Ninety percent of golf is mental. Oh heck, make that 95%! Arnold Palmer stated The toughest 6 inches in the game of golf is between a player’s ears.
The fastest way to lower your score is to master the ability to focus.
Most golfers tend to think they must practice more, find a new instructor, buy more videos, get the swing right, change those clubs. But one of the often overlooked and most important mental aspects of the game is focus.
Now you want to make sure you focus on the result you want. In golf, the shot is determined by your level of concentration. You’ve likely just rushed right in and played shots without concentrating. No wonder the ball ended up going haywire!
It’s better to make ten focused swings than 100 quick, thoughtless ones. Your swing will naturally break down when you’re fatigued. So be sure to take a break when you’re practicing. Brain breaks give your mind and body a chance to implement what you’re learning.
One way to practice the art of focusing is to light a candle and stare into the flame, only thinking of the flame. Every time your mind starts to move to any other thought, bring it back to the flame. Think of the dancing orange colors, how they melt inside each other.
The first time you do this, you might be hard-pressed to last for 3 minutes. Work up to 20 minutes, and your ability to focus on anything will have improved immensely. You’ll be able to take this enhanced skill to the golf course.
When you’re playing, just think about the next shot. During downtime, allow your mind to relax and wander for a few minutes. Don’t try to concentrate the entire game, or you’ll get very fatigued, very quickly. Save the mental workout for thoughtful shot decisions and center on what shot you’re going to play next.
Also, keep your cool and behave in an emotionally controlled manner. You will perform more effectively. In the great game of golf, emotions soar and fall quickly. You can go from totally happy to totally tick off in no time at all. In fact, the feeling of anger is actually a series of reactions that happen in just 1/30th of a second.
Stop it at the first spark. The important thing is to figure out what is really making you angry. Think of the grand scheme of life and how today is just a speck. Your golf game is a speck on a speck. It helps to minimize the situation and look at the big picture of what’s really important in life.
Master the mental art of focus, and you’ve got 95% of the game of golf all figured out!