Do you focus on the process or the outcome when playing golf?

“Outcome vs. Process Thinking*

Focusing on the process means staying in the moment, concentrating on one shot at a time, and thinking only about the things you can control. Process-oriented golfers know they cannot control anything outside of themselves. Process-oriented golf means thinking about what you want to do (the process of doing it) versus worrying about where your shot will go or what will happen (the outcome of your score).

Focusing on results means that golfers think about the trouble on the golf course and the consequences of mishits. Their concentration then wanders to “what-if” thinking, which causes tension and anxiety and creates the mishit the golfer is trying to avoid.

Examples of outcome thinking are; trying to shoot a certain score, trying to better your lowest score, trying to hit a certain number of fairways or greens, trying to have a certain number of putts, or trying to avoid penalty strokes. The ability of the golfer to stay in the moment on every shot and putt allows that player to perform at peak performance level.

Mental tips for focusing on the process are the following:

  • Be aware when you are feeling anxious. It is a sign that your mind is wandering into outcomes.
  • relax your mind between shots.
  • Engage with your preshot routine.
  • Believe in your club selection and target.
  • Visualize and feel the shot.
  • Maintain your arousal level.
  • Take a deep breath to relax before and after each shot.

Golf is a game that is played for the unlimited challenges that it provides. To play at your personal best means to play for the fun and love of the game. Choose to play for the challenge of each shot (process oriented), and do not let the pressure to perform for the score (results oriented) determine your round.

You can enjoy your results afterward at the 19th hole.”

Play “in the zone” with Joan

Entrain Your Heart & Mind for Peak Performances

*Excerpts are from Chapter 15: Concentration; “THE HEART OF GOLF, Access Your Supreme Intelligence for Peak Performances”

Now available on and

 All royalties will be donated to Junior Golf!

© PositiveMentalImagery 2017– All Rights Reserved

To build your confidence and train your brain to play your best golf, listen to Positive Mental Imagery self-hypnosis guided imagery CDs in the privacy of your own home, available at

If you aren’t able to maintain present focus on the golf course, email Joan at or call 828.696.2547 for a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation about developing a new strategy. Learn what is missing in your golf game so you can achieve the success you desire.




This entry was posted in More Mental Golf Tips. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *