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Going into tournament golf, a lot people believe you need to focus for the whole round to play your best. Very few people have the mental power to do this and I would not recommend this.
Around 85% of your time on the golf course you are NOT playing golf!! We always talk about what we should be thinking over the ball, but what about the the time we are not playing golf!!
What you think about when you are not playing golf (85%) and do for the 85% has a huge impact on your score and especially your next shot!!
What if I told you only have 1.5 hours of mental energy per round!!! It time you started focusing on the missing 85%
If we can control what we are thinking about in between our shots, I can guarantee that you will have more energy to focus when you need it most(the next shot).
If you can do this well then you will be more refreshed after your round and more importantly have a sharper focus for your next shot.
Sadly most golfers walk around the golf course looking at there feet and focusing on the following
- Golf Swing
- Worry about holes coming up
- Focusing on your bad start
Generally this is what makes you angry, worried and frustrated!!
Now if you are thinking about the 3 putt you had on the 3rd hole as you are walking up the 5th hole or playing the 10th hole, worrying about the tee shot you are going to have on the 15th hole, this is wasting your mental energy and is this really going to help you hit the next shot!!
The key is turning OFF . If you think about other sports the players know when to focus of the game because there is a referee and a whistle.
I believe most players turn on their golf thinking , but very few turn OFF.
When you are is off mode ( this mean off, so no golf thinking for the 85% ) This sounds easy but this is a skill that must be trained.
Think about when you have a caddie and after your shot, your caddie wouldn't say , I cant believe you just 3 putted the last hole, or remember that last time you played the 10th you hit it OB. (if they did you would fire them) What normally happens and why we enjoy having a caddie is after your shot, you find it easier to switch off as you are talking to them in-between your shots and normally you are not talking golf!!
Non golf thinking in between your shots is the key to focusing on your next shot and getting a better scores.
The 10 step rule
This is a great way to create an off switch.!!
After you hit a shot ( good,bad, ugly) you walk and count 10 steps and then after the 10th step you make the effort to think anything but golf until you get around 20m from your next shot. Then it is time to start working out your next shot.
To reduce the likelihood of you dwelling and golf related thinking, a great technique you can use with the 10 step rule is ,after your 10 steps you MUST KEEP YOUR EYES ABOVE THE HEIGHT OF THE FLAG as you are walking to your next shot. Now if you can do this you will start walking with confident and if you are playing well isn't this the way you walk anyway??
Two important things happen when you walk with your eyes up
1) Negative thinking and dwelling only happens when your head is down, so keeping your head up reduces the chances of the bad emotion to kick in and this can have a massive influence on your 85%
2) It is something non golf that you can focus on , and turns your golf thinking off!!!
We want you to have limited golf thinking when you are walking in between your shots, even reducing this alittle bit each time you play will have a positive impact on your golf
Lets start taking control of your thinking for this 85% of the game and start to play your best and enjoy your game even more.
So next event have a look around when you are playing golf ( eyes up) and work on creating an off switch in between your shots which will reduce the golf thinking as you are walking to your next shot.
IF YOU WANT TO HAVE BETTER FOCUS FOR YOUR NEXT SHOT YOU MUST THINK LESS IN BETWEEN YOUR SHOTS!!!
You wont know what you having been missing out on!!!
NZPGA Golf Professional
Golf Performance Coach