Sport psychology for golf

The best golfers utilise lessons from sport psychology to play at their peak when it really matters. This ensures that they are confident, focused and motivated to practice. Every and any golfer can benefit from working with a golf sport psychologist. We have created the guide below to help you understand a bit more about how golf sport psychology can help you reach your full potential.

Sport psychology can be the difference between a good golfer and a great golfer.

Sport psychology is becoming increasingly popular within elite and amateur sport. The best athletes recognise that sport psychology is not necessarily just about improving something they are bad at, it is also about making good parts of your game even better, and becoming a better learner at the same time.

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Golf sport psychology isn’t about improving one thing by 100%, it's normally about improving 100 things by 1%.

The goal of golf psychology is to help you become a better golfer both on and off the course. For example, a golf psychologist can help you develop practice schedules, adopt a more confident stance on the course, as well as help develop elite squad performance pathways.

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Success in golf is largely due to strength of the mind.

Golfers that play at their best consistently are the golfers that are able to keep their emotions in check, think clearly, make the right decisions, are confident in their abilities to perform at a high level, and are motivated to practice and improve. These are all skills that golf psychology can help with.

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All round development

As well as playing your best when the pressure is on, a Golf Sport Psychologists can help you develop all round as a golfer by improving your:

  • Motivation – Having the drive to practice on and off the course;
  • Coping skills – The ability to bounce back from setbacks and poor performance;
  • Learning – Learning from your performances to improve for next time;
  • Attention – Having a clear focus on what is important in order to improve and play better golf;
  • Leadership and playing with others – Effective communication with other golfers.

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Controlling emotions isn’t easy, but when done correctly, it can add an extra element to your game.

Golf sport psychologists recognise that for some, a round can be an emotional roller-coaster, which is why they work hard to help you control your emotions to play at your best.

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There is so much that you can’t control when you compete. But you can control how you talk to yourself, which can be a vital weapon.

Self-talk is an important tool, and everyone can benefit from it. The key to overcoming negative self-talk is to recognise that you are doing it, call a stop to it, then say something both helpful and positive. The best golfers in the world are quick to recognise when they are saying something negative to themselves and quickly stop that thought and think of something that is more helpful to their performance.

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A Growth Mindset is more than just thinking you can improve; it is also about using setbacks to learn and develop.

Examples of golfers with a fixed mindset can be seen both on the range and on the course. Some golfers will not practice what they are bad at, for example hitting long irons, because they think they are just not good at it (and so will only practice what they are good at instead). Other golfers on the course blame set-backs on others around them, luck, the course or the conditions rather than taking responsibility for their bad play.

One way to help develop a growth mindset in others is to help them see failure as a necessary part of learning. In doing this, you can reduce pessimism, increase self-esteem and stop golfers avoiding challenges.

Often, particularly good junior golfers, are labelled as being "naturally talented" as opposed to being seen as hard working and good learners. This "labeling"can be detrimental to their growth. To develop a growth mindset in a young golfer it is better to use "purposeful praise" where good processes are praised rather than abilities.

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At InnerDrive, we leave no stone unturned to help you be the best you can.

Our one-to-one sessions take place where the golfer feels most comfortable and are confidential in their nature. In these sessions, we explore a variety of strategies to develop a golfer’s ability to perform when it matters most, as well as their all-round development as a golfer.

In our group workshops, we work with golfers, parents and coaches in practical interactive sessions to aid understanding of psychological principles and develop methods to put these into practice.

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Our sport psychologists can help you be a much better golfer. Find out more about our golf sport psychology coaching.

Our other guides

Sport psychology for football guide

Sport psychology for football

How to develop a growth mindset guide page

Developing a growth mindset

The hidden benefits of sleep guide page

Benefits of sleep

How to improve metacognition guide

How to improve metacognition

Mobile phone addiction guide

Mobile phone addiction

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