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Golf Tips: How To Stay Calm And Focused Before You Putt

Posted by: Dr. Granat on December 24, 2015

By Jay P. Granat, Ph.D.

When you stand over a putt, it is a good idea for you to be relaxed, confident and focused.
But, what is the best way to be relaxed when you are about to roll your putt into the hole?
One thing that is for certain for many golfers is this: If someone tells you to “just relax”, or you tell yourself to “just relax,” this advice will probably not work and it will probably not help you at all.
Sport psychologists, golf teaching professionals and mental coaches spend a lot of time and energy helping their clients to learn how to stay relaxed when they compete or participate in golf or in other sports.
Where the mental aspects are concerned, you have a number of tools and techniques that you can utilize to calm your nerves:
For example, you can get some training in self-hypnosis. Believe it or not, you can train yourself to enter a hypnotic trance when you are on the green and are about to putt the ball.
Similarly, you can learn mindfulness meditation which will help to lower you stress, anxiety and tension on and off the golf course.
You can also practice visualization techniques to relax your body and improve your concentration on short and long putts.
You can also practice progressive muscle relaxation techniques to relieve excess tension from your arms, your hands and your shoulders.
Self-hypnosis, meditation and visualization can be thought of as branches of the same psychological tree.
Another thing you can do is allow your self to get very tense and then dial down the tension from this high point to a lower and more comfortable place.
Taking at least one deep breath before you putt is usually a great idea.
To calm your fear, you can also contemplate the worst thing that could happen, because, to some extent, this worry, is contributing to your tension over the golf ball.
As your rational mind knows, the worst thing that will happen is that you will miss the ball.
In addition to adjusting to your mental approach to putting, golf pros are likely to have some good tips for relaxing over the ball.
Jon Manos, a golf pro with a lot of teaching experience, suggests that you not ground the putter before putting since grounding the club creates tension in your hands and your arms and makes it hard to have the pendulum motion which is very important in putting a good role on the ball and in putting accurately.

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Dr. Jay Granat was named one of America's top mental gurus by Golf Digest Magazine. He is the founder of He can be reached at 888 580-ZONE or at

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