Golf mental game tips

Focus is keeping the mind in the here and now and dealing with those things we are in
control of. When we speculate about the future we begin to play a dangerous game.
There are many things about the future that are uncertain and out of our control. On
the other hand, the outcome of past events is known, but they are unalterable.

In golf, it is ideal to learn to narrow focus for shot-making and widen focus for
between shot time. This is important so that you can learn to concentrate in golf;
not for the entire 5 hour round, but for 40 seconds, 60 + times, and still sustain
mental energy for the entire round. Our individual personality will dictate width of
focus between shots and it is important to stay true to our own style. Some of us are
better with a more internal focus between shots (self-talk, daydreaming, small talk
with another player) and some of us are better with a broader focus (outgoing,
joking, lots of talking).

Concentration is really the partner of focusing. It does not mean “trying hard”. It
is using our mind to maximize abilities to achieve the highest degree of success.

Mental preparation begins with a “mental diet” of positive teaching, and an “empty”
mind, perhaps by using a mantra to achieve this quiet state of mind. A consistent
ritual like a solid mental routine can help reassure and relax, emptying the mind to
let the body do what it has done thousands of times before in practice.

Imagine when you are playing golf that you are wearing blinders. As you approach the
first tee and each subsequent shot, narrow your blinders to focus only on execution.

The blinders should shut out both internal and external distractions. After
execution, widen the blinders to sustain energy. Repeat this over and over for the
duration of the event.

THE MENTAL ROUTINE (narrow the blinders)

Calculations

*left brain thinking here

*decide type of shot, club, etc.. *decide
with as little vacillation as possible and commit fully

*end analysis and begin next step

Feel

*consciously try to feel the exact swing that you have committed to use
*imagery or physical practice swing is acceptable and individual

Visualization

*right brain thinking here

*from behind the shot, visualize the flight
of the ball to the target

*visualize this shot as clearly as possible

 

BETWEEN GOLF SHOTS (widen the blinders)

Allowed Thoughts
*self compliments
*visual replay of good shots
*small talk
*study wildlife, landscapes, clouds and birds
*daydreams of favorite places
*humming a favorite tune
*walking with composure and confidence
*deep breathing

Not Allowed Thoughts
*mechanics
*looking ahead or looking behind
*score, cut, position, birdies, bogies
*what others think of you
*what others expect of you
*negative self talk
*what ifs
*how other players are doing
*replaying bad shots and experiences

Focus and concentration are constant challenges. Work in this
important area is rewarding. Once we have mastered the mechanics of
the various golf shots we will be performing out on the golf course
(through conceptual understanding, repetition, habituation), adopt
a generally positive outlook that is free of self defeating
negative thoughts.

Next, develop a way to control thoughts by achieving a state of focus and concentration. Never let the mind wander away where it might find something in the past or future that will suddenly flash onto the screen of the mind. If this happens, it creates tension in the body. Instead, keep your mind in the here and now by repeating your mantra.

Do the physical and mental routine rituals and let your body take over. The ball will
go where you want it to go. Trust this.

Comments

  1. Excellent tips on the mental side of golf. While you cannot control good or bad breaks in golf, you can control how you react to them and how you let those breaks affect the remainder of your round. You also need to realize that no matter how well you are playing, you are prone to hit a bad shot on occasion. If you carry that shot beyond that point in time, it will affect future shots and ruin your round if you let it. Stay focused and play in the moment, one shot at a time. Do not look ahead to a final score, play each shot to your best ability and move on. As Scarlet O’Hara would say, “Tomorrow (next shot) is another day!” Play golf that way and you will see your score drop.

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  2. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be actually something which
    I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and very broad for
    me. I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

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