Mental tips with golf psychologist Karl Morris

Published 03/09/2012 12:52:00

About Dr Karl

Dr Karl Morris is one of Europe's leading MIND COACHES, delivering cutting edge methods of peak performance and goal achievement to a range of clients across sports and business.

From the world of golf, he has worked with players such as Darren Clarke, David Howell, Lee Westwood, Paul McGinley, Graeme McDowell, Alison Nicholas and Trish Johnson.

A consultant to the PGA of Great Britain and Europe he has presented seminars all over the world to the Australian PGA, German PGA, Belgian PGA and the Hong Kong Golf Association.

Also, working with top class amateurs, he is the MIND COACH to the National squads of the English Ladies Golf Association.


Karl tells you why developing trust in yourself is the mental key to better putting. "Think back to your best putting round ever. I'll bet one thing; you will recall a feeling of complete trust in yourself and your stroke. Those putts didn't drop in by accident. For a spell, you believed in your ability to hole putts, and you did.

Now think back to your worst putting round. Just the opposite, right? Whatever you tried, the ball jumped off the blade in whatever direction took its fancy. You said things like 'My stroke feels awful', or 'Just can't see the lines today.' No confidence, no trust.

You may think trust comes from a perfect technique. Wrong, I guarantee you will putt better purely by developing the ability to trust yourself. Trust can be learned and developed. Now I'm going to tell you how to do just that."


Relaxation is the key

"Most golfers do not realise how tense they get when they go for distance. Add to this a competitive situation on the golf course, and a few phrases like 'GRIP it and rip it' or 'coil your body TIGHTLY' and you have a fantastic recipe for massive tension and muscle tightness.

Tense muscles are weak muscles. You can prove this to yourself by going out to the range, tensing your muscles as hard as you can and seeing how far you can drive the ball. If it goes even half as far as normal, I'd be surprised.

If the only mental skill you learn is the ability to relax your muscles, you will have at your disposal the potential to TRANSFORM your drives and hit the ball much further. Sometimes that's easier said than done. But I will show you some mental techniques to use before and during the game to help keep those forearms and shoulders loose and powerful."



Relish the challenge!

"When it comes to saving par with a chip and a putt, many amateurs shoot themselves in the foot before they start. They often play the chip shot while they are still brooding on the mistakes that caused them to miss the green in the first place. Their state of mind is confused and anxious. The recovery shot has no chance of success.

But a good short game player has an entirely different mental approach. The bad shots that have caused the missed green are gone, so he wastes no time fretting about them. Instead he is relishing the challenge of turning three shots into two.

That's what you must do. Your first step to improving your short game is to improve your attitude. And that's why the key mental concept is to LOVE the challenge of turning three shots into two. A par rescued when all seemed lost is on of golf's pleasures. It time you felt it more often."


Make your mind up!

"Iron shots need accurate distance management, but this nearly always presents you with a clubbing choice. Is it a hard 6 or a soft 5? The most common mental error people make is to go into the shot without ever really making up their minds which club to hit. In this state of indecision we find it impossible to make a positive, committed swing and the ball usually winds up anywhere but on the green.

So it's time you learned some mental tricks to help you commit 100% to the club and the shot. Use these techniques next time you play and you will find yourself instantly making more confident swings and a crisper strike. You will also find yourself swapping your iron for the putter more and the sand wedge less."


Build confidence

"Put a scorecard in a golfer's hand and his whole attitude changes. Suddenly he starts playing shots he wouldn't normally play, either over-safe or over aggressive. He stops thinking about the next shot and instead worries about the stroke index 1 hole up ahead, or the three-putt on the previous green. He starts to worry about his lack of touch and confidence. He spends the whole round preoccupied by how he is doing. In short, he stops enjoying himself.

But here are some ways to deal with these common mind glitches. You will learn how to keep your mind in the present, how to feel more confident on the first green and how to stop becoming preoccupied with your score. Put these tactics into play and you will start enjoying your golf again, even with a scorecard in your back pocket."



1.  Great advice thanks. Tension is something I struggle with. I can hole putt after putt on the practice ground, but get to the course...

Adopting the attitude to relish the challenge to get down in 2 putts when outside 10 feet is something I'm going to try.

A tip I saw on another site should help. Putt from one side of the green to the other aiming to leave it as close to the fringe as possible. This should help with distance control without worrying about direction. So in theory result in many fewer 3 foot knee knockers.

comment by Pete - 12/09/2012 12:40

2.  With most shots hit short of the hole it is better to choose a little more club and still be aggressive. The results will be better.

comment by Denny - 30/10/2012 02:55

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