Debbie O'Connell on the golf course

5 Daily Habits That Improve My Golf Game

Debbie O'Connell on the golf courseAre you looking for simple habits you can add to your daily routine to improve your golf game and feel great at the same time? I’m Debbie O’Connell, an award-winning golf instructor, an LPGA champion, an NCCA basketball Final Four athlete, and the published author of “Golf Positive! Live Positive!” Although I incorporate a lot of proven techniques and tools into my routine, these five things help me feel energized, empowered, and ready to tackle any obstacle on or off the golf course!

Start My Day with Gratitude

My first thought as soon as I awaken is, “What am I thankful for?” This puts me in a positive mindset for the day and an upcoming round of golf. Have you ever noticed how negative thoughts turn into negative speech and, sooner or later, a negative attitude that impacts everything you do and all the people around you? It’s the same as when you have an off day on one hole and you are unable to recover after that because you are still focused on that one mistake you made three holes back.

Therefore, I’ve learned through a lot of trial and error that maintaining an attitude of gratitude from the beginning of my day until I go to bed at night directly relates to how well I’ll play. Plus, with my ability to concentrate on what is going right instead of what is going wrong, I am able to build my relationships with my fellow golfers while helping them find the joy in their game as well. Talk about an easy way to give your day an energizing boost!


Meditation requires a bit more effort and discipline than developing an attitude of gratitude because it means setting aside time to specifically be still and focus your mind. This can be a bit of a personal growth journey, especially for those who struggle with not being in a constant state of movement. That said, I highly recommend trying it. 
Through meditation, I get grounded and tap into my intuition. Think of it as the selective hearing feature in your earphones. I want to dial back the noise to hear and trust that little voice inside that tells me which club to hit!

Get my 10,000 Steps In
No matter what I’m doing each day, I make it a point to get my 10,000 steps in. When golfing, of course, it’s easier! Typically, I walk and I jog a little when the mood strikes. Then, I add my other favorite activities like swimming, tennis, or using the peloton or elliptical at the gym. Soon, I’m going to start playing Pickle Ball. I just tried it recently, and I’m hooked! Remember, cardio health is a key to stamina in golf.

Egoscue Exercises

If you have chronic pain, Egoscue exercises are a gentle way to reposition your body enabling it to begin the healing process naturally. This keeps my body in alignment which makes all activities, especially golf, easier to execute. A balanced body with strength and stability is a key to success.

Healthy Eating and Snacking
In general, my diet includes fruit, vegetables, protein (chicken, fish, filet mignon, beans, egg whites, nuts), multigrain complex carbs, brown rice, sweet potato, and avocado. I also drink lots of water, sparkling water, and decaf hazelnut coffee w almond milk creamer. Foods I try to avoid include dairy products and simple carbs, including junk food, white pasta, and potatoes. 

Regarding alcohol, I’ll occasionally drink 1 or 2 glasses of alcohol following a round of golf. On a hot day, I enjoy a cold beer like Corona Premier. At dinner, I sometimes drink a glass of red wine. I think I love the ambiance it creates. 

For snacks, I have found a delicious line of energy bars called FITCRUNCH®. With 16 grams of protein and only 3 sugars, I can eat them guilt-free yet it tastes like a decadent dessert!

My Advice to Those Looking for Small Ways to Lower Your Score

As you can see from the above five things I incorporate into my daily life, it doesn’t have to take much effort to make a huge impact on your golf game. A few tweaks to your lifestyle and mindset can go a long way towards experiencing more joy in your game while lowering your score. If you are looking for more ways to unlock your full potential on the golf course, sign up for my next course offering on my website that can help you locate what’s holding you back and teach you the skills to make a lasting change in less than one week!

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