Mental training & the game of golf

Mental training & the game of golf


an exciting combination

PGA pro Markus Teubner knows why mental strength is crucial for a good game of golf and how it can be trained. At his Systema Golf Academy in Zell am See-Kaprun, he focuses on holistic training. At the start of the golf season, the pro reveals why the right breathing technique is important on the golf course, and what shot preparation has to do with brushing your teeth. 

They are at the ready as soon as spring arrives in the Zell am See-Kaprun region: golf enthusiasts who are already looking forward to their rounds at Golfclub Zell am See-Kaprun Saalbach. Boasting two 18-hole courses, the Schmittenhöhe Golf Course and the Kitzsteinhorn Golf Course, the golf club offers two completely different sporty challenges. 

There is one person who knows exactly what it takes to play well here: Markus Teubner. The former national golf player is an accredited PGA pro of the highest level and founder of the Systema Golf Academy, which is based in the region. Here you can book private lessons with the pro, but you can also take lessons, get your license to play golf courses or enjoy junior camps.

The fascination of golf: every day is a new challenge

Markus Teubner's love of golf has lasted for more than 35 years: On the initiative of his father, the native of Zell started playing golf in 1986. Hesitant at first, Markus Teubner quickly became an enthusiastic player - and the passion for golf has never left him since: "What fascinates me so much about golf is the permanent challenge. Every day is different, every shot is different. It can take four hours to finish a round, and you must stay focused at all times," says Teubner. "It's not possible to think one hundred per cent ahead for every shot, but with training it's easier to plan. Everyone makes mistakes, what counts in the end is the number of good shots."  

However, the pro understands training not just as sports training; as a sports psychologist and mental coach, he advocates a holistic approach. "When I play tennis, for example, I have to react to the next ball in a flash. I can't think about the next stroke for long - quite different from golf. There you have a lot of time to think. At the same time, nervousness can increase: You have to be able to handle bad shots and defeats in order to keep playing well." To achieve this and to reach the ideal state, there is only one thing you can do to get in the flow during a round of golf and to succeed in all processes: practise, practise, and more practise

Stroke preparation, breathing technique, course management: The 3 key techniques

Teubner relies on various mental techniques and reveals his three tips. "Firstly, shot preparation is extremely important. It must become a ritual, like brushing your teeth every day. You set yourself a clear goal, visualise it and focus only on that goal."

Breathing also plays an essential role. "If you are stressed, you breathe superficially. The muscles are tense, fine motor skills are lost and that becomes a problem in golf, where precise shots are important. That's why deep abdominal breathing is so important."  

This can be trained just like course management: "It's about unpacking the shots you can really do during your round of golf. You don't have to hit a heroic, aggressive shot, but rather play defensively and deliberately. The sum of the shots decides a good game."

Enjoying the sunrise while playing golf | © Zell am See-Kaprun Tourismus
From child’s play to good player - and why you should start playing golf from an early age

And how long does it take to become a really good player? "With golf, it's advisable to start at a young age and lay the foundation." However, anyone can become a good amateur player within about three to five years.  
To encourage children as early as possible, Teubner also offers special junior camps at his Systema Golf Academy in Zell am See-Kaprun in July and August. Here, young golfers between ten and 18 years of age - and from up to 15 nations - hone their golf playing skills, have lots of fun and benefit from professional guidance for one or two weeks.



Golfing on summer vacation | © artisual
Golfing with the Kitzsteinhorn in view

But of course, getting started in golf in the Zell am See-Kaprun region is possible for everyone, regardless of age: private lessons as well as courses for beginners and advanced players can be booked at the Systema Golf Academy. At the academy, Teubner is supported by Lukas Wörgötter, another PGA pro. In addition to mental techniques, technical aids such as a 3D analysis device are also used in the lessons: This can be used, for example, to precisely evaluate the swing at the tee, and to improve it based on the results.  

The training is of course conducted on the courses of the Zell am See-Kaprun Saalbach Golf Club. Teubner, who is always able to play other courses during golf trips, raves about his home club. "In principle, these are two different worlds right next to each other. The entire course is perfectly maintained and offers exciting holes that you have to approach strategically." Add to that the impressive panorama with the Kitzsteinhorn glacier in the background: you can always allow yourself be distracted by this for a few minutes - despite all the sporty ambition. 


Breathtaking scenery on the golf course | © Golfclub Zell am See