There are 7 habits that The World’s most successful golfers share that don’t require any physical skill. Make sure you start including these into your game today and enjoy the lower scores!
- They Practice the Right Way
Life is short. So why anyone would want to spend hundreds of hours trying to improve in the wrong way is crazy. Beating ball after ball at the same target at the driving range and coming away thinking you’ve mastered the game only takes you backwards. How many golfers wish they could take their range game to the course? 99% of them. The other 1% (the elite), practice in a way that is challenging and simulates course conditions. Hitting a bucket of balls to the same target over and over is easy and it’s nothing like playing on the course. The top players make every second count when practicing, so they’re working all areas of the game to the max. The first thing to do in trying to get better at golf is to think about the way you practice, and change your routine. I’ve worked with many players of all abilities and the thing that correlates most to performance is the way you practice. Make practice hard and challenge yourself.
- They Stay in the Present
Staying in the present means that you give whatever you are doing your complete, undivided attention with no distractions of the past or future. In golf, this means your’re not thinking about your score, how your playing partners might be judging your performance, why you think you just sliced that tee shot or 3 putted the last hole. All your energy is on the process of hitting shot at hand and then enjoying the walk in between.
It’s easy to see how counter-productive it is not to be in the present – just think back to your last round where you started playing well and then thought about shooting your best score, only for your game to unravel. Being solely in the present is easier said than done I know (like everything else it takes practice), but there are good techniques to prevent these tension causing shifts in thinking.
- They Continually Work on the Fundamentals
Good players understand the importance of the fundamentals as it’s the foundation for a good golf swing. How you grip the club, how far you stand from the ball, how good your posture is, how good your ball position is and how well you align are all way more important than just trying to swing the club correctly. The fundamentals need to be worked on continuously as it’s easy to get into bad habits, even for the Tour players. It’s always worth a check up from your local pro to make sure you have these right. Alignment is the one that requires the most maintenance.
- They Play with Visualization and Feel, not Swing Mechanics
The eyes are probably the golfer’s most important asset. Once they commit to a target, the top players imagine exactly how the shot will look, even what the ball’s going to do when it lands. How clearly you define your target and your shot shape before playing each shot will have a huge impact on how well you execute it. And start to become aware of how different shots feel i.e. ask yourself when you’ve hit a fade how that felt. Associating a feeling with a shot shape will give you a better chance of recreating it in the future.
- They Work on a Highly Repeatable Routine (or “Process”)
The top players in the world all go through the exact same routine before (and after) every shot, even down to the number of practice swings and looks at the target. Watch the top players in the world and you’ll notice that the number of seconds it takes to go through their pre-shot routine is the same, every time. The routine acts to prepare you as best as possible for the shot, and it also means there’s no time for negative thoughts to creep into those crucial seconds before a taking the club back.
- They Know How to Calm Themselves Down When the Pressure is On
I’ve worked with enough players to know that the good ones know powerful techniques to calm themselves down to prevent nerves turning into panic and negatively affecting performance. They use nerves to their advantage. There are many ways to do this such as breathing techniques or having special thoughts/places to go in your head in between shots. This could be looking up at the sky or the trees, anything to switch off your golf brain so you’re not thinking about your score or swing. I recently heard of a player that would try to solve math problems in his head when it all got too much out there! So there are countless ways to do it.
- They Know the Power of Acceptance and Moving On
Being able to accept every shot whatever the outcome should become a key part of your game. The optimal state for golf would be to become emotionally indifferent to good and bad shots. Most Tour pros have acceptance built into the routine and they tell themselves that although they have a positive intention for the shot, if it doesn’t go where they want it to, it’s better to accept it and move on, than get disappointed or frustrated. Try verbalizing this in your head before your next shot. Also, try making a deep breath or the action of putting the club back in the bag your signal that the shot is over and it’s time to get back into the present. There’s plenty of time to analyze your round when it’s over!