Golf isn’t just a good walk spoiled
I play golf. A lot of golf. I’ve played since 1987, and I’m only 34 years young. When I was a junior, I played a lot of competitions across the nation of Norway, but never really competed at the top of the leaderboard. I was always afraid of winning, and whenever I had a good round going I would start telling myself not to screw it up.
You can probably guess what happened.
In my twenties, I started to understand more and more how big a part the mental game was, and I believe that you don’t have to be talented to master golf, as long as you have a strong mental game.
I learned a lot from reading the books of Bob Rotella, who coaches tour pros on their mental game, so they can reach the next level. His key message is to think positive and rely on your routine when faced with a difficult shot.
If I’m lined up with a 3-meter putt to win the match, or even win a tournament, my mind is going to start thinking about what happens when I miss the putt, and how I got so close but let it slide once again.
This is when the mental training comes into play, and I actively tell myself that I am going to make the putt, and that I always make 3-meters on the last green. I try to convince myself that this is the truth, and try to imagine the ball falling into the hole.
I know that I miss 50% of my 3-meters, and that I’m more likely to miss the putt because of the pressure, but I’ve learned that by thinking positive I have more chance of getting the putt in.
This positive mentality applies to all shots on the course, even the bad shots and missed putts. As long as I follow my routine and feed positive thoughts to my thinking, I will shave shots off my total score.
But positive thinking doesn’t only apply to golf, it applies to life in general. I have negative thoughts every day, and doubt will creep in on even the happiest of days. When it does, I try to always think of the best outcome of the situation and fight the negative thoughts by replacing them with positive thoughts.
I highly recommend that you do the same when facing a tough situation, or the next time you are having a “dark” moment. I also recommend that you read Life is not a game of perfect by Bob Rotella, which is a great read even if you don’t know a thing about golf.