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Even speaking as a casual player and fan of the sport, there is no getting away from the fact that golf really is a funny old game. In an average tournament, a player takes maybe 280 shots over four days, with maybe a third of them being from no further away from the hole than 25 feet. The sporting physical activity—apart from walking—lasts maybe 20 minutes. Every player who starts a tournament is a scratch golfer who can drive the ball 280 yards plus, chip to within five feet of a hole and putt with deadly accuracy.


Yet in every tournament, dozens of players start at 80-1, 100-1 or more. What’s the difference between those at the top and the also- rans? The simple answer is, it is all in the mind. The best players have the mental concentration and toughness to compete through to the end of a tournament.


This means they have to be disciplined on the tee and find fairways, to keep their nerve on the green with tricky short putts and withstand the pressure over the last nine holes of a competition when they are in contention. The mental side of golf shows in many ways. The number of times professional golfers put together a string of impressive performances is largely down to the confidence factor. When they are happy with their swing and they are hitting greens, the putts start sinking.