Golf Course Management

-Save Strokes With Your Brain Not Your Swing-

by Karen Mundinger, CPGA Teaching Professional

Have you ever wondered what separates the average golfer from the single digit handicappers?  Ever wondered how all those pros have such beautiful swings yet some are superstars and others are missing cuts?

Perhaps your mother in law hits it an eighty yards shorter than you but is down the middle all the time.  She has a great short game and when you add them up she usually beats you!  What can you learn from this?  Lots I hope!

I played on tour for a number of years and I will adamantly say that the mind is what separates the tour players.  The players that are the cream of the crop have the best focus and minds in the game.  I have read lots of books, worked with sports psychologists and listened to motivational tapes and have learned a lot in the process.  Most of the top players have done this too.  Common sense can go a long way during a round of golf too!  It isn’t just for the professionals; it is for all golfers of all ages.

Bob Rotella has probably helped more golfers than anyone.  He is an amazing sports psychologist that has written a number of great golf books.  His books are so good that when I was away at a high performance curling camp in August his book “Golf is a Game of Confidence” was recommended reading.  I have never worked with him but many of my friends have and I always wished I did.

All elite athletes have something in common.  They have mostly worked towards written goals and dreams for many years in their life.  They have had a plan and professionals helping them work towards their goals.  Many young elite golfers now have sports psychologists, golf professionals, and a trainer and coach working with them.  Most top individual athletes or any serious sports teams would have the use of all of these, or at least have them at their disposal.

I had one of my best tournaments in St. Petersburg Classic one year.  I shot nine under par and I had a simple game plan.  In my yardage book I had taken out a red marker and drawn a line from each tee box to the middle of the fairway and I put an ‘X.’ Then I did the same to the green.  I had a friend of mine that was a golf professional caddying for me and he was a great inspiration and that week I seemed to be in the zone.

We kept things simple and my focus was never better.  This is really important but you have to understand then when you are in the zone it is almost effortless.  You just see a shot and you can do it.  You don’t really have to think about how you will get it done, you just focus on getting it done.

Golf course management is much more than just thinking about how to play a hole.  It encompasses the whole mindset of a round and how one must play one shot at a time.  You need to stay in the moment.  Not looking ahead and certainly not looking back.  For most amateurs just remember it is just a game, play for fun.

If you need help go see your local CPGA Professional for some lessons.  They can help you with more than just your golf swing.