Competitive golf is played mainly on a five-and-a-half-inch course… between your ears.
- Bobby Jones
Don’t ever try to tell me golf is not 99.9 % a mental game.
- Jack Nicklaus
We all know how crucial the mental game is in golf for your focus, composure and overall performance. But how how can you actually work on it?
Well, I’m glad you asked.
Spornia has put together some mindfulness tips to enhance your game without being labelled a woo woo guru by your playing partners. Most of these nifty mindfulness tricks can be employed on course without raising too many eyebrows… still, you might want to practice them at home before hitting the course!
Take a breather
Take a moment between shots to practice some inconspicuous breathwork. Simple breathwork techniques can help calm the mind and regulate your nervous system, fostering a sense of inner balance before you swing.
Inhale the sweet aroma of freshly mowed grass and slowly exhale any lingering thoughts of that embarrassing slice on the previous hole!
Seeing is believing
Picture your shot with the precision of an artist, visualising the perfect trajectory and sweet thud of ball meeting clubface. Visualisation primes your mind and muscles, helping you create a mental blueprint to execute your shots with confidence.
Perform a bodyscan meditation to relax your body and clear your mind. Start with your toes and move upward, clenching and relaxing each muscle group to release tension.
Zen master it
Stay chilled, even when your ball decides to take an unexpected bunker detour. Cultivate a Zen-like composure that would make the Dalai Lama nod in approval, and resist the urge to throw your club into the nearest water hazard!
Mantras / womantras
Create a few positive mantras / womantras or self-talk phrases that help you focus. Affirmations such as ‘I trust my swing’ or ‘I am the king / queen’ can boost your mental resilience and confidence.
One foot, then the other…
Take a short mindful walk around the practice area or the first hole. Pay attention to each step, the sensation of your feet on the ground and the subtle movements of your body. Engage your senses by noticing the sounds and scents of the course, stimulating a heightened awareness that can positively influence your game.
Let go of attachments to specific outcomes or scores. Embrace each shot as an opportunity and accept the inherent uncertainty that comes with the game. Letting go of expectations allows you to approach each shot with a clear and uncluttered mind.
For most of us, golf is a competitive pursuit, but it doesn’t help to compete against yourself! Mindfulness acts like a shield against adversity, providing you with the tools to stay focused in pressure situations.
Nurturing your mental fitness just might be the key to unlocking your inner golf guru!