Resolutions for your golf game in 2015

New Year’s resolutions are common place this time of year.  Sometimes we make resolutions that are unrealistic and unattainable.  Sometimes we don’t know what we should aspire to?  Golf is a lot like that. You could resolve to break 70 for the first time, but you have never broken 80.  Is that realistic?  What would you need to do that?  You would need to dedication a significant amount of time, energy, and resources to accomplish that goal.  What would you sacrifice?  Would you jeopardize your marriage, job, time with your children, or your finances?  Most wouldn’t.  However, you could make a commitment to become better.  The true enjoyment of striving towards a goal is the journey.

Why do you play golf?  Is it the competition, companionship, being in nature, physical activity, or something else?  But one thing is probably universally true, all would like to enjoy the game more and shoot lower scores.

Here are some suggestions that you should consider to implement into your golf game strategy.  They are not hard to do, but will improve your enjoyment of the game.  If you have more fun, then it will also lower your scores.

  1. Resolve to have a clear picture (visualization) of the shot you want to hit before getting into the hitting position.
  2. Commit mentally and physically to your visualized and pre-planned shot.
  3. Approach each shot with a focus on balance, rhythm, and relaxed tension.
  4. Work towards having a quiet mind (no verbalization or negative thoughts) as you are getting ready to hit the ball.
  5. Spend no more than a few seconds to respond to the outcome of a shot, whether good or bad.
  6. Smile more and embrace a challenge.
  7. Practice your mechanics on the range and not on the golf course.
  8. Always remember your ultimate goal.  There will be up and down challenges.  Embrace the adventure and enjoy the journey.

Good habits are as easy to form as bad habits.  These resolutions are attainable.  At first they will feel a little strange, but they soon will become habit and natural.  Your playing partners will notice a difference, but probably couldn’t pinpoint that you had improved.  You will experience the difference in satisfaction, enjoyment and lower scores.  What could be better?

I have studied the psychological aspects of golf for some time.  I have attended seminars, lectures and read a lot of books.  When I teach a golf lesson, my students get a physical golf swing that they can use to hit the ball to the best of their ability, but it is the mental mastery that will ultimately determine how good a player they will be.  Thanks to all whom I have learned from, including Dr. Craig Farnsworth, Pia Nilsson & Lynn Marriott (Vision 54), Dr. Bob Rotella, Dr. Dick Coop, Dr. Dave Cook, and Dave Stockton.  Please adopt some or all of these suggestions into a New Year’s resolution that will have a lasting impact on your enjoyment of the game.


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