Golf is not the easiest of games.
To be honest, it's a difficult game and people often tend to overlook just how difficult it is. The very nature of the game when we start playing it however, is one that sucks us in and we can forget that all too easily and very often perfection tendencies tend to creep in, no matter what level we’re at.
Standing over a ball, whether on the tee or on the course, pondering what club to hit, racking our brains whether it's a 5 iron or a 6, maybe a 7. Struggling to come up with the right answer, with all sorts of possibilities and thoughts running through our heads.
How far is the pin?
Where’s the wind? .....is it helping or hindering? is it swirling?
How far will the ball travel as it’s a bit cooler than usual?
It’s a fluffy lie so will the ball take a flyer and go through the back?
Is the green receptive?
The mind goes into overdrive.
Very quickly doubt and uncertainty start to creep in. The kiss of death for anyone standing over a ball about to take a shot.
The mind is going at what seems like 100 mph, which causes certain chemicals to flow through the body, raising the heart rate, anxiety and our emotions. Concentrating is a challenge and the mind flips from 7 iron to 6 to 5 and then back to 7 more times than you are remember.
Eventually, having blindly opted for the 6, you swing as best you can under the conditions, only to see the ball come up perilously short of its target and into the drink.
Cue a tirade of self-abuse.
I’m sure it does, but what can we learn from it?
As I have already eluded to, the game of golf is incredibly difficult, and we tend to take that for granted at times, no matter if we are a mid teens handicap or a single figure golfer.
The game isn't, as has been stated many times, a game of perfection, the same as we aren't.
Golf is a game of judgement.
It's a game of continuous judgement. The problem is we tend to judge ourselves too much, rather than keeping our focus on the course and the judgement challenges we face there.
We may think blasting a tirade of abuse at ourselves will cajole us into not doing it again, but the reality is, that doesn't do what we think it does. It just causes more anxiety within the mind, causing more problems.
The great part of the game is I believe, taking time now and again to reflect on this simple statement, it will hopefully remind us all, that the game is not one of perfection and can never be mastered.
It's about mastering ourselves and our minds. The more we allow ourselves to be affected by the challenges and events, will affect our results in the end.
Keeping an open mind on bad judgement can help us become better judges and I believe more in control and better players.
If you'd like to get started on improving the mental side of your game, click here to get a copy of my
7 Keys to Improve Your mental Golf Game.
To your success!
Performance Coach & Trainer at Golfing minds