Golf's Mental Game & The Final Hole Meltdown

Joe Culverhouse
  • Author: Joseph Culverhouse
  • Manager - GLT Content and Communications
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adam scott 18th hole

Next in GLT's series designed for coaches to share with players, we take a look at golf's mental game and the final hole meltdown.

We’ve all had one of those special rounds when everything seems to be going well. We rip through the final few holes with ease, but for whatever reason, we can’t seem to escape the final hole without a plus sign.

One of the primary reasons for this is we allow ourselves to get away from the flow – the natural, relaxed state – that helped us play so well before.

Instead, we begin focusing on our scores, making more birdies, etc. We begin focusing on the outcome rather than the process.

Being process focused allows us to focus on things we can control. Conversely, being outcome focused means we’re giving attention to things beyond our control, which (feel free to join in if you’ve heard this before) leads to stress and tension. 

Similarly to the 4 foot putt, an easy way to counteract this on course is the Jordan Spieth method – get in touch with your practice swing. Really feel the tempo, fluidity, etc., then recreate that feeling over the golf ball.

Furthermore, we have to redefine success. Success should be something we can control (something in your pre-shot routine, for example,) not a score. Focus on controlling what you can control, then simply let the ball get in the way.  Lastly, give yourself a pat on the back regardless of the outcome.

To practice this on the range, talk out loud. Say “slow & smooth” or a swing thought from a local PGA coach, imagine no ball is there, keep talking throughout your approach, then let the ball just get in the way.

To see this tip in action be sure to click the Youtube link and share with your students! 

Thanks for being part of our mission to help golfers train differently and think differently. 

Click Here For GLT's FREE Golf Psychology Online Course. 

spieth meltdown