How to Improve Your Focus When Golfing
Do you watch, worry and focus on how other golfers are playing during a round of golf?
Do you become overly concerned with their scores to the point that it knocks you off your game?
One of the biggest distractions a golfer has to face is the comparison trap.
The comparison trap is when you over-focus on how other golfers are playing and compare your performance in the middle of a round.
Every athlete is tempted to compare themselves to others, after all, not only do you want to shoot a lower score, you want to beat other golfers too.
Unfortunately, comparisons will lead to distractions and focusing on other players. You might falsely perceive other golfers as playing great golf all the time.
You start to think, “What is wrong with me? I will never be as good as… I don’t even know why I even try.”
Golf is more of a matter of winning the inner battle, not beating up yourself.
Lowering your score requires you to focus on your game. You can’t shoot a good score if you are mentally consumed with the scores of other golfers.
It is one thing to notice where you are positioned on the leader board, but it is an entirely different thing to focus on the leader board.
Let’s look an example to see how an over-focus on the leader board can negatively affect your game…
Satoshi Kodaira made a 25-foot birdie putt on the third playoff hole to defeat Si Woo Kim to win the 2018 RBC Heritage despite a potentially disastrous bogey on the 17th hole.
Kodaira almost wasted his efforts (66) and amazing final round where he came back from six shots down to win his first PGA Tour victory.
Kodaira told reporters that he was very conscious of the leader board as he was playing the final round.
KODAIRA: “I was watching the leader board throughout the day. On 17 when I made the bogey I felt that maybe this is going to be a 4th or 5th place finish.”
Kodaira was able to rebound after the bogey on 17 but watching the leader board definitely pulled his focus away, even briefly, and contributed to playing less than his best as the competition was getting tight at the very end of the tournament.
Most golfers are not that lucky…
Watching the leader board pulls your focus away from playing the golf course.
When you are focused on other golfers, you become tense, anxious and your mind fills with mental clutter, all of which lead to mistakes and cause golfers to spiral downward rather quickly.
To play your best golf, you want to focus on the process of each shot. This means pick a target and club for the shot, seeing a good shot, your set up, focusing only on your intended shot, and swinging the club freely.
Keep the focus on playing the golf course one shot at a time.
Lot’s of distractions can compete for your attention during a golf round–from external distractions to your own internal distractions.
Improving Your Focus When Golfing:
- Be aware what you typical distractions are when you play golf. And define what to focus on during your preshot routine.
- Focus 100% on your preshot routine when it’s your turn to play.
- Refocus when you notice you are not focusing on your preshot routine.
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