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How To Quiet The Golf Mind – part 1

There’s a famous quote from Sam Snead when asked what he thinks when he’s about to take his shot: “Nothing”

Now, I don’t know about you but I don’t know how to think about nothing for any longer than about 2 seconds at most.

Just like a hammer or a screwdriver, our mind is an amazing tool if we know how to use it. Without that knowledge, a hammer can create all kinds of destruction in the wrong hands. I am fascinated by the workings of our mind and how we can apply its power to golf and if you’ve followed me for any amount of time, you know that I believe that scoring has much more to do with how we think than the technique of our swing.

The old sports psychology formula: Performance = Potential – Interference is very true and in today’s video, I’m going to help you get rid of some of that interference to your scoring potential.

This is part 1 and I’ll be putting out part 2 very soon. One of the benefits I give golfers is relief from all the standard “shoulds” in typical golf instruction. This video is one of those.

Greens and fairways,


Title: Having trouble “Quieting Your Mind” on the course?

One of the more common problems I hear from golfers is the inability to “quiet the mind” during the swing or putting stroke. They have negative or destructive thoughts floating around in their head creating doubt, anxiety, worry and fear….which leads to tension and ultimately ruins the shot.

Here’s a typical comment I received:

“The thing that bugs me the most is remembering the holes and shots on those holes that got me in trouble and, although I try to put them out of my head, I repeat the same things that got me in trouble in the first place. If I can just get rid of the negative thoughts and vibes on these holes I’d score pretty well.”

You hear so many pro golfers talk about “thinking nothing” during their swing and so many golfers beat themselves up for not being able to control their mind like they think they should.

Well, you could spend a couple years learning how to quiet your mind by doing meditation. Go sit quietly in a room with the intention of expanding the space between thoughts. This can work and many people gain greatly from meditation but most golfers just don’t have the patience.

If this sounds like too much, well then I’ve got great news for you so let me free you up to be you:

You DON’T HAVE to quiet your mind during your swing in order to play brilliantly!

I’ve got 2 mental techniques to help you with this.

Technique #1. I like to teach my golfer clients, who struggle with this, a powerful new way using a metaphor.

If your golf mind were like an automobile, you would be a Ferrari…and all you need to play the game is a 1968 VW Bug! In other words, you have more brainpower than you need to play this game well.

The problem is, the Ferrari is designed to go fast out on the open highway. That open highway is the highway of thoughts. In other words, you want to drive your Ferrari on some good open highway or it’s autopilot could find some bad roads to travel on (like the commenter above).

What does this mean in reality? It means, you’ve got to give your Ferrari mind useful or at least neutral things to think about, and prepare in advance, that list of things to think about while on the course.

And when on the course…drive your Ferrari on those thoughts! Stop trying to slow down that Ferrari and just give it some good road and let it fly!

What that does is crowd out the negative thoughts. It’s kind of like a teenager putting on headphones with her favorite music so she doesn’t have to hear her little brother’s endless chatter.

Come to the course with a list of things to think about and put them on a 3×5 card and stick it in your bag. Pull it out whenever your thoughts are running wild and getting in your way. Here’s some ideas to get you started:

Notice detail of what your 5 senses are taking in at the moment.
Imagine that you are going to go on a year-long travel trip to the most amazing place on the planet. Start packing your bags and boxes for that trip. What would you bring?
Imagine winning the lottery and what would you spend it on?
Contemplate the vastness of space or whether or not aliens or bigfoot really exist. You might even start a conversation with your partners about it!
Try to go through your mind and remember the first names of everyone you know or ever knew.

Potential subjects to think about are endless! Use when needed. Go on to part 2

2 Responses

  1. […] to feel bad at times no matter what.  It’s much more empowering and fear-destroying to, instead, MASTER your emotions.  I go into more detail in my program “From Range To Course” which is all about eliminating […]

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