October 24, 2011

Creating Positive Pressure For Golf


Once your game is in a place where you’re ready to take it out to the golf course, one of the goals of mental training for the golfer is to challenge yourself in your training on a regular basis such that you feel continual “positive pressure”. Why is this important? 

One of the biggest complaints from players is that they have a hard time taking what they do in the practice area onto the golf course.  This is largely because what you do in practice rarely looks or feels like what you do on the course!  Creating positive pressure helps minimize the differential between the practice and competitive environments.  Many golfers, amateur and professional alike, train with a level of intensity and purposefulness that is much less rigorous than the actual competitive environment.  When I design a schedule for peak performance, I want your practice procedures to be fixed, intentional, and very specific.  Here are some examples of creating positive pressure:


            Full swing

            Change targets frequently

            Change clubs frequently

            Use a full pre-shot regularly


Hitting 25 five-irons in a row may ultimately help you groove your five-iron swing, which can be helpful.  However, it feels nothing like how it feels to hit one five-iron to a target and then hit another one 10 minutes later to a different target.



Change targets after every chip

Set a goal of getting a certain number of chips within a certain radius of your target

Change lies regularly and compel different types of shot 



This “forces” you to take more time on each shot, be more deliberate and thorough in preparation, and evaluate with a tangible number of successes to count.  This is like “real golf” on the course. 



Use the pre-putt routine, including reading the green

Use only one ball

Alternate types of putts so that you’re not putting the  

same putt twice in a row


This putting procedure can initially annoy some players. The preparation for each putt feels like it takes a long time, and it feels like you’re not rolling as many putts in the same amount of time.  When you see the results on the course improving, you will be sold. What I’m advising here is practice efficiency – quality rather than quantity.   How accurate is the feedback that you’re getting from the type of practice that you’re used to?  If you drop three balls, hit one that’s a little right of the target, hit one that’s a little left, and finally sink the third this does almost nothing to help you get ready to play a round of golf.  This has no resemblance to what you’re about to do when you step onto the course.


The bottom line here is; quality practice develops the callous that mentally toughens the golfer to endure the rigors of competition.  Make sure your practice plan challenges you to stay focused, remain on task, and maximize productivity!



Jeff Troesch is an internationally recognized expert in the field of mental skills training and performance enhancement and has been involved in training athletes and other elite performers for nearly 18 years.  Jeff served as Director of Mental Training for David Leadbetter’s Golf Academies, where he was instrumental in assisting in the development of the training programs and methodology that continues to produce golf champions around the world. He works with several touring professionals and amateur players – assisting them in the creation of optimal training plans and developmental strategies.  

Jeff’s work and his opinions have been featured in several media outlets, including: Golf Digest; Golf Week magazine; Asian Golf Magazine; Baseball America; Fox Sports’ “Going Deep”; Gillette Sports Week; Wide World of Sports; Tennis Magazine; and several international publications.  Jeff speaks annually at selected AJGA events and continues to be a regular columnist for Golf Extra, Scratch Golfer, Par Four, and Texas Junior Golfer magazines, as well as The Desert Sun newspaper.




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