Do you overthink your way round the course? Our resident mind guru says this could be killing your game
In my latest golf mental tips blog, I want to discuss something from which we all suffer. I think most of us would agree that not knowing is perhaps the worst of all scenarios. It leaves us in a position of uncertainty and that is an uneasy bedfellow of the mind.
Having spoken to numerous people who have recovered from life-threatening diseases over the years, almost every one of them said the worst part was knowing something was wrong but not knowing their exact diagnosis.
Not knowing results in endless loops of thinking. Once they knew what they were facing, it became easier to deal with.
Thinking creates more thinking, action leads to more action. We can’t solve every problem by taking action but we can and do create many more problems with the habit of overthinking. I see this all the time with the game of golf.
Golf mental tips: Decision-making
There is so much information available that people can become lost in all the possible options. Golfers see their heroes on television taking an inordinate amount of time to decide what shot to play and this filters subconsciously into their own approach.
We suffer the tyranny of choice. Most players would greatly benefit from becoming a little less cautious and deliberate and instead go with their first instinct.
The key is to make the decision, commit to it and then walk into the shot with a very clear intention of what you want the ball to do in relation to the target. I am convinced many poor swings are just a reflection of a lack of real commitment to a single decision. A fully committed swing can cover up a multitude of sins.
Often, the problem is we don’t practise making committed decisions. We hit balls on the range and once we’ve established it’s a 7-iron to a specific target, we don’t make another decision before heading to the first tee.
A full practice session without a single decision, then we aim to play a game requiring a clear decision on every shot. Is it any wonder golfers struggle to make the adjustment from the range to the course?
Golf mental tips: Acceptance
Another point I want to emphasise is the importance of acceptance. Once you have made your decision and committed to the shot, don’t fall into the trap of conducting a historical enquiry. Second guessing after a shot has gone is laying the fertile ground for future indecision.
You can’t get the shot back so commit to your decision and accept the outcome, good or bad.
Every time you head out onto the course, you will be faced with a multitude of decisions to make. My challenge to you all is to stop overthinking and instead, follow your instincts.
Commit to your decisions and accept the outcomes, I promise it’ll help.
Karl Morris is a mind coach to a number of European Tour stars and the brains behind the Mind Factor.