Use Golf Psychology to Improve Your Mental Game and Shoot Lower Scores

Mind Factor Coaching For The Club Golfer With Paul Guilfoyle

It really is a huge misconception that Mind Coaching is only for  professional golfers.

Every single player has the capability of improving their MIND. We can ALL change our habitual thought patterns and processes which get in the way of our golfing performance. Mind coaching  will allow you to get much closer to your true potential as a player and in the process enjoy the game more than you may have thought possible.

I’d love to find out how your golf is right now. Let me know about your game and how it’s going. Why do you play golf… not as in oh “why do I play this game,” but why do you play, what do you get from the game? Are you enjoying your golf? Does it give you pleasure?

Welcome to my site, I appreciate you taking the time to visit and find out more. Are you improving or have you reached a plateau? What’s going on in your head when you play golf? Is there anything holding you back and if so what?

It’s Paul Guilfoyle here, certified Mind Factor Golf performance and mindfulness coach. Mind Factor is the brand of Karl Morris one of Europe’s leading sports performance coaches. Karl has coached hundreds of European tour players including six major winners. He’s also helped thousands of ordinary club golfers lower their score without changing their swing. The Mind Factor  logo and branding is used with Karl’s permission and you can find out more about that and about Karl’s work and products here. 

How much of golf is mental?

Bobby Jones once said “golf is a game played on a 5 inch course…the distance between our ears.”

When we ask golfers of all abilities how much they believe golf to be a mental game their answers range anywhere from 10 to 100 per cent.

Mental training for golf

Clearly golf can’t truly be 100% mental. Perhaps sometimes it just seems that way. After all golf is a physical game where we use our body to hit a ball.

Although most golfers understand that golf performance is heavily influenced by what goes on in the mind very few actually put into practice any mental skills at all. The simple reason seems to be they don’t know what to practice or what to do to actually achieve positive results.

Golf mind coaching

So as a Mind Factor golf coach I provide the tools a golfer needs to stop his or her mind from interfering with their performance. We work with you to maximize your potential, to become as good as you’re capable of being. Often as a side effect you’ll have more fun and enjoy golf much more.

Becoming good at something involves effort and practice. Some of our students see huge improvements in their game almost immediately but obviously we can’t guarantee that will happen for everyone. So much depends on your starting point, but I know if you stay open to the concepts even if you don’t experience an immediate impact you’ll see big improvements over a reasonable period of time.

You will be introduced to some ideas that might seem simple and common sense. Everything we practice is backed by scientific study but you won’t be blinded with science. We like to keep things simple.

Simple is good and in any case we all know there’s a huge difference between knowing about something and actually doing it. Mind skill requires as much practice as technique. It will help enormously when you discover exactly what to practice to achieve results for you.

Mind Golf Coaching Philosophy

Our philosophy is not about imposing on you “the way” but  helping you uncover “your way.” Discover what works for you allowing you take ownership of your own game.

As such as we progress we put together bespoke coaching sessions based upon the feedback we receive from you. The exciting thing about that is we guide you to experiment, to find what works best for you as an individual, allowing your natural ability and talent to take over. You’ll be working to maximize your potential,  whatever that is.

So much of the golfing industry is focused on trying to teach players in such a way that they become good at golf swing without becoming good at golf. As a result players complain that they are much better on the practice range but struggle to take that game to the course.

One of the very first things I ask students to do is to take “notice”, to create an intention to pay attention on what is going on in their world on the golf course.

Before you go out to play next time create an intention to notice what’s going on. Create an intention to place your attention on what you are thinking and how you’re feeling. Notice things such as –

  • What you’re thinking and feeling as you play
    Where on the club face you strike the ball
    Your timing
    Reactions to your shots or putts
    Internal dialogue- how do you talk to yourself?
    Where your attention is directed
    What you enjoy and what you learn

How to focus in golf

As far as we know human beings are the only animals capable of thinking about the past as well as the future. In fact these days with all the interruptions going on in our lives we seem to spend very little of our time actually in the present.

It’s become something of a cliché to talk about the importance of being in the present moment. Yet this really is essential to performing well at any given task. The vast majority, around 90 percent of our time spent on the golf course isn’t spent actually playing golf. There is a vast amount of time filled when we’re not actually hitting the ball.

It’s impossible to fully concentrate for a full 4 or 5 hours so we must find ways to deal with this. There’s just so much time to get angry thinking in the past about the bad shot or the double bogey we made. Or coming off the front nine or with a few holes to play, on track for our best ever round, dreaming about winning the tournament or having our handicap cut. Have you noticed how so often these type of thoughts so often precede the wheels falling off.

The ability to think in the past and learn from our mistakes or imagine a future enabling us to plan and develop strategies may be great for the human race as a whole but it can be disastrous for us as golfers.

Much of my coaching is designed to help you place your attention on the things that are useful rather than useless for your purpose and spend more time in the present preventing your mind from interfering with your performance.

What next…

Although I develop bespoke coaching for each individual some people ask me to reveal a flavor of the sort of topics that can be covered in coaching sessions. A small sample of these follows-

Goals as they relate to golf
Techniques and practice for staying in the present moment
Formal session on theory around the ideas of before, during, in-between and after
The 3 stages of pre-shot, the shot, post shot
So much time, energy and analysis is spent on the shot part of the equation which is totally beyond any golfer’s control. We focus on the controllable to create more consistency. No golfer no matter how highly skilled can ever fully control what happens to the actual shot. Getting really good at the parts that can be controlled will put you in the best possible position to make good shots.

  • Playing under pressure
    Going low
    Boosting confidence
    Becoming more consistent
    Reducing fatigue and having more energy towards the end of the round
    Advanced mind-set techniques
    External versus internal focus of attention
    Score analysis after each round. I ask that you send me your scores with analysis and thoughts after each 18 hole round
    A personalized practice program replicating playing golf (including warm up putting drills)

What to do next to shoot lower scores and start to enjoy your golf much more

To discover more about my Mind Factor golf coaching or book an introductory mind coaching session email me via the Contact page . We’ll fix up a call and you’ll be able to let me know more about your game. I’ll let you know whether I believe I can help you get results. You’ll be offered a price for an introductory mind coaching session. Your investment may well be a lot less than you might expect.

What about golf technique?

Let’s clear up one thing before you go. I’m not saying technique isn’t important. Of course it is. I’ll be helping you find your natural swing. A swing that you own so that when it goes wrong as they all do from time to time, you can find your own way back. You won’t become dependent on a swing coach trying to change your natural swing and imposing a model swing on you. If it helps to understand this, think Jim Furyk.

You don’t focus on technique when walking down the stairs. If you did start thinking about what angle you have to lift your knee and how much pressure you have to exert on the down step you’d probably fall head first and break your neck.

Appreciate that if  you can swing an axe you can swing a golf club. You don’t need me or anyone else to teach you how to hammer a nail. You’re naturally pretty good in the same way you’re naturally pretty good at swishing a club at speed through a golf ball. You just need to find your way of doing these things effectively.

If technique is important what can be done to achieve quick results

Obviously there are some very good swing coaches who can get results and make a difference.The sad state of affairs is that despite all the advances in technology and the mass of free information online over the last 20 years there appears to be no improvement in playing levels. The average handicap in the UK and USA remains firmly stuck at around 16 or 17. So much of the free information available and the analysis on TV is about golf swing rather than the art of playing golf.

Beyond the basic fundamentals of grip, stance, posture etc. I believe there are 2 major areas to focus on; where you make contact with club face and how you make contact with the ball.

There seem to be  hundreds of products online that you can buy  to help you with technique.

Top Recommendation

One of the very few online products on technique I recommend and which complements mind coaching extremely well is “The Strike Plan” by world-renowned golf instructor and best-selling author Adam Young. It costs around $50. If you buy through my link below I’ll get paid a commission. This doesn’t change the price you pay. But it does help support what I do.

Of course you don’t need to buy this to be coached by me but I recommend it 100%. And I only recommend things that I truly believe are capable of helping you become a better golfer and enjoy your golf more. So if you feel I’m helping and you want to return the favor, this is a great way to spread the love, and I really appreciate you for it.

My mind coaching bonus for you

However, if you do buy this using my link, as my bonus to you wherever you live in the world I offer you a free coaching session with me via Zoom. Simply email me with your receipt of purchase and we’ll arrange a mutually convenient time.

Click here for “The Strike Plan”

You’ll get a free instruction Video from Adam when you click on the link above and you can email me with your receipt via my Contact page or directly to paul (at) mentalgolfpro.com

When you next play why not tell me what you notice, what you learned and what you enjoyed. Hope we speak soon and best wishes, Paul