These are the biggest mental mistakes high-handicappers make

April 17, 2020

Sometimes, the difference between a 90s shooter and an 80s shooter can be as simple as prioritizing the right things. Enter GOLF’s resident low-handicaps, who are here to offer some helpful advice, golfer-to-golfer.

1. Frail Confidence

Dylan Dethier (+3.3 handicap): Losing confidence. One bad swing can cause some players to abandon all hope — and, even worse, ditch everything they’d been working on beforehand to get better. Bad shots happen, but good players don’t allow one bad shot to bleed into the ones that follow. Trust the process!

David Cannon

2. Too Aggressive

Luke Kerr-Dineen (2.2 handicap): Marc Leishman put it best when I talked to him the other day: Breaking 80 consistently doesn’t require heroics. It requires the opposite of heroics. You don’t need towering straight drives. You need predictable misses. You don’t need to go pin-hunting. You need to aim for the middle of greens. You don’t need low-scores, you need to not make high scores. All these things are controlled by decisions that golfers make, both when they practice and when they play. It’s not hard, but it requires discipline and to check your ego at the door.

John Iacono / SI

3. Overthinking

Josh Sens (2.5 handicap)Overthinking. That includes being too anal about yardages, surveying putts from too many angles, consulting ad nauseam with a caddie if they’ve got one, taking too many practice swings and standing too long over the ball. It’s natural to think that all that cogitating will help, but in my experience, it  hurts. Your brain can only handle so much before it overloads. Get a quick read on your putts. Eyeball your distances. And get up and whack it without all the ceremony. You’ll probably play better. You definitely won’t play worse.

To receive GOLF’s all-new newsletters, subscribe for free here.