Jan 31, 2019
Guest article by Lois
When I was a young child, watching the PGA tour was my thing. I never understood how the pros were able to not only hit the golf ball so far, but with an amazing amount of accuracy at the same time. It was a baffling concept to me.
How could I learn how to swing a club and hit a ball with such precision and power at the same time?
It wasn’t until just a couple of years ago that I learned - as an adult who had been golfing for years - about a strange but powerful practice that could make my golf game better than ever. That practice? Meditation.
Stuck in a rut
I began playing golf at a young age. However, I quickly realized that there was a strong mental component to the game that couldn’t be taught.
Sure, the coaches I hired to help me improve my game were able to direct me in many ways. I even went as far as creating a golf blog dedicated to golf clubs in order to understand the science of golf equipment. However, I was stuck in a rut.
For many years, I couldn’t bring my score down. I was stuck in the 80’s. A score of 80 means that you play 80 strokes on an 18-hole golf course. A lot of golfers find themselves stuck around 80 for some reason, but I was decided to discover why.
I had not yet realized that golf required mental skills I was clearly lacking. It wasn’t until I found a YouTube video featuring Tiger Woods that I began to understand what I needed to do to improve my game.
Tiger explained that his amazing athletic ability was due to the mental practices that he was putting himself through daily. He talked about the mental conversations he had when using his driver and how he envisions the ball “flying everywhere.”
How meditation can help golfers
Tiger explained how his coach told him that he needed to calm his mind before visualizing the shot he wanted to take. Only then would he swing the golf club. I began researching meditation after listening to Tiger. Even though he never mentioned the word “meditation” in his video, I thought that his practice was very similar.
One point of interest with meditation is that it has been shown to improve attention span, focus, and even our creative thinking. I realized that all three of these factors are important to the game of golf. I wondered just how much meditation could help me enter the infamous “zone” while playing a round of golf.
We’ve all heard of the zone - that state of mind where stars get aligned and everything seems to flow effortlessly. In golf, it happens when you put the right amount of force in your swing. Entering the zone really helps your game, and I was determined to learn more.
I began to seriously practice meditation as a way to improve my golf game. I realized that I was entering the zone more and more frequently. It was truly amazing what this practice was doing for my game and for my mind.
Proactively using your skills on the course
I’m not going to lie - meditating was difficult at the beginning. I began by spending ten minutes in the morning by practicing focused meditation. I quickly realized that it would take a lot of practice to perfect this art.
At first, I couldn’t stop the random thoughts that would pop into my brain without warning. However, I realized that the best solution was to accept that these moments would happen and then not allow my brain to focus on them. I would immediately bring my thoughts back to the focal point, which allowed my brain to grow stronger.
It took more than a few weeks to begin seeing actual results in my golf game. However, I am now proud to say that I got out of the rut, and I consistently play in the mid-70’s (keep in mind that golfers are looking to lower their scores).
I had to make the conscious choice of directing my attention to the way my body moved during my swing. I sometimes chose to focus on the club resting in my hands.
While these little rituals seem somewhat simple, they allow me to take what I learned during meditation and apply it to my golf game.
I can tell you from my personal experience that meditation can help your golf game tremendously. It reduces the mental chatter that goes on in your head, especially while you are swinging the club. You have to remember that you will still need to actively control your attention during your game to achieve the best results.