Mental Aspects Of Playing Golf

Coming from a golf background, I always heard the statement. “Golf is 90% mental and 10% skill”. This statement might be slightly exaggerated, however it does bring to light that the game of golf truly is a thinking game as well as a game of skill.

Taking a look at a long ball hitter who can hit the ball 300+ yards, but is spraying the ball out of bounds with a wicked slice, and every time the golfer does this, he or she is getting frustrated and won’t let it go. The next shot that the golfer hits is most likely going to be a duff or another spray shot, or just not the shot that they had intended to hit. This is called the mental aspect of the game of golf and how it will affect your game.

There are so many comparisons that I could make on this subject, but I want to let you all know how we can learn or teach ourselves how to fix the mental aspect of our game. I totally understand the mental part of the game playing a role in the outcome of how you play that round of golf that day and every day if you do not work on how to fix this part of your game.

I’ve been there before hitting a bad shot, then throwing somewhat of a tantrum and either throwing my club down or just stomping around and not letting it go. I’ve been working on this aspect of my game and I continue to work on this. I do not throw tantrums, and or throw clubs anymore and maybe I can help you do the same, by just sharing a couple of things that work for me.


Visualizing Your Shot Before You Hit It

Visualizing your shot before you hit it does not take any physical skill, but it is considered one of the most important and powerful tools you will have when playing the game of golf. I cannot think of any Pro Golfer who would say any different, some golfers will even go through the motion with their drive on the tee box, and will point with their club where they want to hit the shot coming up for them. This is what I call truly being in the zone and only thinking about the shot ahead of fairway from the tee box

Your eyes have to see the shot and your swing has to make the shot, but your brain is the important piece to all of this. The mind tells you how to hit, where to hit and when to hit the ball. The brain will recall all the muscle memory from, practicing the shot on the range, to hit the shot that you have visualized.

The brain knows the difference between a simulated shot without contact with the ball and hitting a real shot with contact on the ball. This is done by stimulating the muscle memory when you are ready for the physical swing of the shot that you have visualized. Simply thinking about the action or shot, your brain activates the exact muscles and muscle memory that you will practice on the golf range to perform the physical shot.human brain


Clear Path To Hit The Ball Through Visualization

I am hoping that you have seen the shot tracker on T.V. when they show after the ball is hit the path that the ball made off the tee box. This imaginary line that is vivid to the brain is how I visualize the shot that I want to hit and the path that I want my ball to fairway with water

Practicing these visualization shots pregame on the range is a good way to get use to this kind of muscle memory that will turn in to physical skill on the course. Repetitive visualization is going to be a huge game saver as well as a physical repetitive skill that you are making contact with the ball.

When you find the path that you want to hit the ball-while also thinking, do I need a draw shot here or do I just want to go straight at it-the weather elements will also play a role in the shot you want to hit, such as wind and how this will affect the ball flight, when thinking and visualizing all this (which only takes a couple of seconds) it will help you to make a decision if you want less loft on your drive in to the wind lets say.

When you are finally ready to hit the ball, you will have a better chance of completing the shot you desire if you have laid out the path, flight and distance you want your ball to go. This is a scientific fact that visualizing the path of anything and the mind will definitely try to tell the muscle memory and muscles how to perform whatever it is that you are visualizing.

Warm Up Drill Before Hitting Your Golf Shot

If you are like me I have my favorite golf course that I play at all the time when I know the course so well, that I know the certain clubs that I use for each tee box, from the Par 5s to the Par 3s. I also will go through the fairway shots that I will usually hit when playing a round of golf at my favorite course. Having this knowledge when warming up on the range go through the routine of visualizing the certain holes and using the clubs you would normally use on each hole. Practice hitting that draw shot on the dog-leg holes or that 3 iron off the tee on your favorite Par 3 hole, etc. This simple drill will help with your mental and muscle memory when it comes to playing your round of golf at your favorite course that daygolfer looking down fairway.

Golf The Mental Game On Amazon.Com

The paperback book and or kindle book is a great book which really delves in to the mental and psychological aspect of playing the game of golf. This book will go in to detail about how and why the mental aspect of the game can be a game changer, for the good or the bad of a golfers game.the brain

Remember when I mentioned the old statement that golf is 90% mental and 10% skill, well even if it is exaggerated slightly this book will tell you how to work through your mental game in more detail than I laid out for you here today. Please check it out if you suffer from mental game blues. Here is a link to get the book “The Mental Game Of Golf: A Peak Performance“. Price for paperback is : $14.58 and for kindle it is $7.95.


If you have any doubt about the mental aspect of a golf swing has to do with playing a good round of golf. It means that if you let your mental game go astray and not stay focused on every shot and have your brain visualize the shot before you hit it. Most likely you will not perform the shot that you need.

If you have any questions or just want to leave a comment, please do below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Keep Golfing,






14 Replies to “Mental Aspects Of Playing Golf”

  1. I think they say golf is 90% mental because everytime you swing the club you have to already know where you want the ball to go. And to do so one needs to use their physical ability to carry out what the mind has figured out.

    1. Exactly Maurice, this is called muscle memory and most of this is achieved on the golf range, when hitting certain clubs and then getting to know those clubs and how far you can hit them and if you need to hit a draw or not. The brain is a wonderful organ and is the most important part of visualizing your shot. Thanks for the comment and have a wonderful day.

  2. Hi Bobbi,

    Thanks for an enjoyable article!

    I have always been curious about the game of golf, but never really had the chance to play the sport.

    I was not actually surprised to hear that the sport has a lot of mental components to it making if fairly rigor in that regard.
    It’s also good to know that even someone with your experience level would also have some frustrating games. It really made me think of that Adam Sandler movie Happy Gilmore lol.

    Thanks again for a nice article!


  3. Wow.. what a great article.. a lot of good information regarding golf and mental health. Very well written article I must say…

  4. I think there are a lot of sports where people tell you it’s 90% mental and 10% skill. I guess golf is no exception to the rule, though.

    I do have a question for you though? What kind of things can you do when you have a really rough day? Meaning you keep making mistake after mistake. Not, just a “one-time” chip shot in the bunker.

    1. Good question Garen, I think the best approach to that is you have to forget about the shot that was bad and just rely on your muscle memory for the next shot. I use to do this a lot in the past, where everytime that I would hit, it would be worse then the shot before and the only thing you can do is to clear your mind and do not think about the bad shots.

    1. You are correct Paula, they can be applied to almost everything that you do in life and if you practice visualization, a different form of meditation in my eyes, you become proficient in visualization it is such a great tool for life. Thanks for the comment Paula. If you ever want to get into golf please look me up.

  5. I had visions of my brother when he once threw his one of his clubs about 100 yards after doing a bogus drive. I agree it’s a mental thing. Just like firing a gun 500 yards when I was in the Marine Corps. You have the right power but with no mental concentration you will miss the mark by a mile. Needless to say I don’t golf and don’t think my brother does anymore either. I should give him this blog to check out. Well written and great tips!

    1. That would be great if you could pass this on to your brother, I would love a chance to work with him on the fundamentals of golf and get him back in the game. Thanks for the comment David.

  6. Great post! The principles that underlay these ideas can be transferred to other areas of life. The importance of visualizing what you want instead of what you don’t want it effective in setting all types of goals. Thanks for the read!

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