On a recent round of golf, a player in my foursome and I ended up in a conversation admiring pro golfers for their shot making abilities but more for their mental fortitude. These athletes can keep their concentration through an entire round. I get distracted bythe fourth hole as I dream of glory if I keep scoring as I am which in turn degrades the swings that got me those good scores. Mental golf errors are a slippery slope to double bogeyland.
I started thinking about how my round falls short due to my lack of mental concentration. Here are my top 5 mental errors that occur during a round of golf.
Mental Golf Error 1: Driver fading
The consistence of the accuracy of my driver leaks to the right the longer the round goes on. On the driving range, I smack drives down the middle because I am concentrating and locked into key swing elements and repeatedly swing the small club. I start with drives down the left side for the first two or three holes as the round progresses, I stop completing my mental checklist on my drives and on the 5th hole I will slice (not fade).
Mental Golf Error 2: Get cute on tee box
There are holes that place a hazard to restrict driving distance or hazards requiring a little more accuracy so you must sheath your driver. For these holes, I will pull out my 4 hybrid expecting 200 yards tee shot. My error occurs that I swing the club at 80% since that is the power setting I would have used with my driver. I rob myself of distance.
Mental Golf Error 3: Sand shot power
I progressed my sand shots in the last year to make solid contact under the ball to get a nice flop shot. My error occurs that I focus solely on the contact and forget to determine power to get a correct distance. During a recent round, I got out of the trap twice only to end up on the fringe of the green and require an additional chip to get on the putting surface.
Mental Golf Error 4: Birdies to erase bogeys
There will always be one hole eachround that eats my lunch. It came be mid-July and I can still show you a snowman on my score card. I do simple math to compute a few pars or a nice birdie will remove the stain of that bad hole and get me back on the boegy train andleavethe ocurse with a 90. This is easy on the front 9 where there are plenty of opportunities for redemption or a lucky putt. On the back 9, pressure mounts as I try to hit beyond my skill level and force shots.
Mental Golf Error 5: Playing in the past
Once I play a course three times, I develop a history with certain holes. Unfortunately, they are not the hole I do well but those that eat golf balls and wash it down with my self esteem. Each time I step on the tee box, I relive the errant shots I hit there in the past and pray I don’t make the same mistake which of course I do. The phrase you would here from me is “My ball always goes over there.” There is no reason to bring the past to light since there is only the now and the stroke in front of me.
Now that I wrote these mental golf errors down, I hope I can recognize when they try to come to like on my next round. Perhaps in future articles, we can address to remedy to use for each.
What are your common golf mental errors?