Babe Didrikson Zaharias is known as one of the greatest female athletes of all time. She broke world records in multiple sports constantly breaking her own records. In the 1932 Olympics she won gold medals in the javelin throw and the 80-meter hurdles. After hitting 5 home runs in one baseball game, she was nicknamed “Babe” after Babe Ruth.

Babe excelled in basketball, baseball, track & field, and many other sports, but is best known for her achievements in golf. She won 17 amateur golf tournaments in a row, had a career total of 82 tournament wins, and 10 LPGA major championships. In 1949 she and Patty Berg co-founded the LPGA, transforming a predominantly amateur sport into a professional one as there were limited options for female golfers in the 1940s.

Despite all her athletic achievements Zaharias found that golf did not come easily to her like all the other sports. She would practice hitting as many as 1,000 balls a day, spending 4-6 hours on the practice range.

“They say golf came easy to me because I was a good athlete, but there’s not any girl on the LPGA Tour who worked near as hard as I did in golf. It’s the toughest game I ever tackled.” – Babe Didrikson Zaharias

There is an easier way

70 years later we have the tools to learn and play golf without all that effort. We now know that once you learn the mechanics of the golf swing, and trust that it is good enough, the game becomes 90-95% mental and 5-10% physical. It’s a game that is won and lost inside your own head. That is why almost every tour professional today uses the services of a sports psychologist and/or hypnotist.

What most people don’t realize is that for the first six years of your life, you soaked up everything like a sponge that you saw, heard, or felt, unconsciously, without effort and without judgement. Unless you have changed this subconscious programming that you downloaded from other people, science shows that 95% of every day you are still automatically reacting to those patterns.

For example, by the time you were five years old, you were told negatives or NO, 30,000 times. By the time you were 13 years old, you were told negatives or NO 100,000 times. You grew up in an environmentally negative society. You heard the word bad more often than good. You were told you were wrong more times than you were told you were right. You were criticized more times than you were praised. You were told not to do something more times than you were told what to do.

The mental state you are in on the golf course determines how you will play.

Here are six areas that can sabotage your golf game. Change your thinking to free up your mind for positive outcomes.

  1. Attitude

“A bad attitude is worse than a bad swing.” – Payne Stewart, PGA Tour Pro

To become a healthy, happy person free of debilitating feelings, involves learning to think differently. It requires being responsible for how you feel. It means taking action to change your thoughts. This is what is meant by an attitude adjustment.

To change a thought that has been reinforced hundreds of times requires reinforcement over and over again for the new thought to replace the old one. It then becomes your new belief system. It requires discipline and determination to let go of every thought that sabotages your golf game and your happiness. It is much easier to give up and feel sorry for yourself. In this world, it seems we receive more attention and pity when we are unhappy (or hit poor golf shots) than when we are in control of our life and are happy.

The bad news is that nobody can be positive 100% of the time and perhaps that is one reason why golf scores are inconsistent. The good news is that you can change your attitude, just as you can change any bad habit. Your attitude is your choice. The sooner you decide to choose how you will think positively about yourself and your golf game, the less anxiety you will have and the more you will enjoy your rounds of golf. Make your round of golf the most enjoyable experience possible.

  1. Worry

Worry is a state of mind that focuses on an outcome in the future. Nothing was ever accomplished by worrying, except to cause anxiety for the person doing the worrying. It is like carrying around an extra burden. When you are having fun you are focused in the moment and the game is easy.

There are two types of situations in life and in your golf game; those that you can change and those that you cannot change. If you are worrying about what you can’t change, you are wasting valuable energy that could be used to move in a more positive direction. Let go of what you can’t change and concentrate on taking an active role to create what you can control.

The easiest way to keep worry/fear feelings out of our minds is to realize and to accept that we cannot really control anything. In golf, as in life, we can only do the best we can with the knowledge we have at that time. You can choose to focus on distractions, trouble, past missed shots, lack of confidence, what others are doing, or the score. Or you can choose to focus on the best that can happen in the present moment. What you focus and think about the most you will attract into your life. Keep all your thoughts focused on what you want to create.

  1. Blame

You are your most important critic.  Nothing is more critical than the opinion you have of yourself. What you say to yourself in your inner mind is the most important conversation you will ever have.  You become confident by affirming yourself.

Don’t waste your round of golf looking at half empty glasses and making a victim of yourself!!!

You go against yourself when you Judge or blame yourself, other players, the weather, the golf course, your golf club, or anything except yourself for playing badly.  When you have good self-esteem and feel good about yourself, you take responsibility for your actions, on and off the golf course. Then you are tapping into your Authentic Self by using the mental tools of responsibility, acceptance, and forgiveness.

Keep doing your best.  If you always do your best, there is no way the Judge within can find you guilty or blame you.  When you give it your best effort, you learn to accept yourself. Practice, learn from your mistakes and look honestly at the results. This increases your awareness of your True Self.

  1. Fear

The one thing that keeps you from the results you desire is FEAR. We each have our own fears because our own minds create these fears. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, or the fear of not being good enough are not real. They are imagined as a protection against what might happen. When you are fearful, or worrying, you are limiting yourself from achieving your dreams and goals.

Fear is a powerful feeling and is the opposite of the most powerful feeling; love. The mindset that you have on the golf course determines not only the enjoyment you will have, but also the success you will achieve. Everything in the universe is connected by love. We are disconnected by fear.

Fear can be overcome when you face it fearlessly. When you deal with it, you can conquer it and it won’t last forever. When you play fearless golf, there is no anxiety. Never let fear stop you from following your dreams. Instead of letting it hold you back, use it as motivation to achieve your goals.

Thinking about things that do not support your desires is a waste of time and effort. Begin to form the right state of mind by deciding which thoughts and emotions will help you to achieve it. You can use visual images, positive self-talk, affirmations, and empowering emotions to enhance your self-image to make your dreams a reality.

  1. Punishment

Humans punish themselves endlessly for not being what they believe they should be.  It is the Judge, the Victim and our belief system within that make us do this.  The way we judge ourselves is the strongest judge there is. When we miss a shot in front of other people, we try to deny the mistake and take the attention off us by covering it up with excuses and rationalizing why it happened. To be a champion golfer, you need to seek your own approval, not the approval of others.

Self-esteem is the issue. Children learn early on that when a parent, teacher or trusted authority figure says you do something wrong, you need to be punished because you are bad. Hearing these messages over and over, they are programmed into your subconscious mind and take on the role of the authority figures even after they are gone. When you are standing over the golf ball and one of these self-doubting thoughts surfaces, your self-sabotage takes over and punishes you with a missed shot.

  1. Judgment

Judgment is the comparison between how something seems and how we think it should be. We would like to believe that we could hit every golf shot perfectly. And when we don’t do that, we feel frustrated, embarrassed, humiliated, and reject ourselves because we feel inadequate. In other words, we pretend to be what we are not (perfect), because we are afraid someone else will notice that we are not what we pretend to be.

To maintain our balance and composure, it is necessary to look at the game of golf/life in a different perspective. We need to forgive ourselves for being human, for making mistakes. This is the answer to Judgment. It requires a change of attitude and a new belief system. There is no right or wrong. It just is.

Golf is management of imperfection. Each shot is a story. When it is over, you begin a new story.  Instead of blaming yourself for your mistakes, learn from them so you won’t repeat them. When we are “in the zone” and playing at our peak performance level, we are trusting and allowing, having intensified concentration and total focus on making the shot —– just enjoying the experience.

Play “in the zone” with Joan

Entrain Your Heart & Mind for Peak Performances

Don’t make the mental game of golf your last resort for success and happiness. Just by listening to self-hypnosis audios you can change your limiting subconscious thoughts to positive self-affirmations.

To help you imagine or visualize the peak performances that you are capable of, I have recorded eight self-hypnotic CDs full of imagery and positive affirming thoughts.  All eight different CDs are also available now in MP3 form at

If you aren’t able to maintain trust and belief in yourself on the golf course or have trouble figuring out what your blocks are, email Joan at for a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation about developing a new strategy. Learn what is missing in your golf game so you can achieve the success you desire.

“THE HEART OF GOLF, Access Your Supreme Intelligence for Peak Performances” explores and explains negative emotions such as fear and performance anxiety, the four Cs of mind blockage, the four progressive stages of learning the supreme intelligence of the heart, and the way to access the zone in competition. It is a player’s guide for developing your true inner self by returning to the joy and love of self instead of seeking praise and rewards from the outside world. 

“THE HEART OF GOLF” guidebook for transforming your life and your golf game is available on Amazon and Kindle at 


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