“The Golf Hall of Fame is full of players with unusual looking swings. Some of the prettiest swings you’ve ever seen in your life are made on the far end of the public driving range by guys who couldn’t break an egg with a baseball bat.” – Peter Jacobsen
By Ian Hardie
I wrote about a simple survey that I had to conduct with three golfers
To see what they thought Golf Psychology was all about and how they experience it
And as you may recall I purposely picked golfers who were on similar handicaps
Golfers that would be experienced enough to understand a bit about the game
I also urged you to have a shot at answering the same questions – which I hope you did
So here are the results that I gained from those three golfers;
What is golf psychology?
All three golfers basically said the same thing – it’s about the mind, mental and ‘headspace’
Give an example of golf psychology
A golfer who can’t hit the ball over a lake that’s in front of them
Reactions to bad shots and your mood while playing
‘Psyching your opponent’ out in match play
How important to you is the subject of golf psychology?
The answers ranged from – very important, depends on the player and not overly
How often do you train or practice – where training your mind (as opposed to your golf swing) is the main focus of your training?
Again the answers ranged from – never, before a game, before and during a game
Have you felt in competition that you were in a situation where you could have improved your performance through better mind control – if so can you describe it?
All three golfers described the experience of losing focus during a game, the resulting frustration and poor results which lead to a downward mental spiral
Rate out of 10 in terms of importance to you, the following parts of golf
This is the part of the survey where their answers had the greatest variation
Golfer 1’s answers were: Technical 3, Tactical 5, Physical 6, Mental 9
Golfer 2’s answers were: Technical 5, Tactical 8, Physical 5, Mental 9
Golfer 3’s answers were: Technical 8, Tactical 5, Physical 7, Mental 4
You can easily see when you look across the resulting scores that
The golfers who gave the highest Mental scores – gave the lowest Technical scores
I figure this means that they believe that golf is not about how good your golf swing is
Rather it’s about how you apply what you’ve got to produce a good score
Just as Peter Jacobsen’s quote at the top of this post says by the way
Whereas the golfer who gave the highest Technical score – rated Mental the lowest
Which means the golfer probably regards technique as more important than application
I have to admit that those answers didn’t surprise me that much as most golfers
Have been convinced over the years that ‘swing improvement and technique’
Are the only important things in golf but I would have to suggest
That in my experience that’s not exactly the reality of the game
I’ve seen plenty of golfers with lousy looking golf swings, old clubs and great attitudes
Beat the pants off golfers with great looking swings, new golf clubs and poor attitudes
So I think there definitely is some merit in the use of Golf Psychology
The other thing that I noticed when I messed around with the golfers scores a bit
Is that when you average out their Technical scores – it comes out as 5.33
Yet when you average out their Mental scores – the number comes out at 7.33
Just hold that thought for a minute or two as I’m going to come back to it
If you were to improve your golf psychology (mental skills) what would it be?
All three basically said the same thing – stay focussed more and on every shot
How enthusiastic would you be to work with a sport psychologist?
Now this is the question that when you consider that 2 out of the 3 golfers surveyed
Rated ‘Mental’ a 9 out of 10 in importance to them
That the answers to this question would be Very interested or Sign me up now
But you would be wrong – in fact very wrong!
The answers given were – Not interested, A bit interested and A bit interested
I’m not sure about you but I found that very interesting
When you go back to the average figures I talked about earlier
A ‘Technical’ score of 5.33 out of 10 as opposed to a ‘Mental’ score of 7.33 out of 10
Means that the golfers rated ‘Mental’ as 37.5% more important than ‘Technical’
The question is – why weren’t they that interested in looking into Golf Psychology?
I’m going to attempt to answer that in the post
‘What is this golf psychology thing all about – part four?’