During a round of golf it is inevitable we will all experience some form of negative thoughts. We can’t control those thoughts that jump up and scream “you’re going to shank this one” or “don’t slice it”

Your mind is a fantastic tool but it doesn’t always help you out on the golf course, it definitely has problems understanding certain key words.

If I said to you “Don’t think of a bright red tomato!” What is the first thing you see? How many of us get on a certain hole at our club and say things like, “Don’t hit it left! Don’t hit it in the water! Please, please don’t hit it out of bounds!”

Now in the same way as your mind saw that red tomato, your brain doesn’t register the word DON’T. So when you say “don’t go in the water”, your mind just hears WATER.

So what is the solution? Well, for years we’ve all been told you’ve got to be positive, just tell yourself you’re going to hit a great shot and you will. So what happens when you stand on the first tee in the next monthly medal and tell yourself “I’m going to hit a great shot” and you still dunk it in the water or knock it out of bounds? Is your mind lying to you? Are you lying to yourself? Here is where the confusion lies!

It’s not about being positive, it’s about being clear.

Give your mind a clear instruction of what you want to achieve from the shot. Instead of telling yourself what you don’t want to do, direct your focus on what you would like to do such as; where you would like to hit it the ball.

Would you walk into the supermarket with a shopping list full of items you didn’t want to buy?!

Learning an effective routine will help keep your mind focused.

Building mental toughness will help deal with those negative thoughts that ruin good rounds and hold you back from reaching your true potential.