Smart Golf: Preliminary Evaluation of a Simple, Yet Comprehensive, Approach to Improving and Scoring the Mental Game

in The Sport Psychologist
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  • 1 Center for Behavioral Medicine
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Smart Golf is a comprehensive approach to improving and scoring the mental game in golf. The five components are preparation, positive focusing (positive self-monitoring), plan, apply, and react. The acronym PAR summarizes the latter three components. A simple scoring system encourages golfers to self-monitor their use of the Smart Golf approach. In this preliminary evaluation of the efficacy of the approach, five experienced golfers (M years of playing = 17.8) participated in a 4-week seminar. Process measures indicated the extent to which participants used the approach. Outcome measures included golf scores at pre- and postintervention and at a 3-month follow-up. Psychological skills were also assessed at pre- and postintervention. Process analyses revealed that participants used the approach consistently during the seminar and follow-up period. All participants improved two critical psychological skills (emotional control and positive self-talk) as well as their average scores (at postintervention) and handicaps (at follow-up).

Dan Kirschenbaum, DeDe Owens, and Edmund A. O’Connor are with the Center for Behavioral Medicine, 676 North St. Clair, Suite 1790, Chicago, IL 60611. Electronic mail may be sent to

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