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 When to start working on golf psychology 
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Post When to start working on golf psychology
When to start working on golf psychology
by: Steven Latham

When a golfer first takes up golf, they most likely will start out with very physical (technical) goals. How do I grip the club? How do I make the backswing? Etc.

As the golfer’s competency improves, their golf psychology becomes more and more of a factor for further improvement. Their golf psychology becomes the difference that makes the difference.

Tour professionals often comment that up to 90 per cent of their results relate to mental factors. For better players, golf psychology separates the also rans from the most successful players (Wall).

‘Competitive golf is played mainly on a six inch course: the space between your ears’. Bobby Jones

One question arises: When should a player start working on their golf psychology? My answer to this is immediately. Similar to learning technique, it’s important that the golfer forms effective habits regarding their golf psychology. In fact, the varieties of competence with golf psychology amongst elite players are likely a result of variances in how much work (or lack of) was completed on their golf psychology during their golf development.

Golf Psychology incorporates many sub sections including goal setting, practice plans, competition attitude, practice attitude, tournament preparation plans & skills, game strategy/course management, pre shot routine, nervous control skills, state management skills, mental rehearsal skills and game review strategy.

Start with goal setting, and then work on your pre shot routine and state management. If you take care of those three areas, the others will become easier. You can start setting goals from the moment you first begin to play. Your first goal might be to get the ball up in the air, then to break 100, then 90 and so on. Get in the habit of setting goals for yourself, reaching those goals, then setting new ones.

An easy way to learn an effective pre shot routine is to watch tour players on television. They work hard on that aspect of their game. Learn by observing their finished product. Can you notice the differences in pre shot routine between the players who are leading compared to the other players?

Managing your state on the course is a skill, and can be learnt, just like learning good swing technique. Begin my monitoring your state, start keeping statistics on your arousal level when playing, and notice if patterns emerge regarding your arousal level and your play. Learn some diaphragmatic breathing techniques and work on maintaining a resourceful physiology (posture) walking around the course (especially when going through your pre shot routine.

For a FREE copy of chapter 1 of my Golf Psychology Drill Book, visit

About The Author
Steven Latham
Golf Psychology Coach
B.A(psychology) Grad Cert NLP
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Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:54 pm
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