July 31, 2012

Ignore Your Score To Shoot Lower Scores

Ok, I know this sounds like a complete contradiction, yet indulge my play on words for a few more sentences and you’ll have some new ways to improve consistency. One of the keys to playing fearless golf is by loving each moment and each new challenge. Treating each new shot as a challenge instead of a problem proves to be difficult for players of all levels. 

Here are some things you can do right away to get into the moment. Being truly present is the ONLY place your emotions are free and being in the “now” is purest way to let go. What is letting go? Forgetting about outcomes. A score is obviously an outcome, but how do we shoot lower scores if we don’t care about our score? 

Another Paradox in Golf 

This is another one of the many paradoxes in golf. As with hitting a golf ball, there are many opposites in the game. To hit it right you swing to the left. To hit it up you hit down. The same goes for the inner game in many ways.   To shoot great scores more consistently forget about what your score is after every hole. Just move on to the next shot, staying in the moment. Once you embrace the mindset I’ll be coaching you on, you’ll have the key to playing with a natural connection to your joy instead of only paying attention to your score as the only measuring stick for your game and your performance. 

3 Keys to Better Scores

1) Play 3 rounds WITHOUT a scorecard – This begins the process of detaching your emotions and mind from expectations and breaks the negative influence of outcome thinking. It’s step 1 to in the journey to being a process player instead of an outcome thinker.

2) After each shot fill your lungs with air and take in the scenery around you. Especially when the shots don’t come off as desired. It’s important to appreciate that you will always spend more time between shots than actually hitting them. The walk between shots is a part of the game, not just something to pass time between swings or for getting lost in negative self talk and stewing over the last bad shot. Use that time to enjoy the moment and remind yourself of the reasons you love the game.

3) If you find it too difficult to free your mind between every shot for an entire round, then do the following. After any shot you are not satisfied with (or potentially get angry over) immediately re-do a swing as if you’re about to hit another shot, and swing the way you intended to.

In other words, you will ALWAYS re-swing after a poor shot and rehearse how you wanted the swing to be. This is a great way to build clarity and focus into your game and begin to instantly let go of poor shots. You’re busy immediately applying an actual process to improve things instead of robotically responding with negative emotions.

Playing with Emotional Freedom

These 3 easy to use processes are excellent ways to free your mind and, more importantly, to get your mind focusing on positive, constructive and enjoyable things while you play.

By playing without a scorecard, loving the walk between shots and doing a post-shot “replay”, you’ll remove the obsession with outcome thinking and learn to be process focused. This is the doorway to all great scores and is the single fastest way to consistency I know of. Process is king and outcome thinking is slavery…

Does it Work In The Real World?

I worked with a gentleman who was qualifying for the US Senior Open a few years ago and he told me after the round that he was so in the moment that he literally forgot what hole he was on when standing to the 17th green and also remarked he couldn’t believe the round was almost over already.

He felt like he was floating all day and had so much fun and could have played another round. Not a bad state of mind to be in when competing on one of the biggest stages in golf.

Once you feel more comfortable with these methods go ahead and track your scores as usual, but with one caveat: NEVER mentally track your score as you play and NEVER add your score after 9 holes. Simply write the number down that you got on a given hole and put the card away and move on.

If you commit to the above I assure you your play will improve. There’s more to do, of course, when it comes to reaching the fullness of your potential and the Whole Mind Golf package can take you further but what you’ve learned here will build a new foundation for your game and open the door to that potential instead of leaving you on the other side of it pounding to get in…

This article is written by Wade Pearse
Wade Pearse is a mental game coach for over 13 years.  He is the coach & creator of Minding Your Game mental game coaching program – Unlock Your Mind & Lower Your Scores. For valuable free content about the Wade’s mental game coaching visit www.golf-mental-game-coach.com.  To take his online Whole Mind Golf training click here.

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