Golf Focus

How Can You Improve Your Golf Focus?

Learning how to practice the inner game and golf focus is the key to playing better golf. After all, it’s your mind that controls your preparation and your swing, and it’s your mind that has to process the outcome of a shot. If you have strong fundamentals, golf is 90% a mind game. Good golf is about learning positive visualization and feel, and responding correctly to results, whatever they are. Being able to do this has a massive impact on your performance, whatever your handicap. This is easy to say, but how do we learn it?

Steps to Better Visualization, Feel, and Golf Focus

The first part is simple. Make your practice more about being creative, rather than learning new techniques and hitting to the same target. Learn the fundamentals of a good setup (grip, alignment, posture, ball position and stance) but at the same time Learn to heighten your senses and make a complete variety of golf shots part of your instinct. Introduce different shot shapes to your mind and make your body work to produce them. This will act to increase your power of visualization and ingrain those swings in your long-term muscle memory. Gary Player (arguably the most diligent golfer ever) said that practice should involve hitting as many shots as possible to different targets – hooks, slices, fades, draws, low and high shots. Enjoy the adventure of being creative. Tiger Woods says that creativity is the 15th club in his bag, and anyone that has seen him play knows this to be true. This is because he continually learns and practices positive visualization, golf focus, and feel, through hitting different shots. Most amateur golfers think they have mastered the game on the range, because they see the ball flying to the same target shot after shot. This is not the most effective way to practice. Your body puts that same shot in its short-term muscle memory and its repetition becomes subconscious. We need to use our minds to keep our body learning the feel of new shot shapes. This is what will make you a better player. On the golf course you are not going to be faced with same shot on a level lie, time after time. Every shot is different. Using the driving range to ingrain a variety of shots into your subconscious mind is the most effective way to practice and get closer to your best golf. Better players simply see and have more shots. Don’t be afraid to experiment – it will sharpen your senses and make you a better player.

Photo by Keith Allison

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David MacKenzie

is a mental golf coach and lives in Washington DC. He is the founder of Golf State of Mind, a teaching program designed to help golfers condition their minds to overcome fear and play with confidence.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. David

    Thanks for informing me know of your new book, I’ll be sure to check it out.

    In golf, being in the present (or The Now as you call it) is paramount to successful performance. Having 100% awareness of what you are about to do is the key to good golf. You cannot be dwelling on a shot you have hit, nor thinking about future results. Focusing on a positive outcome for the shot you are about to play is a habit we have to develop. This is one of the aspects of the Golf State of Mind Teaching – using techniques to keep us focused on the present and take us into “the zone” during each shot.

    I agree with Butch Harmon, the mind can have such a negative effect on our performance, but if used correctly is the most powerful tool we have. Tiger Woods probably has the most powerful focus and visualization of what he wants to achieve with every shot, and in my opinion it’s what makes him the best golfer. Conventional golf teaching places too much emphasis on the technical game and equipment and not enough on how to practice using the mind. Most golfers know it is a mostly mental game but don’t know how to practice it. Their minds are filled with swing thoughts, technical information and what they don’t want to do, whereas the mind needs to be focused on positive images to allow the body to execute.

    The Golf State of Mind Mental Game Audio Teaching is about learning to increase your powers of visualization, focus and feel through practice so that good golf becomes a habit.

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