How to get confidence in golf

Today, I want to discuss Confidence and whatever that means to you.  Recently, I interviewed a 20-year sports psychologist who had taken teams to the NCAA finals in his sport and had coached professionals for years.  I asked him about Confidence and how you get it.

I’m not kidding when I tell you he said: “I don’t know any other way to get confidence other than to have success. You get confidence from past successes. Maybe a hypnotist can do some things but that’s been my experience. (he did not know that I do hypnosis…hah!).”

Anyway, I began to think about that on my last round when my golfing partner mentioned that he always putts his best when he has confidence stepping up to the ball.  I agreed with him wholeheartedly that it seems that if you have the feeling like a ball is going in the hole, then that is the biggest factor in whether or not it goes in the hole or not, right?

Well, to take this further, I thought, well, I’ve made lots of putts when I DIDN’T have any confidence or I was just feeling nothing or neutral.

My brain always starts checking on my theories by taking them to the nth degree. In other words, a theory must hold up under extreme situations, it has to be taken to it’s logical end.

So, I tested this theory that you get confidence from having success… and it failed miserably. I thought about all the times I’ve had confidence with ever having any success AND, more importantly, I came to the conclusion that you DON’T EVEN NEED CONFIDENCE in order to have success!!!

Yes, confidence is a good thing. It certainly helps things…but it’s the cherry on cake! it’s not the cake!

Follow me here.  We were all babies at one time, right? And most of us learned to walk from scratch, right?  In other words, we learned to walk (got success) without ever having had any success at walking! Furthermore…we weren’t TAUGHT to walk.  We just learned it by trial and error and modeling grownup humans already walking.

Therefore, we created success without ANY previous success!  We had no confidence, just a DESIRE to walk and a willingness to get back up after we fall down. (maybe that’s all confidence really is)

I keep hearing from golfers saying that they lack confidence standing up there on the tee box about to hit an important drive.  Or that their last miss on the green was because of doubt. Or, that they lacked confidence about to speak or present to their team or boss at their job.

Sooooo, what’s the point of this article?  The punchline?

We don’t need confidence to do anything! The sooner you let go of that, the faster you will get confidence!

Really what happens when you do that, is you let go of some FEAR about whether or not you have confidence or not and can make this shot or not.  When you let go of the FEAR, that’s when you play to your natural potential.

The formula for success is:   Performance = Potential – Interference.

FEAR is the biggest interference in your golf game (and other areas of your life).

I’m going to get into this formula a lot in coming weeks. Stand by….

Greens and fairways,


  • AD says:

    Dear Craig,
    Fear is a common thing among all golfers. Fear is nothing but the unknown future of your next shot. What I do to overcome the fear is to go back to the basics. The basics includes my grip and swing, the ground conditions and the environmental conditions. If I faulter and I can assess my fault then I need to fine tune my basics e.g., I read the green for putt and if I could not make it then I find out my mistake, it can be my grip or my swing speed or the size of grass or the slope gradient or the time of day (generally greens are slower in the morning due to dews and are fast in the afternoons). If you can find out the mistake then you are a self coach. It will give you immense confidence.


    • Craig says:

      Excellent comments AD. Thanks for your ideas!
      Greens and fairways,

  • Johnny Parson says:

    I totally agree with you about FEAR! I am in fear most of the time on the golf course. Fear of hitting my drive out of bounds, hitting my irons fat, slicing my irons and driver, or missing a putt. I sometimes lose that fear and I have no idea how it happens. It happens. It would be nice to know what the secret is? I do not have a clue. It sure is nice to feel that feeling when you hit a good shot though.

    • Craig says:

      Hi Johnny,
      Thanks for your comment. I would hazard a guess that you lose the fear when you FOCUS on something else. This is a very powerful strategy and I go into detail about how to do that in my upcoming product: “From range to course”
      Stand by for more about that in my emails.
      Greens and fairways,

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