We all know that golf is a hard game and one that feels very elusive. We may be able to get a feeling grooved on the range only to go onto the golf course and have it fall apart. Does this sound familiar? Why does this happen? The truth is that practice and play are two very different things when it comes to how we approach each one and particularly how we judge ourselves. Let’s look at how they are different.
The typical practice session consists of searching for a good feeling that will bring out confidence. This is not entirely wrong but just incomplete and does not in and of itself set someone up for success on the golf course. Grooving a movement pattern in practice that promotes solid contact and feels repeatable is certainly a valid way to spend some of your practice time, however, transferring that feeling into tangible results is a different task altogether. The only way to transfer skills onto the golf course is to master one’s mental process for executing a golf shot and a key part of that process is connecting to the target. How often do you find your intention becoming to swing smooth or to make the proper turn in the backswing without a real connection to the target? If you watch other players you will notice that some people don’t even look at the target during setup, some just glance at it, and others take a real intentional long look at it.
Practicing the process of taking a truly intentional look at the target over every shot in practice can have a dramatic impact on the execution of golf shots. Set aside time in practice to go through your routine and notice how well you are connecting to the target.