For most casual viewers, golf will appear much less physical than other popular sports. But if you’re a golf fan, then you know that a game of golf is harder than it seems.
To be fair, playing golf doesn’t spend as much energy as playing basketball or football. However, it depends on maintaining a high amount of concentration for an extended period of time. If you’re just getting started, you’re going to have to sharpen both of your physical and mental skills to stay focused on the golf course. Here are just 5 ways you can do this:
- Prepare Your Mind and Body
As with any sport, accomplished golfers think of golf as a way of life. To ensure success on the greens, you have to prepare yourself beyond it. For example, just a few hours of exercise before any kind of major activity can prepare your body and improve your performance.
Meanwhile, practicing your swing at a driving range can be a valuable means to experiment with different shots and boost your confidence. With the right amount of preparation, you’ll find yourself with a better feel for your shots by the time you hit the golf course. Overall, practice and exercise don’t just make you more physically prepared, it also allows your mind to better process and execute shots.
- Wear Comfortable Clothes
What you wear on the golf course is more than just a fashion choice. Indeed, your choice of clothing can help or hinder how you take your shot. So choose the most comfortable golf wear to keep your swing in top form.
For example, shirts with just the right amount of fabric will allow for a better range of movement. The same applies with pants and shorts. Remember that clothes that are too tight restrict movement, while those that are too loose will get in the way of your swing. And if you’re playing under the midday sun, a cap or golf visor can also lessen glare and give you a better look of the field. By having less to worry about, wearing comfortable clothes can even help you concentrate on getting your swing right.
- Visualize the Shot
To make your shots more consistent, you can try something that the world’s best athletes do: visualizing. It’s important to process as many variables as you can and imagine where your swing will land the ball. By visualizing how and where your ball will travel, your brain actually tricks your body into stimulating the same muscles to do the real thing.
One way to do this is picture the path your ball will take to the target. Think of how high it will go, how long it will travel, or how it will bounce wherever it lands. Another type of visualization you can do is to imagine your swing, along with the ball’s trajectory. By having a better idea about how your shot will turn out, you get to keep your nerves in check, while relaxing your mind and body.
- Commit and Follow Through
Sooner or later, you’re going to have to make the shot happen. But sometimes, last minute jitters can get in the way and ruin an otherwise great shot. To make the ball land where you want it, you need to execute your shot with utmost confidence. LPGA professional Lexi Thompson even recommends closing your eyes during putting to remove the mental clutter.
But what’s important is to stay committed to the club you’ve chosen, the shot you needed to hit, and the swing you wanted to do. And you can only do this if you remain self-assured and maintain your poise. But if you change your mind about your shot, it’ll be best to take a step back and re-evaluate your swing. Any negative thoughts will ruin your concentration and possibly, your self-confidence, too.
- Accept the Result, No Matter What
If ever you end up taking a bad shot, you should just move on and not let it ruin the next one. Letting it bother you will just eat into your confidence. By dwelling on a poor shot, you will end up frustrating yourself for no good reason. This will end up distracting you from making your next shot, further ruining your ability to concentrate. Breathe out after a bad shot to release some stress and always keep your cool. By staying positive, you have a better chance of righting the ship and recovering for the round.
We’ve all found ourselves distracted on the golf course, one time or another. And golf just so happens to be a sport that demands a lot of concentration. Thankfully, things as easy as meditative exercises or a comfy choice of clothes can already do a lot to improve your focus and help you step up your game.