Enjoy this guest golf blog written by US Grass and Greens which explains How Visualization and Boosting your Confidence will Improve your Golf Performance.
"Golf is a game that is played on a five-inch course - the distance between your ears." - Bobby Jones
Picture the perfect shot you want to hit in your mind. Imagine the ball slowly rolling towards its intended target and then finally hitting that sweet spot where everything feels perfect and the world makes sense. Perhaps you hear the all-too-familiar "thunk" sound as the ball sinks into the place it was, in your opinion, always destined to be. Visualizing the arc of your swing BEFORE you actually hit the ball engages your state of mind, relaxes your body, and gives you a sense of purpose.
Imagining a positive outcome to your game is one of the many visualization methods that golfers - both amateur and professional - use when they need to calm their nerves, and to help banish any anxious and/or worried feelings they have about their own shortcomings. Sure, it can sound a little too pompously highfalutin', but it's a psychological technique that players swear by. Never think of the result of messing up your shot, because this can eventually contaminate your confidence and lead to a disastrous swing in real life!
The two principal traits that you need to boost your inner-confidence are focus and concentration.
Utilizing both of these characteristics is key to your success on the green, because aggressive, obnoxious and negative energy will never yields anything but bad results.
You may have read famous quotes, such as Gardner Dickinson's "They say golf is like life, but don't believe them. Golf is more complicated than that", or Bob Hope's legendary "If you watch a game, it's fun. If you play it, it's recreation. If you work at it, it's golf" line. Essentially, both of these words of wisdom draw attention to a highly emotional state where a simple game of golf becomes EVERYTHING to you. All-encompassing, all-pervading, omnipresent: To win is to live and to lose is to fail, to fail at life itself. Yes, a game can become that grandiose at times in some people's minds.
But that shouldn't be the case. Golf, after all, is a GAME. We all know that it's played professionally all over the world with millions of dollars at stake but, first and foremost, it's a game to enjoy. Games are played for fun, no matter how competitive they get. It's important to remember how to maintain a pleasant, optimistic, lighthearted disposition and, ultimately, you need to enjoy yourself.
"Golf is a day spent in a round of strenuous idleness." - William Wordsworth
Additionally, a little modesty is always nice in any competitive game, and know-it-all "I win everything!" types of players are unbearable to play either against or alongside. Because golf is a Gentlemen's Game built on the fundamental notions of both etiquette and mutual respect, a quiet kind of confidence is the mainstay of a strong mindset that positively encourages and supports a great game. Some people may have the tendency of focusing on what is going right or wrong with their game. However, lending frequent attention to your wrongdoings can end up becoming a distraction that actually interferes with the confidence you require.
To reiterate: Concentrate on what you're doing correctly, and don't dwell on what's going wrong. Examine what you're doing right, so that you can build upon your strengths and hone your particular skill set. The road of self-improvement is a long, bumpy and arduous one, but not without its inherent rewards.
Many see practice as not enough, but it's obviously a good start. Phil Mickelson once commented: "Last year my confidence just slowly, slowly dwindled. After the time off I took and the work I accomplished on my conditioning and my game, I couldn't wait to get out and start playing. I was just itching." When stuck in an extended rut of poor game playing, nothing seems to go well. But golfing confidence is about feeling good about your skills and retaining positive thoughts every time you play.
"They say 'practice makes perfect.' Of course, it doesn't. For the vast majority of golfers it merely consolidates imperfection." - Henry Longhurst
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photo credit: YourVoiceofEncouragement.com