Golf is as much a mental game as it is a physical one. A powerful tool often overlooked by many golfers is the shot journal. This simple practice can transform your mindset, reinforce positives, and build lasting confidence on the course.

Reinforcing Positives

A good shot journal is a place to record every successful shot you make. By writing down these moments, you reinforce the positives in your game. Each entry is a reminder of what you’re capable of, helping to shift your focus from what can go wrong to what has gone right.

Imagine spending a year documenting your best shots. Each drive that found the fairway, evey approach that nestled close to the pin, and those perfect putts sinking into the hole. Over time, this collection becomes a powerful mental resource. Instead of stepping onto the course hoping to play well, you can read through your journal and relive those successful moments.

Reliving Success

Before your next round, take a few minutes to read through your shot journal. Relive each great shot in vivid detail. Feel the same confidence and satisfaction you felt in those moments. This mental rehearsal can dramatically improve your mindset, as it’s much easier to play with confidence when you have a tangible reminder of your capabilities.

The best way to do this: Write down what you felt, what you saw and what you heard during your journal entry, truly helping you relive the shot.

Building Confidence

The practice of maintaining a shot journal not only reinforces positives but also builds a foundation of confidence. Golfers often fall into the trap of focusing on what can go wrong. This negative mindset can be a significant barrier to success. By contrast, reading about your past successes helps you approach the game with a positive, confident attitude.

A Year of Positives

Imagine the impact of consistently documenting your best shots over a year. Before each round, you read through your journal and relive every good shot rather than dwelling on past mistakes or worrying about potential mishaps. This shift in focus is the best way to build and sustain confidence. It transforms your mindset from “I hope I play well” to “I know I can play well.”

In conclusion, a good shot journal is more than just a record of your game; it’s a tool for mental fortitude. It reinforces positives, helps you relive success, and builds the confidence needed to perform at your best. Start your good shot journal today and experience the power of focusing on your strengths.

Think back to your last round of golf. What stands out the most? For a few, it might be a perfect tee shot or a long birdie putt. But for many, it’s likely the chunked wedge or the three-putt bogey.

Golfers often say things like, “I left a few shots out there” or “I could have shot a 75, but…”. These comments usually stem from two common mistakes: dwelling on errors and having unrealistic expectations. By managing our expectations, we can enjoy the game more and potentially play better.

Negative Thoughts Dominate

Our tendency to focus on the negatives isn’t entirely our fault. According to a study by Elizabeth A. Kensinger, negative emotions enhance memory formation more than positive ones. This means our bad shots are more vivid and easier to recall. Thus, managing expectations is crucial for a balanced emotional response.

What Constitutes a Good Shot?

To redefine what a good golf shot is, let’s rely on data:

  1. Scratch golfers make just over 40% of eight-foot putts.
  2. PGA Tour players average a proximity of 16.5 feet from 60 yards and 19 feet from 100 yards.
  3. Driver dispersion on the PGA Tour is 65 yards left-to-right, with fairways averaging just over 30 yards wide.
  4. Scratch golfers average 1.5 birdies per round.

These stats might surprise you and help reset your expectations. TV broadcasts only show the best shots, skewing our perception of what’s normal.

Setting Realistic Expectations

Understanding these statistics helps us realize that many of our shots are average or better, deserving celebration rather than frustration. By aligning our expectations with reality, we can enjoy our rounds more and improve our performance. Positive and neutral emotions enhance our ability to handle adversity, leading to more fun and lower scores.

For more insights, explore works by experts like Mark Brodie, Lou Stagner, and Scott Fawcett. The better you understand the game, the more you can appreciate your own play and enjoy every round.OR get more ‘Positive’ on the course by reaching out to myself or Iain Highfield. We can help you with your mental game for golf with small but effective interventions like a good shot journal.

Have fun out there ‘coach Brandon’.