Do You Have the Cart Before the Horse?

All too often I see mental “gurus” tell their golfers to “just be confident” and their game will improve due to an improved mental attitude. Later, I’ll hear those same golfers telling their friends that “a confident attitude” isn’t the guy that hits the shots on the golf course.

When the same golfers go back to their mental guru with no improvement in their results, the guru often turns to affirmations. “If you tell yourself you’ve hit the shot thousands of time, you’ll remove the anxiety”…

The idea works to remove pre-round anxiety from a competitor’s mind. I’ve given the same advice. I asked a golfer who wanted to qualify for the US Open how many of the holes on the particular golf course he had birdied. His answer was, “All of them!” Going into the round, he was fine until he hit a bad shot on number 10, followed by two more bad shots, and a repeat on the next hole… By the time he had righted the ship, his hopes were gone.

Affirmations seem to work until you hit that first stray shot. I call affirmations “manufactured confidence.” It’s the “fake it till you make it” principle, which works great anywhere a few mistakes don’t get counted against you in the long run. Golf is the one sport where you can’t fake it. You can’t manufacture confidence, because you have to count the bad shots too.

Try as much as you like, you can’t trick your mind into better focus…

In golf confidence comes from one place – Consistent, Accurate, Execution. Golfers who make the shots they need when they have to make those shots to score are confident because they know inside they can do it and they don’t let themselves down.

And it only takes one shot take shake up your confidence. So where does consistency come from? How can a golfer improve accuracy on a consistent basis?

Remember, the mind sends instructions to the body for movement through pictures…

Consistent accuracy comes from making sure your body gets clear accurate instructions from the mind for EVERY shot. Consistent accuracy comes from true focus during execution. This statement always raises the same question… “Focus on WHAT?”

This question was answered over thirty years ago by Jack Nicklaus