No great athlete or gamesman would hesitate to tell you that the vast percentage of success depends on your mental state. Are you focused? Are you playing for fun? Are you working a specific part of your game? Are you prepared? These are all questions worthy of asking yourself before you begin any round, or if you are simply hitting balls at the range. It is said that a mad player equals a bad player. Simply meaning, frustration will lead to bad play. Most people hoping to excel in certain events are often unaware of the level of concentration needed to find success. It is not only mentally, but physically exhausting to stay intensely focused on your game. Build upon your patience and mental toughness. There is no game that calls for it more than the game of golf!
Once you’ve set your mind to the task, take into consideration your tools. Are you playing with the right clubs? Are they too short; too long? Are your grips too small? Playing with the improper clubs will lead to poor placement and a probable bad introduction of the club face to the ball. Those grooves in your irons are there for a reason! If you are hitting the ball with the toe of the club because you’re hunched over trying to take a good swing, it might be a good idea to slide a machete into your bag so you can hack through the jungle trying to find your ball.
Without a doubt, every time you set foot on the links, you are coached by everyone and their uncle. Ignore it. You may want to consider it if they are a pro, but generally, they feel they’ve defined themselves and are going to impart their knowledge on to you. Just as easily as they may be teaching you quality, they will also help you develop some incredibly bad habits, hoping to improve your play in a scramble. Try different techniques and find your own game!
If you’re a beginner or feel a bit rusty, get back out to the driving and practice range. As a beginner, there is nothing that can turn you off more than paying for 18 holes and going through 36 balls. Hitting a little white ball with a piece of metal may sound and seem easy, but if you’ve done it once, you know, you need to do it a thousand times! Learn to hit and then play!
I can’t tell you how many times a playing partner will step up to the ball and take practice swing after practice swing, getting their aim perfect, waiting on the wind and watching all four seasons pass by as everyone else is napping in the carts: Here comes the back swing…shank! The same player steps up to the next shot, not caring whatsoever, checks his lie, lines up, addresses the ball and pop! Within ten to the pin! Feel it, don’t think it.
In regards to play, consider your entire environment. If you have ever hit a ball on a windy day, you know how the wind can help or hinder you. If the ground is wet, stay out of the rough and keep your ball in play. If it’s a beautiful, warm summer day, take an extra towel to help absorb some sweat. And if it’s snowing, what are you doing on the golf course? Yes, it’s all common sense, yet commonly forgotten during play.
This is obvious. Find a pro you like talking to and pay them/barter with them for a lesson. They will do the analytical work and pass it on. It will offer you new perspective and will help you to improve on your own in the future!