I have to say it, I LOVE this time of year! Clocks have already gone forward, which gets us playing in the evening. The golf courses are starting to look more picturesque with budding vegetation and we know that golf in ‘shorts and polo-shirts’ is imminent. Life should be good, yes? Well yes, it should but maybe you will tell me different?
At many local courses, I hear the muttering and moaning of Members and Golfers. All complaining about this, that and the other! And right now, early spring, with many courses undergoing recent green renovation work, I can sort of understand it. However, moaning about the course, weather conditions, and in fact, anything else is not a ‘useful state’ for your mind to be in, when you are playing golf. Just when the fair-weather golfer has had a sniff of the sun, and ventures out, what happens? We are faced with greens that have been tined, filled, drilled and every other treatment you can think of!
Yes, it does cause your ball on the putting surface to jump about or perhaps go off line. But consider the fact it could also put your putt back ONLINE as well). So here’s a tip from The Mind Zone to combat this. Just accept it!
Go out and play golf, enjoy yourself, but accept it. It is what it is! Why go out and beat yourself up over something that is out of your control?
I even hear people predicting what their ball will do, and frequent cries of ‘you can’t putt on these greens’, etc. Well, it’s the same for everyone and my advice is to just accept it. Course maintenance is vital, and in a few weeks, you’ll hardly notice the work that was carried out, but you’ll be so grateful that they did. As Dolly Parton once said, ‘If you want the rainbow, you’ve gotta put up with the rain’!
Be careful of the story you tell yourself.
Your mind is a wonderful, incredible tool, but as with anything, in the wrong hands can be destructive. Your mind will also do what it ‘thinks’ is best for you, it’s there to protect you and make you feel good, but the only ‘thinking’ it can do is what you have programmed it to do! When a golfer has that 18” putt, how many times have heard them say ‘I’ll TRY and finish’? What message does this send to your mind? Try normally means fail. Just step up to the putt and say ‘I’ll finish that’… and knock it in.
I see people standing on the first tee, saying, ‘I’m not playing well at the moment, I know I’m going to have a bad round’… and they come off at the end and say ‘I had a shocker, but I knew I would’!! They have programmed their mind to have a bad round (This doesn’t ALWAYS mean if you say you are going to have a great round, that it will be the case, but put yourself in the best possible position to have a great round)..Incidentally, if these golfers can predict the future like that, I’d suggest a lottery ticket, post haste!
Be very careful of what you tell yourself. This is a subject that I’m going to be covering more and more in Mind Zone sessions. If you want more details, simply drop me a line.
You’ll have experienced days when everything goes well, you keep out of the penalty areas, all those putts go in, and you’ll have experienced the exact opposite. But how many times have you suddenly nailed a long putt, or spilt the fairway with your drive and the rest of the game improves? Momentum is a HUGE facet of golf, at whatever level you play, so wouldn’t it be good to harness that momentum and use it to your advantage?
Enjoy yourself on the course, enjoy the Spring, and remember… talk to yourself nicely!