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The Mental Game

The Library Camisetas Futbol Baratas of Congress. That's Football de l'Espagne how many books Football de l'Italie it would take to fully Images du Football define the mental game of Joueurs du Football golf. For that reason this chapter Matchs du Football will be periodically updated.

Have you ever been in the zone? Not just in golf but in anything. You know, that sliver of time where everything seems to go your way? It can be as simple as catching every green light. It happens to all of us occasionally and we seldom notice it for what it is. Some call it karma, others call it fate. I call it feeling loose. It's been analyzed, poked and prodded but it's still as elusive as ever. It's like holding water in your hand; the tighter you squeeze the faster you lose it. 

I was playing a round a few years ago when the feeling crept up on me. An average day was about to become special. Before I realized it I was on a hot streak. I was loose. Every shot felt effortless and my score showed it. My confidence was brimming and I was having the time of my life. I thought I had found the golden goose. Little did I know my ego was peeking it's head over my shoulder and just that quickly the moment was gone. My next shot fell short of it's mark. I chunked my chip and wound up with a double bogey. The rest of the day was a disaster. After the round I hit 2 large buckets and couldn't get my swing back. Frustrated and completely spent I packed up and headed home. 

Later that night I was sifting through the wreckage and stumbled on something. The first swing, the one that started the bleeding, was an approach to a very shallow but wide green. I was between clubs and tried to stretch the shorter one. I didn't catch it clean, but it wasn't a horrible shot. On a round green I would have been on the fringe. My ego had built up my expectations so high that anything less than perfect was a letdown. To make things worse I was still thinking about the previous shot when I chunked the chip. That is the worst mistake you can make on the course. I call it compounding. You simply can't fix what just happened, and hanging on to it usually makes matters worse. I was rushing my decision-making and my swing trying to regain that feeling. What I should have done was stop and take a couple of deep breaths and slow down. In golf that's the only thing you really can control.

One of the best shots I've ever hit turned out horribly. I hit a beautiful 5 iron straight at the flag on a par 3 that crashed into the flag stick and bounced sideways off the green into a creek. Thats the rub of the green. In golf anything can happen. You have to learn to accept the things you can't control. Think about it for a minute. The average golf swing lasts one second. The club is in contact with the ball for thousandths of a second. The average round lasts 4 hours. In that time you are swinging the club for less than 2 minutes, and the club is in contact with the ball for about a second. A second. Mother nature has far more effect on the ball than you do. Until you come to terms with that you will never be as good of a golfer as you can be.      

More on this very soon...



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