Focusing On Confidence In Golf

Every golfer walks the tight rope on the links. It is that fine line between over-confidence and apprehension. You know the spot where each shot offers a player the opportunity to think about success, envision success, and execute a successful golf shot. Being an experienced player, I find walking this narrow path easier because I understand my strengths and limitations. Interestingly, my ability to focus on confidently hitting golf balls was developed over years of playing successful golf. The peaks and valleys of my play showed that there is a zone of success created in the six inches of real estate between my ears. I was able to do it and you can as well!

Listening to Jack Nicklaus

Jack Nicklaus drives my point home in on simple work. To find that zone of confidence on the golf course, we golfers need to put the work (and time) in to perfecting the various parts of our game that will be stressed during each round.

Some players are great off the tee, but trouble chipping around the green. If this is the case, then their practice regime has to include more chipping than hitting their driver. Unfortunately, many players (myself included in the past) focused on areas of our game that are superior to the others. We did this because it made us feel better about score, fed our ego, and gave the allusion that we were improving our golf game.

Experience taught me that just the opposite needs to happen in order to lower my golf scores. When I finally decided to focus most of my practice time to improving my shortcomings on the golf course, I found that my entire game improved. I was more confident in challenging situations, the areas that were already okay improved greatly, and I was far more confident standing over the ball for every shot. Don’t get me wrong, I still eroded my confidence some times, but not nearly as much as in the past. My mental focus on being confident was based in knowing I can make most shots because I build a strong foundation of success.

Confidence is a huge stroke saver in golf. Knowing we can make most shots helps us approach those extremely difficult shots. Confidence improves our course management because we can focus on all the positive results we want to happen instead looking at the negative side of each shot. Confidence eliminates the ‘Can’ts’. Confidence is developed and nurtured; it is not an automatic mindset.

Lastly, I will leave you with some parting words from a previous article on building confidence in golf.

DR. BOB ROTELLA, writing for Golf Digest, has ten things that will build confidence in any golfer. Rotella suggests:  “I believe every golfer has the potential to be much better than he or she is, and that using the mind is one essential way to improve. You will never know if you have the ability to be the best player in the world, or the best player in your club, unless you commit yourself to developing both your physical and mental skills.”

Rotella’s top points to build your confidence are:

  • Play to play great. Don’t play not to play poorly.
  • Love the challenge of the day, whatever it may be.
  • Get out of results and get into process.
  • Know that nothing will bother or upset you on the golf course, and you will be in a great state of mind for every shot.
  • Playing with a feeling that the outcome doesn’t matter is always preferable to caring too much.
  • Believe fully in yourself so you can play freely.
  • See where you want the ball to go before every shot.
  • Be decisive, committed and clear.
  • Be your own best friend.
  • Love your wedge and your putter.

Confidence is a important in golf. It shapes our game and helps lower our golf score. The challenge is to develop this magical skill and keep it at the forefront of each shot.

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

4 thoughts on “Focusing On Confidence In Golf

  1. Figuring out what to target with my practice has been more hit or miss than I needed over the years. The new Shot Scope watch has made that far more exacting and it’s already made a big difference. Those 3-6 foot putts I mentioned a few weeks back have seen a sea change. Over the past 5 rounds recorded I’ve dropped 88% of them. That’s far better than the numbers I saw before adding that distance specifically to my practice routine.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is something I definitely struggle with. I try to strike a balance between being optimistic/confident and being objective about what I’m not quite capable of (and might need improving). It’s a difficult part of this difficult game!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s