AWSI: Cultivating Golfer Confidence is Doable – Part 2


Last week we did an AWSI post in response to a piece appearing in The Wall Street Journal (Americans Want to Play Golf—Until They Try It). Annie let loose with her thoughts in Part 1. In case you missed it, the short video below will give you a sense of her game plan.

In this post, the emphasis is on ways to practice to gain competence (and confidence).

Practice, Practice, Practice: You aren’t going to roll on up to a golf course with any sort of confidence, competence or level of comfort if you don’t spend some time getting your muscle memory trained and your mind visualizing your route from tee-to-green. Fortunately there are really fun ways to practice without the stigma of “everyone’s watching me.”


Practice in the Park using almostGOLF balls: What’s cool about these practice golf balls is that they do a really good job simulating a real ball, but go about 40% less distance-wise.

almostGOLF ball anatomy

almostGOLF ball anatomy

Much better than a wiffle golf ball, though those work too for practicing making contact and hitting straight.
See for yourself in this video:

The Floppy @ home.

The Floppy @ home.

Practice in your Home: Definitely where the wiffle ball works (make sure you mark yours for indoors vs outdoors to keep your carpet clean). Find a clear space and swing freely — challenging yourself to get up over a sofa or up a flight of stairs.

>>> Get The Floppy! Annie says, for indoors practice, nothing beats this hacky sack-style ball. You can get a really good feel for your swing hitting The Floppy with your wedges / lower irons. See it in action here:


Practice using a PS3: For course management, playing Tiger Woods Golf on a PlayStation is great. If you create a mini-me version of yourself and equip your bag with what you’d normally carry (6-Stick Challenge!) and use the practice mode with plenty of mulligans (do-overs care of the “O” button), you can get a sense of what stick works and where to hit the ball / place it in your stance.

Note: Annie swears by PS Golf and highly recommends the Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 by Electronic Arts. GameStop has it for $30. A used PlayStation 3 can be had under $140 there. Well worth the investment.

Also noteworthy: Don’t bother with a PlayStation 4 and the new(er) Rory McIlroy PGA Tour game because for some reason, EA punted on practice mode.


Practice on Course: You know how pilots in training have to put in a certain number of hours before they earn their wings, right? It’s kind of like that. The best way to learn is to get on the course and get yourself into various situations where you need to alter your stance and adjust how hard you swing.

Yes, this is the area where most newbies opt-out and find a new sport. Here’s a suggestion: Get a pal and play alternate shot. That means you take turns getting from tee-to-green and help each other out. The teamwork approach is a great way to get out of your own way — thinking to much about each shot.

Also, try to find “off-hours” times to play. The really fast folks go out at first light (sunrise). Try jumping off the Back 9 and be off and you’ll be well through your round before those speedsters get to the 10th hole. On the opposite end of the day, try playing a Twilight round (much cheaper green fee by the way) and focus on the Front 9 only.

On course play can be a lot of fun if you take this type of approach.

That’s a wrap. Annie says her PlayStation is calling (Torrey Pines, then Spyglass, then Augusta National).

In the next part of this series, we’ll talk about paradigm-busting ways to get more comfortable on the course.

Thanks for reading!

-The Gang

Bonus Content:

Swing Tunes
To be discussed in a future post. It’s okay to listen ahead.

Playlist of Golf Tunes

Golf Tunes


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