Here’s a good question for you: “What are the only TWO things in golf that you are trying to CONTROL?” Go on have a go! What do you think?
As far as I am aware the only TWO things that we are trying to control at golf are....THE BALL and...YOURSELF!
Now as obvious as that sounds it is amazing how most golfers don’t get the simple answer. They look for the complex. They look for the detail. Yet when you consider it that is all there is to the game. You need to control the ball and you need to control you. Within this very simple equation there is much confusion however. When people say that golf is ‘all in the mind’ it isn’t!!!
A great mind and a poor golf swing will still hit BAD shots. You may feel better about it than most folk but you will still hit bad shots! You need to develop and understand your swing to create an awareness of what makes the ball go off line. Most golfers talk about wanting consistency yet they areclip_image004 probably very consistent in some of their poor shot patterns. Find out what it is that is causing your ball to go off line. Work with a pro who helps YOU develop an understanding of your own ball flight patterns. Find out about cause and effects. If the ball keeps going to the right there IS a cause. What is the clubface doing to cause that shot? What is the path of your swing? The great John Jacobs (pictured) always talked about the importance of understanding what your golf club was doing at impact to make the ball behave in a certain way. The ball doesn’t have an opinion, it isn’t a matter of luck it just reacts to a set of conditions at impact. Understand this and you can begin to own your own game. Become knowledgeable about what YOU do with the golf ball as opposed to trying to fit yourself into the latest model or fad.
Yet even if you develop a great technique do you think that you will EVER get to the point where you NEVER hit a bad shot? Hogan didn’t manage it, Nicklaus didn’t manage it and Woods hasn’t worked it out, so until somebody does find the secret to not hitting bad shots you will always have to do some work on the second component and that is your ability to control YOU.
What most people NEVER understand is that just as you have a set of habits in your golf swing you will also have a set of habits in the way that you REACT to where the golf ball goes.
Just think about the last round of golf you played, think about the poor shots that you hit and simply ask yourself this simple question ‘How do I REACT?’
How you react to where a golf ball goes is possibly THE mental key to take your game to better levels.
What do you do when the ball goes off line? Do you get grumpy inwardly or outwardly ? Do you sulk? What do you do with your body, do you slump, do you walk differently, do you withdraw from the rest of the group?
Every time you hit a poor shot out on the course you will find yourself at a T junction. If you turn to the left you will let the golf ball control how you feel. A small white ball dictates your state of mind OR if you turn right YOU decide that even though the ball hasn’t been under control YOU are going to do what is necessary to LET GO of that shot, move on and seek out the chance with the next shot. It sounds simple enough but it is a HUGE challenge to rise to. It takes real commitment it means letting go of ingrained responses. Yet if you do you will be on the way to finding out one very simple truth. How GOOD a golfer are YOU?

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