Every golfer on the PGA and LPGA Tour has “a process”, or a “Mental Game Blueprint” to help them deal with stress and pressure, so they play to the best of their ability.
Did you get to see the play-off on the PGA Tour last weekend? Jordan Spieth was so relaxed on the 3rd play-off hole, that he was able to hole a 28ft putt to win. His ability to play such great golf under such intense pressure was all down to his process and I’m going to show you what this is:
Where is your focus?
Most golfers set themselves up for failure by concerning themselves only with the outcome of each shot and how it affects their score. This thinking puts a lot of pressure on every shot and increases stress levels. Stress levels lower your ability to focus and concentrate, increase tension in your swing, and cause poor shots.
So how does a Tour player ensure their stress levels stay low, so they are able to focus and swing freely at the target?
They are process focused, not outcome focused.
A Tour player has more reason to be concerned about outcome of a shot, because they ultimately get paid based on how close the ball lands to the target. But they know that continually measuring success in this way creates tension and interferes with the free-flow of their natural swing. So, they find another way to measure the success of each shot.
The measure success by how well they executed their process.
The key point is this: You can influence the outcome of a shot, but you can’t control it (no one in the history of golf has ever been able to do this). But you have 100% control over your “process”.
The most effective way to play focused and relaxed golf is to shift your focus from what you can’t control (where the ball lands, your score, what other players are doing, weather, bad bounces etc), to what you can control (your process). The irony of this is that the outcome (your scores) actually improve.
This is what they Tour player does. They know that if they execute their process, they have the best chance of:
- Being focused intensely on the shot they are about to hit
- Staying in the present
- Swinging freely
When you start to do this, it’s a liberating feeling. Imagine driving to the golf course and instead of thinking something like “Today I want to break 80” you tell yourself, “if I stick to my process I’m going to give myself the best chance of playing well. I’m going to focus on what’s within my control, not what’s out of my control.”
The more you think in this way, the more you free your swing will be so you can play fearless golf or be “in the zone”.
If you can do this you’ll notice a lot less pressure and a lot less stress, and most importantly, you’ll notice much better scores! Imagine playing every shot like you do on the driving range – this is what it feels like.
Do you want to know what this “Process” is that the Tour Players use? It’s far easier and way more effective to improve than trying to perfect your golf swing.
Photo by Tour Player Golf Clubs