Not all people would realize that their mental wellness is benefiting from playing golf.
“Your mental wellness is essential. Make sure to keep track of your mental health,” suggests Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D. When I was just about 10, my dad used to tag me along whenever he plays golf with his friends or co-workers. As we walked the course, he would remind me that golf is not just about being a mental game, but more on improving your mental health if you can employ the appropriate strategies the moment you stepped into the greens. Unlike basketball or baseball, you are alone in this. Nobody is there to help you if things don’t go right. If you begin to doubt yourself and your mind goes against you, you’ll likely to end up losing to your opponent.
As my dad taught me how to golf, he would remind me often how essential mindfulness is when in the field. He would always ask me to find my happy thoughts first before I swing in my moves. Being inspired and focused will help me put my mind on top of my body and hand movements. “When you practice things like gratitude or mindfulness, your brain creates shortcuts for these skills, making it easier and easier each time you do it (like riding a bike!),” says Tchiki Davis, Ph.D.
To be present is the ability to focus on the task at hand. Do not let your mind go ahead and leave you behind. You can never change what had happened on the putt or chip you did a while ago. But this one in front of you now, this is the shot you’re about to make. Give it your best.
Get The Ball Into The Hole
Putting your ball into that hole should always be your goal. Take each turn as your chance, a challenge to get that ball into the hole from where you stand with the lesser number of shots possible. If it doesn’t go the way you planned, it’s okay. Accept it as a challenge and focus on your next strategy, like how you can chip your ball this time somewhere near the hole. Don’t involve yourself too much on that problematic situation. Never let your mood be ruined by one wrong move.
Focus on your goal and stay calm to have a focused and sound mind. If there are hazards (water or your ball gets into the bush), deem your ball, take your penalty drop. Go back into that location where you can do your full shot.
Let Bygones Be Bygones
Never dwell on your bad shots. Just let it go. Anyway, you cannot do anything about it. It has been done. Remember Tiger Wood’s “10-yard rule” for his poor shots. Express your frustrations walking, moving the ball 10 yards, and then forget all about it and then move on. Time to set your mind on your next blow.
Bring Your Beast Mode On The Course
Do not give up easily. Your handicap will assist you. Bring on that amazing shot. It would just take one good swing to turn your luck around. Take it on up to your last putt.
Be Positive, Pick Your Line, And Stay Focused
There will be those days when the ball may not always be on your side. Don’t take it on the greens. Go back. Always put your eyes on the positive. Pick a line, putt the golf ball, and let it roll gently along the greens until it goes straight into the hole.
When out in the greens playing golf, it’s vital to know how to out-think your challenger. Being in the present will allow you to see the real situation you are in. You will at one time or another lose your ball or have it land on the penalty area. When that happens, never lose heart. Instead, think of your advantages, your handicap, how to take on strategies when your ball got out of bounds. Learn to play your provisional ball when necessary.
Being mindful of your every situation as your ball hit the greens will make you think clearly of the rules (the do’s and don’ts, the tricks, and strategies). Quitting is not one of your options. Focus, hit your ball where it lies, and see where it gets you. “Based on the assumption that bringing mindfulness and a deeper psychosomatic awareness to the golf swing have great value, this emerging paradigm teaches that the body’s innate intelligence can produce swings that are natural, effective, and athletic if that intelligence is freed up and properly focused,” explains psychologist Michael Bader D.M.H.
Golf, just like any other game, can be considered a game of luck. But more than chance, it takes skill, effort, and mindfulness to take on the course with much success.