So, what is the real secret to golf’s mental game?
When making every golf swing on the golf course, stay in the present.
You hear it now and then, and it sounds like standard golf psychology, but what does it really mean? Actually, staying in the present means to focus on the task at hand. In the golf mental game, the task at hand is always the golf swing needed to make the golf shot.
Now all of the golf psychologists and golf mental game gurus just jumped up and yelled at their computers, which I expected, but there is a very easy conclusive way to prove my point…
To prove the golf swing is the task at hand you should focus on…
Try to hit golf balls with your eyes closed with only one purpose: To see what your inner mind is struggling to see as you make your golf swing.
You’ll find that the inner mind is trying to see the golf ball you are trying to hit.
In comparison, the argument you get from golf mental gurus compares hitting a golf ball to throwing a ball. (Biomechanically, they are the same motion) The golf psychologists will tell you that when throwing a ball, you should focus on the target, and that is correct. Try it with your eyes closed and your inner mind will try to “see” the target in order to get the ball there.
Unfortunately, golf mental guru’s make an assumption that if it works for a throw, it must work for the golf swing, but it doesn’t and here’s why.
Golf Psychology is about how you think on the golf course. What it misses is how the brain operates behind the scene. You see, there are two subconscious processes that happen when you make any movement. The most obvious is the visual channel, which is the one the golf mental guys are dealing with here. But there is a second, equally important process they are not seeing.
The second process golf psychology has overlooked is feel or balance feedback.
When you are throwing a ball to a target, while your mind focuses on the target, your balance feedback is constantly monitoring the feel and weight of the ball to give the muscles the right juice to get the ball to the target.
In golf, you aren’t holding the golf ball. Instead, you are holding a golf club. This is the very reason that you have a variety of golf clubs… Because you don’t have the feedback of holding the golf ball to gauge the distance and amount of force your muscles need to apply to cover that distance. The golf club does all of that for you. All you have to do is hit the golf ball with a similarly powered golf swing and the club sends the ball the required distance.
Now, let’s look at what the golf club has to hit: The golf ball. Since worry over the amount of muscle to apply is (theoretically) taken out of the question by the design of the golf club, your feedback loop needs only to consistently deliver a similar force behind each golf swing when it hits the golf ball.
Since the golf swing is as much about sequence and timing to deliver the most effective strike to the golf ball, the subconscious must focus on delivering the club head to the golf ball at the moment when all of the body’s leverage has released in the proper order. In other words, both the visual and balance feedback processes must focus on the golf ball.
But I digress…
The real question is: How important is it to stay in the present during the golf swing?
Golf psychology will tell you that emotions such as fear, worry, or anxiety have the greatest affect on athletic performance. But there is a very important fact that is never mentioned…
Emotions can only happen during future or past thoughts. There is NO emotion during the present.
Think about that statement for a minute. The present is when you are acting. The past and future are places you can only think consciously about.
If you can keep your mind in the present, emotion cannot affect your performance.
This means that the whole process of “controlling your emotions” commonly spouted in golf psychology goes out the window.
This is NOT something the golf mental gurus want you to find out.
This is super important when you are swinging a golf club because any distraction can cause strokes if the golf swing gets altered by that distraction.
This is powerful because Bio-Visual Focus keeps your mind focused in the present during your golf swing by constantly monitoring bio-feedback from the body and comparing it to pictures created by that feedback. These are all processes that happen in the present, so focusing on them keeps your mind in the present.
What that means is that you can spend less time worrying about how to deal with fear or anxiety. If your focus is good enough, those emotions aren’t even part of the picture!
Here’s the kicker. The methods used to achieve these goals are processes that are already at work in your mind and body, so there’s nothing new to learn. It’s just a matter of learning how to use these processes better when it comes to your golf game.
Bio-Visual Focus not only improves your focus, but it removes the need to worry about emotions that might affect your mental performance on the golf course, killing two birds with one stone, which allows you to play golf with less on your mind and consistently amaze yourself with lower scores, a better golf swing, and the ability to actually enjoy yourself on the golf course.