February 2017


To the outside observer, golf may not look like too difficult of a sport.

However, there’s a reason why so many people approach golf with confidence only to walk away defeated and even a bit depressed.

Golf is a terribly challenging sport made up of tiny little problems to be solved. Everything from club selection to reading your lie to remembering to keep you head down when you swing can quickly eat away at a player who otherwise has a lot of promise.

If this sounds like you – or if you’re just starting out and want to avoid these problems – it’s important you master the mental game of golf.

Practice More Than Hitting the Ball

The most fun part about playing golf is making contact with the ball.

Yet, it’s everything else you do that will make the biggest difference. When you play golf or even when you’re just practicing at the driving range or the putting green, make sure you practice everything else intentionally. Take your time reviewing your lie, for example, and really try to get good at doing this as well as possible.

When you’re walking to your next shot, practice thinking about said shot and nothing else. This means letting go of any negative thoughts you may have from the hole before.

This sort of mental practice is just as important as the physical kind, if not more so.

Work on Your Pre-Shot Routine

This is similar to the above point but deserves its own section. After Rory McIlroy won the British Open in 2014, he said he focused on two main things leading up to it: process and spot.

The former referred to his pre-shot routine – the things he does before hitting the ball. Having a pre-shot routine prepares your mind and body for the job at hand. It pushes out unrelated thoughts and keeps your body from any unnecessary movements.

It’s also essential for when the pressure is on. Whether you ever play in a tournament or you’re simply under pressure from your group, you want a routine you can begin that will carry you all the way through the end of your stroke.

Focus on a Single Dimple

“Keep your eye on the ball.”

We’ve all heard this advice before.

Chances are that you don’t need to hear it again.

What you probably do need to hear, though, is that you actually have to keep your eye on the dimple of the ball. The ball itself is actually too big to be meaningful. Find a single dimple and then concentrate on swinging through it. This mental note will keep the head of your club from coming into the ball at an unwanted angle.

Consider Par a Win

Most golfers would be very pleased to finish 18 holes with par. When it comes to each individual hole, though, a lot of us find ourselves getting overly aggressive and hunting for birdies.

Do your best to just go for par. This is no small accomplishment and the goal will keep you from picking shots you’re not actually comfortable with. Over time, you’ll find your overall score improving significantly, too.

While there’s a lot to be said for going out and spending time on the course or at the driving range, don’t forget to master the mental game of golf, as well. The above tips will get you started on your path toward success.


This past weekend at Pebble Beach, Jordan Spieth proved why he is one of the most respected players to currently swing a club. The 23-year-old phenom achieved his ninth career PGA tour victory by dominating at the ATT Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Let’s look at some highlights.

Spieth’s Putting Game

No one doubts Spieth’s putting game. Back in 2015, it was on full display when he sunk a 30-foot putt for birdie, breaking his tie with Sean O’Hair and Patrick Reed and winning him the Valspar Championship. This also moved him to 6th place in the Official World Golf Ranking.

His enviable putting abilities were on full display again at Pebble Beach this past week as he only needed one putt to close out 13 different holes. This kind of closing power is what gave him a 6-shot lead after only playing 54 holes.

Nonetheless, in his post-tournament interview, Spieth actually cited his putting as a weak point that has been hurting his confidence a bit. After this tournament, though, it doesn’t seem like that’s going to be an issue going forward.

A Mistake-Free Sunday

With this kind of cushion going into Sunday, the tournament was Spieth’s to lose. While Sunday wasn’t his best performance, it wasn’t without some highlights. He managed to avoid getting a single bogey to end at 2-under-par with a score of 70. This gave him a very commendable four-shot win.

In fact, the only person to even come close to Spieth was his friend, Kelly Kraft, the 2011 U.S. amateur champion.

For a young golfer who has accomplished so much (including numerous comparisons to Tiger Woods), it probably shouldn’t be too surprising that he called his performance “sort of boring.”

Of course, most of us could only ever dream of playing this “boring.”

A Timely Victory

Despite how well Spieth has played throughout his career, this was a very important victory leading into the Masters. It’s his first on the PGA Tour since the Dean & DeLuca Invitational last year. Between now and April, Spieth shouldn’t have too much trouble remaining in good shape as the clock ticks down.

Justin Timberlake Didn’t Disappoint

Being Pebble Beach, it’s only natural that there were some other notable highlights of the day.

Many fans rushed to catch a glimpse of Justin Timberlake’s performance. The singer-songwriter-actor-all-around-enviable-human-being brought his four handicap to the tournament and did not disappoint.

On the historic seventh hole of this beautiful course, Timberlake even had a near-hole-in-one. The ball lipped the cup and ended up just three feet or so shy, giving Timberlake an easy one putt for birdie.

Timberlake wouldn’t be done with his performance, though. On the 16th hole, he chipped in and then did it again on 17, too.

Apparently, between winning Grammies and going on sold-out world tours, the man also has time to become seriously good at golf. As many pointed out, JT was responsible for some of the best shots – from anyone – of the entire tournament.

With that, we wait another year to visit this legendary course for another exciting tournament.