5 Tips to Build Golf Confidence
You’ve hit buckets of balls, and taken some lessons, but when are you good enough to play on a golf course?I’ve heard long time players describe themselves as horrible, yet they play the game on a regular basis. If these women judged themselves based solely on how well they hit the ball, they would be stuck on the driving range forever.
There is no magic skill level or test to pass and automatically advance to the golf course.
More surprising are the women I see smartly dressed and hitting their practice shots right down the middle. They look horrified when I suggest they look ready to play in the company outing. ‘Good enough’ takes on a whole new meaning when you look beyond skill level to measure course readiness.
One of the best tools a golfer can have in her bag is the right measure of confidence.
It can be a self-fulfilling prophecy as those without it will turn down invitations because they can’t overcome their fear. Those with confidence will be included because they have a positive mindset, which can offset a lack of ability.
When you consider that 90% of all golfers are not able to break 100, it’s reassuring to know that you will most likely find yourself in the majority.
DRESS THE PART
When you doubt your abilities the last thing you want is undo attention. Feeling good about how you look is an easy way to put you in the right mindset. Golf has a specific dress code, but feel free to kick it up a notch and flaunt your personal style. Looking like a player is the first step to feeling like a player.
When it comes to golf, practice may not equal perfect. In fact to become golf confident it’s the rituals and pace of the game that are equally important to practice. Knowing where to stand, what to do, what to say and when to say it, is a big part of feeling comfortable. Watch the pros on television and play a few rounds with a mentor to help get the hang of the game.
SET REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
Give yourself a realistic goal and take the pressure off performing at a level that may be unattainable. Better yet, inform your playing partners so you don’t feel the added pressure of living up to their expectations. This is especially helpful if you are playing with more experienced players. When you set the stage with attainable expectations, you’re less likely to beat yourself up for missed shots or an etiquette breach.
PREPARE FOR THE WORST
Imagine the worst thing that may happen and plan your response. Do you fear a swing and a whiff on the first tee? Graciously walk off the tee box rather then profusely apologize and set the tone for the round. It’s amazing how setting a smile on your face can conquer those moments of embarrassment, which can blossom into self doubt and insecurity.
FOCUS ON WHAT YOU DO WELL
You don’t have to dig deep to find something you do exceptionally well. It may not have anything to do with the game itself – and that counts! If you have a great sense of style – flaunt it. If it comes naturally to be the team cheerleader, make everyone feel good with your encouragement. If you have a short but straight tee shot, or a spot on putting stroke, feel good about those shots and praise yourself.