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Golf Coach's Corner

Golf Tip

Presented by Jeff Ritter, Nike Golf Camp National Director

How to Build Mental Toughness Into Your Short Game

How To Build Mental Toughness Golf Tip

A great way to prime yourself for a big year in golf is cool mental toughness exercise known as the convincing argument. Here is what I want you to do. Imagine yourself in front of a panel of judges and arguing for why you are going to play some amazing golf this year, or even this day at the golf course. I want you to talk about the coaching you received, the mindset you have, maybe the face that you finished last year playing your best golf ever.

At the end of this argument you want the panel of judges to look at each other and say “I believe them. I believe that he or she is destined for great things on the golf course.” When you are finished doing this, you are not really trying to convince a panel of judges, but yourself. This will remind yourself that you deserve to be experiencing great things, and your practice on the course will pay off.

Golf is all about mental toughness, especially with short game.

Short game shots are often referred to as “finesse shots” or “rhythm shots”. So, finesse swings are also known as rhythm swings. So here is a simple exercise to help you get the feel for what you need to do to hit these controlled shots around the greens.

Go ahead and take the wedge you’re going to hit and put it in between your fingers. Get it swinging back and forth like a pendulum on a clock. What you are going to do is try and feel a nice smooth even-sided swing and a nice even one two rhythm as well.

Once you do that, put the club in your hand, and start your setup. Swing the club head into the follow through a little bit, and back and forth trying to replicate that same feeling you had while swinging the club between your fingers. Once you get that, step up to the ball, swing into the follow through and miss the ball on the back swing, then follow through and take your shot!

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