Rick Shiels Shares 5 Things Good Golfers Do

Rick Shiels is one of the several YouTube channels I follow. He provides a come sense approach to golf that I can support. Yesterday, he published a video of the 5 things that all good golfers do that produce consistent positive results in their game. After watching his video I can attest to his findings and fully support his message.

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Being a Grateful Golfer

Gratitude and GolfI believe that being grateful is the cornerstone to great golf, however golf is not the only thing being grateful enhances. My 3 foot space is something I try to improve every day. I think it is important to leave a situation, place, or encounter in better condition than when I found it. This tall task is sometimes very difficult, but the rewards far exceed the effort. Being a grateful golfer is no different.

There is no secret formula to being a grateful golfer. Like all things in life, it takes a conscious effort to develop a state of mind that empowers us. And to develop this mindset can be challenging and easy at the same time. It must take some sort of activity. Continue reading

It is a Matter of Choice

Choose to be Happy

I believe that being grateful and happy is a choice. For years I have changed the way I thought to help shape the life I want to live. Has it been easy, no, but definitely rewarding. Some days the light I see at the end of the tunnel feels like a train, but as I continue to shape my thoughts, my world changes shape as well! Every day is a better day.

Change your thoughts, change your world – Norman Vincent Peale

I also believe this mindset is transferable to golf. Golfing is a game of immense concentration for short periods of time. The rest of the time I spend enjoying my surroundings by soaking in its beauty, enjoying the company of my playing partners, or just being in the moment. All this has help me be a better golfer. I feel more relaxed, in control and just plain happy.

I am grateful for so many things and I count my blessing every day! I make it a point of using positive affirmations at the beginning and end of each day. For me, it is a perfect way to start and end my day.

What techniques do you use to positively improve your golf game?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

The Mental Challenges of “Can’t” in Golf

Lost and Confused Signpost

Golf is all Mental!

The mental challenges in golf are vast and numerous! What distinguishes an average player from a great player is usually their mental toughness. The ability to have laser like focus when required is something that is honed over time. There are a few who have the innate ability to be mentally strong, but for the most of us, mental toughness must be nurtured and developed.

Through my many years of playing sports, I have developed a keen competitive edge that has served me extremely well. Like other athletes, I have played at the élite level in several sports with much success. However, the great times have also been marred with periods of self-doubt and lack of confidence. These dark times always started with one small insignificant word that has the ability to wreak devastation in its path. That word is “Can’t”!

I must have heard this word 10,000 times in my 50+ years of life! But, the greatest negative effect this word has is when I use it against myself.

Years back, a volleyball coach that I knew, always told his players “you are right, you Can’t” if they used that negative word. He told the young athletes that as soon as they say they can’t do something, their mind and body will immediately agree. He further explained that the biggest effect of that word lies in the six inches of real estate between their ears!

This coach’s teachings have stuck with me through the years. He taught me that being mentally strong is extremely important to any athlete. Last year was a great year for me on the links. There are some things I still have challenges accomplishing, but last year’s successes, as I worked towards being a scratch golfer, helped remove the word “Can’t” from my vocabulary.

This does not mean that I am successful all the time, but ‘by removing that word that shall not be spoken’ the doors of possibility stay open. Last year, I tried learning to shape the ball last year with mixed success; I tried chipping the ball with a new stance with greater success; and I stayed focused on the positive aspects of my game with the best results of all. Through this entire journey, I slowly reduced my self-doubt and increased my confidence on the links.

The greatest success story of last year was the improvement in my mental toughness.

I am no longer afraid of tough lies, hitting into the green from 200 yards, or playing over water into the wind. I found that using the word “CAN” helped improve my game significantly. Now, I did have some challenging times and that bad word did try to creep back into my mind, but I quickly vanquished it with a positive attitude and positive self-talk.

Golf offers many challenges when a player has any self-doubt. As I told my friend Brian from All About Golf, I am going improve my game by focusing 70% of my efforts on the mental side of golf. I believe that removing “that negative word” is the first place to start. I am mentally preparing to be a scratch golfer and it all starts here and now!

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

Driving the Golf Ball Under Pressure

“Let the big dog eat!” or “Grip it and Rip it!”  How many times have we said that. It usually happens when trying to express the importance of our next tee shot. The driver is the most difficult club to hit in any golfer’s bag. Sometimes it has a mind of its own; other times it is just possessed! Through the years, my fickle driver and I have fought to decide who was the boss on the golf course and I am not afraid to say that I have not always won that battle. The most challenging time for players with an inconsistent driver is when they need to hit the fairway. The pressure grows and grows to a point where negative thoughts control their mind.

When hitting the ball well with my driver, there are some things that I do with boring repetition. It is not rocket science, but I know if I do these fundamental things, pressure is never a factor in my golf swing. Here is what I must do to make sure I hit my driver consistently and accurately under pressure:

  • Proper pre-shot routine. Sometimes I rush my pre-shot routine because I have played my home course over and over. I know exactly which club I need at which tee. When I choose my driver, I sometimes walk to the tee box, tee up my ball and hit. I do not take time to align anything! As a result, I sometimes pull the ball into the rough or push the ball into the woods. Actually, by not following my pre-shot routine, anything can happen!
  • Keep my head down. After I make contact with the ball, I count to one, before I raise my head. This slight delay allows my right shoulder to force my chin up and helps keep my swing sequence correct. Keeping my head down helps me extend my arms along my intended swing path. Lastly, it prevents me from over rotating my hips, thus I generate more power and control.
  • Keeping a positive mindset. Staying confident and focused so that I can hit my driver well (or any club for that matter) is key to playing under pressure. Keeping a positive mindset helps me stay focused on the things I must do to execute a good swing. Additionally, being positive helps guide my mind to using proper course management. If I am positive, I rarely feel any pressure on the golf course.

Here is what Phil Mickelson has to say about driving the ball under pressure:

Hitting the driver while under pressure can be challenging. Try some of my tips and you may be surprised at how little you notice that dreaded pressure. If you have any favorite techniques, please share. We are always looking for new ideas on how to lower our score!

I am grateful golfer! See you on the links.