What does it take to become an exceptional golfer? You might be surprised to learn that a big piece of the puzzle isn't committing to the right pro-approved workout routine or having the perfect set of custom golf clubs (although a new set of custom clubs certainly can’t hurt!).
Like running and lifting, golf is as much a psychological sport as it is a physical one. And if you ask any professional golfer, they’ll tell you that one of the secrets to getting great at this sport is developing the right mindset.
A big part of that equation is honing habits that help you bring your best game to the sport every time you play. Let’s take a look at some of the best habits you can adopt if you’re aiming to improve your golf game in this post from the golf experts at Burl Oaks Golf Club.
Starting With an Improvement Mindset
Whether we’re talking about weight loss or learning to prepare a five-star meal, before you improve at anything, you need to be open to change. And when it comes to golf, most of us have plenty of room for improvement. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or new to the game of golf, there are always improvements to be made to your game. These could be anything from slight mechanical adjustments to a change in attitude and your approach to the game.
At Burl Oaks Golf Club, our golf professionals are experienced pros and can help you work through any issues you might be having in your golf game. No matter what you think your game’s weakness is, we’re here to help. While there are plenty of mechanical changes that you can make to improve your game, today we’re going to talk about your mental approach to the game. Golf is a challenging game, and it’s important to develop the way you approach it.
We asked our seasoned golf pros, and they told us these are some of the best habits you can adopt to improve your distance, speed, and accuracy:
- Get to know the golf course.
Each course is different, and while you probably play one course more than any other, there’s never enough information you can take in about a specific course. Even if you have a flawless swing and virtually perfect mechanics, it won’t help your cause if you hit the ball to a difficult area of the course.
Before you golf, it’s important to study the course, know where the difficult areas of the course are. When you’re planning to play a famous golf course, you can even go online and read reviews and tips from other golfers before you play. From there, you can analyze the course before your shots and aim for easier sections of the course to improve your chances of success.
- Go in with reasonable expectations.
If you’re golfing at a notoriously difficult course, you don’t want to get your expectations up too high. While you always want to expect the best of yourself, you need to be reasonable and go in with proper expectations. If you’re like many people, you are probably hyper-critical of yourself and expect yourself to pull off miraculous feats.
While golf takes a great deal of skill, there is also a certain degree of luck involved, and it’s important to go in with reasonable expectations. For instance, you may have played a course dozens of times, but the weather might be terrible today. It’s probably unreasonable to expect you’d achieve the same scores with these other factors.
- Focus on improving the fundamentals.
The best golfers know that getting the basics down is far more important than learning some fancy technique you find hidden in the cobwebby corners of YouTube or buried on a golf magazine website.
Some of the most essential aspects of your swing include your posture, alignment, grip, and ball position, and unfortunately, it’s all too easy to start slacking over the years and internalize habits that sabotage your game. One of the best things you can do to be a better golfer is to schedule a professional training session every now and again to check in on how well you’re doing with these golf fundamentals.
- Be capable of accepting your misses and learning from them.
Even Jack Nicklaus would tell you that you have to be capable of accepting your losses if you want to be truly great at anything. And one of the most valuable habits you can master as a golfer is the ability to accept your mistakes and focus on what’s ahead rather than what’s behind you.
Because golf is a mental sport, you must be able to put bad shots behind you and move on with the rest of your game. If you let yourself fixate on what caused you to flub your last hole, it can sabotage you mentally and emotionally. Think of Chevy Chase in “Caddyshack” and try to find your zen state every time you’re playing, projecting what you want to happen rather than living in what you wish had not.
Come Golf at Burl Oaks Golf Club Today!
If you’re in the Twin Cities metro area and looking for a top-notch golf club to practice your skills and feel at home in a community, contact Burl Oaks Golf Club today. We focus on creating a strong community while focusing solely on golf instead of other country club amenities. To learn more about our community and course, give us a call at 952-472-7017 or message us on our contact page today.