Does ‘Faking It Till You Make It’ Work In Golf

Confidence in golf is very important. Understanding that any aspects of our golf game could go off the rails at any time, it is important to stay confident regardless of how well we play. Using the old adage ‘fake it till you make it’ sometimes is the only approach to help keep our game afloat. I have experienced poor play and could not get out of my funk in the short term. The only thing I had in my back pocket was to will my game in to success! I have had to fake it till I made it many times and will likely have to do that in the future as well. But, what exactly does this mean?

Serge hitting the ball with confidence.

For my game, I rely on my processes like a solid pre-shot routine, positive self-talk, and knowledge that my funk is short term (hopefully). I have played enough golf to know that the peaks and valleys of my game can change faster than the speed of light. I have been riding on a high for many holes, then I shank a wedge…..twice. Talk about a blow to my mental psyche! For the next few holes I was rattled and had a difficult time swinging my clubs. The only thing I can think of is that I was not mentally in the moment when the shanks arrived. I am not sure I could have prevented my shocking errors, but I can definitely tell you that I was faking confidence moving forward. Luckily two holes later able to right the ship and start playing golf again.

The loss and return of my confidence during my round is something most amateur golfers experience. Rarely do I play a round where I struggle for a few shots in a row. I am not sure what causes my swing woes, but it happens. I could blab on about my mental preparedness or my make an excuse for something or other, but a few poor swings in a round are a normal part of my game. These situations are not the issue. For my game a few holes in a row where I fell like I am golfing with oven mitts on is when I start to examine what his happening. It is during those times when I pretend to be a golfer and that nothing is wrong.

Why fake it you might ask; well, that is a great question. I have practiced and played golf for many hours. I have worked on all aspects of my game and I believe that I must exude confidence externally even when internally my heart is beating 100 miles an hour. I have found that remaining outwardly confident, I am more likely to regain my confidence quicker. This outward calm (faking of course) does translate to internal calm which helps me regain my composure faster. Sometimes it happens quickly and others it takes a few holes. Regardless of how long it takes, it is important to maintain that outward confidence for the good of my game.

Confidence is something that is developed in a golfer. The better you play the more confident you feel. This is true for most things, however, it does not take much to force us to question our confidence foundation. It those times when on the links, faking it until we make it might be the best solution. It is hard to say if it will work for you, but it definitely works for me.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!


4 thoughts on “Does ‘Faking It Till You Make It’ Work In Golf

    • Brian,

      Great to hear from you. Good question. In my case, I know I can play out of a funk. Sometimes, it just takes a bit longer. By staying confident and faking or till I make it helps keep the negative thoughts at bay. Each player will have a different level of confidence, and the “faking” is on a sliding scale. The stiffer the competition, the more confidence I try to project. I hope all is well.

      Cheers Jim

      Liked by 1 person

  1. If I’m not starting well or have a couple bad holes along the way I want to tighten my focus. Doing that not only dumps the baggage but provides the best chance to execute. I know this works for me when I need it and I know I should be using it every shot rather than what I fall back on when I need it. But I’m often playing too fast and my routine suffers then. But at least this always helps be limit the damage and get back in the game.

    It’s the same kind of thing I do when solving some code problem. I fill my head with data until the only thing I can see is the problem at hand. On the course it’s a matter of target lines, swing paths, grass, lie, landing area, shot type, face position. Data points. Get them all in the head and the baggage of your past game disappear. Get them all in your head and execute it a few times with your practice swing and you won’t have to fake confidence. You should have it. And if not, start over and hit another shot. And if so, step to the ball, get yourself set and hit it before you lose it. lol

    One point here. There is a difference between confidence you can execute and confidence you’ll get a good result from your efforts or that you chose correctly. The only one we should be caring about over the ball is can we execute. The rest comes in the after action report. lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin,

      Your explanation about filling our heads with enough information (data) to block out the white noise is definitely a way to improve our situation. The challenge most amateurs have to contend with is analysis paralysis with too much information. It is a learned skill for sure.

      Cheers Jim


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