Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Golf is Mental…

It's All in My Mind...

I was reviewing my statistics and I have determined that Golf is Mental. Previously I had concluded that my recent rash of three-putting was due to two primary causes. One of those causes was the addition of snakes to my golf betting. This cause is most certainly mental. The other cause I pointed to was my improved GIR statistic. It seems reasonable to conclude that more GIRs provide more opportunities to three-putt, but looking at the data, I can see that this is NOT the cause.

This month I three-putted 25 times (over 225 holes) and 13 of those were after a GIR (13/25). The previous month showed 4/8 and the months before that get worse with 2/3 and 7/10. Looking at these ratios it is clear that more GIRs have nothing to do with my dramatic increase in three-putt frequency. That leaves snakes as the primary reason. Like many before me, I conclude: Golf is Mental.

Controlling the mind…

In looking at the data, there is a nice drop off in the three-putts just prior to the conclusion of the month. It is after loop number 18 in the chart below.

After loop eighteen, there is a stretch of at least 36 holes without a three-putt. That is the point where I finally got control of my mind. The final two three-putts during the month were still mental, but I feel I did not give those particular putts the proper respect and I was a bit over confident.

So how did I manage to control my mind? I wrote about it here where I discussed taking a practice stroke at a midpoint on the line and that worked for me. But it wasn’t the act of making those practice strokes alone. Those practice strokes gave me confidence and that confidence led to trust. With this trust, I can stroke the ball more freely and with considerably less tension.

So, What Now…

I certainly have not conquered the mental aspect of golf, but identifying that a recent struggle was completely a mental one, and looking at how I overcame it is a great start. The answer is confidence and trust. In the most general terms this can be applied to any golf shot. Simply consider how much confidence you have in the shot you are about to make. Consider weather there is another shot that you have more confidence in. I think the best place to realize this is chipping. Shots around the green generally have the most options; choose the option you trust most.

Playing Head Games,


At 5:38 PM, Anonymous TP Golf Online said...

Putting is definitely a mental game. My last three putt began as a mental error prior to stroking the first putt. I was looking ahead to what my finishing score would be if I made this putt. Bad mistake. Have to remember to stay in the present.


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