I’ve been talking with a lot of golfers lately about what they want to accomplish in their 2019 golf season. Every year, we start the season off full of passion and commitment to play better golf. We talk about how we’re going to practice more, work on our swings, be more committed in tournaments, and work on the mental game!
All these fantastic ideas, and they seem great on paper! Yet if they worked… why didn’t they work in 2018, ’17, ’16, ’15, ’14?!?
To start with, we have to understand that most people do not have a technique problem, they have attention problem.
If you can hit the ball well on the driving range on Friday, but then Saturday play terribly, OR your first ball goes straight out of bounds, but your provisional goes straight down the middle…
I would you say that you don’t have a technique problem, you have an attention problem.
Most would say, “If I worked on more technique, then that make me so good that I wouldn’t crack under pressure…”
If that was true, then Dustin Johnson wouldn’t have shot 82 in the US Open at Pebble Beach. Rory McIlroy wouldn’t have shot 42 on the back nine of Augusta to lose the Masters, and every tour player who’s ever choked wouldn’t have had that problem.
BUT when they start to think about what they get if they shoot even par on the back nine, winning a major five-year exemption on tour, $1 million… tension comes in.
What is tension in the game of golf?
It’s an absolute killer. It actually kills technique.
It makes you a worse golfer the minute that you start to get tight muscles through lack of breathing and overthinking. Overthinking and lack of breathing lead to tension. That’s why it’s called choking.
If you really start to understand how you play your best golf, it’s understanding that decreasing tension is the goal.
How do you play your best golf?
I’ve never heard anybody answer that question with: “By doubting, overthinking, trying hard, not letting go of bad shots.” That’s never the case.
Everybody says when they play good golf, “I didn’t think a lot. I didn’t try hard. It felt effortless. I wasn’t thinking a lot. I was enjoying it. I was in a state. I just relaxed. I was enjoying myself.”
But the fact it is, is that practice only makes permanent, not perfect.
If every time you go out to the golf course to practice, you’re trying to shoot a good score, adding tension, not letting go of bad shots, overthinking, trying to perfect your game, then I can guarantee you that you’ll get good at practicing being in a tensed state…. AND THAT will lead to poor results.
Why is it you can go out and shoot a 46 on a front nine, be super upset, pretty much quit mentally, and then on the back nine you shoot a 35.
How did you do it?
You’ve gotten into your peak state to perform.
- What is your peak state when you play golf?
- Is it committing to every shot?
- Being willing to take a deep breath and let go of anxiety?
- Not overthinking and keeping it at a good pace?
- Not slowing down?
Your goals for 2019 need to be to your keys to achieve your optimal state to shoot lower scores “When I play my best golf, this is how I do it,”.
Goals that you could actually execute, and be in control of.
If the goal is outside of your control, it’ll die out and you’ll come up with a new set of goals in next year and the year after that.
For example, I have my players say, “Commit to every shot, so that I can accept the result no matter what.”
That’s a great commitment to your game of golf.
It’s a very simple concept. It’s not easy to do.
If you have that written on the inside of your hat the next time you play golf, and at the end of the round, on each shot, you rank yourself on a scale of 1 to 10:
1. How well you committed?
2. How did you accept it?
Review that through a round, and then grade yourself at the end of the round.
If that became your only focus and commitment for the rest of 2019, I will guarantee you it will be the best golf you’ve ever played in your life. Get yourself into the peak state where you perform your best, and don’t focus on outcomes that you can’t control.
If you do this in 2019, I can guarantee you success far beyond that of setting your expectations to win the club championship, get to a single digit, handicap, or improve your golf swing.
Go out and execute on these principles!
PS – If you join us in The Scoring Method program you’ll get access to all the training and coaching you need to unlock your best scores this season.
Highly recommend you join 700+ other golfers who have already implemented The Scoring Method into their games and seeing great success.
I came to the program a month ago and was shooting in the mid to high 90s and yesterday I shot an 81. The most helpful thing was learning how to break the game down into two parts. Entering the Scoring Zone and getting Down in the Scoring Zone.