|They say golf is 90% mental - Yes,
that's true. But first you have to develop a swing that
becomes automatically perfect - or do you? The perfect
swing only exists on the computer. So quickly decide on
a mechanical theory of how to swing the golf club,
make it simple, make it short and get on with playing the
game of golf, which is, getting the golf ball in the hole.
With all the different theories and all that advertising it can take a little time to make decisions about your golf swing. Choosing the correct golf theory and putting together precision practice techniques for development will help you make that decision about the golf swing that is right for you. Remember the road to success is always under construction! You will always be trying to make your golf swing better.
Once you have made that decision you can get on with the objective of the game (which is getting the golf ball in the hole). It is easy to do because you have achieved a clear golf image in your mind. You know it! You trust it! You believe in it! All that is left to do is to practice it over and over.
It is the same when you develop a psychology for your golf game. Or should I say when you develop a positive mental attitude for your golf swing (as well as your golf game). Have you ever heard of the expression "If you take care of the small victories, the big ones will take care of themselves"? Small affirmations are just like small victories. Making small affirmations to yourself allows you to begin your base or your foundation for positive thinking. They give you a beginning towards achieving the ultimate psychological edge for golf, which is, TOTALLY BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!
That is why golf can be 90% mental. You believe in yourself first and that positive attitude will help make your golf swing look pretty enough to get the golf ball in the hole. Affirmations is the place to begin. The big victory of "believing in yourself " will automatically happen. The small affirmations are exactly that, small! You do not have say a lot to achieve a lot. For example, when you say "Hi!" to someone in an average everyday greeting and they reply to you with "Hi, how are you doing?" Instead of you saying, "I am doing OKAY ." Try to say, "I am doing GREAT!"
In fact, if you are used to not feeling very confident and you begin to make these small positive affirmations to yourself you are actually beginning to make yourself feel better and in doing so you are creating a different comfort zone inside yourself. And just like anything else, if you do it enough it will happen! Think of it all in terms of building blocks! Build one block on top of the other. That is, say something GREAT to yourself one time everyday for one week and then for the second week say two GREAT things to yourself each day. Just keep building those positive blocks until you achieve the positive attitude that you are comfortable with and then reach for more (or just do regular maintenance) ! For example, say to yourself, "I do have a GREAT golf swing that is right for me." It sounds like a pretty simple sentence! The fact is, that it is a simple yet very powerful sentence! Go ahead and try it right now! Say it to yourself out loud!
After you take the first step of affirming positive things to yourself, you can then build and build and build. This all takes a little time to discipline your mind or should I say discipline your thoughts to think positive, especially when you have let outside agencies (such as magazines or television) influence your way of thinking.
Before we do any type of action we have already seen it in our mind's eye! Everything we do we visualize it before we even do it. So by accepting the thoughts that are right for ourselves, we have to first get rid of the thoughts that we are used of.
When I give golf lessons the toughest part for me (besides the student not wanting to practice!) is communicating the correct golf ideas to the golfer along with communicating the golf experiences to backup those ideas. It takes me a little time to do that because everyone's train of thought is at different levels. The key is to find the correct words. The point I would like to make is that what I might say to one person will mean something totally different to the next person. Why is this so? Because when we say, "Let's go skiing!" One person might imagine skiing on snow and another person might imagine water skiing. So you have to find the right words that help you create the right golf image.
Once you are able to see the image it makes it 100% easier for you to do. The key is to stick with it, to have perseverance. Some days you are going to have your schedule filled up with so much responsibility and obligations that when you finally get over to the practice tee to hit a few golf balls or when you get to your golf lesson or the golf course, it becomes difficult to clear your mind of everything that went on that day. Believe it or not, building a strong positive mental attitude allows the golfer to take on a day full of surprises and still be able to go to the golfdriving range or golf course and focus on a good clear golf image.
When qualifying for the Canadian Tour I entered the fourth round about four or five strokes out of the top 35 that received their tour card. The night before the fourth round I went to the putting green and practiced putting without a golf ball for about three hours. I was away from my home in Palm Desert, I had no financial responsibilities and I had a desire in my heart that motivated me to feel the images of making putts. For those three hours all I did was physically stroke the putter through the impact zone without a golf ball, as I mentally watched the golf ball roll down the line and into the hole. It didn't matter what the distance was - 2 feet, 3 feet, 20 feet, 30 feet. I just visualized it! The next day (the fourth round) I shot 70, which was 2 under par and the second lowest round for that day. I made it into the top 35 by 2 strokes and received my Canadian Tour Card.
Putting without a golf ball the night before the final round help me to focus my energy on getting the golf ball in the hole, rather than using that energy on golf swing mechanics. I was able to have an excellent day putting which in turn allowed me to shoot 70! After that experience I firmly believe that you can predict your circumstances, rather than letting your circumstances predict you!
Another experience that I had was playing in a Nike event. I got through the Monday qualifier and my first day of the tournament I shot 76. For hours after the round I tried to figure out what was wrong mechanically with my putting stroke. That night, while eating dinner, I felt like a Mac truck hit me - it just dawned on me what I had done wrong! I was worried about golf mechanics rather than getting the golf ball in the hole!
The second round the next day I made sure that I was focusing my energy in seeing the golf ball go into the hole. And sure enough, the next day I shot 71. I had 27 putts and missed six other ones. The funny thing about all this is that once I focused my energy on getting the ball in the hole it was amazing how my swing fell into place. Your swing will fall into place because you have focused your energy on getting the ball in the hole. When you drive a car you don't look at your foot pressing the gas peddle or look at your hands....one over the other, turning the steering wheel. You react to the road! Your body reacts to the turn being made.
Because we have so many theories about how to swing the golf, it makes it hard to do the actual physical motion because our mind is so cluttered with thoughts and theories of how to make the perfect swing. We have become paralyzed by too much analytical thinking.
It is true that there is a lot of different ways to swing the golf club and to play the game of golf. One very major point that I would like to reveal is the fact that there is no one tip or secret or guru that will give you the answer to your success (golf tips or golf instruction can help you). When certain things happen, they happen based upon a combination of things rather than one specific item.For example, Mr. John Daly did not win the PGA championship because he was an over- night success. A lot of us do not know it but, before he won that event he was struggling his way through the ranks (competing on different tours) and out of pure desire and pure experience Mr. Daly did it!
Yes, it is true that once you settle on one swing idea or one mental thought, things will begin to happen. That is the trick, decide and perfect it, no matter what it is! Remember when things happen it seems like it is an instant success because of one thing but, the reality of it is that it happened because of a combination of things that happened through the years or months or days of experience and/or trial and error of different factors.
Every thing happens for a reason or everything happens based upon the blocks of experience that you have built your idea on or have built your swing on or have built your business on or have built your golf game on! And the same is true, that if you have built the incorrect things in your golf swing, you have built incorrect blocks in your game. You have actually built negative building blocks which may not be good for you!
Our golf experiences in the past (the different golf lessons, the different theories that we have read, the different tournament results we have achieved, etc., ) have created our present golf image that we have learned to be comfortable with. So now it comes down to trying to debug all that has happened in the past. To get rid of the weeds in the garden. To get rid of all of those perfect ways to swing the golf club. The perfect golf swing only exists on the computer.
Since our minds have invented the computer, why are we not able to achieve the perfect computer golf swing? The reason is that the perfect computer golf swing is an aggregate of golf minds. Everyone has contributed their share. You can achieve the perfect golf swing that is right for you by applying a few of the universal basics. For example, having the face of the club square at impact is an idea that we all can imagine and understand and can realistically achieve in a short period of time. Because we have invented the computer, we have proved to ourselves that we can achieve a lot of precision in our golf swing as well as our positive mental attitude (it's a confidence level)!
Do what you feel is right and do not feel guilty about the fact that you hit an 8-iron so crummy that you feel it should not count as your actual shot, which incidentally landed next to the pin. The tough part about accepting the fact that you are hitting the golf ball bad is your ego or your social environment.
For example, when I qualified for the Canadian Tour in 1990, I was hitting the golf ball thin all day but, my attitude was to accept what I could get out of each shot. I dealt with bad ball striking by focusing my attention on getting the golf ball in the hole, no matter what. I did not let others influence my decisions during the tournament. I just tapped into my own world (the zone) until the round was over.
Consistently affirming great thoughts about your golf game and about yourself will definitely help your swing improve. Most importantly, your overall golf game will achieve results!
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