Relax your mind, then hit the golf ball

A good shot in golf requires such a precise hit, it’s a wonder we can do it at all. Just the tiniest deviation will put the ball in the rough or a sand trap. No wonder we get nervous before we swing. Yet, more often than not, that’s the exact cause of those poor shots.

The mind leads the body. The condition of our mind is reflected in the condition of the body. When our mind is calm, the body will be, too, and thus able to perform to its best. If the mind is tense, because of nervousness or anxiety, the body will freeze up in unnoticed ways and fail to do what we have trained it to do.

What this means in golf is, as you step up to the ball, take your grip, take your stance, and prepare to take the club away, you might be getting steadily more anxious. You should be getting steadily calmer.

The reason we don’t do that is we lose confidence in our ability to avoid hitting the ball into the rough or the sand trap. So if you think the shot you’re about to play contains that possibility, choose another shot, or another club. Take anxiety out of your game.

Try this one time. Play a round in which you hit one safe shot after another. You will likely be playing shorter than you usually do, so play from a more forward set of tees. Play one safe shot after another without a care about how it ends up. Don’t even keep score. Just hit the ball and let it go at that.

I would imagine that after about six holes of this, you will get a little restless and want to take on more of a challenge. That’s good. You’ll be taking it on, though, with a more relaxed frame of mind so that when you set up to the ball and are about to take the club back, you feel no concern about the outcome.

That’s the golfing mind you want to play with all the time. Find other ways to train yourself to play this way. Find ways not to care about what happens. That won’t lead to perfect golf, but it will lead to better golf, and a much more enjoyable experience on the course.

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