Master the Course

Staying Focused in a Fickle Game

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When you watch enough pro golf tournaments, you start to see the inconsistency of the game. Here’s a key question that comes to mind: How is it that the same person can dominate a golf course, controlling the ball and trajectory and shoot a low score one day and then two days later come out and shoot 9 or 10 shots higher? I learned two things. Or reaffirmed two items that we all need to remember a little more.

  1. Golf is a finicky and fragile game. The only guarantee is that there are no guarantees.

  2. You can only control the next shot. Do all you can to prepare for that shot, let the past ones go.

If it’s that difficult for the best players in the world to repeat a round, what can amateur players do to help build consistency in their game? What impresses me most is the talent and consistency of the best players’ pre-shot routines and their use of visualization. They deliberately prepare for each shot, which helps them perform their best. Even when the results aren’t what they hoped for, they don’t dwell on it; they move on to the next shot.

This game is an emotional roller coaster so you must find a way to manage your emotions and not let the highs or lows get the best of you. A routine is a must. It allows you to perform your best under pressure and helps keep your emotions in check. The only shot you have is the one in front of you at that moment.

We need to remember to approach the game with joy and enthusiasm, and take those feelings with us to the first tee every time we go out and play. If you can’t control the outcome of this fragile game then at least control how you approach each shot.

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