Golf is really a game where you have no opponent other than yourself. Sure, you try to get a lower score than the other players but from the time you tee-off, it is your swing that lands the ball in the fairway. Your irons, woods and wedges get the ball closer to the hole. There is no one to blame but yourself if you drive it to a rough or land it in a sand bunker or a water hazard. And you can give yourself a pat on the back if you sink the putt. Perhaps the only real opponent a golfer has is the golf course itself.

This makes a large part of golf mental by nature. Technique, form, stance– they all matter. But they only become effective after a properly thought out strategy. If you want to improve your golf game, you have to perfect your mental game first.

How can you do that? Here are some tips:

1. Realize that your attitude in real life affects how you play the game. If you are a natural worrier, you will also constantly fret over your shots. If you always like to be in control, you will take forever to do your stroke. You’ll have to strive to be calm in the course, otherwise, if you are going to let your temper take the better of you, you will give in to club-throwing and shouting that would only serve to further ruin your game.
2. Understand that you can be influenced by other people’s strokes. If your mind is inadequately prepared to handle the rigors of the game, you will eventually end up minding the shots of other players and letting it affect how you play. It takes a turn for the worse if the others are making birdies and you’re the only one doing bogeys.
3. Concentration and focus are integral to your golf game. You’ve got to learn to develop these so you can frame the right strategies to get your ball to the hole with as few strokes as possible.
4. Keep in mind that being able to think in abstract terms is essential to your golf game. You’ve got to be able to visualize where the ball will land using a particular stroke without actually doing it yet.
5. Understand that self-confidence is key to a successful game. When you believe it will happen, then it will.

Focus on your mental game and lower your score!

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