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One common question I get about the mental game is…
“I hit it great on the range but can’t take that to the golf course. Got any tips to help with this?”
This is such a common problem and the reason why this happens is so simple…
On the range there’s no consequence for a bad shot. So on the range you’re not worried about slicing it because there’s no O.B. to the right for example. You’re not worried about hitting the ball well to carry water because there is none… You get the idea.
On the golf course you only get 1 shot and each shot matters. And when you’re standing on a tee with O.B. on the right and water to the left it can cause panic. But there is one very simple thing you can do to help you in these situations, and that’s this…
When you’re on the golf course, imagine you’re hitting a shot on the driving range. Pick a target you want to hit your shot to but don’t look at all the trouble. Instead, get over your ball and imagine you’re on the range.
Now that advice raises an important point.
I said to pick a target you want to hit your shot to. But if you don’t do that on the driving range then you’re wasting your time following this advice. Because you can imagine yourself on the range as much as you want, but if you’re not in the habit of picking out targets to hit your shots to when you practice then naturally this is not going to transfer over to the golf course.
On the golf course you also need to trust your swing and commit to the process of hitting the shot. A good thing to help you do that is to imagine you’re a robot hitting a shot. Because imagine a robot hitting a shot with out of bounds down one side, a robot is not going to be nervous about that. Instead, they just aim at a target and hit to the target, without emotion.
Emotion is a big reason why golfers can’t take their range game to the golf course. Hit a bad shot on the range and it’s no big deal. You just whack another ball. But hit a bad shot on the golf course and the world is about to end. When playing golf you need to try to take negative emotions out of shots.
This is why professional golfers often seem so emotionless. It’s because they have learned to play shots without the fear of consequence hanging over them.
They just select a target and swing…. like a robot.
So try these tips the next time you’re on the golf course, and I’m sure you’ll find that you swing more freely yet hit the ball straighter. I hope that helps you.