Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash
Aim small miss small? This was the advice I received from Bob Rotella in his classic book Golf is Not a Game of Perfect. I also heard it from tons of Pros and from many magazines. So I picked small targets, tried to hole chip shots and found it quite stressful. I then heard of a wide focus where you picked big targets such as hitting a drive between 2 trees in the distance, which suited me better. I was torn and flirted between the two for years, sometimes changing focus during rounds.
Should I talk to my playing partners or remain solidly focused? During casual rounds I would chat away, talking through my shots, having a laugh and being engaged with the group. When I started a tournament, I thought it best to take things more seriously, concentrate, and not be distracted by my playing partners or surroundings. Which approach was best for my performance?
Should I get angry and let my frustration out or move on and look forward to the next challenge? When things inevitably go wrong on the golf course the natural reaction is to show disappointment, by swearing or criticising the mistake. The other way to react is to accept the result and move forward. Which mindset is best for me?
Should I focus on my technique or my target? Growing up in the 90s with Faldo and Ledbetter being perfectionists and rebuilding swings, I searched for perfection myself, reading every tip in Today’s Golfer and searching for the magic movement. Would I have been better served following my countryman Ian Woosnam, seeing the target and firing?
I’ve read countless psychology books looking for answers and tinkering with different mental models. I’ve tried the Decade system and tried many training aids in search of a breakthrough. Not until I came across Mental Golf Type when listening to the On the Mark Golf podcast did I finally get my personalized answers to these questions.
Mental Golf Type (MGT) covered all these questions and I’d say these are the big questions. Answers that I don’t think I could have confirmed on my own. I needed help from a performance coach or psychologist, who are few and far between for the regular golfer.
Since taking the course I’ve enjoyed myself more on the golf course as MGT confirmed how I should act and it relates to the way I like to act on the course and in life.
You can take the free test on www.mentalgolftype.com/ and they will create a profile tailor-made for you. You also get free access to your mental golf types introduction training portal. You have the option to buy (at a reduced price) your level 1 training portal. I did this and thought it was worth every penny.
After taking the free online test I was classified as an (ENFP) an Optimistic Manifestor. ENFP stands for Extraverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Prospecting. These are my personality traits and they are pretty accurate. Yours will possibly be different and your ticket to your best performance will be dictated by your personality and attitude. MGT will guide you through.
These are the 16 different mental golf types
The course is broken down into the 4 main core concepts of your mental golf type giving you personalised performance training advice. Each core concept has tutorial videos delivered by MGT Creator John Weir with additional videos of lessons given by certified MGT coach Kiel Alderink. Each of the 4 core concept units finishes with on-course activities and a knowledge test.
The on-course activities are great and help organise your mental practice on the course. They are set up as scoring games so you can assess learning and development and track your progress, a key aspect of learning. For example, one of the activities was for me to stay target focused for the round. I took a score card and gave myself 1 point for each shot that I stayed target focused. At the end of the round, I add up the points to get a percentage of my total score. This was a great exercise for me as like most of us I can get bogged down in swing thoughts and for my mental golf type, thinking of technique only causes me stress. The training program could be different for you, but that’s the joy of the program, it’s made for your personality. You could be better off concentrating on a swing thought, or simply playing to the numbers, everyone is different.
The course also offers yardage book cards with mental cues to keep you focused during the round. These can be printed for reminders of how to think and come in handy in times of stress.
My main take from taking the Mental Golf Type course was that it identified what causes me stress on the golf course. It highlighted aspects I would never have thought caused me stress, such as focusing on technique, lamenting mistakes and picking small targets. These were all really bad for me. It’s taken some time to remove some of my old habits and I still have to take this into tournament play successfully. But yesterday I shot a stress free -2 and for once it wasn’t a roller coaster ride. I felt in control and had a reliable system in play that I knew was right for me.
I can also recommend John and Kiel’s podcast The Go Low Show to get a sense of what the course is all about and for some great insights. Give the free test a go and see if you recognise yourself and your mental golf type.
I’ve recently become an affiliate of MGT and have this promotional code for MGT products. https://www.mentalgolftype.com/a/39011/EBtAocPM
That’s all for this time. Hope it helps. A new blog post will be dropped (as my high school students say) on the first Friday of the month.
Hope you play well this weekend
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