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Third in the series: Practice golf effectively

11) Have a process before your round
     Our mental coach for Practical Golf Insider wrote this article for us about what you can do to properly get yourself ready before your round. If you have some time before your round, try to establish a process that gets your mind and body ready for your round. This gives you the best chance of success, and will reduce some of the nerves that affect every golfer early in their rounds.
12) Control your breathing
     You might not know it, but golf can create so much stress that it triggers the “fight or flight” response in your body. Your heart beats faster, your blood pressure increases, and your mind begins to race. These are all things that make it harder to focus and stay in the moment. Here is a simple breathing exercise you can do on the course to calm yourself down and relax yourself. Plenty of professional golfers do controlled breathing during their rounds because it actually works. Most golf tips don’t explore this part of the game, but it’s an essential tool to have on the course.
13) Stop making excuses
     Every golfer has a story about why they shot the score they did. Often it includes placing the blame elsewhere. It could be the course, your clubs, the noise your partner made before you swung... the list goes on. Successful golfers generally don’t blame too many external factors for their play, they take responsibility for what occurred, and try to find out ways to fix it. The buck stops with you!
14) Work on your short game
     It might seem weird that this appears in the section about the mental game, but improving your short game can significantly lower the stress a golfer feels during a round. If you don’t feel comfortable with your ability to hit wedge shots and putt effectively, it will put a lot more burden on your tee shots and approach shots. Having a great short game can be a shield that protects a golfer from all of the errant shots that occur in your long game. When you know you have the ability to recover, you will not get as angry at yourself for missing the green with your 6-iron. We have a ton of great videos on how to improve your short game, from Brandon Stooksbury.
15) Set goals
     The best way to focus your mind on your complete golf game is to establish specific, measurable goals. This is a great way to motivate yourself, track your progress, and stay focused on your path to becoming a better golfer. This was one of the best golf tips ever given to me by my high school coach.
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