Many people follow Golf Loopy because they are analytical – it helps them to understand the “whys” of the golf swing, as well as the “whats” and the “hows”, and that helps them to commit to the improvement process.
For others, it’s because they need a feel-based learning system that helps them to ingrain the correct movement patterns.
But being a great golfer is about so much more than understanding mechanics and moving your body correctly. In fact, when you’re out on the course, being great isn’t really about logic and truth at all, it’s more about belief, about having your own personal version of reality.
Having their own “version of reality”, call it a delusion if you will, is what all great golfers do. They don’t do this because they need to hide from weaknesses, they do it because they are mentally strong. Great golfers will boost their confidence by convincing themselves of things that will help them to perform at their best – logic has little to do with it, and they have what many would regard as a “flexible” view of the truth!
To improve your own mental strength and perform better at this great game, you must understand that golfers usually “get what they think”, and you need to use this to your advantage by working on your ability to control what you think.
Okay, so you’re not actually a great golfer, yet, and this process of “deluding yourself” doesn’t come naturally, it seems insincere. But, if you’re like the vast majority of golfers, negative thoughts are severely impeding your performance levels, and they are hindering your efforts at getting better. Changing the way that you think takes time and effort, you need to recognise what triggers wrong thinking and deliberately choose to respond differently each time these things happen, even (especially) if this feels awkward. Right thinking is a good habit that is built one day, one incident, at a time.
- You hate playing in the rain but it starts to pour during an important competition? Find a way to convince yourself that the rain forces you to focus and brings out the best in you.
- The quality of the greens isn’t to your liking? What a great opportunity to show off your green reading skills and your exquisite touch.
- Your playing partner is annoying? Let this strengthen your competitive spirit, while at the same time demonstrating how gracious you are – convince yourself that accepting the faults of others and being nice to people relaxes you.
A bad attitude and negative thoughts aren’t things that are forced upon you, no matter what life brings – at let’s face it, you’re out on a golf course, how good can life get in this moment?! When it comes to what is going on inside your own head, you have a choice.
You can choose to have a strong mind and an inner peace that means you will perform close to your best more often, from shot to shot, and you can’t be thrown by anything that happens out on the course.
Leave logic and truth for the practice ground, on the course you’re a believer!
So we’re asking you to lie to yourself? Perhaps. But the purpose is to give yourself the greatest chance to perform at your best.
Some golfers take this in a different direction and use it to abdicate responsibility. They believe that they are stronger when they blame poor performance on anything other than themselves. That bad shot was this club’s fault! This ball spins too much! I didn’t score well because I had a terrible caddy! That course didn’t suit me at all, what a terrible design!
These golfers might believe that this attitude works because it doesn’t risk eroding their fragile self confidence when things don’t go as well as they might.
We all have moments when we want to lash out at something, but this attitude is wrong because it won’t make you a better golfer. Blaming something or someone else for your misfortune might feel good in the moment, it’s a release, it’s cathartic.
But if you fully accept the premise that everything that happens to you out on the course is your responsibility, then you will become stronger and be a much better player. You will build the mental strength that you need to deal with adversity – and there’s plenty of adversity to be found on a golf course if you’re looking for it!
Blaming an outside agency excuses you from getting better. It lets you off the hook for giving in to anger, for not dealing well with pressure, for accepting that things are too difficult for you. Not facing these demons honestly will actually undermine your confidence over time – it may feel like you’re propping it up, but it’s built on sand.
Taking responsibility for your own mistakes, and for things that just happen to you, is the true catharsis. You learn to accept that golf is just plain hard, things won’t always go your way. Failure is inevitable, it’s a fundamental part of the game, and it contributes significantly to the joy of the game. Facing up to, and learning from, failure is what makes you better, stronger. Accepting this truth will help you to relax, it will make you more resilient, your confidence will soar and your performance will improve.
Learn to relish the opportunity to recover from adversity. Bad shot? Accept the consequences, and devote your energies to playing the best possible shot from the predicament that you’ve left yourself in. Stay in the present. You’ll hit a lot more good shots, and you’ll start to follow poor shots with great ones. Now that’s great golf!
So I Should Expect to Play Well?
You’re working hard at your game, and you understand the power of being positive, so it’s natural to expect some reward for your efforts when you’re out on the course.
Should you expect to hit your next shot perfectly to close out the match? To beat your buddies today? To win the club championship this year? No.
There are no guarantees in golf, and these specific expectations will create pressure and tension that will hinder your performance. Expecting things to go well is not the same as being positive. When things go against your expectations, you’re disappointed, and disappointment hurts your confidence.
Instead of expectations, have hopes in the present, and goals for the future. Have confidence in your ability, but in each moment just hope for the best, while being prepared for the worst.
When you walk onto the first tee, expect only that you’ll enjoy the day, and that you’ll give your all to every shot.
Golf is a wonderful game that you can play for a lifetime.
Don’t take the easy way out, wasting your energies on making excuses. Take responsibility, own it, and you will be a better player.
Choose to believe in yourself, to enjoy the game each day, and be thankful.
With this attitude, you’ll be a winner every time you go out.
Coming soon, we’ll publish the full Golf Loopy Think like a Champion series, the sensational new mental game improvement system that will help you to improve every aspect of your performance on the golf course. The improvements will be dramatic, and they will be permanent.