How many times on the golf course after a missed shot have you realized what you had done to miss it? Take the time to prepare mentally before your shot to produce the result you desire.

Spring has arrived and with it the promise of new fresh growth. It’s time to clean out your mental closets of old ideas that no longer work for you. Pull out the straggly weeds and plant ideas of letting go, relaxation, and experiencing being in the moment. Create a new mindset that is always in control, confident, and ready to access your peak performances.

Don’t allow your mind to trick you into believing your worst. Don’t allow your mind to keep reminding you of your missed shots. Keep your mind on track. Don’t flip the switch that transfers your mind like railroad cars from one track to another.  Stay on track in the present moment with images of your best shots. Feel the resulting good feelings of playing at your best. Don’t go down the other track of bad memories and missed opportunities.

Managing your thoughts and emotions before, during and after your round of golf makes the difference between success and failure. This is the part of the game that does not depend on athletic ability. Everyone has the same ability to build a strong mental strategy for playing this game. It’s never too late for a great beginning.

Give every shot & putt your full intention and attention

It is my belief that all missed golf shots are due to mental errors. It is important to prepare your mind 100% for the result you want. The key to scoring is to prepare your mind thoroughly the same way every time. Practice your pre-shot routine on the range until it becomes a habit. This will turn your preparation over to your subconscious mind to close out any extraneous thoughts.

The USGA Rules of Golf allow you 40 seconds to prepare to hit your shot. This is plenty of time to do the following.

  • Use good course managementTake the time to think positively about your strategy. Consider the lie of your ball in the grass. Is it on a slope? Is it under a tree? What is your safest target? Will the wind affect your distance and direction? Use conservative course management when you are not playing well. Increase your chances of scoring lower by hitting to places for the best advantage. Hit to the center of the greens to avoid short siding your next shot. When possible, leave the ball below the cup.
  • Play percentage shots you know you can hit to keep you out of trouble situations. Weigh thoroughly the risk and reward options of being aggressive.
  • Do not overthink the situation. When the analytical ego mind takes over, it creates doubt, fear, and resistance to the creative process of what you desire.
  • Be decisive about your club selection. After you have analyzed all the factors that go into determining which club to use, be strong-minded, let go of all doubt, and trust your decision. It is important to believe that the club you have chosen is the perfect one you need to get the ball to your target. Trust the club in your hands to produce a good solid golf shot.
  • Clear your mind of all previous shots. Thinking about missed shots in your past draws your attention away from the shot you are about to hit.
  • Clear your mind of all negative emotions. Fearful thoughts are the result of past experiences. Decide not to bring the past into the present. Let go of all “what if” fear thoughts of where the ball might go offline. Visualize the trajectory of the ball and “see it” landing on your target. This will instruct your inner mind and body.
  • Focus in the moment. Leave your ego at home. Remove all conversation in your head that says you should have, could have, or if only thoughts. Replace those thoughts with “I can…” or “I am….”
  • Clear your mind of all distractions. If you are distracted by movement, noises outside your head, or thoughts inside your head, back off and begin your pre-shot routine again.
  • Take a practice swing to feel your swing tempo. Stop thinking about how to swing the club. Feel your personal rhythm by taking practice swings. Limit your thinking to one thought about how to access your swing.
  • Take deep abdominal breaths to slow down your thinking mind. Breathing deeply will put your mind and body in a relaxed state for alertness and easier focus on the process of preparation.
  • Be precise in your alignment. Set up correctly. Pick an intermediate spot to align yourself correctly to your target.
  • Be ready to enjoy hitting the shot. Smile inside to create a sense of ease, confidence, and fun for the shot you are about to hit.

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 pmi4@bellsouth.net or through the Positive Mental Imagery website or blog.

P.S. Feel free to pass this monthly PMI blog of mental golf keys to any friends you may have. They may wish to know about it, and to subscribe at www.pmi4.com/blog — which, as you know, costs nothing. Send it on to a friend!

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!

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