Updated: Sep 22, 2020
"One of the most fascinating things about golf is how it reflects the cycle of life. No matter what you shoot - the next day you have to go back to the first tee and begin all over again and make yourself into something."
- Peter Jacobsen
Here are 10 tips from Bob Rotella on how to play a confident and competent round of competitive golf.
1. Play to play great. Don't play not to play poorly. Golfers who are playing to play great love a great drive more than they fear the rough.
2. Love the challenge of the day, whatever it may be. If you spend your time fighting the fact that golf is a game of mistakes and trying to make it a game of perfect shots, you're really saying that you don't like golf.
3. Get out of results and get into process. Process goals are the "to-do lists" of players striving for excellence. The process is what gives you a chance to find out how good you can be.
4. Know that nothing will bother or upset you on the golf course, and you will be in a great state of mind for every shot. Mistakes are going to happen. Accepting them is not a weakness. It's an important part of getting stronger and mentally tougher, a part of resilience, of being able to hang in there during a round, of recovering from errors and finishing with a good score.
5. Playing with a feeling that the outcome doesn't matter is always preferable to caring too much. Golfers who stay in the present just keep playing the shot at hand until they run out of holes.
6. Believe fully in yourself so you can play freely. Confident golfers think about what they want to happen on the course. Golfers who lack confidence think about the things they don't want to happen.
7. See where you want the ball to go before every shot. The more you're consumed with your target, the more your instincts and subconscious will help you find it.
8. Be decisive, committed and clear. The correct response to a bad shot is to forget about it. On the next shot, execute your pre-shot routine. Swing unconsciously. Trust it.
9. Be your own best friend. Learn to love the butterflies, or at least to handle them. One way to handle them is to downplay the importance of today's round or tournament and think of all the reasons it doesn't matter.
10. Love your wedge and your putter. Stop berating yourself when you miss a green. Missing a green only means you've got a chance to make a birdie or par the adventurous way.