How to Set Golf Goals to Improve your Game

By Dr. Fran Pirozzolo

How to Set Golf Goals to Improve your Game

In order to be a good practicer so that you can compete better and play better when it counts for you it would be good to take lessons from the legends of the game. See how they did things and see if you can use the tips that used to improve their games to improve your game.

Hitting Shots Under Pressure

A lot of us feel that we can hit the right shots on the practice tee when it is nice and quiet and calm and there is no penalty for not hitting a perfect shot. The legends of the game practice much differently. They generally practice on the course and with some goals in mind. I think of Gary Player who became the world's best bunker player for most of his life by practicing in the bunker a lot.

Enactive Mastery

What he did that was so different is that he used techniques that we now call enactive mastery; that is he was trying to do something. He would not leave the practice bunker or the course until he had holed three or four bunker shots. So he had goals and they were very narrow and maybe it was very frustrating to not get home for dinner because he had not holed his bunker shots. What that does for us is that it enables us to see and feel how we succeed and what are the conditions for it.

How to Practice for Enactive Mastery

We actually feel and see ourselves have some success in what we are doing. It is not a theoretical thing; it is not a mind game. It is something that has actually happened and we are entitled to feel confident about because we did it. Under pressure you can go to those game films in your mind and remember that you have holed a lot of bunker shots. You did not leave the practice green until you holed three or four bunker shots. So whatever level you are at, the idea is to set some just above reach goals, perhaps like holing three of four bunker shots before you leave or get in the car to home to have dinner. This way you simulate some pressure and you practice the way the legends of the game practiced with some expectable outcome. Then when you get to the first tee in competition you own the confidence to achieve the goals that you have set in your practice.

Category: Psychology
Sub-Category: Practice
About the Instructor
Dr. Fran Pirozzolo
Dr. Fran Pirozzolo
Woodlands Sports Medicine Centre
1441 Woodstead Court
The Woodlands, TX 77380
fpirozzolo@aol.com

Fran Pirozzolo is the mental coach to many PGA Tour Pros and is a performance coach for the New York Yankees. He is also the author of The Putter's Pocket Companion.


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