Improve Your Focus During a Round of Golf With These 4 Important Tips

Adam Scott lines up a putt
Golf, whether you like it or not, is a long game. 
There aren’t many sports that can take nearly 5 hours to finish.
To play golf successfully you must learn how to keep your mind focused for each shot. Golf requires complete concentration, however only for short periods of time.
During an 18-hole round of golf, most amateur golfers tend to lose focus and make thoughtless mental errors — often happening during the final nine — which ends up costing them a number of strokes on their scorecard.
Any number of factors might result in the loss of concentration for a single swing, a few holes, or even a whole round. You might be distracted by an earlier shot’s poor outcome, the fear of making a mistake, or personal problems unrelated to golf. The brain’s energy and ability to focus for long periods of time can often fluctuate as well.
Fundamentals are critical in golf, but so is being psychologically strong enough to ignore distractions while playing. Read on to hear a few tips that can help you improve your focus during a round of golf.
“We’re most prone to emotions driving focus when our minds are wandering, when we are distracted or when we have information overload — or all three. Think about how this might apply to you in a typical round.”
—Dan Goleman, Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence

Turn Your ‘Golf Brain’ off Between Shots

Three golfers chatting on the golf course between shots.
Not many people have the ability to concentrate for an entire 5 hours. This is why it’s important to allow your brain to rest in between each shot as this will allow you to be able to focus when you really need to – your shot routine.
The best way to do this is dividing the round into your actual ‘shot’ and ‘in between shot’ time. The main focus of your concentration should shift from wide (your external environment), then back to narrow (your pre-shot ritual) during your actual shots.

Develop a Pre-shot Routine

Golfstateofmind's Pre-shot pyramid
Following on from the previous tip, the best way to block out unwanted thoughts is to give yourself something specific to focus on. Pre-shot routines are perfect for blocking out any distractions and also helps you maintain consistency throughout your game.
The pre -shot routines is one of the most acknowledged but underutilised mental game strategies, particularly by amateur golfers.
A pre-shot routine is a repeatable and methodical procedure (a sequence of thoughts, checkpoints, movements, or details) that is executed before hitting a shot.
One thing in common with all the top players in the world is that they all have a pre shot routine in some form or another (although each one may look very different to the others).
Professional players can often be obsessed about their routines; if the spectators make a noise during a player’s routine, he will walk away from the ball and begin the routine all over again. 
If you concentrate on executing the routine, you’ll be less likely to get distracted by other influences or overthink the situation.

Don’t Dwell on Your Bad Shots

Phil Mickelson wells fargo 2018 hands on head
So, you make a mistake and one (or more) of your shots don’t go quite how you’d like them to have.
It’s only natural to dwell, however dwelling on mistakes is the best way for you to lose concentration and destroy the rest of your round. It becomes even worse if you tend to get frustrated or down after a poor shot or hole.
Every painful experience in golf, provides a chance to learn and improve. After a poor swing or stroke, distance yourself emotionally and analyse what went wrong. Save the knowledge for later use – possibly on the following hole – and move on.

Don’t Underestimate Nutrition and Sleep

Golf club hitting an apple - nutrition for gofers
Because golf is not a physically demanding sport, nutrition is often ignored, however it is essential to for playing at the top of your game and not losing focus throughout the round. Eating the right foods before and throughout a round is a simple and effective approach to boost your energy and focus.
A foolproof way to improve your focus during a round of golf is to eat a well-rounded high-protein, complex carb meal before playing. This will help keep your energy steady throughout, instead of causing a ‘crash’ halfway through the round caused by simple sugars.
When it comes to any sport, sleep is just as vital as food and exercise in every top golfers training plan. Your entire physical and mental processes are pressured and overworked when you do not get enough sleep, and your judgement is also compromised.

Join Us on the 2022 GBT Tour

Four GBT Event Golfers Standing for a picture
If you’re into golf and business and want to put your golfing  skills to the test, why not join a golfing league that’s specifically aimed at business owners and like-minded individuals, like GBT Events.
Once we realised the potential that a game of golf could bring to your business connections, creating the ability to establish strong relationships outside the confines of the office and in a more social atmosphere, we had to create GBT Events.
GBT Events is more than just a simple golf tour; it’s also a networking group for business owners and professionals. You get to participate in a sport you love while also meeting like-minded business professionals.
Check out this year’s tour calendar, or take a look at our 2022 tour announcement for an introduction to our events.