At first glance, golf appears to simply be a game consisting of the swinging a club at a little white ball. However, much of person’s success at this game rests in their ability to control what is occurring in space between their ears.  The longer a person is around golf, the quicker they realize that without having a strong mental framework, they will not be able succeed at the highest level. This applies to a weekend golfer playing once a month, or to the touring professional who makes a living from playing the game.

Two of the most colorful golf commentators on television, Johnny Miller and Ian Baker-Finch, both went from winning a major – the zenith of a professional golfers’ career, to sitting behind the booth analyzing the shots of their former competitors. No golfer, touring professional or otherwise, is immune from the mental aspect of golf.

Retief Goosen, winner of states that “…what has turned my golfing career is my mental toughness.” A major champion, who has searched diligently on ways to improve his game, finally came to the conclusion that his mental toughness and ability were the keys to his improvement and continued success on the golf course.

Also, Bobby Jones, one of the greatest American golfers and amateur players of all time stated that, “Competitive golf is played mainly on a five-and-a-half-inch course…the space between your ears.”

If professionals who have dedicated their lives to playing and learning the game of golf conclude that the mental aspect of golf is vital to their success, isn’t this an area that all golfers should devote some serious attention to?

If you are a golfer looking to improve your game, I strongly encourage you look at your mental approach to the game of golf and determine the areas in which you need to improve. Some of you may be confident, which is great, but overconfidence can lead to poor decision making, which then leads to poor shots and ultimately higher scores. I’ll be reviewing some books in the future on the mental side of golf, but if you are looking for ways to improve your game, you must not overlook your mind!