We've all done it. When playing a good or great round, we lose it. Whether we can't hit the driver or whether it's shanking irons, we've all had those rounds where all of the sudden, without warning, our golf swing goes...somewhere. Why? Where does our golf game go and why did it leave?
Well, it's not gone anywhere. it's there. Just buried beneath the weight of all those things inside our head. Clearly if we had the physical ability to 'do it' right for 14 holes, we should be able to finish out the round with it. Right?
Yes. We can. But, I know for me and I suspect it's the same for others, sometimes we consciously know we're playing well and we want so much to finish strong that we focus more on the goal and result of finishing strong, when we should be focusing only on the processes we have for hitting quality shots. We let our emotions and fears take over instead of remaining calm and cool and doing the same things we did for the first 14 holes.
As renowned author Dr. Bob Rotella tells us, " Don't be seduced by results. How can Trevor Immelman get to the 18th green of the final round of the 2008 Masters and not know where he stands? It's called staying in the present, and it's a philosophy I teach all the players I work with. It means not allowing yourself to be seduced by a score or by winning until you run out of holes. Instead, you get lost in the process of executing each shot and accept the result."
Too often we let our emotions and our thoughts get the better of us. That leads to being too tense, too apprehensive and that can quicken our tempo, all of which are bad things to a golf swing. Don't focus on results, focus on the process and your planning and executing each golf shot. Once that shot is over, go to the ball and start all over. Committing to the shot at hand is the only important step you have to do. The worst thing you can do for your prospects of winning is to get down when things don't go well. If you start feeling sorry for yourself or thinking the golf gods are conspiring against you, you're not focused on the next shot
So the next time you feel your game starting to go south (or north), take a step back, take a few breaths, refocus your mind on the only important thing: properly preparing and executing the next shot. Anything that isn't focusing you on this shot is distracting you from this shot, and that's an absolute killer to your game.
Don't be result focused, be only in that moment executing that single shot you have before you.