So — Is Golf A Mental Game?
Of course there are various possible approaches to this (no pun intended, golfers!).
Is it a game of mind over matter? Are you nuts to spend so much time at it? Is it an exercise in intimidating your opponent into missing the putt?
Actually, the answer to all three questions is yes. But let’s concentrate on the first one. Mind over matter, mental control, picturing and performing the perfect swing, stroke, contact? Yup, all of these.
As I’ve got older, wiser and slower (physically that is, my mind is still razor sharp and alert!), my golf has got better and better. Despite the loss of power and ever-greater exhaustion coming up the hill on the 18th. And this comes from greater understanding of the techniques involved, less wastage of energy on the unimportant aspects and generally an improved mental approach to the game. Although it’s taken me more than thirty years to reach this point, and my lowest handicap ever, I have often thought that it must be possible to assimilate all the knowledge in a way other than pure practice and experience. And I don’t mean reading magazines either, or, indeed, having endless lessons with the pro which usually destroy your game rather than improve it, at least for the first seven rounds thereafter.
What it really boils down to is the mental approach, as I keep saying. I don’t mean by this discarding the foolish notion that the ball will actually clear the tree in front of you, turn sharp right having done that, sail over the bunker and stop immediately on the narrow green. That ain’t going to happen and we all know it, so why do we keep trying? No, I mean getting an assured rhythm into your game and the certain knowledge that softer is better.
When I lived in France, I would often chat to the pro in the bar. He was quite an elderly pro who had been on the European tour, but had taken on a new wife, some thirty years his junior, spawned a sprog and evidently need the extra income from the lessons he gave during the summer. He had the very annoying habit of never standing still when you were speaking to him, but constantly swinging from side to side, performing little golf swings. He explained that this was what golf was all about, getting the rhythm – and apparently keeping it as well. Okay, that’s one way of doing it, but I now realise that there are other ways of getting this simple message into the brain.
Guest Writer: Chris MacAdie who says check out this e-book Secrets Of Hypnotic Golf written by Andrew Fogg, a Clinical Hypnotherapist who is also a golf fanatic.