As the British Open airs this weekend, many young golfers are probably wondering how to swing more like Rory McIlroy. Golfers are asking themselves, what’s wrong with my swing? The answer could be either many things or merely a few things. What’s clear is that golf is a game that requires self-discipline and professional instruction. Many golfers are not in position financially to acquire such instruction so they may not be able to substantially improve their swing mechanics unless they can teach themselves; very few people can do this. But not to worry, golf is very much a mental game and it is to my opinion that this aspect is underrated; people acknowledge this but do not elaborate on it. In many regards, this article elaborates on this statement.
Golfers must feel comfortable on the course. Most everyone is aware that expensive clubs, clothes, and supplies do not define a player, but comfort in the aforementioned is vital for one’s game. Here are some mental tips that do not require large sums of money, and if followed, may improve one’s golf game:
- Change your golf glove every three to four months. If you are an avid golfer, you may want to consider changing it even more often. During their swing, golfers look at their hands countless times so it is wise to invest in a new glove. A new glove simply looks better, feels better, and allows your hand to stay dryer for longer time periods. Best of all, most gloves cost less than $20.
- Beginners should invest in a forgiving, oversized iron set: this set does not necessarily have to be a brand name set. Many expensive, brand-name sets are not oversized and are meant for experienced golfers. The club head for beginner’s clubs should be large enough for them to be able to strike the ball even during poor swings.
- If you cannot find a comfortable pair of golf shoes, do not purchase them! I have tried on nine pairs of golf shoes (that is correct!) and did not find one to be comfortable. So, I opted to continue to wear my running shoes while golfing. Most courses do not require golfers to wear golf shoes and the courses that allegedly do often do not enforce the policy.
- Purchase comfortable clothes. Quality golf shirts or pants are a smart investment. Again, they do not have to be a brand name. Nike pants and shirts are nice and some are moderately priced, but there are other brands for even cheaper. For the price, I’ve found that Izod makes great golf clothes. Clothes should allow for flexibility and golfers should look the part as best as possible. A complement could give one a mental boost as some believe that proper styling could provide golfers with added confidence.
- Put your balls and tees in an easy-to-reach location. If you own a bag that is not friendly in this regard, then consider scrapping it. You should have adequate pouches to place balls and tees in. Also, you should own a bag with enough room for your clubs. Golfers who become frustrated trying to squeeze clubs in their bag should consider purchasing a bag with individual club slots.
- Keep your clubs clean. Too many of my friends fail to do this. They do not realize that having clean clubs gives you a mental boost. Best of all, this one is free.
- Stretch before you tee off. This is important as it could help alleviate tension.
- Purchase expensive tees rather than cheap ones. Do this especially if you want to conserve tees. Cheap tees could break after every other drive whereas expensive tees will break far less. So if you want to retrieve tees, buy good ones. The difference in price is minimal.
- Where sunglasses or a hat. The sun is brutal and seeing the flag and other locations is important. Make sure the lenses are a good color. If you opt to wear a hat, make sure it’s a hat you can barely feel you’re wearing.
Do not let anyone fool you, taking these minor precautions could add up in the end. This list may not fully apply to all beginners, but each category listed herein should be judged accordingly.