Intellectual vs. emotional confidence

This is a huge distinction in making your golf game better. Right now I have intellectual confidence (not to be confused with false bravado which so many people exhibit on the range). I know my swing is as good as it has ever been and I am hitting the ball as well as I have in 10-15 years.

Chipping and putting are also going well.

Yesterday, I striped ten 2-irons in a row that landed within 30 fee of a pin at 245 yards. I hit a whole large bucket consisting of SW’s to a 105 yard pin and LW’s to a 60 yard pin. I hit less than 5 out of a large bucket that wouldn’t be considered PGA Tour worthy wedge shots.

I am brimming with intellectual confidence. I know my swing is repeatable, working smoothly with great rhythm and tempo and I am producing a consistent shot pattern. At the very least, I could win on the Nationwide Tour with the game I have right now.

Aye, there’s the rub. From 10-15 years of struggling with my swing, chipping feel and putting stroke…and shooting some atrocious numbers the last 5, my emotional confidence is shaky at best.

Lack of emotional confidence will push me into old bad habits. I have to maintain my intellectual confidence while building the emotional side.

Can I step on the range and pipe a driver 330+ at or near a target at the end of the range? Absolutely!!! Can I carve it into a 30 yard wide fairway with trees right and OB left during a tournament? I don’t know. I think I can, but I am not sure yet.

Now we reach the point that can help all of you.

The fewer the swing thoughts you have, the easier it is to build your intellectual confidence, because that makes your swing easy to execute over and over again on the range.

Emotional confidence is built on the course and during pressure situations. The more you are put in those situations and the more times you succeed vs. fail…the stronger your emotional confidence becomes.

I am playing my first real tournament in 2 years at the end of this month. I am not nervous or anxious. I am cautiously optimistic, but need to know what it feels like to have it mean something again. I am perfectly capable of shooting 20+ under par for four rounds and winning. I am also capable of struggling to commit to hit the shots.

I will learn a great deal no matter what I shoot and again we get to the part that can help you. Build intellectual confidence on the range and build emotional confidence on the course by learning to commit to the shot and letting your range confidence take over.




  1. Calvin D

    Find a place to practice where you can hit around over and between trouble.

  2. s.

    Based on your screenplay, I have a hunch that you have no great fondness for caddies.

    Will someone with a good caddy have you outnumbered…two heads to one?

    Maybe if you’re looking for ideas to write about: what you like from a caddy, what you don’t like. Can a caddy settle somebody down, or is that overrated? Do you re-count your clubs before teeing off?

    • Monte Scheinblum

      I don’t dislike caddies at all. I was just retelling some funny stories that I experienced.

  3. Fred Finch


    You were always too damn smart for this game (i am being serious), and only god knows how much stuff is going thru your head when you play. Take it as a compliment, i suppose. I think your intellectual side gets in the way when you play, since you have always been so cerebral. I bet you few, if any, Tour players have the academic acumen you possess, which i think can be a hindrence in golf at the highest level. Thoughts on this?

    • Monte Scheinblum

      Agreed. You obviously know me all too well. Who is this? 😀

    • Calvin D

      Joe Kennedy offered a bet that more good players wear a size 6 and 1/2 hat than wear a 7 and 1/2.

  4. Fred Finch

    Ah, my name is not Fred Finch but probably like many on this blog i know you well and am rooting for you. You’ve got the raw talent to make it. Always have. Anyway keep up the good blog and work your tail off like never before to get to that next level. This will be fun and interesting to follow.


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