Golf is a game played between the ears!
You have probably heard the quote from Bobby Jones “Competitive golf is played mainly on a five-and-a-half-inch course, the space between your ears.” Our brain becomes way too full with a myriad of thoughts – all of which detract from your ability to hit a ball with flow and feel. You can probably remember the last time you played and had way too much going on in your head. It is even worse if you have recently had a lesson!
Expect to play worse after your lesson
If you go from a lesson to a competitive round of golf you will probably not play your best golf. In fact, 80% of golfers play worse in their next competition round immediately after their lesson. Your brain cannot handle all the data that is tr
ying to be processed. This playing worse immediately after your lesson usually comes down to a couple of things:
- It is often the expectation of playing better that causes your brain to ‘flip’. This causes your brain to go into the ‘threat state’ and push the nasty chemicals that make you grip tighter and swing faster!
- Your brain is unable to process the data and so goes into a state of uncertainty. Once again causing the ‘threat state’
One Swing One Thought
I was playing golf on the weekend with a friend who was drowning in swing thoughts.And in the words of the late great Harvey Penick “One swing, one thought”. I gave him the ‘one swing one thought’ principle and he immediately began hitting the ball better. I added to this principle: make the one thought into a loop thought. That is, repeat the one thought over and over whilst hitting the ball. For example, his thought was “bacon & eggs” (doesn’t have to be a golf technique thought). So he repeated in his head “bacon & eggs, bacon & eggs, bacon & eggs etc. etc.” and guess what, he continued to hit the ball pretty well for the rest of the round. In fact, it is better not to have a technique thought as your brain gets too stressed with other thoughts like, “Am I doing it right or wrong!”. A thought that describes an image is even better, such as “left arm long” and then repeated to create the loop thought. When visualising an image there is very little ‘space’ in your brain to worry about technique as it is busy conjuring up the image.
Your call to action
Next time you play, create that one thought and repeat it while you are hitting the ball.
Let me know how you go!
Here’s to great golfing
Goals can be a lot like New Year’s resolutions
They are often reviewed and adhered to in the first few weeks and then they are quickly forgotten until the end
of the year! Following you will find three tips to set goals that will stay with you over the coming months and allow you to realise them and be playing your best golf sooner than you had thought possible.
There are two types of goals: Outcome goals and Process goals, and it is important to set both. Loosely defined, outcome goals are a result you’d like to achieve, and process goals are the processes you will need to repeatedly follow to achieve that result. The problem comes when we obsess about the outcome and forget about the process. The thing that initially motivated us to take action can put us in the wrong
mindset. For example, your outcome goal is to lower your handicap by 5 strokes. You find your progress is slow and you become very hard on yours
elf and get into a negative mindset that begins the downward spiral which results in you never reaching your goal, often going the other way. Results are not guaranteed with outcome goals. Process goals, on the other hand, are all about the process. They are about doing the right thing, regardless of the outcome, knowing that the right activities will lead you to ultimate success. A process goal is entirely within your control. Continuing with the example of lowering your handicap by 5 strokes a process goal might be “I will execute my pre-shot routine on every shot” This is measurable and doable and you are totally in charge of whether you reach your goal or not.
How to achieve your best golfing year:
- Set a clearly defined outcome goal
- There should be no question about what you want to achieve and it should also be realistic. For example, ‘I will hit every green in regulation’ is not realistic, even for the pros! But an outcome goal of ‘I will be playing off a lower handicap within 3 months’ is achievable as long as the process goals are then developed.
- Set a number of clearly defined process goals. Process goals are the to-lists of golfers striving for excellence. For example:
- I will practice my pre-shot routine on every shot
- I will practice switching on and off with every shot
- I won’t allow anything that happens on the course today to bother or upset me
- I choose to have fun no matter what the outcome of the day
- I choose to think ‘more trust less try’ concept with every shot
- Write down your process goals and take them with you on the course
- Writing things down cements them more in your brain. Reading them while on the course helps to remind you of the steps you are taking to achieve your outcome goal – just don’t think about your outcome goal!
If you are serious about becoming the best golfer you can be, it’s not going to happen overnight or by accident. A diligent and goal orientate approach will help you reach your true potential.
“Every golfer has the potential to be much better than he or she is, and using the mind is one essential way to improve.” Bob Rotella
Is The Golf Gremlin Getting To You?
- Having trouble with your golf brain?
- Feel like you are not playing to your potential?
- Having trouble with your playing consistency?
- Do you want to start enjoying your golf game again?
- Paying all that money for lessons and not getting the results?
Why not take up the special offer available only to the North Shore Summer Cup players?
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Usually $695 for 3 sessions now only $556! Hurry limited offer ends January 31st. Coaching sessions valid until December 2018.
Through Coaching you will:
- Discover what is inside your circle of control
- Discover your self sabotaging techniques
- Find out how to train your brain as well as your body
- Learn the six step approach to better mind play
- Improve your confidence
- Lower your handicap
- Relax and have fun on the golf course
Discover your golf brain and get your handicap down with mental golf training
- Feel nervous with a group of people on the first tee watching you?
- Change your ball if you have to tee off over the water?
- Worry about the bunker if you have to chip over it?
- Get annoyed if your ball is lying in a divot?
- Berate yourself if you miss the putt?
- Relax and learn to get your golf brain “in the zone”?
- Lower your handicap harnessing your golf brain?
- Learn how to take charge of the gremlin in your head so it no longer sabotages your game?
- Discover how to stay calm with mental golf training?
- Eliminate bad habits and mental golf mistakes?
Mental golf training for your golf brain
Match Play Book – perfect for the upcoming Grade & Pennant Season
- Gain the edge over your opponent
- Discover how to stay in your zone
- Learn how to calm the gremlin when you are down 4 holes