Don’t Raise The White Flag Before You’ve Even Hit The Golf Ball

by Jordan on August 9, 2012

Reaching for this old golf ball will hurt your chances of hitting a good shot

You’re lacking confidence with the swing. And that’s ok. Because golf is hard.

But are you making a common mistake? One that essentially raises the white flag before you’ve even teed off.

Let me tell you about this common mistake and how you can swing the golf club with more confidence.

The Dreaded Water Hole

Almost every golf course has one. There’s nothing but aqua between you and the hole. Seeing this you tense up and start to think about hitting the ball into the water.

So what do you do? You reach for the crummy Top Flite XL that is closer to the color brown than white.

It should be noted that old golf balls don’t fly as far or straight. That of course will hurt your chances of hitting a a good shot.

“I don’t want to lose a good ball” you say to yourself. I can’t blame you. Golf balls are costly.

There’s one major problem with this line of thinking. You’re already accepting hitting a ball into the water, thus, you’re already defeated before even taking a back swing.

Why? Because you’re already thinking about a negative outcome.

Let me explain how to trick your mind into thinking positively.

Mind Tricks

I use to think like this. Until I had enough one day.

At my home course growing up there was a 125 yard par 3. However there was a massive gully that required a shot of 100 yards to carry it.

What frustrated me was that I could hit a ball 125 yards no problem on the other holes. But that damn gully owned me!

So like everyone else I thought using a crappy ball was a good idea. But doing something that everyone else does wasn’t getting me anywhere.

That’s when I decided to tee off on that hole with a new ball. As I teed up my new Top Flite Magna I felt really good. Instead of looking down at the gully I was focused on the green.

Surely enough I cleared the gully with the new ball.

What I did was essentially trick my mind and body into thinking I was a good player and that carrying the gully was easy.

Mind Power

Your mind is a powerful tool. The key is using to work with you on the golf course and not against you. It works against you by thinking negatively before teeing off when you dig into your bag from the old “water ball”.

Now this is not a magic trick. You’re not going to clear the water on every shot.

But here are four things you can do to greatly increase the odds of clearing that dreaded water hazard.

  1. Throw away all your old golf balls. Play with new golf balls as long as you can afford to. Play the same golf ball as well.
  2. Focus on the location where you want to hit it. Nick Faldo last night on ‘Live From The PGA’ talked about negative thinking and looking at the places you don’t want to hit the ball. Your mind is subtly thinking about those places. Think about where you want to hit the ball and nothing else. No looking at the water, trees of bunkers anymore!
  3. Pay close attention to your breathing and stay calm.
  4. Develop and implement a pre shot routine into your game.

These are simple changes yet they require discipline and dedication to stick with.

It’s so easy to give up on something if it’s not working. Trust me though. Implementing these changes will have a huge impact on your scores if you stick with them.

Your Turn

Do you keep plenty of water balls in your bag?


Jordan J. Caron is a former Canadian PGA Class A member who still wants to help golfers shoot better scores. He is also the President of Meaningful Marketing. In his downtime he likes to read, play squash and drink wine.

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