The Positive Golfer: An Introduction


THINK ABOUT THIS: You’ve had a magical few days when all is well with your golf game and bragging rounds are posted.  You are convinced you’ve found the secret to the game and your confidence is at an all time high.  Then WHAM!  It’s gone as quickly as it came.

What changed?

It wasn’t necessarily your golf game.  It was your thought process.

Ask anyone who has tried to change their swing and they’ll tell you it doesn’t happen overnight.  So why would anyone think a golf swing could turn sour from one hole to the next?  Truth is, it doesn’t.  However, a good swing can yield strange and undesired results immediately by negative thinking.

Don’t let this happen to you.

The Positive Golfer will help you create new habits to lower your scores in the most time efficient manner; you will read stories of success and inspiration; you will understand how the mind influences the body’s actions.  You will learn:

–          skills to reduce anxiety and phobias

–          how to score when your game is not ‘up to par’

–          new approaches to negotiating hazards on the course

–          relaxation techniques

–          concentration and focusing secrets and more!

Visit this site each regularly for some new tips and insights you can use to improve your game…..and your life.  Detroit area Sports Psychologist Dr. Jackie Odom will add information, strategies, and exercises from the psychological world to supplement real-life experiences.






Today’s lesson:


Identifying your negatives………Does this sound like you?

“I never seem to play as good as I should.”

“I start out having a great round and then BOOM!  I crash and burn.”

“Why do I always get so nervous playing in front of people?”

“I’m the unluckiest person in the world!”

“If I could only relax….”

“If I had more time to practice….”

“Can’t play in the wind or the rain; have never been able to.  It bothers me.”

“My knees knock over a two-foot putt.”

“I have a lousy swing.”

“I’m too uptight to play in tournaments.”

“My handicap hasn’t changed in years.  I’ll never improve.”

“I can’t stand good players.”

“My game stinks!  I’m no good.”

If you’ve ever uttered anything like one of these statements, you will benefit from checking in on The Positive Golfer each week.  The first step toward solving your golf-esteem issues begins like anything else:  you have to realize you may have a problem.

The next time you play golf, simply try to take note of how often you think negative thoughts.  If you are really thorough, keep track and jot them down.  You’d be surprised how often the negatives creep into your brain and you create self-fulfilling prophecies.

Be wary of innocent moments such as when the lead off hitter hits one long and straight and your first thought is ‘Wow, I can’t top that.’  Or, all 3 players in your foursome make their putts and you think the odds are against you to make yours; or maybe your buddies all hit their tee shots into the woods left or right and you start to think which side of trouble you’ll be in?


This week, notice how negative you truly are…..or aren’t.


2 Responses to “The Positive Golfer: An Introduction”

  1. Jan Kilness

    Here in the uk we average around 6000-6500 of the yellow tees,so to give myself a chance of shooting that 80’s range what kind of length off long par 4’s in particular would you need to need to hit to give yourself a genuine chance to score?

  2. Janina Jacobs

    Hello Jan……..I am guessing you mean 6000-6500 yards as opposed to meters? If so, that yardage is fairly long for women’s yardage (of course, meters would be longer!) unless you are competing in a major ladies event. In the U.S., The Women’s U.S. Open is usually 6400-6600 yards, with the U.S. Women’s Amateur not too far behind. Many private clubs in the U.S. used to routinely have ladies yardages up to about 6000 yards (with lush conditions and little roll) with 5700-5900 as the favored range. Many have revamped forward tees and made them shorter – or added a new set of tees in the 5100-5400 yard range, a much more manageable yardage for most women. When we rate courses for women, we look at an ‘expert’ woman player and a bogey player, assuming their drives are about 210 and 150, respectively. The average woman hits the ball about 135-150 (with roll) and can only carry the ball about 80 or 90 yards from a fairway lie to the green…..which is good to know if one is hitting over water!

    To answer your specific question, you would need to hit it about 180 to 200 yards minimum to give yourself a fighting chance, assuming the rest of your game is in order. Long par 4’s, I think, are the toughest holes for women since the obstacles are also there for the men to deal with (elevated green, bunkers or water in front, lots of rough, undulating green complex) and women have an even tougher time, especially with elevated greens. Plus, you must hit two really good shots to either reach the green or get into position, assuming a hole that is longer than 350. Keep in mind that you can still shoot in the 80’s hitting it shorter than 180 – if you are deadly accurate, a good fairway wood player, and have a good short game. A few years ago, a shoulder injury prevented me from taking a full swing; yet even with the abbreviated swing and resultant loss in distance, I still managed to shoot in the 70’s and low 80’s – winning matches in a state Ryder Cup style competition pitting the best public course women players against the top private course players. It truly was a Positive Golfer mindset hitting 5-woods into greens when normally I’d hit a mid-iron like everyone else……but still put it within 10 feet for birdie.

    Kind of an interesting aside: I have always been in favor of shorter yardages for women because I know I’d get tired of having to hit driver/3-wood/3-wood on most holes; I also believe that longer yardages favor only one part of the game and the player who can hit it long; those players who have mastered other parts of the game are handicapped even before they step on the course. I am also in favor of putting the lads on the forward tees and letting them have a go at it (if they think it is so easy) – I doubt many could break 80 despite the shorter yardage because they’d likely lack the course management skills. But can you believe who objects the loudest when clubs want to shorten the tees and make the yardage more equitable for women? Yep – the women! Apparently they are used to the yardage and don’t want change.

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