Five Strategies That Lower Golf Handicaps

Ever have a golf outing where you master the front nine but destroy the back nine? Or, ever had amazing practice sessions only to play completely off your game the next day? A great deal of that has to do with your mental approach to the game. In this past article below, written by Jack Moorehouse, are five strategies golfers can immediately implement to overcome their mental obstacles and help master their golf game.

All eyes are on Tiger Woods this week. It’s been 6 months since he played in a professional golf tournament.

That’s a long time for a professional golfer to be away from the game.

Plus, he’s playing at Augusta National, among the toughest golf courses on the Tour, and he may have some lingering affects from his knee surgery last year. It won’t be easy. That’s why most sports writers aren’t picking Tiger to win the tournament. But if anybody can do it, he can.

Tiger’s biggest problems at the Masters will probably be mental.

When you’ve played as long as Tiger has and hit as many balls, it doesn’t take long to get your swing in shape. Some practice grounds should do it. Plus, Tiger keeps himself in good shape all year round, so from a physical standpoint, he should be ready to go on Thursday.

But will he be ready mentally?

Below are five mental strategies that Tiger—and you—can use to cut stroke from their golf handicap.

Forget Your Mechanics

When you’re been away like Tiger has, you tend to think about your mechanics too much.

When you start focusing on where your hands are or where your shoulders are when you swing, you’re thinking about your mechanics. The place to work on your mechanics is in practice. There you can isolate a swing flaw and work on it without adding strokes to your golf handicap. On the course, think about where to hit the ball, not how to hit it. Trust your body to do the rest.

Think Small

Hitting to an area on the fairway isn’t good enough. Think smaller. Pick out a spot on the fairway, like a dark patch of grass or a brown spot, and hit to it. It’s called narrowing your focus.

Ben Hogan did it all the time. When told by his caddy to hit the ball to a clump of trees, Hogan asked him which tree he had in mind.

Narrowing your focus works well when putting, too. When you have a tricky three-footer, focus on an imperfection in the back of the cup and stroke the ball confidently toward it.

Use Visualization

Visualization is a powerful mental tool that can help shave strokes off your golf handicap. Use it as much as possible. The easiest way to access the power of visualization is through mental imagery.

Imagine the type of shot you want to make and then hit several of those shots in your head. Now hit the shot for real.

Mental practice helps both your tempo and your feel for the shot. That’s why some teachers devote entire golf instruction sessions to visualization.

Stay in the Moment

This is one of Tiger’s strengths. It should serve him well at the Masters. When you think about a shot’s outcome, you’re focusing on something you can’t control, generating anxiety.

Players who haven’t played in a while have enough anxiety. They don’t need more. Instead, focus on what you have to do then and there. That lessens the anxiety.

If you’ve seen Tiger play in the past, you know how intently he concentrates on every shot, especially in pressure situations.

Enjoy the Game

When you’re playing poorly, you tend to get down on yourself. If Tiger starts off poorly, this strategy will help. When playing poorly, ask yourself why you play? Is it for relaxation? Camaraderie? Mastery? Whatever the reason, remind yourself why you started playing the game in the first place.

If you’re going to play golf, you might as well enjoy it. It takes the pressure off and puts the game in its proper perspective.

Tiger’s quest for the Masters depends on his mental and physical games.

Your quest to cut strokes from your golf handicap rests on your mental game and physical games, too.

The strategies above help.

They may not turn you into a PGA pro overnight, but they will help you cut strokes from your scores. That in turn will shave strokes from your golf handicap. If you’re serious about improving your game, work on both sides of it.

Jack Moorehouse is the author of the best-selling book “ How To Break 80 And Shoot Like The Pros .” He is NOT a golf pro, rather a working man that has helped thousands of golfers from all seven continents lower their handicap immediately. He has a free weekly newsletter with the latest golf tips , golf lessons and golf instruction .

Read the original here:
How To Break 80

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