The Brain- The Best Club In Your Bag

By: Norman Stanley

Golf is not only a test of physical skill and stamina but also a brain game; it is the grey matter that separates the good golfer from the great golfer. To focus on the shot at hand without letting the memory of the last duffed chip or the apparently unbeatable playing partner impinge on your thoughts is what will allow you to play your best golf.

The primary aim of golf is to advance the ball from the tee to the hole on the green in the fewest possible strokes. Each stroke is a one of a kind, and as such must be played that way. The previous shot and the next shot have no bearing upon it so don't worry yourself with them. At any time the only shot that concerns you is the one you are about to play.

It is vital not to carry the baggage of a poor shot with you, it will tinker with the grey cells and lo and behold you will play another bad one. Let it go! There is nothing you can do to change it and so forget it. Own it to the point of admitting you are not perfect and if need be run through what you did to cause it but after that, let it go!

Now it's time to put your brain to work for you, be its master not its slave. The way to approach any shot is with a PMA, a Positive Mental Attitude. If you think you can do it then you have a better chance of succeeding, you can get your brain on your side.
Visualise your shot, see a picture in your minds eye of the ball flying down the fairway and landing where you want it to.

Really picture this in as much detail as possible, feel the swing, the contact of the club on the ball, the divot you take and the trajectory of the ball. See it, hear it, feel it. This gets your little grey cells lined up and marching to the same tune.

Your brain is like a child that will only hear affirmatives so by giving only positive input it will behave, the danger here is that if you allow a badly structured thought in such as, "Don't put it in the water" the child will only hear, "Put it in the water" and you know what happens.

By visualising only what you want to happen and ignoring any alternatives you give yourself the best possible chance of success.

At the end of the day golf is a fun, relaxing game and it should be treated as such but it is more fun when you are playing well so get your brain game sorted and cut that handicap.

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