Pine Needles Mid Pines Resort Blog

A Pre-Shot POSITIVE PICTURE: The Best Club In Your Bag! by Pat McGowan

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There’s no question that practice is paramount to improving your golf game.  Consistent lower scores aren’t an accident.  It takes a committed and repetitive effort to become better in all aspects of the game.

This is universally understood….a “given” so to speak.  I would like to add something you may not have thought of, or, you don’t think is as important as physical practice.

The mental picture we have as we address each shot has more to do with the outcome than anything we do physically.  This is a strong statement so let’s take a minute to analyze.  Every golf shot results in one of two outcomes…you were pleased with the shot or you weren’t. Pretty simple…agreed?

A positive mental picture of a quality shot will allow our already honed skills to take over.  We “get out of our own way” when we picture or “see” a positive result…before we even hit the shot.  This good feeling (picture) relaxes us and lets our swing perform with no restrictions.

Conversely, what happens when you tell yourself, “stay away from that bunker, or, don’t hit it in that water.”  ? Your mind immediately focuses on this negative, you become tense, afraid, and restricted in your swing. It’s a terrible feeling to have this negative picture and we know what to expect when we play in this mindset.   Yuck!

Here’s your challenge…play 9 holes and picture the exact shot you want to hit each and every time.  It won’t be easy and it takes a lot of concentration.  Cast off the usual negative vibes that pop up.  Now, when you can consistently make it 9 holes with those positive pictures, you can start the process for the entire round.

There are two real truisms in golf…if you picture a negative outcome you will most surely “achieve” this result.  But, if you picture a good, positive outcome, chances are you’ll achieve this also….not every time; but, you’ve now given yourself the very best opportunity to hit a great shot.

Try this…you haven’t had to work on your swing, it costs nothing, and you will instantly become a better player.

Enjoy this great game,

Pat McGowan

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