Golf is 90% in Your Head?
I’ve heard that comment all my life. If 90% of golf is in your head why do we hit so many balls at practice? I do know one thing. You can certainly loose it with your mind or any negative thoughts on the golf course. Gary Player once said, “the difference between a good golfer and a great golfer is they way they think.”
Now that I have more than 50 years of golf behind me I find that what you’re thinking can not only affect your golf score but also those around you and you’re overall well being. What I would like to share with you today is how what you think will not only affect your golf score but it will change your outlook on the game of golf all together, and yes maybe even your outlook on life. Golf could be 90% in your head maybe? You be the judge.
I will also teach you what I know about what to think the night before, on the way to the golf course, during practice and of course on the golf course. This is good information so please read on.
First, you need to think about your golf game the night before. Plan out what your course strategy is and stick to it. Don’t second guess yourself. You can watch videos of how one would prepare a strategy for playing a golf course on our Golf Webinar Archive page. About two thirds down the page called How To Play Smart Golf at Pendleton.
When preparing your strategy make sure you are realistic on the shots you expect to play. As Nicklaus would say, “play within yourself.” Do NOT dream of that 300 yard drive on the par 5 fifth for example, unless you can consistently, notice I said consistently drive the ball 300 or better.
Then there is what you think on the way to the golf course. Forget the loud rock and roll music on the way and stay away from coffee. Keep your eyes on the road ahead but take advantage of the drive to slow yourself down. Leave early so you can drive under the speed limit. Take deep breaths and think positive thoughts.
Once you get to the golf course feel positive and think positive. Start to build your bubble by not looking at any of the other players. That was a BIG tip I got from Roberto DeVincenzo. I said to him on the range while preparing to play in a Tournament what beautiful swings some of the players had. He said don’t look at them! He won over 230 tournaments in his career he should know. Some of the players with picture perfect swings don’t always make it. Look at Jim Furyk, Lee Trevino and others.
Another thing Roberto told me was, “to make it on tour you either have to have a great swing or great faith and great faith beats a great swing every time!” So maybe he’s thinking that 90% of golf IS in your head?
You can check out my Blog post on How to Prepare to Play Golf It’s a step by step plan for getting ready to play golf. In building my positive attitude to play golf, I start talking to myself. I close my eyes and feel the breeze on my face, then hit some soft shots in slow motion and try to slow myself down. This self hypnosis is critical to building the positive attitude you’re going to need in your round of golf.
I’m also building the bubble. What is the bubble? It’s the “onliness” of golf that Hale Irwin talks about. You’re the only person out there and you have to communicate with yourself, know yourself in competition and have total control of your emotions. One thing is being a little nervous which is good, another is having control of your emotions. You have probably seen that deep stare you see on most tour payers during a tournament. That’s the bubble.
How should you think on the golf course? FOLLOW YOUR GAME PLAN!!!! If you decided to hit three wood off the 12th hole the night before, stick to that decision. It doesn;t matter whether you’re way behind or ahead of your goals for the day. Nicklaus was a fanatic about it and look at how well he did. Having confidence in your game plan is key to having your thoughts continue to be positive throughout the round.
Lets say your round isn’t going as hoped. Do NOT panic! It’s only golf! Controlling your emotions means you will be better prepared to look at your performance after the round and determine what changes need to be made. A shaky start builds character in ones golf game. A great player can double bogey the first hole and still shoot under par. The same is true at your level of golf no matter what your level is. If your average golf score is 90 and you start off with three double bogeys and still shoot your average, now you’re playing golf! Starting off like a house on fire is not a guarantee of a good round for you that day.
Whenever either your swing goes negative on you or you get some bad breaks, slow down and take deep breaths. Nicklaus also said, “golf is NOT a game of perfect.” When a pilot gets in turbulence the pilot slows down the air speed. You should do the same with your golf game. Things start to go bad be patient, think calmly, slow down. Slowdown your swing speed and take a little more club. Talk to yourself and calm yourself down. Panic or loss of temper will NOT help your cause one bit.
One last thing. The gang you play golf with! You have one very big disadvantage in that you’re riding in a golf cart with someone. I suggest whenever you can, let your playing partner have the golf cart and walk some. Feel the breeze on your face and make an effort to get in the bubble. Worthless chatter during golf is a problem when it comes to scoring your best. Make sure to stay away from any negative chatter! Any comments like the course is too long, too wet, the greens are bumpy are all poison to your attitude and personal bubble. Avoid golfers who talk negative on the golf course like the plague.
The exception to this is corporate or client golf. You’re there to entertain your prospect and get the sale, not play your best golf. Don’t confuse the two.
Golf is 90% in your head, maybe. For the other 10% get out your cell phone and take a video of your golf swing and email to me for a complete analysis absolutely FREE! For instructions on how to get the free lesson online go to http://www.quickfixgolf.com/golf-lessons/free-golf-lesson-online/