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New York Yankees Hall of Famer Yogi Berra said: “Baseball is 90 percent mental and the other half is physical.”

A similar thing could also be said about the game of golf. While having great physical skills can certainly take you a long way on the course, the mental game can be just as vital. You can see the effects of this in many tournaments where players inexplicably start spraying shots all over the course. Their skills haven’t suddenly abandoned them; their mental focus has. The poster child for this might be Phil Mickelson; his signature breakdown being the 2006 US Open.

For amateurs, I’ve always had a sense that the mental game may be even more important than it is to professionals. Given my limited set of physical skills, I’ve found that having the discipline to make good decisions; the fortitude to stay on an even keel; and the focus to maintain swing consistency makes as much as a ten stroke difference in any given round.

There’s also this: in spite of all of the improvements in club and ball design, and in swing coaching, the average score remains today what it was forty years ago: 100.

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