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CameronBurechails2016 270Golf is a sport that sometimes can get the best of you. The game is both physically demanding as well as mentally challenging. The mental part of the game is what often affects your physical game, so start by focusing on what you are thinking about when you swing.

Some common issues that golfers have include having a lack of confidence in their ability, negative thinking, and the inability to concentrate. Many golfers are also too concerned about making a bad shot in front of other players.

If you sometimes suffer from some of these common concerns, here are a few tips on how to combat your mental demons.

Negative thoughts on the golf course are the most common concerns amongst golfers. Some golfers even verbalize their negativism, before their shots by saying things like, “don’t slice it” or “I always hit it in the water on this hole”. Instead, think positively about the outcome of your shot. Focus more on where you want the shot to go, rather than where you don’t want it to go.

Positive thoughts lead to positive shots. A good pre-swing routine gives you an opportunity to clear your mind before you swing. Once you have made a couple of relaxed practise swings, then simply focus on one swing thought before you hit the ball. Some positive thoughts may include smooth tempo, finishing your swing, or simply swinging 'tension free'. I personally like to focus on my balance during my pre-swing routine. Feeling my body is in balance before I swing allows my mind to be free of mechanical thoughts.

Golfers often are unable to concentrate simply because they have too many thoughts on their mind before they swing. As for worrying about how others might feel if you were to make a bad shot, my response is “forget about it”. Everyone is going to miss or make the odd bad shot. Simply be positive before every shot and make the best swing that you can. The outcome will only be affected by how well you prepare for each shot.

Next Week: Too Busy to be Better!

Cameron Burechails (Teaching Professional), The Georgian Bay Golf Academy at Meaford Golf Club, 705-441-0865, baygolfacademy@bell.net, or www.baygolfacademy.com.