How to Use Golf Training Aids to Train Your Brain

You're having a good round through 14 holes. The kind of round that could turn into a personal best if you can just avoid any big numbers on the way in. Strolling with some trepidation up to the 15th tee, you set down your clubs and look down the fairway. It's your nemesis hole, a par 4 with a lake on the right off the tee and some wicked sand trouble to the left.

It seems like you never escape this hole without some damage. The last time you played it you put two in the water and made a snowman – NOT good. If somehow you can just sneak past this hole unscathed one time, you think you can finish strong.

As you tee it up and go through your pre-shot routine, a lot of nasty thoughts creep in and set up camp. The first and most obvious is "DO NOT hit it in the water again." This is followed by a bunch of reactive thoughts like, "Do not think about the water or the ball will go there" and "Do not hit a slice, but do not pull it into the sand."

You've been hitting it pretty straight all day, so you've chosen a target on the left side of the fairway. But in the middle of your swing you remember that you did the same thing last time and still sliced ​​it in the lake. You over-compensate and spaz to the left, yanking the ball left into a gaping bunker.

You then proceed to make a mess of the hole, coming away with a double bogey. Your mindset ruined, you chop away at the remaining 3 holes and end up with an average round instead of tidy personal best you were gunning for.

If this type of thing happens to you more than you'd like to admit, and you're really sick of it, consider adding some mental training to your practice routine. Mental training can relax the mind and free you up from anxiety, allowing you to get out of your own way on the road to lower scores. The mind is the most important tool in the golf arsenal, so it's surprising that most golfers spend so little time training it.

Most golfers I know would rather spend $ 400 on new driver than buying a golf training book or video for $ 30 and actually take the time to read / watch it. So adding some mental preparation to your game can really give you an edge over the competition as well.

But how do you do it? How do you train your mind to have the crystal clarity and laser focus that you need to play your best golf? The answer is simple: golf training aids (ie books, videos, etc). Yep, books and videos are golf training aids for the brain.

Just asitting long, straight drives requires lots of training for the body, performing your best under pressure requires practice for the mind. Here are some tips for finding the brain training aids that will help you maximize your results:

1. Get a variety. No single book / DVD, etc. has a monopoly on all the good knowledge about the mental aspects of golf. Find training aids on general golf psychology, course management, putting, practicing, and meditation. Make sure that everything you buy has a section on strategies for dealing with pressure and stress, because that's the name of the game when it comes to competitive golf.

2. Make sure that the training aids you buy have specific exercises to help you get better. You can not master these techniques without practice. It is also helpful if any practice range exercises are condensed into short lists so you can easily copy them and bring them to the course – it's hard to remember a lot of exercises without referring to the book and this can be cumbersome.

3. Practice visualization at the range before EVERY shot. Imagine a specific situation on the course, visualize the shot you need to hit, and then go into your pre-shot routine. If you do this consistently then you will start to do it automatically on the course.

4. Drills that involve some type of manufactured pressure can be really helpful for improving your game. For example, after your round, go to the practice range and make five 5-foot putts in a row before you go home. Once you have mastered this, then move the goal up to ten 5 footers in a row. Nothing makes you concentrate more than knowing you have to make this putt or start over, especially when you've just made nine in a row for the third time and you're getting hungry.

Good luck and commit to every shot!