I have written and talked about the mental side of the game many times. In fact, one of the books in my golf program is focused on this topic. But it never fails that I still get tons of questions about struggles with the golf game that relate directly to the mental side of the game. And what is the toughest part of this? To me it’s playing within ourselves. In other words, playing the game we are capable of, not the game we’d like to have, but don’t today.
Here is a recent email comment I received that reinforces this point. A reader writes ” Golf Nut, I did it again today. I let my brother in law ruin my score by letting me ego get the best of me. On a par 5 and a really long par 4, I went for shots into the green that I really can’t hit and ended up with a double bogey on one hole and a triple on the other”.
I am not amazed by this because I have fallen into that trap many times myself, often with no help from anyone in my foursome. Why does “laying up” and playing smart seem so wimpy to us? Yes we have that brand new Calllaway or Taylor Made 3 wood in the bag that we just bought. But can most of us consistently hit it 200 to 235 into a small green surrounded by trouble and hit the green, much less hold it?
That is one of the things that I love about the game of golf and that also frustrates me about my game. It’s that personal challenge to play good golf in spite of myself.
But the teaching point is this. If you track your scores (and I encourage you to do this), take note of where the wheels come off on particular holes and you can cut a number of strokes off your game immediately through playing good mental golf.
Good golfing all you golf nuts.