Golf Tips - Staying Focused on The Game

By Lisa Brown

There is a theory that explains why golf is so mentally challenging.

This theory says that that the more 'point of contact' you have with the ball in your sport, the easier it is for you to concentrate.

For example: in tennis, basketball, and volleyball you have more contact with the ball than in golf.

Even in hockey, where the best players only handle the puck for approximately 14 seconds a game, this is more point of contact than in golf.

In addition, golf can be a highly competitive game, but it's also a social game. You can play by yourself, but we usually play in two-somes and four-somes where you socialize.

And finally: there is the distraction of bad shots, especially if you are a recreational player. We lose our focus on the present, and start thinking about past and future shots.

That's why I say that the unique mental challenge of golf is that it demands total concentration under difficult circumstances.

Arnold Palmer, who won four Masters titles, remembers the price he paid for losing his concentration there:

'As I walked down the fairway approaching my second shot, a friend of mine in the gallery hollered at me and I violated one of the golden rules of playing tournament golf. I walked over to him and shook hands.

By doing that, I lost my total concentration and ended up making a six on 18, and lost the Masters. That was devastating.'

Mental Toughness Exercise

To improve your concentration, I suggest you go play by yourself. Go early in the morning, when the course is usually empty, and do not use a scorecard.

Being alone will reduce your distractions. Without your score card, you will learn to divorce your shots from your results.

When you play, bring your focus into the NOW. Use your pre-shot routine and practice turning on your concentration before hitting. *

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