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The Mental Game of Golf

The Mental Game of Golf

Golf is a mental game, especially at the higher levels.  This is why it’s important for golfer’s to develop a strong inner game or mental toughness.  You see players all the time who have “great talent”, but rarely play up to their potential. The problem is that golfers are not educated about the mental game mostly because their instructors or coaches didn’t stress the importance of mental toughness when their student’s were learning to play.

In Golf your decisions, thoughts, images, and feelings set up each swing. Mental training helps players develop key mental skills to compliment the mechanics or physical aspects of their game. What most people do not know is that mental training isn’t just for players who have challenges with their game, but also for players who want to improve their overall performance. Coaches and players have used mental training for years to gain a competitive edge in golf.  Confidence, trust, focus, and composure are the everyday lessons I teach my students.  Understanding these components allows players to become mentally tough and improve their performance.

To develop mental toughness in golf there are several mental skills that you can learn. From my work and research in golf, I have discovered that golfers who are playing in the zone are composed, in control, confident, and focused. Most golfers have experienced the zone, if only for a short time. And every golfer can learn to develop a mindset that helps them enter the zone more frequently by learning how to be confident, focused, and in control of game.

Mentally tough golfers are at an advantage in competition because they have…

  • An awareness of the zone and the feelings associated with playing in the zone.
  • High self-confidence or a strong belief in their skills or ability to play well.
  • The ability to fully immersed in the task or totally concentrate in the present.
  • A narrow focus of attention or the ability to focus on one specific thought without distraction.
  • The ability to swing effortlessly or let it happen when it counts.
  • Emotional control or the ability to remain calm under pressure.
  • Clear and decisive mind or not over thinking and doubting their decisions.
  • The ability to refocus or collect themselves after mistakes or a bad shot.
  • Fun, whether they are 10 over par or two under par.

A strong mental game is crucial for all golfers. To develop a strong mental game it takes commitment to working on your mental toughness daily over weeks, months, and even years. To be successful with mental toughness training, golfers must learn how to apply it to games and practice. It’s easy to pick up a book on mental training and then forget about the strategies you learned one week later. The key is to find a mental game system to apply to practice and competition on a daily basis.

Article by: Patrick Cohn and Michael Edger


  1. Do you have some books to recommend?

    • I have developed the simplest and most effective sports psychology/golf psychology approach in the world called Emotional Core Therapy. My new book,Mastering the Psychology of Golf using Emotional Core Therapy is now on Amazon. See links below.

      I treat over 150 cases of sports/mental health and substance abuse a year and am on the state and federal level of approved providers. Emotional Core Therapy is the only psychology approach currently available worldwide that treats the underlying conditions/issues that every stressed out person faces. Anyone with an 11th grade or so reading level can learn my ECT approach. Even non readers can learn ECT if they have someone teach them the process. ECT is the simplest and most effective psychological approach currently available worldwide to treat addictions and mental health issues. I train therapists for ceus both online and in person and prove this hourly and daily! Why? ECT examines your natural bodily responds to stress which cause stress to the central nervous system. I have written a book for adults,teens,and now golfers. All three books come with a money back guarentee. Just send any unmarked books back to my Lisle office for a full refund. ECT is the most inclusive psychological approach worldwide as it incorporates many of the most proven psychological techniques currently on the market like Gestalt therapy,. Anyone can call me during business hours if they need clarification on ECT. Just leave a number if I don’t answer. Below you will find my yahoo press release with latest media contacts.

      With Emotional Core Therapy, we now have a psychology approach that can treat any psychological stress or disorder as long as no long term damage has occurred.


      Mastering the Psychology of Golf with Emotional Core Therapy is the simplest and most effective golf psychology approach in the world. See amazon.com link below for this remarkable innovation in golf. The latest press release on Emotional Core Therapy is also attached below.


  2. Golf is a game that is a game that about size or strength. It’s all about being focus and having the mental ability. To get in the zone is like saying that one is total focus and only is looking at one thing.to hit the ball as far and as well take a mental focus.

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  5. What can a parent do about a golf coach that favors a 7th grader with higher 18 hole play than your child who’s 18 hole play is lower than the 7th grader? my child has been on the team 4 years, this coach started last year my child’s 3rd year with this team, and favored a freshman over my returning letterman child who was a junior and had better 18 hole scores…. the new coach is doing the same thing this year with a 7th grader that has worse scores. the 7th grader is going to regionals and the coach is leaving my child in the alternate spot. the 7th grader has played in 4 more tournaments than my child who should be playing giving the team a chance to be in the running for state. my child has college coaches that need to watch play but is being denied the opportunity.

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