As with most endeavours, in order to succeed we must believe that we can accomplish a task. Self confidence backed up with preparation will invariably lead to success, whether it’s cooking a great meal or passing an exam.

There’s an old saying that goes: You must believe it before you can achieve it. Nowhere is this more critical than on the golf course. For example, if you don’t believe you can cross that hazard, then you are likely to fail.

So, do you unknowingly self-sabotage while playing golf? Let’s take a look.

Mistake #1: Lack of Preparation

Have you taken lessons from a trained professional? Have you gone to the driving range? If you haven’t yet, then you are not as likely to play to your full potential out on the course.

Here are some additional questions you may want to ask yourself.

  • Are your clubs properly fitted?
  • Do you have a supply of golf balls?
  • How about those golf shoes? Do they fit?
  • Do you have a golf glove?

Proper preparation is the starting point to achievement.

Mistake #2: Negative Self Talk

When we hit a shot – good, bad or otherwise – our internal voice immediately begins to critique. You know the voice… You should have done this or that! You should have used another club! You shouldn’t have tried that shot! We must learn to turn off these internal voices. A shot taken is a shot done. It’s in the past, and while we can’t change it, we can learn from it on the driving range, that’s where we practice.

So how do we turn off that voice? Here are three tips that I’ve found useful.

  • Talk to your playing partner. It’s hard to hear your internal voice when you are talking to someone else.
  • Think about your next shot. Envision it being struck perfectly. This positive imagery will override the negative.
  • Whistle a tune. Change the internal energy. Just don’t interrupt your playing partner.

Mistake # 3: Taking Advice from Your Playing Partner

Playing partners usually have the best intentions and may choose to give you playing advice on the course. This is the reverse of the internal voice. Now it’s an external voice telling you what you should have done! I strongly suggest not taking advice from another high handicapper. Playing tips should come from professionals or other good players whose advice you trust. For example, my son is the best golfer I know, so I seek out his advice when we are playing together. Otherwise, I don’t take advice from my playing partners. So smile when the advice comes, nod because you don’t want to be rude but then ignore everything you hear.

Mistake #4: Getting Down on Yourself

If you aren’t playing well, have a high carbohydrate drinks to boost your energy level and keep your spirits up. You may be tempted to have an alcoholic drink. This is invariably a bad idea as it will speed up the process of becoming depressed. If you want to have a drink then go for it, just remember it has consequences. When you make the turn have a bite to eat. Carbs have sugar which boost energy.

Remember to take it one shot at a time and if all else fails remember that at least you’re outdoors and not at work!

Have fun my friends and remember to register at Find My Golf Buddy to find your next playing partner.