The Mental Game Of Golf
By: J. Cavell
Golf is much more than just a physical game. It's a mental game as well. You have to keep a positive mindset when on the golf course, so getting your mind in the right place is very important.
When you begin to address the golf ball and prepare for your swing, it's essential that you have a sense of relaxation. If you are tense when you swing, the chances of you hitting a bad shot are increased tremendously. Being too relaxed though may cause a weak grip that will prevent a solid hit.
Without relaxation, it is more difficult to maintain your tempo or rhythm from swing to swing and stay in good balance from start to finish. Because it is essential for the golf swing to function properly, relaxation of the mind and body should be our first priority. Please keep in mind that this also applies to the short game, even though I will be referring to the full swing.
Tension restricts movement. A quiet, relaxed mind and body allows you to swing more freely. Simply stated, muscle groups respond more easily to a natural, balanced swing motion.
If your mind is tense, your muscles will be too. If you have had a hectic day at work or at home, chances are you will take that tension and anxiety to the first tee. This tension not only causes tight muscles, but can also increase the speed of your swing.
When that happens, the little muscles in your hands and arms over power the big muscles shoulders, hips, and legs throughout the golf swing. The big muscle groups cannot move as fast as the little muscles. All body parts must be given time to do their jobs efficiently and in harmony.
First, clear your mind. Picture your mind as a blackboard, and written on it are all the thoughts and happenings of the day. The key is that you've got the eraser! Erase your mind of everything and take a moment to put yourself in an environment that makes you relaxed, quiet and happy.
Try to envision yourself listening to soft music, reading a good book, relaxing in your favorite chair, strolling in the park, hiking, fishing, walking on the beach, or simply being in the mountains.
Basically, pick whatever image helps you relax, and then put your mind and senses in that personal place. Be very specific. Actually hear the music or the waves. Feel the warm breeze or the water flowing around your body. See the mountains in all their glory. Smell the flowers. Take a deep breath and let it out slowly. Allow your mind and body to come down so that you can be up and ready to play a good round of golf. Now your mind and body can focus more clearly on one shot, one hole at a time.
Second, practice more relaxation in your grip, stance, and swing. Check the tension level in your grip. The hand pressure on the club should be light. If it is too tight, your takeaway will tend to be jerky and too fast. If you are not sure of the amount of pressure, let your hands feel the difference by squeezing tightly and then releasing to a very light grip.
J. Cavell is an amateur golfer from New Jersey who loves the game of golf. Like others, he wants to improve his golf game to make it a more pleasurable experience. He is a valued contributor to http://www.Authority4Golf.com
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