How good is your mind?
Remember that the golf swing is only part of the game.
The most important aspect of any successful golfer is to be mentally-strong. Tiger Woods was very well-known for his mentality when he first turned pro.
Remember the saying “You are what you think.” Tiger thinks that he is the best golfer in the world today and, guess what? He is. His father worked very hard with him to get that way.
We all need extra help in the area of mental preparation. You need to believe in yourself and your ability to accomplish any shot or putt. Sometimes it is OK to be creative, and once in a while it works. However, it is also important to have the discipline at the right time, accept your mistake, and get the best score out of the course that you can.
As you play a round of golf, don’t overwhelm yourself with every hole on the course. Instead, take one hole at a time and, in fact, take one shot at a time.
I remember that one of my older brothers told me to concentrate on the shot at hand and give 100 percent to that shot. If I did that, there was no reason to be upset with myself. He was right.
The best book I have ever read is by Dr. Bob Rotella called “Golf is Not a Game of Perfect.” He was very simple in the way he explained the mental part of the game.
My favorite story in the book is when he talks about Davis Love III playing in the Players Championship. Having missed his shot to the right on a par-3, he was standing by his ball, surveying his shot.
He heard two guys behind him betting on whether or not he would get up and down for his par. Davis turned to the gentlemen and said, “Boys, I’m going to knock this in.”
Davis then hit his shot and made it for a birdie. Like I said before, if you believe you can do it, you usually can and, if not, it increases your chances for a better next shot.
Go out with good intentions and work on your mind. Focus on your shot and don’t let your mind wander during the shot. Good luck and may you have your best round this year.
Sean Riley is the head golf professional at the Cotton Ranch Golf Club in Gypsum. He can be reached at (970) 524-6200.