It’s not just the mental game it’s the mental psychology that allows you to concentrate on the game. Nutrition is a big factor in golf psychology and helps produce a calm, relaxed, but energized state that is ideal for the game of golf. Clearing the mind and having fun are also two prerequisites to an enjoyable game.
Make Your Pre-Game Meal a Relaxing One
Good golf psychology is not just about thinking right, but even what you eat can have a massive effect on your mental performance. Eating a moderately-high complex carbohydrate meal before your game can help the brain to produce a chemical called serotonin that calms and relaxes. Eat whole grains, fruit, and vegetables. Make sure to eat some healthy fats like nuts and seeds. They say fish is brain food and they’re right. Eat some fish as a protein source or take a couple of fish oil capsules. Feed the brain proper nutrients to help with the mental aspects of your golf game.
Take some trail mix or other healthy snacks to keep your blood sugar levels stable. This is a great golf psychology tip that can help prevent physiological mood swings from lack of nutrients. You may not think it’s important; however, Tiger is consistently having a snack throughout his rounds and his results speak for themselves.
Master the Emotions of Frustration and Anger
These emotions have destroyed more golf games than any other. If you can’t get a handle on frustration and anger then you and your golf game will always suffer because of it. There are many strategies for reducing emotional reactions such as deep breathing, imagine your “happy place” and so on. These strategies have their place and they do work. But what if you just never became angry or frustrated?
I’ve learned over the years to let go of these emotions on the course. I mean really “what am I angry about?” Am I mad at the ball? The Club? How can you be angry at an inanimate object? Am I mad at the boss, the ex, my neighbor? What do they have to do with my golf game? Am I mad at myself for not focusing? Bingo! This is where the real anger and frustration lie…within yourself. And this is why it’s hard to let it go.
Tips for Golf Psychology by Letting Go
• When you feel the frustration rising, ask yourself “where else would I rather be?” Inevitably, the answer is “nowhere”. So focus on enjoying the day.
• When you miss hit the golf ball don’t slam your club, take a wild swing or any other negative reaction. It only serves to reinforce the situation. Accept the shot, “it is what it is.” Take another practice swing and visualize the ball flying through the air towards your target. This replaces a negative result with a positive one.
• Think of every shot as the one you haven’t made before. It’s a new challenge to be overcome whether it’s a sand shot, from the trees, or any other position. That’s what the game of golf is all about “overcoming challenges.” It’s a metaphor for life. That one successful “Phil Mickelson type shot” around a tree and onto the green is worth the cost of a few previous failed attempts.
• At times it’s wise to just surrender. Some days it just isn’t going to happen. Accept that and have fun anyway. I’m not about to waste a sunny day on a golf course with people I like by being angry or frustrated. I’ll enjoy the scenery, commune with nature, have a couple beverages, and watch the clouds go by. More often than not, my relaxed demeanor causes an improvement in my stroke and I salvage a somewhat respectable score.