Mental Toughness


agree, and it’s easier to just be happy you’re a 6 in the first place. I don’t know if you read where I posted that 2 years ago, I was going to quit the club and walk away.


I believe this further highlights the importance of the mental game. It’s not all pre-shot routine and course management; general demeanor/mood are relevant too.


yes, and this one in particular is especially important, because it eliminates/wards off tension


I think about this all of the time.

I would kill to be a scratch but we 110% be happy that making par for us is very doable and birdies can be found. Likewise, we get the right to be humbled by some absolutely atrocious scores and the hilarious stories which often accompany them




Back from teaching for a few hours… I’m going to try to respond to a few things I thought were interesting. I will try not to be overly long, but I apologize in advance if my quote-and-respond method annoys. It’s not intended to - it’s just the way my brain works best and makes clear about what particular thing I’m responding to.

I think it’s interesting that (in this post, anyway) you seem to view the mental game as only negative, only hurting, only subtracting.

You think “the mental game” is the majority of the reason why people suck at golf? If so, we’re never gonna agree, man - I think it’s because the vast majority have horrible golf swings.

Nobody can realistically answer that question. Poor golfers have a wider variance in the types of shots they hit, and some days they get “heads” more often than they get “tails.” 18 holes, too, is still a pretty small sample size. Even on the PGA Tour you’ll see guys shoot 30/40 or 40/30 occasionally. Doesn’t mean they completely changed their mental game from one nine to the next.

Maybe. I am only speaking generally; I don’t know any of you or your games, so please don’t take any of my opinions personally, as they’re not directed at or about any of you individually.

If you want to define “the mental game” as “everything, because our body doesn’t move without our mind telling it to” then there’s really no point in this discussion at all. Right? :slight_smile:

I’ve shot great scores when not feeling great and poor scores when feeling great. My gameplanning is great, I do well under pressure (this stems largely from realizing that I’m playing a game, and whether I shoot 70 or 80 my life will not be all that different), so the scores are almost a 100% reflection of the quality of my play plus a dash of whatever luck, good or bad, I had that day.

Now, it’s partly true that I probably under-value the mental game because my mental game is “pretty good.” But I work hard against my own biases, and am very aware of not “conning myself,” and I still feel the way I feel about the mental game being very over-rated.

FWIW the guy I teach with, he of the Tour back when it was called the Nike Tour, feels similarly: that the mental game is WAY over-rated.

Maybe 1-2 shots, sure, but that’s my point: the vast majority of why he shoots what he shoots is NOT his mental game. Those other 15-20 shots he’s losing are from his crappy “physical” skills. You and I are much closer to agreeing than not.

@GRWhitehead, if you’re an outlier, so be it. Maybe your mental game is a glaring weakness. I can only speak generally.

Let me try a different approach here. Mark Broadie will tell you that the gap between two classes of players shakes out about like this:

Driving - 28%
Approach Shots - 39%
< 100 Yards - 19%
Putting - 14%

If I were to add “mental game” as a percentage, I’d probably take about 1% from each category to put “mental game” at about 4% total. In other words, if you’re comparing guys who average 75 against guys who average 85, they’d lose about 2.7 of those shots driving, 3.8 of those shots on approach shots, 1.8 of those shots inside 100 yards, and 1.3 of those shots on the greens, and lose only 0.4 shots per round from the mental game.

Yes, in small sample sizes, the mental game can cost you a shot or two. But, overall, the score any class of golfers shoots is largely - and I don’t just mean 51% - determined by your physical skills.

If you think that number is as high as 10%, then cool, we’re pretty much in agreement. If you think it’s over 30% (and again, not just for one individual)… we’ll likely never agree on this one. :smiley: Which is cool by me, man. We’re all golfers here, and I’d likely enjoy a round with any one of you.

Peace out. :slight_smile: