Improving mental approach to game

Here are some great ways to improve your score without trying too hard. Most golfers hurt their chances of improved scores by having a poor mental approach to the game.

For instance, the golfer who scores around 100 and would like to knock off five to 10 shots can do this without hitting the ball any better. First of all forget about pars, birdies and distance off the tee, none of these things are significant.

If the 100 shooter goes on to the golf course with the thought process that every hole is a par five there will be an immediate reduction in pressure, for instance the long par 4 does not look nearly as tough if played as a par five. The most difficult par three looks easy played as a par five.

I have never seen a golfer who scores 100 benefit from the use of a driver, the occasional gain in distance is far outweighed by the loss of accuracy. Use a 3 or 5 wood from the tee and you will gain more control and probably more distance as a result of more solid contact.

The next step to improving on course strategy is to stop trying to improve your swing on the course. Simply put you must play with what you brought that day. You are not going to change your swing while playing.

Improving your golf swing comes from carefully planned practice of correct fundamentals. This cannot be achieved on the course. Most golfers are actually trying to do something with their swing that is not technically correct, or their analysis of what they are doing wrong is incorrect.

The correct approach on the golf course is to focus on the target and establish some rhythm. A great train of thought when facing any shot is to simply pick your target and let it happen. The next time you play adopt this approach. You will be pleasantly surprised.

Terry Gingell, a PGA professional, can be reached at 690-7970 for golf lessons and junior golf camps.


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