When we get over the golf ball there’s all sorts of stuff going on in our mind. There shouldn’t be but that’s just how it is.
Don’t stuff this shot up
Please get over the water
Don’t hit it out of bounds
Please make good contact
Oh please God, let me NOT embarrass myself
A golf shot can often have that “final” feel about it. It can seem like it’s now or never. You either hit a good shot or you don’t.
This all adds to the pressure. And the more pressure you feel the more likely you are to lose concentration and start playing poorly.
There is a way around this. Instead of seeing each shot as a do or die situation, look at it as an experiment. The experiment mentality takes the pressure off and gives you permission to relax and witness what is. And this is what you should be doing.
– There’s less stress about making a mistake
– You’re free to try something new
– You’re more aware and in tune with what’s happening because you’re noticing not panicking
– Poor shots are simply “tests” and you can move onto the next shot
Golfers are a strange lot. We can get so worked up over all sorts of shots that we really do forget while we’re out there in the first place. We can get so anxious about our golf that we make poor decisions and never really learn anything.
The experimentation attitude is a game changer. We all understand that experiments aren’t final. That sometimes mistakes happen and we learn and move on. And this is just what I have in mind for you. Here are some examples.
Don’t know how to hit a lob over a bunker? Grab a few balls, a club and head over to the practice green. Open the clubface and see how high you can hit the ball.
Nervous about your opening tee shot? Experiment with trying less and swinging with more freedom. This sounds easy, but only the really brave will try it.
Not sure about laying up short of the bunker? Try it. You may surprise yourself and realise that other golfers don’t care.
Not sure about leaving half your clubs behind? Do it and see how many new shots you learn.
Nervous about leaving your driver behind? Do it. And notice your length of tee shots and how many fairways you hit with your 3 wood.
Worried about the hole with Out Of Bounds? Take a different approach, try something radical (like aiming down the other fairway) but experiment with something new.
This Automatic Golf stuff is also strange. It’s strange because once you figure out what works for you there’s nothing really more to do then to keep repeating. Do the same thing over and over again. But to get to this point you need to experiment. To work out what works and what doesn’t.
Humans don’t like change. We want a different result but typically we’re too scared to break the mould. So we keep doing the same stuff but wanting something different. It’s madness and I suppose this is why the game can drive us nuts. When you can see every little shot as an experiment, the opportunity to learn something valuable, you’ll never be the same player again.