Playing great golf is a discipline. Like the martial arts, it takes hours of practice, physical strength and a quiet mind. Also, if you want to play at a high level, you’ve got to concede to the nature of game by letting go of self consciousness and ego – the biggest distractions from the simplicity of golf.

Have you ever wondered what being in the moment really means? It means that you are focused on the shot! That’s it. That’s ALL there is on the golf course – the task at hand. Most of us get our psyches focused on useless concerns about how we’re perceived or why the little guy we’re paired with is hitting it 25 yards by us. How can anyone be expected to perform with those thoughts?

The good news is it is a part of growing into the game. If you find yourself being distracted by negative thoughts, your ego or anything other than the shot at hand, don’t give up the game! You are experiencing what all golfers go through in the maturation process of a player. It is true that it takes longer for some of us but ALL of us have to learn to stay focused!

“The only thing in golf that matters is the ball, the hole and the grass in between.” ~ Anonymous

Stay In The Moment!

Stay in the moment! Easier said than done right? Actually it is not that hard! Most of us are not going to be facing US Open pressure anytime soon! Even then, the player who can stay focused on the simplicity of the shot usually performs best down the stretch. The first rule is to not judge! At least judge a little less harshly! What does this mean?

Imagine you just smacked a drive 280, down the middle on that par 5 that normally drives you nuts. Second shot, down the middle and solid! You’re 50 yards from the pin with lots of green to work with. You start thinking, “Payback time baby…easy birdie.” Then you flub your chip and angrily scull the fourth shot over the green. What now? Lots of days have been ruined by lesser moments. Why did this happen?

Rewind – you approach your third shot. You start thinking about all the other times you’ve played the hole. You say to yourself, “Payback time baby…easy birdie.” Except this time before you hit the shot, you check yourself. “Ok. Forget about the last time I played this hole. What shot do I need to hit? How is my lie? Do I want to hit the ball low or high? Where do I want to land the ball? Where do I want the ball to end up?” YOU ARE NOW OFFICIALLY IN THE MOMENT!

Does this guarantee that you’ll hit a good shot? Of course not. But it will guarantee that you’ll play better more often. And, if you don’t hit the shot you want, the best thing to do is start focusing on the next shot! What else is there? All you ever have in golf is the next shot, PERIOD!
Questions are the Answer!

So how do you get good at this? Go to the range and play golf. After you warm up, imagine you’re on your home course and play the first shot. Ask yourself, “What is the shot here? What is going to play to my strengths?” Then play the shot! Put the club back in the bag and wait a minute. Picture the second shot based on where the first went. Ask again, “What is the shot here?” and so on. Do you get the point?

Golf is not hitting the ball. Golf is about playing the shot! So every now and then, practice GOLF not the swing. And the best way to do this is with a series of questions – How is my lie? Do I want to hit the ball high or low? How far do I want to hit the ball? Where do I want to land the ball? Where do I want the ball to end up? These questions are designed to get you in the moment and focused on golf, not your ego or your partners or the last time you played, etc.

We hope you learned something today! Thanks for visiting and, as always, PLAY WEL!

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This entry was posted on Thursday, March 15th, 2012 at 3:27 am and is filed under Golf Tips. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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