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  • Writer's pictureCarol Alford

Why do you play golf?

Have you ever asked yourself the question - 'Why do I play golf?' 

I'm sure when you first read my question you had a chuckle and thought yeh right Carol,  I ask myself that question each week. 

I recently listened to a podcast by Fred Shoemaker talking about 'letting go' and it really struck a chord with me, so this week I thought I would share the insight with you. Understanding the real reason why you play can unlock the secret to why you've not been performing as well as you know you can.

So why do you play golf?

Is it for the fun element, having banter with your friends?Is it to be out in the fresh air enjoying the environment?Is it for the sheer challenge?

Once you know the true answer, you can begin to shift your attention to where it needs to focus to bring out the best in your game. 

Let me give you an example away from golf, that demonstrates how you chose to react or respond to a situation and the impact if can have on you.

You're queuing to get into a venue and have been standing there for 30 minutes waiting patiently. Suddenly, you see a youth in a hoody, run to the front of the queue, pushing in front of everyone waiting. 

Reaction No 1 - 'Cheeky little b$%&er how dare he jump the queue!'. You become enraged and start yelling your discord for all to hear. You can feel you blood boil as the red mist ascends. Your anger can be felt throughout your body, as your body becomes tense.

Reaction No 2 - You hear his mother has suffered a hear attack and he's rushing to comfort her. You're concerned for her health and hope everything is ok. You feel sorry for the lad who has rushed to be by his mother's side. Your thought's are full of sadness.Same scenario with two very different outcomes and your reaction/responce is different for each one.

Now lets relate this to golf - lets take you play golf for the challenge. How you decide to respond/react to the challenge will affect how you play.

Scenario No 1 - your 'challenge' is to lower your handicap. With this expectation not being met during the game, you will quickly become despondent and your game will suffer as a consequence. The more you try to chase the number the worse you will play.

Scenario No 2 - your challenge is to beat the course architect.  Standing on each tee and take a look at the hole and think about how the architect  designed the hole to catch you out. Thinking about how to beat the architect will focus your attention on where to play each shot for maximum effect. If the first shot doesn't work out play the next one to be where it needs to be. This will keep you motivated and wanting to achieve.

It's a great way to flip the situation in your head and keep your focus where it needs to be so that you can play the golf you deserve - go ahead and try it, what have you got to lose? 

If you would like to learn more about the mental side of the game please get in touch or check out our other blogs, there's something in here for everyone.


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