Qualities of Mind dot Goals dot Philosophy

Robin Williams Discusses the True Nature of Golf

It is important to go beyond Robin Williams' perspective about the game of golf into the psychology of playing great golf. Beyond hitting the ball straight and long to the best strategic places from which to play your next shot and consistently executing a great putting stroke, you must cultivate certain qualities of mind and achieve psychological goals in order to reach your potential as a golfer.

The Psychology chapter lists alphabetically psychological principles used by champion athletes from all sports to achieve the necessary state of mind--one which allows their bodies to perform at the highest skill levels.

These are some of the techniques champion golfers use to relax their minds during practice and playing rounds--

  1. Breathe deeply and regularly to relax.
  2. Stay in constant motion to keep your rhythm.
  3. Enjoy hitting the ball and making your best effort.
  4. Keep your positive attitude.
  5. Maintain your patience.
  6. Keep your composure.
  7. Laugh at your bad shots.
  8. Believe your next shot is critical.
  9. Practice individual shot consciousness.
  10. Forget your score.
  11. Stare at one thing on the horizon between shots.

There are several mental tricks to putting well. First, you must really believe you are a great putter. Next, you must really believe you will make every putt 12 feet and closer. Confidence is critical in putting. This will separate you from the competition because making most of your putts 12 feet and closer is the key to low scoring. Your next goal is to “score” on makeable birdie putts or it will be your psychological undoing. Finally, stay silent when you are on the greens. You will concentrate better than your opponents, who are engaged in a variety of irrelevant conversations, unrelated to your goal of making the putt you face.

Here is an example swing key from the Psychology chapter of Modern Golf Thoughts:


Always concentrate only on your present shot, blocking thoughts of all past and future shots from your mind.

Play golf one shot at a time. Focus your concentration in the present—the here and now. Individual shot consciousness is one of the most important skills in playing a great round of golf.

Show great patience when analyzing each individual shot. Never make hasty decisions or rush your shot in any way. Concentrate vigorously and exclusively on the shot at hand. Become aware and fascinated with every element of the shot you face.

Believe your current shot is the absolute, single most important thing in the world. Make 100% effort on every individual shot. Always believe you will hit a good shot this time. Concentrate on where you want the ball to go, then execute the shot to perfection. You will play golf to your maximum potential.

The Psychology chapter of Modern Golf Thoughts has 111 swing keys in these sections--Qualities of Mind / Goals / Philosophy.

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