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  • Writer's picturePaul Tolley

Performance and Human Skills Programme Autumn 2022

Dear Golfers,

I hope that you are enjoying your season and as we approach the latter part of the year, it may be wise to reflect on our performance and start to look to the future as to how we can improve and increase our enjoyment of this wonderful game.

One of the elements of the game which affects our performance is how we control our thoughts and emotions whilst playing. Sports psychology explores human behaviour in the sports environment. It helps sportsmen and women understand the stress of competition and teaches them to manage their behaviour in a pressure situation. Therefore, the aim of performance coaching/psychology in golf is to help golfers maintain and improve their performance whilst playing the game. By encouraging golfers to manage how they think and manage their emotions, the probability of successful performance is greatly enhanced. These skills, like their technical counterparts, must be practiced regularly before they become a customary habit on the golf course.

We are what we think and what we think about ourselves as golfers appears on the score card ! Before you dismiss the importance of thinking correctly and the effect it has on our game, you should consider the following;

Most golf instruction concerns itself with the actual time you are playing golf, the shot routine part. If an average round of golf takes 4 hours, which is 240 minutes, and each shot takes about 40 seconds to play, this means that a round of 72 shots would take approximately 48 minutes of play. This leaves 192 minutes on the course (more than 3 hours), when you are doing something other than playing golf.

How many of you have ever had a lesson on what to do with yourself during this time? What you do with yourself and more importantly, your mind during this time will determine your golfing experience and your score. Your attitude and self talk (what you say to yourself and how you say it) during this time will influence what goes on the score card. Most people will use this time to berate themselves, to complain about parts of their game, to moan about the condition of the course, the weather and/or their playing partners and forget that they are supposed to be enjoying themselves and are attempting to play the game of golf to the best of their abilities.

Is it any wonder that our performance suffers and our expectations are never met?

You should be aware that despite what the golf industry is telling you, not all errors that you make whilst playing are caused because of poor technique. Your thoughts, emotions, mindset and where your attention is concentrated also have a bearing on the outcome achieved. If we examine the definition of cause and effect analysis then it would be as follows;

"It is something that happens (the effect) and that which makes it happen (the cause). Every motion (cause) produced with our body or our club and every thought (cause) or changes of thought (cause) have certain reactions (effects)." You may recall that in the Spring of this year, I conducted several performance coaching programmes with a varied group of participants, all of whom greatly enjoyed the process and have continued to improve their performance and enjoyment of the game. Below are testimonials given by golfers who have attended and completed the programme.


"I found the Performance Skills Programme interesting, informative and most importantly beneficial to my golf game. It’s presented in a light, informal and conversational style with lots of interaction. Through a combination of written and fun practical exercises Paul gets you to concentrate on the task in hand and develop an understanding that better scores come from acceptance of all that a round brings."


"I have to say the programme has had an extremely positive effect on my game. I feel a lot calmer and more in control of myself. I am pleased I attended the programme and now feel I have the tools to find a way forward to improve my game in terms of enjoyment and performance."


"After completing the programme, I am now really enjoying my golfing journey, finding it intriguing rather than frustrating. I can now be rational about various aspects of my game whereas before I just chastised myself."


I have received a number of enquiries as to when I will be conducting other programmes and with this in mind, I am pleased to announce that I intend to start in October 2022. The exact dates and times are not yet fixed and are dependent upon your feedback regarding numbers, best day and time and availability. To this end I would ask that if you are interested in attending this programme that you indicate via the link below your preferred day and time to participate. This will enable me to satisfy the maximum number of golfers who wish to benefit from attending.

For those of you that are not familiar with the content or structure of the programme, I have attached a document below which outlines the themes covered. The programme will be conducted at Porters Park Golf Club over 4 sessions each of 1.5 hours with 3 sessions being indoor presentations and 1 practical session on the practice area. Groups will be limited to 6 people and cost per head for the 6 hour program is £150.

Download PDF • 94KB

I look forward to hearing from you and helping you achieve and play the type of golf of which you know you are capable.

"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." - Barack Obama

Together we can change how you think, how you feel and how you play the game.

Best regards,

Paul Tolley

Director Performance Golf Coaching

Master Teaching Professional

Golf Psychology and Performance Coach

Visual Skills Specialist

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