What’s the secret to a better golf game? My friend Larry and I were discussing this very question and concluded that there is no “one secret” to a better golf game, but there are several tips that can help lead to a better golf game, and one of them is getting the proper focus on your game.
During our discussion, Larry and I felt that most golfers tend to ignore the mental aspects of the game to their own detriment. Larry reminded me that if I wanted to find a better a golf game, it is quite simple: “If you want to find the secret to a better golf game, check on the six inches between your ears.”
To improve your golf game and your focus, the first and most important step is to ask yourself what you’re willing to do. For example, if you know that your biggest weakness is hitting poor sand shots, but you spend most of your time hitting drivers and mid-irons, you’re not focusing on your weakness. If you’re practicing sand shots, but still finding great difficulty in getting them out in one shot, then you need to find a golf professional and get some sound advice.
To improve your focus, you need to know what stops you from being more consistent on the golf course. Let’s face it: Hitting a golf shot isn’t rocket science, yet we can’t seem to do consistently from one hole to another, from one round to another. Part of this stems from the fact that we don’t follow the same routine. I encourage you to develop a routine for hitting each shot or even creating a new routine that will help sharpen your focus on the shot at hand.
Once you hit the course, don’t focus on any negative thoughts. On the other hand, don’t just get up to the ball, take a practice swing, and then whale away hoping for the best. You need to develop a consistent routine that produces consistent results. For this to occur, you need to discipline yourself to doing the same routine for each shot, such as starting behind ball, picturing the shot you want to hit, taking a practice swing, and then stepping into position to hit that shot.
Tension is the biggest enemy to a good smooth golf swing, but you must be committed to the shot at hand, if you want to be successful. For example, if you’re in the middle of the fairway, 120 yards from the green, you can’t be wondering if you should hit the ball high or low. You can being guessing if you should hit a 9-iron or a pitching wedge. You must take the 120-yard club and be committed to hitting the ball into the middle of the green.
Golfers are reluctant to say this, but they simply can’t let go after hitting a bad shot. Whether the results are good or bad, golfers will ask themselves, either out loud or in their mind, “Why did I hit that shot thin?” or “Why didn’t I take more club?” While these are good questions to ask after the round of golf, they simply interfere with our proper focus during the round.
Remember this simple lesson: You need to accept the results of your golf shots, and then proceed to focus on the next one. As much we hear this lesson, we tend to go back and hit that previous shot. Let that last shot go and focus on your present one. All too often, I find myself wondering what I could have done better on that last shot, instead of concentrating on the next shot from the sand trap or in front of the green.
If we can focus on the golf shot, develop a consistent pre-shot routine, think positive thoughts, and then execute the swing, we’ll probably enjoy the game of golf a lot more.
Jerry Koncel is a freelance writer and avid golfer. He welcomes your questions and comments. Please send your e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.