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Yukari

Mental Focus...

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I been playing this game long enough (12 yrs) to realize that concentration is the key to having a good game. But knowing and doing is a completely different thing. I seem to have one or two bad holes per nine to screw up my score.

Anyone know a good thought process for refocusing concentration during a round when you start to lose it?

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I'm the type of person that hates any sort of schedule, plan, routine, etc. I'm pretty ADD, but I work the best under pressure, and I've always produced great results when faced with that pressure. Baseball was like that for me, and now work like that is for me, and as a result, my management has been very pleased with me.

The problem is, I took that approach with golf. Lets just say that didnt work out very well. I pretty much forced myself into a very specific pre-shot routine. It gets my mind right and that bit of order gets me focused and gets me concentrating on what I have to do on the next shot. I thought I had a loosely framed routine before, but now it's almost like a rehearsed, specifically sequenced kind of thing. As much as I hate to admit it, since I begen forcing myself into that routine, my shots have gotten better, and my scores have improved.

I'm dont mean to assume that you dont have one, what I'm getting at is to go to the extreme with it, make sure every single time you do it, it's the exact same. That will train your mind to think that now is the time to concentrate on this shot.

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I'm the same way. Once I start to get out of my rhythm my game starts to dwindle. I start to force myself to take a few practice swings before I actually address my ball. It gets my mind in the right place and I will hit a solid, well placed shot about 85% of the time. Rhythm seems to be my process. Good luck!

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I been playing this game long enough (12 yrs) to realize that concentration is the key to having a good game. But knowing and doing is a completely different thing. I seem to have one or two bad holes per nine to screw up my score.

i found that if i focus to hard i play bad,i have a fine line between focusing to hard and not enough.

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couple of things...

1. Make sure you are not overly comfortable with the people you play with. I know you want to be relaxed and not anxious every time you play, but if you play with the same people over and over you can both get comfortable and take chances and mulligans and just be way too relaxed. Play with different people. Maybe in the dogfight at your local club.

2. put something on the line. Even if its small bets, quarter a dot. Knowing something is actually on the line should help you focus better throughout the round.

3. Develop a good pre-shot routine thats consistent. Take a deep breathe before you swing and focus on making good contact with the ball instead of swing mechanics..

hope this helps..

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You need a preshot routine that does not vary. One that you can rely on to clear your head of distractions and focus on what is important, the shot or putt you face. That will not only help you when you are down, but also help you when you are too high. A few birdies in a row. Facing a long par putt knowing you have a bogey-free round going. A good preshot routine is a great way to control emotions and redirect concentration.

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couple of things...

Funny you should say that in item 1. It seems every time I play with my buddies or my parents, my score goes way up. When I play in a tournament or go out alone and get paired with strangers, my score goes way down. Maybe it is just getting "too comfortable" in many situations.

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Avoid the screw-it style of thinking. This happens when you have a hole that you've hit a couple nasty shots. Then something happens. You shut down and say "screw it, it looks like I'll be taking an 8 on this hole", when in reality you're only on your 3rd or 4th shot. Think about it like a hole that you are salvaging. You might be on you're 5th shot from the bunker, but keep your focus and try to make a decent shot. I see people do this a lot when they're on the green. They say screw it, and don't even read putts. What success can you hope for when you're not planning your shots, taking practice swings or reading putts?

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Avoid the screw-it style of thinking. This happens when you have a hole that you've hit a couple nasty shots. Then something happens. You shut down and say "screw it, it looks like I'll be taking an 8 on this hole", when in reality you're only on your 3rd or 4th shot. Think about it like a hole that you are salvaging. You might be on you're 5th shot from the bunker, but keep your focus and try to make a decent shot. I see people do this a lot when they're on the green. They say screw it, and don't even read putts. What success can you hope for when you're not planning your shots, taking practice swings or reading putts?

Good advise. I do tend to do that from time to time. Not always, but once in awhile during a casual round. I just need that extra concentration from time to time during a round, then I think I can shoot in the 70's more often.

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I memorize a routine to get me on track on every single swing.. whether it's a little waggle, or whatever. Once I'm in my setup, I know I'm good to go. All about predictability.

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I just recently re-read "Zen Golf", by Dr. Joseph Parent.
It reminded me of things that had worked for me, that I had let slip.
Taking a nice long inhale and exhale before stepping up to the ball as part of a preshot routine. Not ever committing an 'Anyway'. This is where you hit a shot where you know that something isn't quite right, such as....
You have the wrong club in your hand but can't be bothered to walk to the cart to change it.
You're not comfortable with your teeing position, but your mates are waiting for you to hit, so you don't re-tee the ball....etc
If you don't have this book, it's worth reading.

I think that for beginners, working on the swing is number one...BUT When you have swing, I think the mental game becomes Number One!

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PRE. SHOT. ROUTINE.

It's been said, but you need to develop one and stick with it. I use mine as a refresher every time I step up to the ball, whether I'm teeing off or putting for an 8. It helps me become intensely focused on each shot, but you also have to learn to NOT care if the ball doesn't end up where you intended

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I just recently re-read "Zen Golf", by Dr. Joseph Parent.

Thanks. I'll go and pick up that book and give it a read.

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when I rush...I play HORRIBLY.
The past 3 weeks I've been so money.. but that's b/c I stopped rushing my pre-shot routine.
I'll stand behind the ball. look at the lie....look at the target point..think about how I want to hit it.... I timed it.. with my pre-shot routine and actually taking the shot... it's roughly 35 seconds.

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You need a preshot routine that does not vary. One that you can rely on to clear your head of distractions and focus on what is important, the shot or putt you face. That will not only help you when you are down, but also help you when you are too high. A few birdies in a row. Facing a long par putt knowing you have a bogey-free round going. A good preshot routine is a great way to control emotions and redirect concentration.

This is your key right here. The pre-shot routine always puts me back in the mindset of concentrating on the shot at hand. After the shot is over, I will joke around and talk with my playing partners about anything. When my routine starts for the next shot, it's back to focusing on the task at hand.

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