Mindset Trick to Avoid Hazards on the Golf Course

By Dr. Richard Coop

Ignore the Hazards and Focus on Your Game

On a well designed golf course every hole has trouble either right or left. One of the psychological tasks of a golfer is to find a way to ignore these psychological hazards and go ahead and hit the ball straight down the middle or keep it in the fairway one way or another. We have a certain way that has been very successful in teaching golfers to develop an ability to overcome distractions from hazards or other trouble from one side of the fairway to the other, we use a broken shaft.

Broken Shaft Drill

  1. What we do is put the shaft about 10 yards out in front of the ball that we are teeing off to the side where the trouble is.
  2. We then create an imaginary wall going from the tee box, down through the shaft and out to the fairway that covers the side where the trouble is.
  3. Then you hit the ball imagining the wall about shoulder height from the tee box through the side of the fairway where the trouble is. Your only task is to keep the ball on the correct side of the wall.

Practice on the Course

You can practice this broken shaft drill on the range, but I find that it is best if you get out on the golf course late in the afternoon when no one is playing and hit tee shots using this imaginary wall on the actual course. If you learn how to do this it will help you tremendously playing golf courses with trouble on either side.

About the Instructor

Dr. Richard Coop
Dr. Richard Coop
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
School of Education
CB 3500 Peabody Hall
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3500
Dr. Richard Coop is a mental instructor to countless PGA Tour professionals, including Payne Stewart, Ben Crenshaw, Mark O'Meara, and Nick Faldo. He is also the author of The New Golf Mind and Mind Over Golf.