As Mental Health Awareness Month comes to a close, some of us are more aware of our mental health than usual given the state of the world. Regardless of your core beliefs, there’s something out there you’ve found worth stressing over or being fearful about I’m sure. Golf is what brings us together here at Stick & Hack, but it’s so much more than just golf banter. We like to hope that our content brings joy, inspires, motivates, and helps people be the best they can be and achieve what they want, with a healthy dose of laughter – through the vehicle of golf. 

So in honor of the month of May, which is near and dear to my heart, I want to give you a fun little mental health game you can pair with your golf game to assess how you’re doing and even find ways to improve your mental health along the way!

The following mental health game has 9 steps. You might find it’s a good way to set the tone in the first 9 or a way to settle into the back. Or heck, double up and go through the game twice!

Hole 1 – as you approach the tee box, think about the main reason you came out here today. 

Hole 2 – take as many deep breaths as the number you shot on hole 1.

Hole 3 – think of 3 things you are grateful for today. 

Hole 4 – close your eyes and identify as many different things you can hear as your score from hole 3. 

Hole 5 – think of the most frustrating thing that happened this week and see an image of it on your ball. As you tee off, see that frustrating thing sailing far away from you.

Hole 6 – as you stand in the tee box, before you approach the ball, imagine the person who has most impacted your love for golf.

Hole 7 – identify 7 things you can feel (club weight in your hands, ground below your feet, sun on your skin, etc.).

Hole 8 – think back to the best shot you’ve ever hit and reimagine it. 

Hole 9 – whatever your score from hole 8, think of that many things that have gone well through these 9.

Taking time to balance our mind through our round helps is to tap into our mind and body which, in turn, can help promote better mental health. Better mental health can also improve our golf game. We know that when we feel well, we often play well. Additionally, paying attention to things other than the shots can also get us out of our head, reduce overthinking, and ultimately improve our game as well. 

Hope your May was well, friends. May your mind and body be well as we enter the summer months.

Dr. Chelsi Day

Dr. Day is a licensed clinical psychologist. She is an Ohio native who completed her Bachelor's degrees in Psychology and Health and Sport Studies at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio while competing on the Varsity Swimming and Diving team as a diver. She then went on to earn a Master's degree in Sport and Exercise Psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology followed by a Master's degree and later a Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University New England in Keene, NH.