Finding the Calm Confident Golfer in You!

By Mary Hafeman

Having played on the LPGA Tour, I frequently have the question asked to me; how does it feel when you are in front of so many people hitting a golf ball on the LPGA Tour?  Are you afraid or worried that you will not hit the best shot especially on the 1st tee?  How do you handle all that pressure?

They are amazed when I say “no, I am not afraid or scared rather am feeling a bit of excitement to play.  I am ready to play golf.  I am prepared to test myself on the course.  I taught myself how not to be afraid but rather be confident in my abilities; to enjoy the competition and accept the outcome of the game.

It all started from the beginning, I learned how to play golf when I was younger.  It was fun developing my swing and playing on the course with my family.  But then I was asked to join our Junior Golf League to play in competition and met others that I did not know.  The thought of that was terrifying but with coaxing from my parents, I went out to find out that everyone was learning too.  It was fun.  As I progressed with lessons and more competition, I began to gain more confidence in my abilities; I gained more knowledge of how to play through winning but more from losing.  I practiced, played and took golf lessons to improve my swing and play on the course.  I kept thinking can I really play this game?  Can I be successful in reaching my goals of receiving a collage golf scholarship and ultimately play on the LPGA Tour?

Here’s what I did to overcome the obstacles of fear that was holding me back and reaching my goals including finding that calm confident golfer.

1. I sought out and found a great golf professional that I had rapport with that could coach and teach me the overall game of golf.  He helped me develop fundamentals and routines to score low. I stuck with him through the ups and downs of learning.

2. I made my mind up that I could do this – I set both long and short term goals.  I made adjustments along the way as I tracked my progress.  It wasn’t always easy!  I had to face my fears.

3. I played golf tournaments to challenge myself, learn from my competition and developed how to really score low on the course.

4.  I developed a great support system which included my family and friends.  I associated with people that had the same high goals and good attitudes.

5. I decided that no matter what the outcome – it’s not the end of the world.  I had the chance to start again – try again to give it my best shot to see a different result.  I threw out the words “could have”, “would have”, “I can’t” and exchanged them with “I will” “I can” I am going to”

So to answer the question posed to me- Are you afraid of the 1st tee shot or play on the LPGA Tour? My answer is no, not anymore.   I think back to all my experiences which gave me confidence in my ability.  I have a routine that I can depend on.  I have a wonderful support system who I consult with frequently.

I strive to do my very best each time I play golf.  I accept the outcome, review my results then go back to practice to figure out a way to improve.   I use these same steps in my everyday life.

Through the steps I have outlined above, I have found the calm confident golfer in me.  It’s my feeling that Golf is a lot like life – so many learning opportunities, ups and downs.

The Winners in Golf and in Life are usually the one that thinks he or she can.

For more information – please visit my website – 904-233-0989 –


ireland_2008_165-1_full1-150x150About the Author
Mary E. Hafeman, President and Owner of Fore in One Golf Services, is a highly regarded, accomplished player, instructor and operations specialist within the golf industry. In 2009, she created Mary Hafeman Golf Experience, a web-based community to fit the needs of a growing network of people interested in all facets of the game. Mary Hafeman Golf Experience provides a realm of experiences, from exceptional golf instruction, inclusive player development programs, customized travel, tournaments and outing series, to social networking opportunities for players of all levels.  Mary is a former player on the LPGA Tour, one of the games’s “Top 50 Teachers” according to Golf for Women magazine and recognized as a ”Top Teacher” by region by Golf Magazine.