The Front Nine took a look at how important the mental side of golf is to your game, and how it's something you can improve upon - even without the help of golf psychologists.
Whitetail Ridge head pro Patrick MacDonald believes average players should try visualization - play the course in your head before you tee it up, and work on those shots on the range before hand.
"It's very important. Visualize each shot, visualize where you want to be on each hole. I always like to leave the range hitting whatever club I'm going to hit off the first tee and have a positive swing thought. It helps to make sure when I get on the first tee I'm prepared for that type of shot and I've thought about it."
"As you go around the course, what amateurs fail to realize is 'where is the worst place to leave it?' and play accordingly to that. If I mis-hit it, I'll end up here because it's not the worst place to be because I've thought about it ahead of time."
Another key for average players would be to after a bad shot.
"Once the golf ball leaves the club face, it's over. You can't do anything about it when it's in the air," MacDonald said. "The quicker you can put a bad shot out of your mind is only going to lead to better scores in your round. You just have to let it go and forget about it. It's hard to do, but the quicker all golfers can do that, the better they can score."
Then there is the "zone' that you hear athletes talk about from time to time. Here's what Davis Love III said about it...
"You get in a zone. I have had a couple really good streaks, three or four weeks or two or three months, and when you get in those streaks you're not thinking about how to go through your routine or how to play, how to turn it on and turn it off on the golf course, how to focus or how to get lost in the process. Right now I'm working on it, you know, and that's the difference."
Unfortunately for you and me, finding the "zone" might be a little tougher than working on visualization and working on "one shot at a time."
Said MacDonald: "Unfortunately I think that's directly related to talent. If you think about it, you're going to be out there for 4, 4 1/2 hours, and unless you're Tiger or something with unbelievable mental fortitude, you're not going to be able to keep it together for that long.
They key is if you get that rhythmn, to use it as long as you can and then once it goes away - which it will - is to not get wrapped up in it, just go with the flow, keep swinging the way you are."