It's all in the mind isn't it??
Golf. It’s all in the mind, some people might say. But how much of it really is in the mind, and how much of it is down to your swing. That was the question I was hoping to get the answer to when I went along to Karl Morris’ ‘The Mind Factor’ presentation at Hazel Grove Golf Club on Wednesday
30 August 2017.
A novice to golf, having only just ‘graduated’ from the club’s Academy membership, I was intrigued to see how much I could improve my game with the mind alone, and how much was down to good old fashioned practice. After all, we all know what we should be doing, but it doesn’t quite work out that way on the course.
Karl talked a lot about quietening the mind. You might think you need to think more about playing your shot, but when asked about the best round we’ve ever played and the best shots we’ve played, it was clear that the way people felt was more about being calm and relaxed. Clearly there’s not a lot on the mind when we play like that, we’re actually thinking less.
How many times have you been on the golf course and you’re thinking about the conversation you’ve just been having with another player, or perhaps more importantly, the bad shot you just played. Karl says to ask yourself; ‘What is my attention on?’ And use that to bring yourself back in the moment and on the shot you’re about to play. You’re always going to have bad shots. But the skill you have to learn is one of acceptance, and not letting that bad shot contaminate the next.
Whilst it’s a lot about finding your own way of ‘quietening the mind’, whether that’s taking deep breaths or having a set routine you go through before every shot, Karl also gave some practical tips for reducing the number of shots you take. Good coaching is always going to be important, no matter what level you play at. You can’t change your game overnight just by thinking differently on the course (as I discovered when I played the following weekend!). But, like practising your putting or your swing, you have to spend time training the mind too. There are no quick wins!
Overall it was a great night which made us think about how our mind affects our game but there were also lots of practical tips to take away and work on over the winter months too. I’ll certainly be giving it a try……. I’ll let you know how I get on next year!