187: David MacKenzie | Training Your Mental Game

We’ve been talking a lot about the importance of power, strength, and physical endurance in your golf game, but our guest, David MacKenzie knows that those components only make up a piece of the equation. Applying those physical abilities takes control and mental fortitude, which in themselves, need to be a prt of your training regimen.

David MacKenzie is the founder Golf State of Mind, one of the most well-read and highly regarded mental game blogs, and is a highly sought after mental game and performance coach. From amateur to pro, his one-on-one coaching program teaches mental toughness, emotional control, and how to focus on what’s important to maximize their chance of success.

David MacKenzie’s Background

  • David MacKenzie is a Mental Coach and the founder of Golf State of Mind. He currently works with golfers on the PGA Tour, Web.com Tour, European Tour, Challenge Tour, LPGA and LET, along with many elite juniors and amateur golfers of all levels.
  • Throughout David’s playing career, he learned quickly how attitude, self-belief, focus and mental toughness affect performance in golf. He knew that was the major difference between his average and great rounds. But the question was how did one improve these valuable skills and achieve “the zone” more often?
  • While studying at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, David began in-depth research into sports psychology and how elite performers apply their minds to practice and play. He interviewed hundreds of elite golfers and sports psychologists. He shared what he discovered via his website, “Golf State of Mind”, and it quickly resonated with golfers of all levels. Golf State of Mind is now the most popular resource for mental coaching for golf on the web. David now has 10 years experience working as a mental coach for golf.
  • David was able to effectively communicate the mental and emotional process that elite players are able to achieve on the course which helps them succeed. Although there are fundamentals to his approach, all players are different in what they need to focus on during a round and how they process their experience. For this reason, the Golf State of Mind is a player-centric approach that finds the best process for each individual.
  • David’s mental coaching system is taught one on one (in person or remotely), in clinics, and via his mental game training products. The system develops mental toughness, improves emotional control and teaches golfers how to stay focused on what’s most important to maximize their chance of success.

Highlights from this Episode

  • David kicks off the episode by talking about both the evolution of Golf State of Mind since the last time he was on, how as Golf Mental fitness as a concept has grown to be more accepted and utilized, who he sees using it and who he thinks could gain benefits from implementing this into their game, and what his program looks like from beginning to end.
  • How the most common mental mistake that he comes across is the overemphasis on results, expectation, and the pressure that comes with that. When you redefine what a successful round looks like (from just aiming for a low score to feeling good about how you are executing key factors), everything comes together and it sets you up for more long-term success.
  • He talks on problems he notices with the way people practice and how to practice with more purpose and intent like dividing practice time more sensibly, keeping stats on how you are performing, and leaving the ego at the door.
  • We talk on how to set mental game goals and what that looks like for David when he is working with his clients: How present you stayed in between shots, how well you accepted negative outcomes, nutrition, hydration, and core strategy are aspects of your game that are in your control.
  • What David recommends we look at and reflect on before we take a long shot, on the green, and after the shot to help keep us in the present during our golf game and help detach the emotions from it.

Parting Questions . . .

Caddy Shack or Happy Gilmore?  Caddy Shack

What is your walk-up song? Anything by Eminem

18holes with anyone in the world; who and where? Tiger Woods

Where to find David MacKenzie:





Free Resources from David!

David was Kind enough to put together some free resources for the 18STRONG community!  You can find them at https://golfstateofmind.com/18strong


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