Golf is not a sport that demands fast-paced physicality, but golfers need considerable athleticism and endurance in order to bring good form into each shot over 18 holes. In addition to strength and stamina, consistent execution necessarily entails a high degree of mental stamina. Your approach to reaching your best level of play should include strategic directives to play as well on the back nine as you did on the front nine. Here are some tips that may help you stay in the zone for every hole through each hour of a round.
Have a Full Serving of Protein
Eat lean protein before you head out. Protein will make you feel full and energized. Avoid lots of refined carbohydrates before you play. Stick with protein-rich foods because they won’t drain energy while you digest them.
You need to be well-hydrated to feel and play your best. Hydration helps your body keep electrolytes balanced, so your muscles can function their best and you can keep your energy going over 18 holes. Bring at least twenty ounces of water and an electrolyte supplement with you on the course.
Get a Full Night of Rest
Anything that you set out to do is easier to accomplish when you’ve had a full night’s rest, and playing a great round of golf is certainly no exception. Getting the right amount of sleep helps you regulate your energy levels throughout a day. When you tee off feeling well-rested, you’re a lot less vulnerable to fatigue and you’ll be better equipped to maintain concentration for the whole round.
You can go into round with optimum energy levels if it’s at the start of your day. Also, you won’t have players ahead of you, and temperatures will be the coolest and most comfortable during the earliest part of the day. Even if you don’t really think of yourself as a “morning person” per se, turning in early and getting plenty of rest the night before will make you better able to psych yourself up for an early round.
Don’t Rush Your Morning
Starting your morning a little too late and then scrambling to get out the door is a stressful and harried way to begin the day. The feeling that you’re running behind can follow you around all day. Rushing can raise cortisol levels, and a spike at the start of your day could make you more susceptible to distraction, agitation, and even inflammation. On days when you have an early tee time, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to get going. Leave a little contingency time. If it turns out that you don’t need it, you can use some of it for meditation.
Wear Polarized Sunglasses
Believe it or not, eye strain can have a huge impact on how tired you feel and even your ability to focus intently. You should definitely use prescription eyewear on the course if you’re nearsighted, but everyone can benefit from polarized sunglasses. They reduce glare considerably and can help to prevent eye fatigue. Furthermore, they’ll protect your eyes from potentially harmful UV rays.
Lastly, remember to stay in control of your mental momentum. When things aren’t going your way on the course, it can really drag down your attitude and make your round feel longer and a lot more frustrating than it should. Try to avoid getting too negative about your game because it will make you approach each shot with diminished confidence. Of course, you can’t try to trick yourself into thinking positively about one lousy shot after another. Instead, you need to conscientiously decide to evaluate your performance naturally. Identify what’s going wrong with your game, and then examine strategies to address it. Focus your energy on the solution to shortfalls rather than the shortfall itself. Each way that an adjustment gives effect to the result that you’re hoping for, affirms that it’s working. Moreover, you’ll be better able to keep that forward-focused momentum for the duration of the round.