Mindful 18

When you spend 4+ hours on a golf course, it pays to pay attention to how you are mentally approaching the round

Happiness is a long walk with a putter -Greg Norman

Golf is such a mental game. We can all spend hours on the course and the range, but an often overlooked component of golf is the mental aspect. How are you handling the ups and downs of the game. Getting into a flow in golf, and maintaining through 4+ hours is critical to having a great round. Think about your best round. What was different about it. Our guess is that it you just played the game and didn’t create huge ups and downs for yourself. When we play golf, we all make bad shots, from the pros to the amateurs. It’s how we respond to the good and the bad is what separates a great round to a forgettable round. Here are a couple of things to consider.

  1. Routine is King! Follow your process. Be impartial and avoid judgement on the previous shot. Pivot your expectations from shooting well to simply following your routine. When things get tough, revert to your routine, stay focused and find your flow.

  2. How you deal with the bad shots is critical. Everyone has bad shots. How do you show up when these happen? Similar to life, how you show up in difficult or challenging situations is the same in golf. Approach bad shots with a sense of curiosity— what happened, what can you learn and most importantly how can you respond. The worst thing you can do is let a bad shot impact your score beyond that one shot. Flip it into a learning moment and move on. Some golfers like to carry a small notebook to make a note in, as to what they would do different next time and then stay forward focused on the next shot.

  3. Breathe. When in times of stress or not feeling great on the golf course because of the way you are playing, focus on your breath for a moment or two. Slow your heart rate and bring focus back to your breath. Try it.

  4. Be mindful. This can work in any moment, good or bad on a golf course. Bring your attention to the current moment. What do you see, feel and hear on the course. Take a moment to appreciate the landscape of the course, the wind pattern, the drainage the green would have or where your shot will land. Bring yourself into the present moment.

  5. Commit fully to every shot. Accept the outcome of every shot before you hit it and swing with conviction. Nothing good comes out of hitting it halfway or indecisively. Your next shot should be played as if there is not past or future results, just the present moment.

Hopefully these things help you re-frame how you are thinking about your next round. Try them and let us know what you think or what else you think is helpful.

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