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How To Beat Those Inner Demons

Ever suspected that inner demons were taking control of your golf game? If you are like most golfers, you're probably nodding in agreement.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to eliminate those demons once and for all.

Before we discuss some options for dealing with demons, otherwise known as "golf nerves", let's recognize that every golfer gets rattled at one time or another. If you often feel the nerves sneaking up on you, you are not alone.

Some experts suggest that golf nerves happen more to new golfers than to those who have more experience, and I tend to agree.

The word "experience" is broad, and prone to misconceptions. For instance, if you have not played in a public tournament, you are more likely to be nervous about it than someone who has.

If you have not spent time on the practice range, you are more likely to be anxious about your shots than a golfer who is on the range every day.

One key to dealing with golf nerves is to spend time doing whatever it is that makes you nervous. This will help you to build up your confidence and skills in that area.

The second way to beat back those golf demons is to develop a pre-shot golf routine. This doesn't mean waggling your club a few times or taking a couple of practice swings. A pre-shot routine is a specific set of ordered actions that you take before each shot.

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The actions you take are completely up to you, and they may change with each type of shot (driving, fairway, putting, etc).

It is vitally important that your routine is deliberate, organized, and that you follow it faithfully. As you perform your pre-shot routine again and again, the mechanics will become ingrained in your mind and body, calming your nerves.

Rather than worrying about the shot or the people who may be watching you, you'll be focused on working through your actions, one at a time.

In addition to soothing your nerves before each shot, your pre-shot routine can be used to perform some important mechanics work to complement the shot.

You may want to include such things as looking at the shot in long-view as you walk up to your ball, considering the wind, locating hazards, gripping your club slowly and deliberately, aiming the club head at the target line before taking your stance, reading the green from all angles, etc.

One good tip is to include steps that you often forget or skip otherwise.

Many pro golfers will aim the club head to the target line before they address the ball as part of their routines. This works with every golf shot you make, including putting.

To recap, the best way to beat the inner demons is to spend time honing your skills, leading to greater confidence on the course. By adding a pre-shot routine, you will allow your mind to concentrate on the shot at hand and avoid focusing on those dreaded demons.

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