how to work successfully in the future. If you think about where exactly you want the ball to go within your surroundings, your brain will learn how to determine what the best approach is to hit the ball where it needs to go.
Building a healthy brain for your overall life as well as the game of golf is extremely important. You can build a healthy brain through eating nutritious, whole foods, making sure you are eating correct portions, and hydrating properly every day! It is also good to make sure you are incorporating some form of exercise into your daily routine to keep your fitness level up and your brain stimulated. Incorporating cardio as well as time to attend yoga classes and increase your flexibility will improve your physical health on the course, and your brain chemistry! To further stimulate your brain, practice golf as much as you can whether indoors or outdoors, learn everything you can about the game and keep your body moving.
Get Organized for Your 2019 Game
When it comes to new year’s resolutions, many people look at ways in which they can improve their personal life, whether it be their own physical or mental health, or their overall productivity. For all of you golfers, you may be looking at resolutions that can help you become the best player that you can be. To improve upon your game, your first step is to ensure that you are organized and ready to get back onto the course. Here are some ways in which you can get organized so that you are prepared for your best possible golf game in the new year:
Get an indoor putter. An indoor putter will tremendously help you during the winter months, as it will give you the opportunity to practice within your own home and get a handle on your putting. By practicing at home, you can target your weaknesses and look at how you can work to improve them prior to the spring season!
Find a mentor or professional. Once you are aware of your weaknesses and what you must work on, you can look at finding a mentor or professional to give you additional lessons and help you improve. Look into local indoor courses or local professionals that you can work with to get some healthy constructive criticism.
Clean out your golf bag. After a long golf season, you may have been so busy that you were unable to go through your golf bag, clean it out and organize it. Work to organize your clubs and, if there are any that you do not find yourself often using, replace them with ones that you will utilize on the course more often.
Regrip clubs that are slippery. While organizing your clubs, if you find that any are slippery, take the opportunity to regrip them so that they are all set for when you get back on the course in the spring.
Take advantage of holiday sales. During the holiday season there are an immense amount of unbelievable deals that you can hit on golf apparel, equipment and accessories. Take advantage of these sales and look into replacing any equipment or accessories such as clubs, putters or balls that have worn out.
Keep Up with Your Game in the Off Season
Just because the weather is getting colder and the days are getting duller does not mean that you golf game has to be affected! Even though you may not be able to regularly go to your golf course of choice, there are many ways that you can work on your golf game in the off-season! With these exercises and tips, you will be in great shape by the time the weather warms up, and you will be ready to play your best game yet! Check out some ways that you can improve your game during the winter months:
- Weight training. Believe it or not, regularly hitting the gym and performing strength-training exercises can greatly improve your game. By strengthening your core, glutes, and other key muscle groups, you will gain more balance and more power throughout your swing.
- Mental game. The off season is a great time to work on your mental game, which is just as important as your physical game on the course. Practice yoga a few times a week, and work on a relaxing pre-shot routine that you can utilize when you get back to the game.
- Practice in the mirror. Find a full length mirror and practice putting and swinging in front of one! By doing this, you will be able to provide constructive criticism for yourself and will be able to make adjustments accordingly.
- Putt within your home. Wherever you have some extra space in your home is a great place to practice putting. You can do this while watching your favorite TV program, or even to break up your work day if you are in the office!
- Shop around for some new gear. Gear and accessories are key to a successful game. Take this time to hit up all of the great holiday sales and find some new, fresh equipment for a loved one or yourself!
Avoid These Mistakes When Betting in Golf
Many golfers love betting on the biggest golf tournaments of the year, such as the Ryder Cup and the Masters. But, before placing any major bets, it’s a good idea to know the risks and what to avoid.
Betting on multiple possibilities
There are golf lovers who tend to bet on more than one player in hopes of winning a large sum of money. It might seem like a good idea, but the wins are rare and if even one player does poorly it can ruin your entire bet! You might end up wasting more money on multiple bets than focusing on one or two separate bets.
Betting only on the big names
Of course many golf lovers are going to want to bet on the biggest stars in the golf world. Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler…the list can go on. However, many other fans think the same way as you do, meaning that more bets are placed on these players. You might not get a lot of value in the bets that are offered for these golf stars compared to the lesser known, yet very talented, golfers. It’s important to remember to go beyond the big names and try your luck with someone who might not be as well-known but could very well surprise you.
Overlooking the course
You might think these professional golfers won’t have a tough time tackling any course they play on, but that’s false thinking. If a course is too short, too long, or too tight, it can mean even the greatest of players will struggle through it. It’s better to think about how the course is set-up, the difficulty it could pose and what pro golfer has played on the course many times.
When to Use a Hybrid
A hybrid is a cross between a fairway wood and an iron, except it’s much easier to hit. They fly higher and land softer than your long irons, which helps you keep control of those long shots. If you struggle with hitting long irons or fairway woods, consider using a hybrid. Here is some tips when using a hybrid.
HYBRID vs FAIRWAY WOOD
Many golfers don’t know the difference between a hybrid and fairway wood. Common fairway woods include your 3-wood, 5-wood, and 7-wood, depending on the loft. Hybrids were not so long ago known more as “rescue clubs.” Hybrids combine characteristics of both woods and irons, with a smaller clubhead than a wood, a shorter shaft, and more loft.
A hybrid is great for beginners or weekend golfers because it’s a reliable club that will not only advance their second shot but will help keep you score lower. The hybrid, because of its shorter shaft length, is easier to hit than a fairway wood for players who struggle with topping the ball. To get maximum performance from your hybrid clubs, swing them more around your body on the backswing and downswing. Think of the swing like a hula hoop.
WHEN TO USE A HYBRID
Hybrids are very versatile. You can hit them off the fairway, from the rough or even the tee (if you’re not so good at using a driver). The clubhead will cut through the rough better than a fairway wood, and you can even chip the ball if you’re close to the green with a hybrid. A common practice is to start your lowest-numbered hybrid at 10-15 yards less than your highest fairway wood, so there’s no gap in coverage.
From my personal experience, hybrids really do help “rescue” me when I am in a tough lie or just want to get more distance. It’s consistent, accurate and will help you hit those long shots easily.
Tips to Conquer Tough Par-3 Courses
Don’t be fooled by par-3 courses. They may seem easy, but there are many par 3 courses are just as tough, if not tougher, than 18 hole courses. It’s a good way to test how good your short game is, but if you struggle with par-3 courses, here is a checklist to help you conquer them!
1. Assess the hole
2. Tee it up
3. Think positively
4. Choose your club carefully
5. Find your own solution
Par-3s can deceive you, so assess the hole carefully before hitting. Also make sure to tee up the ball whenever you can. This can help you lift up the ball and allow it to softly land on the green. It’s also just an easier way to hit the ball. Doesn’t matter if you’re using a 9 iron – tee it up whenever you can.
Your mental golf game is so important. Many golfers tend to look at the hole and think about all the hazards ahead of them, whether its a pond or bunkers. Block out those negative thoughts and fully focus on your shot. Don’t worry about anything but your swing.
Choose your club carefully, especially on downhillers. Don’t just choose your club based on distance because there may be other factors at hand. If it’s a windy day, make sure you choose a club that will make up for that.
Lastly, even though you may want to watch other players and follow their routine, don’t rely on this too much. Their strengths may not be yours. Every golfer is different, so find a solution that fits your game.
Save yourself strokes by following this checklist!
5 Golf Tips and Tricks
It takes time to learn how to golf. You have to constantly practice your putting, short game and chipping. Here are 5 golf tips and tricks you should try next time you’re out golfing.
#1 – Use Your Body
Although you use many parts of your body to help you create a great swing, your body has the real power. You need to use your body as the main source of power when you swing, and not your arms, as many golfers do.
#2 – Focus on Your Knees
if you want to keep power and balance with your swing, start focusing on your knees. It happens easily that your knees come closer together while you shift and rotate during the swing. Keeping the distance between your knees consistent while swinging, will generate more power, improve accuracy, and your balance will improve too.
#3 – Loft
Every club has a specific loft, and you should be using it to your advantage. Allow the loft of each club to do the work for you. When you hit a golf ball, you have to hit down on it and through it as well, which will allow the club to lift the ball naturally.
#4 – Sand Trap
Playing out of a sand trap is many a golfer’s worst nightmare. The secret is to aim for the sand in front of the ball, to open the clubface and to go through with the shot. Many golfers stop with the shot as soon as the club makes contact with the sand. Try to pop the ball in the air so that it lands softly on the green.
#5 – Practice Your Short Game
Just like every other golfer, you probably want to improve your score. The best way to do this is to practice your short game. Practice your putting, chipping and pitching the most and you will experience lower scores on a regular basis.
If you show up to the course before your tee time and all you do is hit balls, you are doing it wrong! Skipping a good golf specific warm up is costing you strokes and messing up the first few holes of your round. Warming up before your round doesn’t have to be a time consuming ordeal.
Try these four warm-up stretches on the course before you tee off. (Hold each stretch for two to five deep breaths.
If you have ever played golf after doing chest exercises at the gym, you know how uncomfortable and painful it is to swing the golf club with tight and sore chest muscles. it also reduces our ability to rotate during the swing which can lead to many problems.
Hold onto the golf cart and turn your body in the opposite direction. Hold the position for 5-10 seconds then come back to the starting position. Repeat 5 times per side.
Being able to lift your arms overhead is necessary for a good golf swing, however when your lat muscles are tight, you are going to be struggling at the course.
You’re going to put your feet close to the cart and hold onto it. Stick your butt back and let yourself hang. You will feel it stretching on the muscles on the sides of you body. Hold for 5-10 seconds, then come back to address position. Repeat 10 times.
if you early extend or lose your posture during the golf swing, it’s likely that your calfs are to blame.
Use your golf cart to stretch them out by putting the balls of your feet on the edge and letting your heels drop. Hold for 5-10 seconds, go back to address position and repeat 10 times per side.
Hip Flexor Stretch
We all know the glutes are known as the king of the golf swing. However, when our hip flexors get tight it won’t be able to generate power or stabilize our bodies to their maximum potential
Get into a staggered stand position by putting one of your feet onto of the golf cart. Squeeze your glutes tuck your tailbone in and bring your hips forward. Hold for 5-10 seconds, get back to address position, repeat 10 times per side.