THE Golf Mentor

Tips for Enjoying Golf

Choose the Right Golf Course
★★★★☆

There is an old saying, "horses for courses". This applies not only to the race track but to the golf course. If you are learning to play golf, you should select a course that matches your current capabilities. For example, if you are only just starting out, a par 3 course (one that only has short par 3 holes) can be great fun. Such courses allow you to improve your swing, chipping, pitching and putting, but do so in an environment that allows you to experience the true joy of golf. At the same time you can go to the driving range to learn how to use a Driver.

To give an analogy, an average tennis player would not want to play the world champion every time they play. They would lose 6-0 every time and learn nothing. Instead they like to play against evenly matched opponents. It is the same in golf, playing on a very hard golf course is dispiriting and you learn little from it. Instead you should play on a course that matches your abilities. This doesn't mean that you should not play the occasional game on a championship course, just that the place you play regularly should be one where you can enjoy the game. As you improve, you can change to a more difficult course.

Smell the Daisies
★★★★☆

It is very easy to become so totally involved with your game of the golf that you think of nothing else. This is great if you are playing well, you are in the zone, and all is well with the world. However, if you are playing badly, you may be thinking of nothing else but golf, but your golf thoughts are about that last shot you missed, what is wrong with your swing, why you were so unlucky, and worst of all 'I hate golf'. One of the key aspects of playing a good mental game of golf is to be aware of your thoughts. If you detect a stream of negativity like this, make sure you stop, look around the beautiful course you are on, listen for the bird, look at the flowers, and realise just how lucky you are to be there. This will not only help you to enjoy your golf more, it should improve your game.

Lower Your Expectations
★★★★☆

This guide is well worth reading and gives five good tips that can help you to enjoy your golf more. These are a) do not play off the blue tees b) improve your game c) play different games d) its your honor, take it, and e) lower your expectations. A common theme in most of these tips is that you should realise that you are not a professional, so you do not have to make golf as hard as possible. Professionals have been playing since they were children, hit thousands of balls a month, play in front of TV audiences, and have their whole life revolves around golf. If you only play a few times a month, mostly play with your mates, and are still learning, then you dont have to play by the same rules. Of course, you do have to play by the same rules as your mates.


Relax and Enjoy Golf More ★★★★☆

This tip from Stephen Forest will be most useful to players that are well down the road to competency. The overall theme is that to enjoy golf well, you need to be able to concentrate in the game at hand, and let go quickly of the negative thoughts. What is even better, the same ability to concentrate is also the key to playing better. One point made in the article, which I had never thought about before, is that you should treat yourself like you treat your playing partner. If your playing partner played a bad shot, would you spend the next five minutes telling them what an idiot they are for making such a bad shot. If you did keep up such a rant for five minutes, you could be sure that it would make your partner's round unpleasant and probably affect their performance. Why treat yourself differently? Like many of the mental lessons in golf, this one can be applied to many other aspects of life.

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