Every golfer will know what a humbling game this is. Each time you reach that “aha moment” when you think you have your swing nailed, you somehow find that your newfound smooth and reliable swing for no particular reason just starts to falter on you yet again!
Needless to say, as your shot reliability decreases, so too does your confidence. And as the title of Bob Rotella’s book loudly, and correctly, proclaims, “Golf is a game of confidence”.
Some would say that golfers simply have to learn to just accept this fact. When you feel on form and your swing works in sync you should definitely make the most of it. To “Make hay whilst the sun shines” would be an apt analogy.
The big question, however, is how you respond and react when the sun is no longer shining upon your golf game. Do you just accept it? Or fight it? Or gently cajole your mind and your swing back into a state of calm confidence?
The answer to this question will probably differ from one golfer to another. In fact, it will probably differ from one time to another in the golfing life of a single individual. There is no “perfect recipe” that will work every time that you suffer a confidence crisis or swing collapse upon the course.
The aim of the game is to “live and learn” as opposed to getting stuck in a rut or giving up altogether. There are certain keys to golfing survival.
The first is to approach the game with an attitude of curiosity, or childlike wonder. In this way you find that you maintain a sense of fun and positivity and will not have a sense of humor collapse!
The second is to know that there are “many different ways that can be employed to skin a cat”. (Where on earth did that particular phrase derive from?!) A golfer needs to keep an open enough mind to examine the different ways in which you can look at your golfing issues.
Most golfers retreat to the range or their pro and try and work out what went wrong. Alas, few golfers think to look for the simpler, and often more easily rectified, root-causes of their issues. Did you align correctly? Did you have a clear objective when you made that swing? Were you simply feeling out of balance or out of sorts? Were you anxious or feeling intimidated?
The problem with always looking for a mechanical cause is that this can knock your confidence even further. Yes, sometimes there is a mechanical issue. But, more often your issue will be a lack of focus or correct attitude. These latter, mental issues are far more easily corrected and they will not destroy your confidence!
Thus I urge every golfer to keep an open mind and an attitude of child-like curiosity in his or her approach to this wonderful, challenging and otherwise frustrating game!
Roseanna Leaton, golf addict and specialist in golf hypnosis mp3s and author of the GolferWithin golf mind training system.
P.S. Discover how to focus your golf mind and play winning golf through mental golf training. Check out my website now.