How You Think Determines How You Score
Everyone says your swing is great, but you just can’t seem to get your scores down no matter what you do
Spending a little time changing the way you think just might be your key to better scoring.
For the most part when your game starts to go bad, you tend to blame your swing mechanics for your bad play when, in reality, it is the way you are thinking that is actually hurting your swing and thus your scores.
Have any of the following thoughts ever come into your mind during a round? “I am playing so good. I hope I can get past that darn 13th hole.” “If I can just keep it out of the water, I’ve got a chance at a good round.” “I have to be careful here so I don’t take too big of a swing.”
Think negative and bad things happen. Think positive and good things happen. Your thought process impacts your play as much as, say, poor balance, a bad grip or poor alignment.
Think this sounds crazy? Try this little exercise. Think about your favorite hole. The one you seem to always play well. Everyone has one. I’d be willing to bet you have fun playing that hole. In fact, you rarely worry about hitting a bad tee or approach shot on this particular hole. In short, your mind is clear.
Now think about a hole that always gives you trouble no matter how well you are playing. While you may have had a par or birdie on this hole in the past, you only think about your bad play. What thoughts seem to always occupy your mind as you approach this hole? Where, on the course, do you begin to worry about this hole? In short, your thoughts became a cesspool of worry, negatively impacting your play. You realize how you seem to become tense, no matter how well you are playing before arriving at this hole.
Positive thoughts encourage less mental clutter and thus enable you to become more relaxed and focused. The positive thinking generally yields a more fluid swing motion. Negative thoughts, on the other hand, produce a very cluttered mind which encourages tension as you somehow think you can control the outcome when, in reality the only thing(s) you can control are your thoughts.
If you want to continue to score poorly, continue to focus on the negative. If you want to improve your scores, focus on the positive. Sure, it takes effort and practice just like your swing, but it could just be what you have been missing in your search for a better game of golf.
About the Author
Steve Riggs is a retired teaching professional with over 30 years experience working with students around the U.S. and Caribbean. Steve is a member of the GWAA (Golf Writers Association of America) and Producer/Host of radio/internet show, The Lesson Tee Show streaming live each Wednesday from 10:05-11am ET at wnri.com