Quite often, when we hit a great golf shot we usually have a feeling that we are going to hit the ball well. It's a wonderful feeling of confidence and composure. Then there are those times when you talk yourself into hitting a ball poorly or missing an easy putt. This is usually due to negative thoughts or lack of commitment.
It is very important that you do all your golf thinking and decision making away from the golf ball so when you walk into the shot, all you have to do is react to your target and execute. This will keep your mind quiet and your body free of unwanted tension. You must separate where you think about the shot from where you execute it. It's the difference between a THINK BOX verses a PLAY BOX. Separating the two boxes is the COMMITMENT LINE.
In the THINK BOX, you should visualize the shot from behind the ball. Try this next time you go out to play. Before you step into each shot, stand behind the ball and visualize the shot that you are going to hit. You are now in the THINK BOX. Be decisive about the swing you are going to use, the club you have chosen, and try to remember a time when you have hit that same club very well and tune into that feeling. Get as many positive thoughts as you can.
As you walk from behind the ball and set up to your golf ball you cross the "commitment line." Before you cross the commitment line and walk into the play box, you must commit and stay committed to four things:
1. the club you have chosen
2. the shot you are going to hit
3. the swing you have chosen to use
4. your ability to do it Once over the ball, you are in the PLAY BOX and must be confident and relaxed in your golf swing.
If you start to question any of the four you must back away and get yourself refocused. Remain positive and trust your club selection and golf swing. Your natural ability will take it from there. If you are more prepared with each shot and think less over the ball, I guarantee better results and less stress throughout your golf round.
TIP: State your intention with each shot. Tell yourself what you are going to do, then go do it. On your short shots, take the same actions but take a couple practice swings right next to the ball. Rehearse the shot exactly the way you want to hit the ball with the same length swing and tempo. Create the exact feel that you want for the specific shot then simply set up and let your body repeat the feel. Do not give yourself time to think or to become tense over the golf ball. This leads to mishits. Focus on your landing spot and allow your body to repeat the same swing you rehearsed.
Remember: Mechanics Produce - Feel Reproduces! Stay committed and you will play better golf
By Krista Dunton, PGA.com
Problem Area: Off The Tee
Series: Instruction Feature