A player can hit an extraordinary shot and near-perfect mechanics on the course but a truly great player knows how to shoot lower scores and beat competition by having a strong mindset. Mental aptitude can be learned with some key training areas to focus on for shooting lower scores. Learn how to train the brain for optimal golf performance with the following steps.
A person who is focused in the moment is more likely to be successful on the golf course. It is not possible to know what is ahead of a person before stepping onto the course. Often, the mind races ahead which adds pressure to a particular shot with the brain going many different directions. The following steps can help build presence on the course:
- Focus on the shot in front of the eyes, not two, three or more shots ahead
- Back off the ball and start over (if possible) when focus is lacking
- Stop, take a breath and regroup to play the game shot by shot
- Commit to the shot and stay committed to the finish rather than backing off
The goal with every shot a person makes on the course is to advance the ball toward a specific target. Ultimately, the target is the hole but take a step back and focus on each stroke, each step of the way. This may mean looking at a particular section of fairway, the green or the actual cup to imagine the shot in mind. Some keys to build awareness on the course include the following:
- Practice with the target in mind
- Train the brain’s ability to focus on a target
- Steer clear of distractions
Golf is, by nature, a repetitious game. Neurons in the brain learn through repetition, practice and consistent use. Under pressure, the new pathways will become a dominant response which will help increase a person’s overall performance. As the old saying goes, practice makes perfect, inside the brain and on the golf course.
Be a Caddy
Look at the golf course the way a caddie would. Notice the types of shots that have been hit and make a decision calculated on what a person’s individual tendencies may be. Factor in the yardage, wind, elevation and other things such as how the body and mind feel that day before deciding what the best shot will be. Keep the target in mind, make a calculated risk and go from there forward to the next shot.
Synchronicity refers to the ability to jump from one side of the brain to the other (right side analytical to left side more creative and performance based). Each shot requires both sides of the brain working together in harmony. Get the mind in sync and the game will follow. Train the brain for the game, but also for life. Training builds cognition and awareness, important elements for a long, healthy life on and off the course.