Mental Golf Tips: Focus On Do — Smallest Target

Mental golf tipsHere are two great mental golf tips from Jennifer Greggain, writing the The Star Phoenix

She played professionally on tour for over 10 years, including two years on the LPGA. She was also named the 2010 CN Canadian Women’s Tour Low Teaching Pro of the Year.

Focus on Do.

While on tour, I often hired a “local” caddie when my tour caddie was not available. These local caddies always wanted to emphasize all of the trouble on the golf course. So, the first rule of thumb I always gave a local caddie, was to describe the golf course without using the word “don’t.” They quickly understood my point, and their explanations soon changed from how to avoid disaster to what would be a good game plan for each hole.

This is a crucial element to a well-focused mental routine. You must replace the images of “don’t,” with what your clear intention is for every shot. For example, rather than saying to yourself “don’t slice this out of bounds,” try “hit this shot at that tree down left side of the fairway.” This sounds overly simplistic, but I am always amazed at how many players consistently focus their attention on anything other than their intended shot and game plan for the hole.  Original story here

 

This is an outstanding way of explaining how to keep a postitive golfers mind.  I would add Jack Nicklaus’s point that you never hit the ball until you have seen a successful shot in your mind.  Focus on Do!

 

Smallest Target Possible.

Next, be sure to choose a small target, and paint yourself a very clear mental picture for every shot you hit. Simply saying “hit it down the middle of the fairway,” or “I hope this just gets on the green,” is not good enough. It is easier for your brain to execute a shot if it has a clear, concise map of how to get there. Otherwise, those unclear gaps in your thinking are easily filled with doubt and distractions.

On that note, the more specific map you create, the better. Keep in mind the trajectory of the shot you are hitting, and the ball flight you are trying to shape. How high will the shot go? Will you play a fade or draw? It doesn’t matter what your picture looks like, just be sure you are specific with your intended shot.

This doesn’t mean you need to convince yourself to hit a shot you feel uncomfortable with. If your dominant flight path is a high fade, try painting a clear mental picture of starting the shot at a specific target, then letting it fade to another landing target. For example, have you ever found yourself in a position to hit a shot over a tree with a specific flight path, and then easily pulled it off? That’s because you gave yourself a clear mental picture of your intention. You should try thinking through every shot on the golf course like this, and you will be sure to improve your shot execution, and shave even more strokes off your golf scores.

Read more: http://www.thestarphoenix.com/Golf+psychology/5068838/story.html#ixzz1T5LMrQzN

 

Jennifer nails it again!  You don’t just make a picture in your mind… you make very specific images of the exact shot you are executing.

She’s also right when she suggests that you not try to imaging shots that are out of your comfort zone.  Imagine the best shot that you are likely to make today.

What do you think about Focus On Do and Smallest Target Possible?  I think they are outstanding mental golf tips.

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