Golf Tips - Learn to Relax and then Refocus

By Lisa Brown

One reason why golf is mentally challenging is because you have so little contact with the ball.

Unlike basketball, where you dribble the ball for minutes at a time, in golf you only make contact with the ball for fractions of a second over a 4-5 hour time frame.

This lack of contact makes it easier for you to lose your concentration.

Four or five hours is a long time to maintain concentration on anything.

Cardiovascular surgeons have the same concentration challenge as golfers.

Coronary bypass (heart) surgery lasts an average of 5 hours, and it's typical for these surgeons to do 3 of these a day. That means they are doing 10-15 hours of operating a day.

These surgeons know that they can't maintain total intensity and concentration on everything they do during that time.

Their solution is to teach themselves how to manage the ebb and flow of the operation. During the mundane parts of the operation, they get into a lighter concentration flow.

But once the patient's heart is stopped, they need to get the operation done in less than an hour. During that time, they have absolute, total focus. They submerge the mind so that everything around them is blacked out.

In golf, you too must master the ebb and flow of the game. Having too much focus for too long a time can actually tighten your muscles and hamper your swing.

So, your job is to learn how to build your concentration before each shot and 'turn it off' between shots.

Mental Toughness Exercise

One technique you can use to sharpen your concentration is to visualize your shot before you hit it.

I suggest you do this as you're walking up to the ball.

Like Tiger, stare at your target and form a visual picture of the shot in your mind. See the ball flying on a specific line towards its final target.*

If you work at this, soon you will be able to maintain your focus of attention on the hole the way the pros do. *

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