Theatre of the Mind

Just how do you improve your golfing brain and is it important?

The answer is yes because the KEY to playing good golf is to have sound basic swing fundamentals and to control your state of mind.

Many golfers find that they can hit good shots on the practise area (because they are relaxed) but then play badly on the golf course (because they are more tense).

It is often the case that they do not realise this and blame the swing instead or revert to that old favourite “I picked my head up”.

Remember, the swing is unlikely to have to have changed BUT your state of mind has.

How you feel affects the way that you play and how you play affects how you feel.

Experts such as Martin Glover advocate FOUR ways to improve your golfing brain in this respect, namely:

  • Arrive at the course in a relaxed state of mind (play music in the car), have a routine and DON’T be rushed.
  • Use your imagination (the theatre of the mind) to play good shots instead of poor one’s.
  • Change your physiology by walking upright and purposeful because body language affects your mental state and vice versa.
  • Breath correctly and slowly.

In previous articles I have discussed relaxation and breathing techniques and therefore I shall concentrate for the remainder of this article on imagination and physiology.

Firstly, by using your imagination (the theatre of the mind) you will improve your chances of playing good golf.

Most golfers dwell on poor shots rather than focusing on the positives and as a result they get used to playing poor golf on a mental level.

Use your imagination to visualise good golf shots (tee shots, approach shots, recovery shots or putting) instead of poor one’s.

When you come to play your round, you might not play perfect golf but you will be a step closer to doing so.

Secondly, watch your posture and do not slouch (even after a poor shot) because it affects the way you feel.

Colin Montgomerie once gave a TV interview regarding showing no ‘weakness’ to and opponent during an important game and the answer from his mind GURU (Hugh Mantel) was simple.

“Stand tall and walk purposefully onto and from the first tee as if you OWN the place”.

He did so and he won the match, if it works for him then it WILL work for you.