Stay in the Present When Playing Golf

What does "staying in the present" mean on the golf course? 

When you play golf, you should only concern yourself with the shot at hand. That is where you focus needs to be. Thinking about the previous shot that went into the hazard will only take your attention away from the next shot, which is your most important shot.

Bad shots happen.  Even golf pros hit bad shots.  Do what Tiger Woods does. He has a 10 yard rule.  After a bad shot, he thinks about that shot as he walks 10 yards and then forgets it.   Shake it off.  Scream out loud.  Clap your hands loudly.  These are many ways to reset yourself to focus on your next shot.  Get back to thinking positive.  Walk to your next shot with your shoulders back and head held high.  Take some deep breaths and relax both your mind and body.

On the other hand, if you are playing a great round or are leading a tournament, you must be staying in the present.  Don't look to the future and think about the great score you will shoot or how you're going to win the tournament.  You must focus on your next shot.  You must be staying in the present.

I have a great example of NOT staying in the present.  I was playing with a friend who was 69 years old.  He always dreamed of shooting his age and, in fact, he bought #69 golf balls.  On hole number 16, he made birdie to go 3 under par.  Our course is par 71.  On 17, the foursome was completely quiet making sure we didn't distract him.  His drive on 17 went out of bounds for double bogie.  On 18, he hit another bad shot and finished the round even par 71.  You must stay in the present!

About the author, Tom Laessig

Tom is an avid golfer and hypnotherapist. He specializes in working with golfers to improve their golf performance by working on the mental aspects of the game.

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