When I play golf, I try to limit the number of distractions. These mental bombardments detract from my focus and as a direct result, my scores become higher. Wandering around the course happens from time to time; it is something I try to avoid, but alas it happens. The challenge I have about ‘forgetting the noise’ is that it takes all different forms and figuring out a specific solution does not always do the trick. So, I have developed my own ‘one process fits all’ that keeps the noise at bay so I can stay focused on my game.
My process is a simple one and easy to adapt to any situation. I am sure many of you have something very similar, but mine works for me and might work for you. Now, before I start listing all the steps in my plan, understand that this is something that fits my game, but you will need to adapt my steps to fit your game.
At the start of any hole, I start to focus on my tee shot. I look at what will set up my next shot keeping in my the distance of my approach shot. I go thorough all the factors that might affect my tee shot. After thinking through my I start my pre-shot routine for my tee shot. After watching my ball come rest, I walk back to my bag and start thinking about the conditions of the hole that I am playing. As I walk to may ball, I focus on my game and watch for things like wind, ground conditions, time of day…..etc.
As I arrive at my ball, I go through the same processes as for my tee shot, except I am more focused on my distance to the pin, front of the green, middle of the green and back of the green. To focus on which club will get me to the position I want. Should I be aggressive? Should I aim for the fat of the green? Basically, I mentally stay engaged by thinking about my shot. Then, I go through my pre-shot routine and make my shot.
If I need to, I go through this process until my ball is on the green.
While on the green, I think about the grain, ball position, slope, pin placement, distance to the pin, etc. I will walk around my shot until I feel comfortable and ready to play my next shot. Then I start my pre-shot routine and putt. Continue until the ball is in the hole.
Have you figured out my process yet? To spell it out clearer, I eliminate the noise in my head by thinking about the shot at hand. I keep my mind engaged on the shot at hand and what may affect it. My process is simple and fits all situations. The challenge with my process is that is very taxing, mentally. It takes a great deal effort to think through 4 hours of golf. The great thing about my process is that I can turn up the intensity as required.
My process has evolved over many years of practice. I have stumbled along the way. Keeping the noise at bay is completed by thinking. It does not sound that difficult, but it is believe me.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links…..sometime this year!