Self Talk Can Sabotage Or Supercharge Your Golf Game

This is all about that chitter chatter in your head when you are just about to play a shot!

• How would it feel if you could turn it ‘OFF’?
• How would it feel to have the ability to focus completely to the exclusion of everything else going on around you?

Let’s take a look at this voice in your head that so often gets in the way whilst you are on the golf course, and take a peek at what it is saying to you.

Here are just a few examples, but I am sure you can include your own –

The voice comments – ‘Hey, you are never going to get over that water hazard … who are you kidding?’

The voice complains – ‘I am fed up of waiting on every tee, play is so slow it’s affecting how I play.’

The voice judges – ‘Why does he swing like that his technique is all wrong. No wonder he is still playing off 24!’

The voice has an opinion – ‘I really dislike it when Jane starts going on about how wonderful her son is at everything!’

The voice is jumping ahead – ‘If I can get a birdie on the next one I stand a chance of my scorecard not being a complete joke!’

The voice is in the past – ‘I remember the last time I played this hole it went straight into that bunker’.

This voice is usually not relevant to anything that is going on with you playing your next golf shot – if anything it is often very distracting and damaging to where you need to be mentally.

A COMMON FACT: Your actions follow what you visualize so if I say now ‘don’t think of a yellow canoe!’


The same goes for that water hazard, the bunker, out of bounds to the right … and so on. If your self-talk is telling you to not go in the water all your sub-conscious mind can see ‘… is the water!’

TIP: Always visualize TOWARDS your goal not AWAY from the hazards. In other words FOCUS mentally on where you want that ball to go.

Your sub-conscious mind is your friend! It goes in search of the FACTS to support anything you tell it. So there are two elements here –

• Your actions follow what you last visualized
• Your sub-conscious mind is there to support you

Your sub-conscious does not recognize right from wrong – good from bad. If you are visualizing the water then the mind will interpret that this is where you want the ball to go.

You need to start being more careful as to what you tell yourself and what you are visualizing!

All this chitter chatter in your head often carries a mental picture along with it. If your mind is focusing on the weekly shop, the water hazard in front of you, your playing partner’s irritating habits … is it little wonder that the ball does not end up where it needs to be.

REMEMBER: You create your own reality!

What many of us do not realize is how much power we have to make good things happen. We have just spent so many years being socially conditioned to expect the worst, and by doing so our lives are often filled with negative thoughts that drive our actions.

I am not saying this is true for everyone or all of the time. But golf really is a game of ‘self’ where the mind can really take control of the outcomes.

The great thing about this though, is by learning to listen into what you are saying to yourself and choosing to STOP the negative self-talk, you really can make a difference to your game of golf.

Before I go I am going to give you one more great tip to try out:

TIP: When you hear yourself saying something negative STOP yourself and change the sentence in your head to …

‘I am going to … get that ball right in the middle of the fairway’

Always visualize where you want the ball to end up and tell yourself you are ‘…going to do it!’

When you tell yourself ‘you are going to do something…’ your sub-conscious mind says ‘OK let’s make this happen then!’

Obviously it also works if you say ‘I am going to end up in the water’ so make sure how you finish the sentence is positive and only visualize where you want the ball to go!

I promise you this really will make a difference to your game and like all my tips needs repeating and repeating so it becomes automatic. Repetition is the key in all the tips I give you in this series.

Here is an invaluable tool to get you in the right frame of mind on the golfcourse. If you want to know more about to improve your game of golf then why not check out my CD series ‘Drive Your Way to Golfing Success’ –

Till next week …

Gail Smirthwaite

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