You’re just about ready to make the first step up onto the tee box and you’re feeling great. Golf shoes are looking good and comfortable. Freshly new pressed golf pants and shirt, and you’re feeling loose and limber, then all of a sudden this big dark cloud appears out of nowhere. You look down the fairway and all you see is water and trees and your asking yourself; how am I going to get this golf ball in the fairway?
I think we have all been there before. The all-important golf shot of the day. This all important golf shot typically sets the pace for the rest of the round mentally. Nobody wants to start off with a bogey or double bogey. Par or better is so important on this first golf hole. The thoughts of anything else keep racing through your mind. The fairway becomes narrower. The trees look like the branches are reaching out into the fairway. The small running creek looks more like a lake before you. The bogeyman is near! If you stand on the tee box any longer at this point, and even in the sweltering heat you may visualize a snowman. Yikes!!! The worst possible start of a long eighteen!
How do we overcome this big shadow of fear that seems to take over our golf swing from time to time? Do you tee it up and hope for the best? Maybe your golf buddy will stand up tall and go first if he’s any kind of friend? Just maybe the easy way out through this jungle would be take a 7 iron and punch it down the fairway. At least you don’t have to take that big ugly swing that may put you in the thick woods of no return. With three good punch shots you might just able to get it close enough to save par?
Let’s not kid ourselves. The golf swing has to happen. The golf club selection is an important one at this point, especially if your knees are feeling weak. You may want to take your favorite wood or long iron that you’re more confident with on this important golf shot.
Walk away from this monster looking view and regain your composure by looking the other way. The most important thing to do when feeling negative is to step back off the tee box and gather your thoughts and hold onto the positive pictures, perhaps by taking some deep breaths and swinging the opposite way. I find that by swinging in the opposite direction, my mind does not pick up any negative thoughts, possibly because I know that there is no hazard in front of me, because I’m golfing the opposite direction. Make any sense?
After you have released all the horrible pictures you have visualized earlier, step back onto the tee box and take a deep breath and release it slowly standing behind the ball. Look down the middle of the fairway and look for a spot on the fairway that you want the ball to land. Visualize the ball landing on that particular spot that you picked out. Step up to the golf ball and take one more look and start the golf swing with a smooth takeaway and accelerated swing through the ball as if you’re playing with a crowd watching along the sidelines.
Your mind will create the golf swing to make the golf shot happen, only if you are relaxed and focusing on the golf swing you are creating mentally. It’s a phenomenon that I cannot explain, but it works.
I guess it goes with the old saying. Whatever the mind can conceive and believe. It will achieve! Positive thoughts bring positive results. Step away from the golf ball when having negative thoughts. It could be too late, halfway through your golf swing.