With every student, I go through some swing changes; some things that would make them a better ball striker; more consistent. But, also, I go through some mental things with them on the golf course. Everybody thinks that the mental part is really just some magical place.
People talk about the zone and being in the zone, like it’s really mystical. It’s not. We’re in the zone probably 25 to 30 times a day. If you are driving your car, and you get there, and you don’t even really realize the turns that you took.
Let’s say you have driven the same route for 5 years; that’s being in the zone. If you’re watching a movie and you forget where you are; you are just so into the movie that you don’t even realize that you are in a movie theater at that point; that’s in the zone.
We are in there a lot more than we think and it’s easier to get into a place like that if we just stay; if our mind just stays focused on just one thing; we just keep trying that one thing instead of letting our mind wander.
You do have to catch yourself sometimes out there. And just like practicing a pitch shot on the range; when you are going on the golf course and you are only taking one swing thought out there, it’s not going to work your first time. It may not work really well your second time. By your 3rd or 4th time, you are training yourself to do that and realizing that if I do change golf swing thoughts right now, it’s really not going to help me.
One of the things that happens when people change swing thoughts on the golf course is that they start out with one; they maybe play a couple good holes. All of a sudden, they maybe get some poor shots; so they switch up a swing thought and hit the ball great for another hole. Next hole-bad again, so they change thoughts, “It might be my knee this time, something with my knee.” Well, all of sudden that doesn’t work; try something else, try something else, try something else.
The thing is, let’s just say that the third swing thought that you tried that day would be the absolute perfect thing for you to hit the ball well that day. The thing is, once you’ve changed it once, all it’s going to take is one slight mis-hit, or one semi-poor shot and you are going to change your thought again. So even if you do find the perfect swing thought, you’re not going to stick with it.
From the Chicago Golf Report Podcast “How to Create a Consistent Golf Swing By Removing The Unwanted ‘Extras’” with Director of Golf at Mistwood Golf Club in Romeoville, Dan Phillips.