7 Things A Player Must Do In A Competitive Round

Golf is a game of competence and confidence. Your muscles and your body are controlled by your mind. Unless your mind is functioning well when you play golf, your muscles are going to flounder. If your head is filled with bad thoughts, your scorecard will be filled with bad strokes. Every golfer has the potential to be much better than she or he is, and that using the mind is one essential way to improve. Here are 7 things to develop your physical and mental skills: 1. Play to play great. Don’t play not to play poorly. Golfers who are playing great love the drive more than they fear the rough. They like making putts more than they care about three-putting. Players that play great know that if they too concerned about not being bad, they might not free themselves up enough to be great. 2. Love the challenge of the day – whatever it may be. Golfers who love and understand the game accept the bad bounces and unpredictable fortunes out on the golf course. The essence of golf is reacting to inevitable mistakes and misfortunes. If there’s one thing to be proud of in your golf game, it’s how you react well to mistakes. You will never have complete control of the golf ball, but you can control your attitude. 3. Playing with a feeling that the outcome doesn’t matter is always preferable to caring too much. Most golfers let their play dictate their attitude.  If the ball is going where they want it go, they have a good attitude. If it doesn’t go where they want it to go, their attitude is bad. When you are playing badly, you need the discipline to control your thoughts and think only about the way you want to play. Stay in the present! Golfers who stay in the present, who don’t think about past shots or future ones they are going to make, keep playing the shot at hand until they run out of holes. Then they add up their score. 4. Believe in yourself fully so you can play freely. Confident golfers think about what they want to happen on the golf course. Golfers who lack confidence think about the things they don’t want to happen. Our bodies react to the degree of confidence we’ve nurtured in our conscious and subconscious minds. Play a shot confidently, and the body performs at it’s best. 5. See where you want the ball to go on every shot.  Great golfers are single-minded. Hazards such as woods and water don’t distract them. The more you are consumed with your target, the more your instincts will help you find it. 6. Be decisive, committed and clear. Trust is a must. 7. Love your wedge and your putter. Be proficient with your scoring clubs. That’s what separates the pros from the amateurs. Short shots are an integral part of the game. Sure you will miss a green, but think of the fun to getting up and down and saving par! Meanwhile, good putters never putt out of fear. They are going to try to make the first putt and not worry about the second one.   *Adapted from “The Golfer’s Mind- Play to Play Great” Dr. Bob Rotella

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