When you can keep your head in the game, you will make better decisions, hit cleaner shots, and shoot lower scores. But if you feel like your focus wavers when on the course, we have you covered.

Follow these tips from professional players to keep and improve your focus on the course.

How can I improve my focus on the golf course?

The best way to improve focus on the golf course is to create a pre-shot routine that lets you stay in the moment. Thoughts about the last hole or the next hole can steal your focus. However, drinking water, eating healthy, and speaking to yourself positively will all help improve focus and decrease the percentage of poor shots.

Tips to improve your focus on the golf course

It can be difficult for amateur golfers to keep their focus on the golf course. When you don’t focus, your game struggles, and you end up with mental clutter. Here are some tips to improve your focus and play your best 18-hole round yet.

an infographic image of tips to stay focused on the golf course - AEC Info

Only think about the current shot

I know it’s hard to forget about shots that happened on the front nine or the bad swing you made off the tee. However, whatever happened in the previous hole and what may happen in the next has nothing to do with what you are doing right now.

Think about the current shot you are working on and get it as close to the hole as possible. Remember, golf is an emotional game, and you won’t do yourself any favors if you let your mind wander from the current shot you are playing.

Use a yardage book with notes

A yardage book can help bring your golf game back into focus. I take notes in my yardage book and ensure I have some tips for my iron shots, approaches, and putts around the green. A yardage book can be a trigger for your mind as well.

When you look at the information in the book, you may be able to bring yourself back into focus and hit the proper shot.

Eliminate bad energy

Negative energy as a stress response to a bad shot or mental error must disappear. How many golfers have you played with that have said, “Oh, you are terrible” or “What’s wrong with you?”. They say these things to themselves to get rid of their frustration, but it’s a bad idea.

When negative energy runs through your body, your heart rate increases, you use the wrong muscles in your swing, and you end up struggling to hit the shots you want.

Let the bad shots go, focus on the good ones, and eliminate all that bad energy.

Create a pre-shot routine you can replicate

A pre-shot routine is a way of telling yourself that you are ready to hit a shot. With a proper pre-shot routine, you trigger your brain to take a good swing. Keep the same pre-shot routine with your driver, fairway wood, and a pitching wedge.

If you can keep your routine the same, you can keep your swing the same. Of course, this isn’t a perfect science, but it does work to help improve focus on the golf course.

Turn the cell phone off

Your cell phone will not help improve your focus on the course. You will be too invested in the external environment and not have your mind on the course. If you have difficulty putting the phone down, at least put it down a few seconds before your shot time.

To hit accurate shots and think about work, school, the family, etc., is difficult. Save your mental energy for the shot you are about to hit.

Take a deep breath after the bad shots

Too many bad shots in a row will make it difficult to narrow your focus and stay on task. The average golfer gets angry after a poor shot, so it’s expected. But you have to rise above being average and, instead, work on becoming more relaxed and taking a deep breath after you hit poor shots. In fact, you can take a deep breath even when you hit great shots.

Letting your mind clear between shots will help you focus on the next one because you won’t be so worried about what could come next.

Choose a smart meal

When you make poor eating decisions out on the golf course, it can hurt your brain. You need proper nutrients and peak nutrition to be able to sustain yourself through a five-hour round of golf.

This is why you will see people who ate a hot dog and a soda at the turn start to slow down and struggle as they come towards the 18th green. Players who eat some fruit, a little protein, and some healthy fats will have no trouble making it through 18 holes of golf with complete focus.

Stay hydrated

Spending five hours out on the golf course is a long time. If you are not continually hydrating yourself, you will have a hard time focusing and managing the golf course.

I suggest taking a sip or two of water on every hole and plan to finish at least one water bottle for every nine holes of golf that you play. Drastic weather conditions such as high temperatures and high humidity will definitely play a role in your overall performance.

Use the range for practice

Finally, the last tip for staying focused on the golf course is to work on your practice shots on the driving range, not on the course. When you are too focused on your golf game and its mechanics while on the course, it becomes hard to stay focused on your golf game.

When you are out on the golf course, you have to hit actual shots. If your tee shot is a little off, or your chipping isn’t what you need it to be, go to the driving range and work on it your short game or driving accuracy.

On the course, play golf! It’s so much easier to stay focused.

Final thoughts

At this point, you should have a good understanding of what it takes to stay focused on the golf course. Whether you have a difficult shot in front of you or a simple 100-yard shot to the green, doing what you can to stay focused and keep your head in the game will make all the difference.

Use these tips to see what mental focus can do to your scores. I guarantee you will play some of the best rounds of golf you have ever played.