Tuesday, December 7, 2021

You could have the best coach in the game for your swing, but if you do not have the right mental attitude you will not succeed. This explains why some days are golf game is a complete disaster and others a joy to behold. So why is golf such a mental game. Our mind is such a complex piece of equipment, we have two ways of thinking: 

  • Inspiration – our mind is clear to recieve new ideas
  • Memories replaying – when we are in a particular situation our mind brings up our memories of similar events. This goes a long way to explaining why you can regularly hit the same duff shot on a particular hole.

Most people tend to go through life using memories replaying. This is the reason people develop so many habits and find it so difficult to break them.  There are lots of techniques you can use to try and reprogram your mind. But to be honest there are a lot of people who will never be able to do this. Some people are just so skeptical about anything to do with changing their ways. I believe if you can try these things believing they are going to make a difference – they will.

One great tool to use is visualisation, anybody can do this – we all dream don’t we. Next time you are feeling nervous on the first tee just picture in your mind you making the perfect golf swing and watch the ball soar into the distance and land exactly where you aimed it. Feels good doesn’t it. You can use this technique for every shot, it takes seconds to picture it. When you are putting imagine the hole is three times its size and see and hear the ball dropping into the cup after you have made the perfect putting stroke. Remember not only to picture it but believe in it too.

Another thing to be aware of is not to be negative. I am always hearing friends saying “I hope I don’t end up in that bunker like last week”. As soon as you say something like this you are putting a negative thought into your mind. Your mind will then replay that image from last week giving you a very good chance of ending up in that bunker again. You have got to realise how powerful the mind is – if I say to you “don’t think about a big pink flying elephant” I bet you have that image right now in your mind? You must be positive on the golf course, always imagine and state that you are going to make a great shot.

Control your emotions on the course especially the negative ones. If you see players throwing clubs around you can practically guarantee that their next shot is going to be a bad one. One area that is being used more and more for mind training is NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming). NLP is the modern science of the mind it uses physiology and the unconscious mind to adapt thought processes which means that negative habits and behaviour can be changed into positive ones. I have tried a few golf NLP downloads recently and I must say I don’t think I have ever felt so relaxed. I certainly feel much more positive about my game.

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