What do we mean when we say concentrate or focus when getting ready to hit a golf ball? Do you think of all the aspects of your swing you have to complete or do you think of one thing – personally, I am a one thing player and it makes a difference to my score. Unfortunately, like my last round, I have a tendency to lose my concentration mid round and as result, rack up the strokes needlessly. This is a something I try to avoid, but it does creep in from time to time.
Here is a great video explaining what I mean from MeandMyGolf:
You can see that they believe that anymore than one swing thought is detrimental to your golf score. I completely agree. Until recently, it did not have a single thought while hitting to the green and then on the green, but I do now thanks to my friend Rick.
To put things into perspective, I generally am focused on the course. However, sometimes my focus was not as sharp as it should be and as a result I hit wayward shots. This not an uncommon scenario, but something I do not like see happen in my game. Before describing the woes of my last round, here is what Rick mentioned to me a few weeks back that has really helped:
Aim small, miss small. I use this swing thought to focus my attention on all to one single thought. This simple statement helps me focus on my line and distance control. For the most part, it is working very well and I have hit the ball in play 98% of the time. I may not hit my exact line, but my misses are well within a margin of error I find acceptable. Aim small, miss small has really helped my game.
Unfortunately, I lose my concentration during a few holes from time to time as I did in my last round. I was sitting even par after 8 and suddenly, I could not hit a ball straight if my life depended on it. It all started with a tough shot on 9 where the ball was sitting 1 foot above my feet. I set up as normal, but thinking back I did not focus on any target. I was aiming for the green. Well, after hitting the ball off the toe of the club and sending it out of bounds, I walked off the 9th green with a triple for a score of 39 on the front.
Well, thinks did not improve after that; on the 10th hole I shot a double and then a string of bogies. During this entire time, I was floating around not really concentrating on anything. What really annoys me now is that I did this on the green. I was just putting to be close to the hole (regardless of distance) and not on any line to sink my putt. I mean, talk about a rookie mistake!
After shooting a 42 (7 over) on the back, I booked a score of 81 for my handicap index. I am not overly fussed about the score except how I shot such a poor round was the kicker. The lack of concentration is something that try to avoid and can spot when playing. However, not during my last round. So, I am taking two days off (maybe three) and then I will be back refreshed and ready to play.
Losing concentration is as much of an issue as focusing on too many swing thoughts. This mental error prevents us from playing our best golf and is something I continue to work on because it is important. I wish I could provide a single swing thought for you to concentrate on during your round, but it is so personal that you need to find it yourself. If you do, please share because it will help us all.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!