Act Like, Believe, Be

In my opinion, the most under appreciated aspect of golf is the mental game.  The average player, and even a lot of good players, don’t adequately appreciate how much their mindset dictates how they will play.  With that in mind, I offer this quick thought:

It is easier to BE a good player if you BELIEVE you are a good player.

It is easier to BELIEVE you are a good player if you ACT LIKE a good player.

Acting like a good player doesn’t mean being cocky and it doesn’t mean playing slowly; it simply means you should act, and treat yourself, like a good player would.  Force yourself to smile on the course and walk with your head up; it will make you feel better.   Don’t berate yourself for bad shots and don’t sulk.

Try This:

The next time you’re headed out to play golf, wear your best golf clothes.  Iron them the night before and polish your shoes so you look your best.  Get to the course early and warm up like a tour player would.  Walk to the first tee confidently, head up, shoulders back, and blast that first shot down the middle of the fairway.

I won’t guarantee that acting like a good player will make you a scratch golfer, but it will give you the best chance to play your best golf.

Recommended Reading

The books of Dr. Bob Rotella and the books by Marriott and Nilsson of Vision 54 are excellent resources if you’re interested in learning more about the mental game.

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Matt Saternus

Founder, Editor In Chief at
Matt is the Founder and Editor in Chief of Plugged In Golf. He's worked in nearly every job in the golf industry from club fitting to instruction to writing and speaking. Matt lives in the northwest suburbs of Chicago with his wife and two daughters.

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  1. Look good, feel good, play good. Great motto! Way back in High School our coach told us that you MUST walk in front of the other players in the group, unless you were talking to them; but never behind them. I never really thought of it at that time, but it kind of makes sense now.

  2. My preferred tag line is “Fake it til you make it”.

    Love this concept though. If you expect to miss you’ll probably be right, if you expect to make it you have a much better chance.

  3. PFCBirdieBabe

    “Believe & you shall Achieve”

    HaHa, ya know how I feel about this aspect of the game. If you believe it and you “see it,” you may not hit your best shot every time, however I promise you that if you don’t believe it & don’t “see it,” you absolutely WILL NOT hit your best shots consistently, if at all, lol

    And the part about lookin like a player?

    absolutely spot on!!

    Great article Matt!!

    Fairways & Greens 4ever

  4. PFCBirdieBabe

    BTW, that last post is from Richard, lol

    I’m at Di’s store and she said, “oh look at this article Matt wrote,” cuz she knows how I feel about the mental side of the game.

    I just posted, lol.

    Oh well, she agrees with me :-)

    Fairways & Greens 4ever

  5. RP Jacobs II

    LOL, well, it’s good to see my insanity travels ;-)

    I was just sitting there in Di’s store when she read that article and I don’t know why however I get much more excited over the mental side of the game and those articles than the physical.

    I can’t believe that I missed however she is much more observant than I, lol

    The 54 series is excellent also. For those of you that haven’t read any of their stuff, do your game a favor and get at least their first book.

    Again, great article Matt!

    Fairways & Greens 4ever

  6. Cedric Theofanous

    I’ve heard some good things about this “vision 54” I may have to finally dig into the first book.

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