Let's refresh you with fundamental number 4, mind over golf:

  • Mind Over Golf - how your brain dictates your mood and outlook on the range and the course

Jack Nicklaus, who is arguably the greatest golfer of all time, was once quoted as saying, "Golf is 80% mental, 10% ability, 10% luck."


Jim Flick, one of the leading coaches of the past century, said,  "90% of golf is mental, and so is the other 10%."


Bobby Jones once said, "You swing your best when you have the fewest things to think about."



These quotes say it all and that's why mind over golf is a key component in my 4 fundamentals. It is not something that should ever be taken for granted, it will always play a major role in my coaching technique.


Here are a few examples that will make you think:

  • Golf is generally an individual sport, not a team sport. (Isolation) You must take full responsibility for everything that happens on the course.
  • A round of golf can take 3-5 hours. (Concentration and stamina) We often spend too much time thinking about shots that that we have already played, and usually the shots we played poorly. Remember, we can only affect the future!
  • When I go to the range to practice have I got a plan? (Organisation) The large majority of golfers I see practicing are just hitting balls for hitting balls sake.


My key techniques to mind over golf are:

  1. Visualize your best shot
  2. Keep the routine
  3. Forget the last hole/past
  4. Be in the moment/take in your surroundings
  5. Structure to your practice

We are all guilty of falling into negative thinking on the golf course. The sooner we realise and accept that this is a normal human reaction to adversity, the easier it will be to use the tools above to your advantage.


  • We have all visualized the ball in the greenside bunker
  • We have all had many different routines
  • We have all had a bad hole because we were thinking about a missed putt on the last green
  • We have all been thinking about stuff off the golf course, whilst on the golf course
  • We have all left the range thinking, what did I actually achieve?


Everyone who has played the game has fallen into these traps. Don't sweat it, there are always ways to overcome these natural reactions.

If you can think it, see it, feel it, hear it, say it, and organise it, you can definitely do it! 


Karl Knight


The 18th hole at the Wildernesse Club