How to be Mentally Tough on the Course
When one thinks of their golf mentor or favorite golf professional, they will often comment on things such as how great their swing is, how perfectly they put, or how often they hit the gym to stay fit for the course. While the physicality of golf is extremely vital and important, the mental health of a golf player is just as, if not more important. Without strong and tough mental health on the course, the golfer would not be able to showcase any physical success. If you are finding yourself lacking in the mental health department throughout your game, here are some tips on how you can stay as mentally tough and fit as possible. Trust us, your game will thank you for it!
- Keep your head up. Everyone can attest to a time where they have had a bad shot, a bad putt or just an overall bad game. Do not let one wrong move, or a few wrong moves, get your head down. Keep your head up and stay ready for the next shot – and remember there is always room for improvement.
- Stay patient. Patience is truly key on the course. Do not feel like you need to rush through any shot. Make sure that your body is lined up with the ball, you are using the correct club and that you are giving yourself the time you need to strategize and feel comfortable and confident taking the shot.
- Think about your body language. Your body language can actually affect your emotional responses on the course more than you would think. Stay upright and focus on your posture – having strong, upright posture showcases confidence, which is exactly how you should emotionally feel throughout your game. Do not tense up your shoulders and keep your body as relaxed as possible. The more tense you physically are, the more tense you will emotionally feel.
Sports You Can Play to Help Develop Golf Skills
The key to be a great golf player is to never stop working on your athleticism and your skills. The more in shape that you are, the better you will be able to perform on the course. In addition to your regular trips to the gym, and participating in golf lessons, did you know that there are several different sports that you can participate in that will not only keep you in shape, but help brush up on your golf skills? Check out some of the most popular sports to play to help become a better golf player:
- Tennis. Playing tennis is great for young children as well as adults and can greatly help to enhance your golf swing! In the game of tennis, the amount of rotational movements that are required will help your forehand with speed, and backhand with opposite rotational movement.
- Baseball. During a baseball game, you are required to be on point to hit a ball that is accelerating directly towards you, as well as use your legs and torso to create power from the ground up. These same skills are required for golfers and are essential for the game.
- Kayaking. To be a successful golfer, you must have a very strong upper body and core, which is required to be able to kayak. Regularly kayaking is an awesome way to get outside and enjoy some beautiful scenery while strengthening your upper body!
- Ice Hockey. While you are playing hockey, you are performing rotational movements with your hockey stick, while balancing on ice skates. Ultimately – this requires a lot of coordination. The skill of coordination is essential for the game of golf, and if you can handle it on skates, you can absolutely handle it on the grounds of the course!
- Soccer. Soccer requires a lot of hand and eye coordination as well as lower body strength, which is exactly what you need for the entire duration of your golf swing.
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.
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!
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.
Three Golf Myths De-Bunked
Some of you may not know all of the myths of golf, but they are there and they need to be de-bunked! You may hear some tips from a fellow golfer, a co-worker, or a video/article online that may tell you things that aren’t necessarily true. Sadly, these myths can impede your golf game.
Here are three popular golf myths de-bunked:
Myth #1: Keep You’re Head Still / Down
You’ve probably heard someone say, “Keep your head still” or “Keep your head down” when swinging the club. The combination of these two “tips” can hurt your swing. For example, keeping your head still and down on the downswing impedes your upper body rotation through impact, forcing your body to rise up and causing you to mis-hit the ball.
It’s actually okay to let your head slightly move because your neck is an extension of your spine. When you rotate, you should be leaning towards the ball and allowing your head to shift a little will encourage proper weight shift on the backswing.
Myth #2: Use A Natural Grip
Another popular myth is when someone tells you to have a “natural” or light grip. For some golfers, this can be comfortable and a great fit for them. BUT, for others, it’s not the best choice! Everyone is different with how they prefer to hold the club. If you don’t have a grip that suits your needs, it can cause swing errors. The key to the right grip is having one that matches your swing. Figure out what works best for you by practicing at home or at the range.
Myth #3: One Ball Position For All Clubs
For some Tour pros, using one ball position might be easy for them. But, most weekend golfers are better off using different positions for different clubs. The key is knowing where each club bottoms out. Clubs of different lengths reach the bottom of the swing arc in different places—longer clubs bottom our far forward in your stance than shorter ones. With longer clubs, you also must adjust to how far you are from the ball.
Hopefully clearing up these three myths will help you and your golf game. If you aren’t sure about something you are told, just ask a golf instructor or a professional who would know best.