My daughter, a working mother and weekend golfer, called to tell me that she had shot a 40 on the front 9 of her golf course, and a 54 on the back 9. How many times has that happened to you? It is an indication of how mental the game of golf is.
It reminded me of the time a friend, a 36-handicap golfer broke 40 on the front 9. Her husband met her at the turn. She was so excited, she told him in detail about her round. On the back 9 she was back to her normal over 50 score. How does this happen?
When you are “in the zone” playing at your peak performance level, you are allowing your subconscious mind to perform with the habitual skills you have installed there.
When these two golfers realized that they had played at their personal best, they stopped allowing and moved into the conscious thinking part of their brain to analyze how they did it. You will remember that the conscious part of your brain analyzes, rationalizes, and judges your performance. This thinking causes indifference and a change in your state.
I also remember when my husband shot a course record 62 on one of our home courses. There was no talk about score or about how he was playing. Our conversation and his entire focus were on the current hole and making another birdie or better.
Heaven on Earth
Being “in the zone” is to experience moments of heaven. You are intensely present with the experience in the moment. There is a sense of perfection in that moment that nothing can go wrong. If it does, it will be rectified with the next golf shot.
In this state, a golfer experiences feelings of total calm and peace (no fear); ease and effortless in swinging; a heightened sense of intuition (which club to hit); ease of movement; total enjoyment; a sense of euphoria; increased power; intensified concentration (no indecision or distractions); mental clarity (seeing a line on the green/or a line to the target); and a feeling of being in complete control.
In order to access this heavenly state, you must let go of control (conscious mind) and allow your inner self (unconscious mind) to perform with the instructions you have put into it. When golfers are in this right state of mind, they typically play with more accuracy due to an increased sense of feel and awareness, hit the ball longer, and shoot lower scores indicative of their peak potential. In this right state of mind, you can access your peak performance throughout the round.
It might feel as if you are in a different world and someone else is swinging the golf club for you. You will experience joy in the present.
Change your state of being
To play at your best you need to change your state. What does this mean? It means that you change your inner state of thinking and analyzing to allowing your subconscious mind to activate all the information you have stored there. To have more control, you must let go of control. It is called “the zone state” or the universal flow state. It is where you are the healthiest and are at peace within yourself and totally focused on what is happening in the present moment.
Everyone can be in the zone at any time they choose. You do it by relaxing into whatever it is you are doing, and letting go of thinking about what you are going to do in the next moment. When you watch small children playing you will notice that they are often so totally wrapped up in what they are doing, undistracted by anything outside such as parents calling them in for dinner, they just don’t hear the call because they are so absorbed in just being there in that moment.
Patrick Cantley, PGA Tour, explained how he won the 2021 FedEx after leading it for over a week. “It was tough. It was definitely different than any other week. It’s the longest lead I’ve ever held. I just tried to stay day after day in the present. I really did a good job of staying present and focusing as hard as I could on every shot. That’s what golf is — not getting ahead of yourself and just locking in and giving every shot your full attention.”
You are the only one that can change your state in an instant. Choose a positive state and play a new script. It’s really about mindfulness, your own mindset, being constantly aware of what you are thinking, saying, or doing in each moment. Pay attention when your mind is off somewhere else. Bring it back to the present by using your pre-shot routine which prepares you to focus on the process. It is a signal to the unconscious mind to get ready to perform.
Practice just being as often as you can during the day – stopped at a traffic light, waiting in line, in any free and unoccupied moment, and it will come easier and quicker on the golf course.
Smile every chance you get; not because life has been easy, perfect, or exactly as you had anticipated, but because you choose to be happy and grateful for all the good things you do have.
Play “in the zone” with Joan
Entrain Your Heart & Mind for Peak Performances
If these golf tips are of value to you and you would like to improve your mental golf game, call Joan for a complimentary 15-minute consultation. She can be reached by phone at 828-707-5478, by email at email@example.com or through the Positive Mental Imagery website or blog.
To train your brain to play focused golf for accessing your peak performances, listen to Positive Mental Imagery self-empowering guided imagery self-hypnosis CDs/MP3s in the privacy of your own home at www.pmi4.com/cart.
“THE HEART OF GOLF, Access Your Supreme Intelligence for Peak Performances” explores and explains negative emotions such as fear and performance anxiety, the four Cs of mind blockage, the four progressive stages of learning the supreme intelligence of the heart, and the way to access the zone in competition. It is a player’s guide for developing your true inner self by returning to joy and love of self instead of seeking praise and rewards from the outside world.
“THE HEART OF GOLF” guidebook for transforming your life and your golf game is available on Amazon and Kindle https://amzn.to/2MQzjfq All royalties will be donated to Junior Golf!