Losing My Concentration Mid Golf Round

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!

2 thoughts on “Losing My Concentration Mid Golf Round

  1. It’s not anything at all to do with the swing that I want to focus on when standing in front of the ball. I’ll do that some in my practice swings before hand. What I want to have firmly in my mind when I am standing over the ball ready to hit is just a picture of the shot I plan on hitting and that’s it. Anything else will ruin it. Allowing thoughts like I have to hit it hard this time, or don’t push or pull will cause problems every time. I just want to imagine a nice full swing and the ball heading in the direction I want it to go.

    For instance, this week I pulled my first tee shot. Not badly, but it was left of my aim point. My second tee shot had water that sticks out on the left, but I can reach past it from where the tee was and it’s wide open on the right so there wasn’t any real stress and I hit it beautifully and actually hit the cone in the center of the fairway that I was aiming for because my focus was spot on there. (The cone is there to mark a water pipe they have uncovered at the moment. That bright orange makes a great aiming point. lol )

    But two tee shots later was a short, reachable (258 yards) par 4 with water on the side left side of the green. Before I started my back swing, instead of keeping my focus on the shot I wanted to make, I somehow allowed a passing thought to be careful and not pull it here enter my mind. Now I should have stopped right there and reset. But I didn’t. I pulled the trigger anyway and I ended up starting the ball a few degrees right of my target line and fading it to boot. It was only luck that saved me from a bad score on that hole. Luck that there is nothing on the right to get in the way down by the green. And luck that I didn’t slice it badly out into the worst of the rough. Thankfully I got past my disappointment in myself and hit a decent chip on and even had a birdie chance. But as I mentioned in my post to your article from yesterday, it wasn’t my day for putting and my birdie attempt stopped short by at least 6 inches so I settled for par and thanked the golf gods it wasn’t worse.

    I know I’ve heard that “picture in your mind” thing over and over again since I started playing. And for me, it’s not so much a “movie” of me hitting the ball perfectly, it’s more just a vague picture of the ball following the correct line to the target. But it works for me as long as I can keep stray thoughts from interfering.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin,

      Picture in mind is definitely important. Visualization is the key to many of my great shots. It is just something I need to do all the time; and don’t. I can see how your challenges are mental when you pulled your first shot – it is all a matter of staying focused for sure.

      Cheers Jim


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