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How To Boost Golfing Confidence? – 5 Psychological Tips

yes you can - boost your golfing confidence
yes you can - boost your golfing confidence

Many know golf as being one of the hardest sports there are out there, notably due to the mental resilience required to perform well.

One single missed shot can completely ruin your score, sending you multiple positions down a leaderboard. Once you see yourself lose positions, it can be hard to motivate and convince yourself that staying focused and trying hard is still worth it.

Confidence is an extremely important part of the mental aspect of playing golf. As humans, we experience something known as a mind-body connection: our mentality and our thoughts directly impact our physical performances.

In this article, you will learn 5 psychological tips to boost your golfing confidence. Boosting your confidence will directly improve your golfing performance, and lower your handicap.

How To Boost Golfing Confidence?

Down below are 5 effective psychological tips to boost your golfing confidence.

Implement them into your own routine, and you will without a doubt improve both your confidence, as well as your performance.

If you can commit to the following tips for a long period of time (over a year), you will directly see your improvements reflected in your scorecard.

5 Psychological Tips To Boost Golfing Confidence

1. Practice

The first way to improve your performance while playing golf is to be consistent in how much you are practicing. In fact, if you find yourself hesitating before taking a shot, it is likely because you have not practiced it enough.

You cannot suddenly aim your drives straight down the middle every time if you did not fail at it at least 500-1000 times, or likely even more. You cannot sink a putter shot each time on an undulated green unless you failed 10,000 times prior.

To improve your golfing confidence, you need to know you are capable of taking the different shots required. To know, deep in your core, in the depths of your soul, that you can take a good shot, you need to have practiced it many times.

One of our favorite quotes we know here at is that “You should not practice until you succeed. You should practice until you cannot fail.”

If you take 100 driver shots, and only 1 of them travels through the middle of the fairway, is that it? Will your confidence with a driver suddenly be infinite now that you had a single success?

No. Of course not. You are still 99 times more likely to not get the driver shot you want. You will hesitate. You will not believe in your ability to drive a golf ball straight down the line.

However, after the point of being able to drive the ball straight down the line 51 times out of 100, your confidence will grow incredibly. For the first time in your career, you will expect yourself to succeed more often than not.

For the first time ever, you perform correct technique more often than not. You suddenly enter a beautiful snowball effect, reinforcing your positive technical habits instead of having to actively fight bad habits, or learn new technique from scratch.

Practice tirelessly until you succeed more often than you fail, and your confidence will rise tremendously. Practice until you cannot fail, and you will have become a world-class golfer.

2. Visualize the golf ball path

The next way to greatly boost your golfing confidence is to visualize in your head the ideal path you want the golf ball to follow.

Before taking a shot, look at the golf hole in front of you. Look at the layout of the hole, and imagine the ideal golf ball path, as if you could hit the perfect shot.

Starting from the position of the golf ball, visualize a line that extends into the air (or the ground in the case of a putt), how it curves, and finally, where it lands.

Visualizing the ideal golf ball path activates the mind-body connection inside of you, and primes your mind to take the perfect shot. Visualizing the ideal golf ball path gives you a very clear target: perfection.

Without visualizing the ideal golf ball path, you might feel a little uneasy, unsure of what result you are actually looking for with your shot. By visualizing the ideal golf ball path, you gain certainty.

A target you can see is much easier to hit than an invisible one you do not visualize.

Visualizing the ideal golf ball path will have the added benefit of making you more purposeful in your shot selection.

By seeing the ideal golf ball path, you will be less vague in where you expect your golf ball to go.

Instead of shooting the golf ball and hoping it lands somewhere beneficial to you, you will have a smaller area in which you want the golf ball to land, making you better at shot selection.

3. Aim at the middle of the fairway

Another way to improve your golfing confidence is to take shots that have a higher probability of staying in bounds.

The most common way to do this is to aim down the middle of the fairway whenever ever you are taking a long, powerful shot.

In fact, the middle of the fairway is the location that maximizes the golf ball’s distance to the rough.

Look down at the fairway, and aim for the middle. Do not aim too much to the left or to the right, even if it would put you in a better spot than in the middle for your next shot.

By aiming to the left or the right, you are choosing a harder shot, a shot that has a higher possibility of ending out of bounds, or in the rough.

Getting your golf ball in the rough will invariably make your next shot more difficult than it has to be, wrecking your score, as well as your confidence.

On the other hand, if you aim down the middle of the fairway, your ball has the highest likelihood of landing within the confines of the golf hole. With your ball still on good grass, your next shot will not be harder than it needs to be.

Being able to always land your golf balls on the golf course will greatly increase your confidence, and make you feel like you are not a beginner anymore.

However, there are 2 caveats to aiming down the middle of the fairway to increase your chances of success: your shooting tendencies & the wind.

Ideally, you want to be able to shoot a golf ball straight ahead, without it curving to the left or to the right, unless that is the intended effect.

However, unless you have practiced enough, it is possible your shots always curve in air to one side, either the left or to the right.

If your shots always curve to the left, then aiming more to the right will increase the likelihood of the ball landing on the golf hole confines, which will increase your confidence.

If your shots always curve towards the right, then aiming more to the left will increase the likelihood of the ball landing on the golf hole confines, which will increase your confidence.

The other caveat to aiming down the middle of the fairway is the wind.

If the wind is pushing towards the left, you will need to aim more to the right of the fairway.

If the wind is pushing towards the right, you will need to aim more to the left of the fairway.

Overall, your goal is to land the golf ball somewhere in the fairway, and you accomplish this by adjusting your aim according to the wind speed, and your shooting tendencies.

Landing the ball on the fairway more often than not will give a feeling of consistency to your game, and fuel your confidence.

4. Think of your past successes

Next, if you wish to increase your golfing confidence, think of your past successes.

After a string of consecutively missed shots, it can be easy to criticize yourself harshly and lose your confidence.

In these moments, think of your past good shots. Think of how impressed you were with your best shots. Think of how confident you felt.

If you had good, or even great shots in the past, then it means you are still capable of shooting good or great shots.

You are still the same person, and likely even better of a golfer than back then.

Think of your past successes, and you will remember that you are capable of dominating a golf green.

Furthermore, if you regularly visit the same golf courses, you can also think of your past success on individual holes in order to know how to approach them.

For example, at St.Andrews, if you completed hole 10 with 1 shot under par in the past, you can think of that past success each time you do that hole again, and replicate the technique, shot selection, club selections, etc.

Overall, thinking of your past successes will help you remember that the capability to make great shots is within you, and that you have performed well in the past.

5. Play golf in good conditions when your confidence is low

We all know that rain, wet grass, mud, wind, and cold make golf courses harder.

If you find yourself missing many shots in these bad weather conditions, sending many balls into the rough, your confidence may go down quickly.

Playing in the rain, with heavy wind, will make shots you usually find easy become very difficult to make. Missing shots you are used to easily making plays tricks on your mind, and gives you a sense of regression in your ability to perform.

If these conditions beat you up mentally too much, and your confidence is low, consider playing only in good, windless conditions the next few times.

Choose the days of the week with the best forecast to go play golf. In reality, playing in better conditions (no wind, no rain, warm enough) will make golf holes easier.

With easier golf holes, you will earn yourself better scores, which will make your confidence grow.

Confidence is all about winning as much as possible. Winning breeds confidence, so you can use easier golf conditions to make you confident enough for harder golfing conditions.

Final Words

Overall, boosting your golfing confidence mainly comes down to increasing your probability of success, mainly from regular practice and sound psychological behaviors.

If you would like to better understand your own golfer psychology, you can read our article: The 6 Motivations Behind Playing Golf – Golfer Psychology.

If you are feeling like you are not good enough at golf, remind yourself that golf is a very difficult and complex sport to master. You can remind yourself of this by reading our article: Why Golf Is The Hardest Sport.


There you go! You have learned about 5 awesome psychological tips you can implement in your own career to boost your golfing confidence.

By following the tips in this article, you can harness your mind and body to work with you, instead of against you.

What do you do when your confidence is low after a few bad shots? Let us know in the comments down below!

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Why Golf Is The Hardest Sport – Top 5 Reasons

why golf is the hardest sport
why golf is the hardest sport

Which sport is the hardest? This has been an age-old debate for centuries, but we are here to put an end to it. Golf is the hardest sport there is, and it is much more complicated & difficult than non-golfers may understand.

In this article, you will read the top 5 reasons why golf is a very difficult sport, the hardest sport there is.

Why Is Golf The Hardest Sport? – Top 5 Reasons

1. Physical requirements

The sport of golf has various physical requirements. Unfairly, the sport of golf is viewed as easy because many seniors still play it in their later life.

However, golf is truly a demanding physical sport, in more ways than one. In fact, golf requires a strong balance between power, control, flexibility & endurance.

Whenever you are driving a golf ball off the tee, you need to use all of the power you possibly can. The more power you have, the more carry distance the golf ball can travel, and the least amount of strokes you will require to complete a hole.

Next, golf is a sport that requires pin-point accuracy and control over your muscles to achieve this accuracy. Every shot in golf is different, whether it is rainy or sunny, uphill or on a flat surface, 20 or 150 yards away. To be able to perform all of the required shots without shooting the ball too far, too short, or out of bounds, it takes a huge amount of control over your muscles.

This control you need to be proficient at golf takes years, if not over a decade to cultivate. Give a beginner a golf club, and they will instantly understand golf is much more difficult than it appears to be.

Another essential quality of a good golfer is flexibility. Without flexibility, you cannot perform the significant amounts of twisting and extensions your body parts needs to do while playing.

Playing golf also requires a lot of walking, as well as standing up. For a typical round of 18-hole golf, you will likely be standing up for 2 to 4 hours in a row. Have you ever tried standing up that long? It is exhausting, and adding the effort of shooting about 70-100 shots during that time period makes it even more challenging.

Finally, you need to have a good eyesight ideally to be good at golf. In golf, you need to be able to know or see the layout of a golf hole in order to choose the best shot. You need to be able to accurately analyze distances, obstacle position, and other golf course variables. Golf holes are sometimes over 500 yards long, so eyesight is not a physical ability to ignore.

Overall, golf is a physically demanding sport in the amount and balance of different abilities it requires, from pure, raw strength to a delicate touch pianists could be jealous of.

2. Knowledge and Mastery Required For Different Golf Clubs

In any initiated golf player’s bag, there are 14 golf clubs, each club having a different length, loft angle, weight, shape, and other characteristics.

In golf, you need to be good to great with all 14 of your golf clubs. Being bad with a single one of your golf clubs could dramatically mess up your overall score in a round of golf.

Golf players need to know and master exactly when to use each of their 14 golf clubs depending on the situation they find themselves in. Golf players also need to master the use & feel of each of their 14 golf clubs.

Most other sports, like hockey for example, only use one piece of active equipment (a hockey stick). Many other sports, such as soccer, use no equipment, only your own body.

The best golf players tend to have excellent technical knowledge of the different types of golf clubs, what impacts golf club performance, which golf balls to use, etc. The best golf players tend to be nerds who understand the science of golf rather than just going with the feel.

Each golf club requires a slightly different technique that needs to be burnt into your muscle memory through thousands of repetitions. On top of that, you can use the same golf clubs to take different types of shots, depending on how hard you hit, the direction you want the ball to spin and curve in the air, etc.

Mastering the use of and knowing when to use all 14 of your golf clubs is no small feat, but a multi-year journey.

3. Complex Analysis of Complex Environment

Playing golf requires a complex analysis of complex environments. In fact, you usually have 18 different holes to navigate per golf course, and every golf course is different. Most golf players visit various golf courses throughout the years.

Each of these golf holes can be wildly different, in terms of length, ground type, obstacles, hazards, trees, sand bunkers, elevations, types of grass, and more.

There is an infinity of different configurations of golf holes you can run into, as opposed to in other sports, where you are always playing on the same type of field (e.g. in soccer, hockey, basketball, baseball, American football, etc.).

Furthermore, in golf, the exterior conditions have a huge influence on how you will need to approach a golf hole.

The outside conditions such as the wind, the grass wetness, the weather, the rain, and other related events can completely transform a golf hole from a familiar hole into a hole you struggle with. A golf ball is a relatively light item, and it is easily impacted by the wind.

Finally, in golf, you need to figure out with little-to-no-help the best shot to take from a different starting point with every shot you take. Every shot starts from a different elevation, slope, distance to the golf hole, ground type, etc. Every shot is a new puzzle to which you must answer with the correct club selection, shot power, ball spin, and more.

4. Time Commitment

Golf is a sport that takes an incredible time commitment to get good at.

For example, it takes about 3-4 hours to play 18 holes of golf, which equates to about 80 shots taken only. To be able to get in the thousands of practice shots required to get good at golf, with each type of club, it will take many years. You can only shoot a few practice shots in golf per unit of time.

In other sports, you typically can condense your practice in much less time. For example, in hockey, you could easily take 80 practice shots in 2 to 3 minutes with correct form. However, in golf, your form tends to decay quickly over a practice session.

Golf comes with a huge time commitment, in training, practice, gear selection, club fitting, traveling, tournament play, tape analysis, theory learning, etc. There is so much to know about golf in both knowledge and practical mastery of your tools and techniques.

5.  Mental Resilience

One of the most crucial and toughest parts of golf is the mental resilience required to perform well over a full round.

It is incredibly easy to mess up a golf shot. Winning a golf tournament requires you to do well on just about every shot. One single bad shot can send you down the rabbit hole of doubting yourself and beating yourself up.

It is difficult to stay calm, motivated, cool & collected when after messing up a single shot in golf.

When you look at the leaderboard and see that other players are multiple strokes ahead of you, it becomes excruciatingly difficult to stay focused and positive. You start to wonder if its even worth trying anymore, but you must if you wish to win.

Furthermore, it is very hard to be consistent in golf. For example, someone less experienced can get lucky and beat you even if you are objectively the better player 9 days out of 10. Losing a round of golf to a beginner can feel soul crushing and make you question whether you are even made for the sport.

Different weather conditions can also dramatically hurt your golf score as well as your confidence. For example, a shot you usually easily make on a sunny day is a shot you may miss on a windy day, and that can make you feel like you regressed in your skills, and decrease your confidence.

If you make one bad shot into a water hazard or out of bounds, your overall score is pretty much ruined, and you will lose valuable spots in the leaderboard of a tournament. Once you start dropping down the leaderboard, it is very tough mentally to stop the bleeding and keep going.

The psychology of golf is complicated and tough. If you are interested in the different types of motivation behind playing golf from a psychology point of view, read our article: Golf Psychology – The 6 Types Of Motivation Behind Playing Golf.


There you go! After reading this article, you have learned the top 5 reasons why golf is the hardest sport of all. Golf is truly a difficult sport, combining multifaceted physical requirements, an extensive knowledge & mastery of 14 golf clubs, complex analysis of the playing environment, a huge time commitment, as well as mental resilience.

Do you think golf is the hardest sport? What reasons did we miss? Let us know in the comments down below!

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Golf Psychology – The 6 Motivations Behind Playing Golf

motivations when playing golf

Every golf player on this planet, past, present, and future, has their own motivations for playing golf. Some people want to be the best. Some people are just playing for fun.

motivations when playing golf

No matter what your motivations are, knowing your motivations and getting clear on them can, without a doubt, help you focus your efforts productively.

A golfer’s psychology is much more complex than some people may understand. Psychology has a huge impact on the performance of any athlete, hobbyist or professional, and so it is our responsibility to optimize it.

Read down below for an interesting insight into the 6 motivations behind every golfer’s time spent in the sport.

The 6 Motivations Behind Playing Golf

1. Image

Motivation definition: A golf player with the image motivation plays golf purely for the image they create in the eyes of others. These players do not really care if they do well in golf, as long as they can give the impression that they are capable and that they do score well in golf.

A person with the image motivation is typically not the most competitive of people. The image motivation is characterized by a considerable amount of anxiety if the appearance meant to be portrayed does not match reality.

One could argue that having image as your motivation to play golf in inauthentic, because one is playing for others more so than for themselves. If you have the image motivation, it would be a good idea to re-evaluate what truly matters to you in life, what you want to do for yourself.

Of course, the image motivation could also be a strategic motivation. For example, if you are a businessperson who wants to infiltrate a group of successful people who like to play golf, then it makes sense to wish to appear good at golf to the group in order to build a positive relationship.

2. Competition

Motivation definition: A golf player with the competition motivation plays golf mainly to win, to beat others, to dominate their competition. This golf player cares more about beating their competition than beating their personal bests. This golf player tends to be motivated when the stakes get higher, such as in the case of prizes (such as money) being given to winners.

A person with the competition motivation is obviously extremely competitive and will run the extra mile to get ahead. This type of person Is typically one of the top performers in terms of golf score.

Competitive people work very hard to develop their skills & improve. They strive to remain focused in both their training and during tournament play.

Being a competitive golf player has few drawbacks if golf is something you wish to become good at. Certain traps a competitive golf player must avoid is getting emotional when behind other players in terms of score. Competitive players run a risk of looking outwards too much instead of focusing on giving the best performance they individually can.

However, if you are never going to become a professional golf player, then make sure your heightened level of competitiveness does not lead to conflicts with friends and family while playing golf. If you are not in a professional golf setting, then it is sometimes better to let trivial matters slide for the sake of smoothness. Be the bigger person.

3. Friendship

Motivation definition: A golf player with the friendship motivation plays golf to create new and foster existing relationships or friendships. This golf player purely plays golf for enjoyment, and is typically indifferent to scoring well or badly in golf. This golf player tends to experience the least score-based anxiety.

People with the friendship motivation make some of the most pleasant, relaxed, and laid back friends. They are quite literally playing golf for the sole purpose of having a good time with you, so there is little risk they will let a few bad shots or an unfavorable score on their end get in the way of creating good memories.

However, golf players whose main motivation is friendship are unlikely to become professionals because they tend to lack that drive required to train meticulously and frequently. Golf is a special sport in the sense that it is incredibly individual, and the score relies mainly on only one person: you.

If you wish to become a professional golf player and have the friendship motivation, it is still possible, but you will have to embody more competitiveness-based motivations. There is no room for friendship, feeling bad for others, and letting others win in professional tournaments.

4. Expectations

Motivation definition: A golf player with the expectations motivation plays golf competitively to beat their own personal best rather than to beat others. The expectations motivation is closely linked to the competition motivation. However, a golf player with the expectations motivation can still fall in the trap of setting low expectations for themselves, resulting in poor performance despite their goals being reached.

People with the expectations motivation have the advantage of blocking out the outside world to only focus on what matters in the moment: themselves, and their own performance. They tend to not get destabilized by the scores of others, and to only focus on improving their own score.

On the other hand, golf players with the expectations motivation might not be able to tap into their “clutch factor” (surpassing what one’s regular performance level in order to rise to the occasion and win).

These players can get too hyper-focused on their own score, and forget the bigger picture. They are supposed to win the tournament, and that happens by having a better score than everyone else. These players tend to be very competitive. However, sometimes, that competitiveness needs to be redirected towards the outside world a little more.

5. Perfection

Motivation definition: A golf player with the perfection motivation tries to reach the golf performance that they find ideal, potentially up to the level of a professional idol. A golf player with this motivation tends to have their feelings and emotions highly linked to their golf performance relative to their view of “perfection”.

People with the perfection motivation come in two categories: the high performers, and the losers.

The high performers are constantly practicing, reviewing footage of their play, studying theory, testing new gear, employing coaches, improving their nutrition, and more, all for the sake of approaching perfection.

These high performers strive to become perfect. However, they tend to often get frustrated, because in reality, perfection is not possible. Shooting a hole-in-one on every single hole is statistically impossible, although possible in purist theory.

On the other hand, the losers with the perfection motivation are paralyzed by their ideals of perfection that they will never reach. These players have no confidence nor belief that they can reach perfection, and so they do not even try. They do not practice, nor learn anything. Then, they get frustrated that they do not have perfect golf performances.

Whether you are a high performer, or a loser, with the perfection motivation, you will save yourself much psychological pain by lowering your bar for success. Aim for a goal that is more reasonable than unattainable perfection.

6. Fun

Motivation definition: A golf player with the fun motivation plays golf for fun, to enjoy themselves. A golf player playing purely for fun tends to experience lower than average performance-based anxiety. A golf player with this motivation loves to play golf, whether it is in a group, or alone. This golf player tends to be grateful and happy to be playing golf whenever they can, regardless of their score.

Golf players with the fun motivation are passionate about golf. They come from all walks of life, and each have different goals. The overweight 70 year old and the athletic 18 year old PGA prospect might both have a passionate fun motivation behind why they play golf, but they have wildly different goals.

People with fun as their motivation behind playing golf tend to be happier than those with most other types of motivations. However, the fun motivation does not really provide a strong, compelling reason to beat one’s competition.

The fun motivation is likely one of the healthiest motivations to have. It confirms that you are playing golf for yourself, for fun. You are not playing to impress others, win money, or gain fame. We human beings feel the most happiness and fulfillment when our actions align authentically with our passions.

Final Word

Identifying your main motivations behind why you play golf will help you know yourself better. It will also help you identify how to focus your thoughts better so that they align with your goals. A mix of some of the different motivations will pull you in different directions. If you absolutely want to achieve your goals, you might need to give more emphasis to one single motivation.

If you would like to delve deeper in golfer psychology, and these 6 types of motivations behind playing golf, we recommend you read “The Inner Game of Golf”. The Inner Game of Golf, by Timothy Gallwey, expands on these motivations behind golf, and tells you how to make the most out of the knowledge of your motivations.


There you go! You now should have a deeper understanding of your motivations behind why you play golf! Use this newfound knowledge about yourself to cut out motivations that are not serving you. Focus on the motivations that align with your true goals!

Which motivation type do you feel when playing golf? Let us know in the comments down below! We would love to hear your story.