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Favorite swing thoughts for mental side

sssmokin

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Jul 2, 2006
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My biggest roadblock to playing consistent golf is the "mental" side. What are your favorite swing thoughts to "block out" distractions etc.? Also to relieve tension.
 

jhmeg2

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Sep 16, 2011
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Gotta have more fun. I love playing with you guys. I try to not focus on the score some times, and just have more fun. Rib each other a bit more, and not be serious. The mental side of golf is BIG. I took a college course on only mental approach to golf. Pretty enlightening. One big thing I can tell ya sssmokin, is not to put so much emphasis into EVERY shot. It's been really hard for me, to play well, have one bad shot and lose focus for a while. It happens, hit a bad shot, get upset, a d then laugh it off. It happened, move on and have fun, don't let it affect the next shot.
 
OP
sssmokin

sssmokin

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Gotta have more fun. I love playing with you guys. I try to not focus on the score some times, and just have more fun. Rib each other a bit more, and not be serious. The mental side of golf is BIG. I took a college course on only mental approach to golf. Pretty enlightening. One big thing I can tell ya sssmokin, is not to put so much emphasis into EVERY shot. It's been really hard for me, to play well, have one bad shot and lose focus for a while. It happens, hit a bad shot, get upset, a d then laugh it off. It happened, move on and have fun, don't let it affect the next shot.
Enjoy playing with you too PZ, er jhmeg2. Got a 2:30 tee time for league Tuesday next week. Hope you can make it again. Thanks for the tips.
 

bdcrowe

ST Homeland Security
Aug 30, 2004
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Take a few slow practice swings to accentuate the correct movements that you want while imagining the ball flight and response that you want.

Stand over the ball, making sure to breathe slowly while imagining once or twice more, the ball response you want.

(And this is key). Concentrate entirely on one, tiny spot toward the back of the ball. This is where you want to hit through. That concentration seems to wipe away all the other thoughts of what could go wrong, or even what you need to do right. Just concentrate intensely on the spot you're going to hit with your clubhead.

You may be amazed at the difference you see in your shots.
 

limpalong

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Oct 18, 2006
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The group I've played with for years IS a distraction. We have a couple who talk nonstop. Others will decide to walk towards the hole while you are putting. But... after probably five years playing with these guys it is no longer distracting. None of us seem bothered if someone farts in the backswing or sneezes. What can be distracting if, suddenly, it gets perfectly quiet. The mind swirls wondering if they are up to something or there is a snake right behind you.
The two things that seem to help me most are 1.) Swing easy and get through the ball, and 2.) If you miss, where do you want the miss to end up. It is so much easier putting from below the hole. It is better to be 10 foot below the hole than 5 feet above. Hence, make sure your shot is going to end up below the hole. Likewise, where is the pin and don't end up short-sided.
Golf is 90% mental and the other 20% is all in your head.
 
OP
sssmokin

sssmokin

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Jul 2, 2006
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  • #6
Take a few slow practice swings to accentuate the correct movements that you want while imagining the ball flight and response that you want.

Stand over the ball, making sure to breathe slowly while imagining once or twice more, the ball response you want.

(And this is key). Concentrate entirely on one, tiny spot toward the back of the ball. This is where you want to hit through. That concentration seems to wipe away all the other thoughts of what could go wrong, or even what you need to do right. Just concentrate intensely on the spot you're going to hit with your clubhead.

You may be amazed at the difference you see in your shots.
Appreciate the advice, bdcrowe. I have my own swing thoughts that work for me. It's the mental thing that I am having trouble with. Playing this weekend in the members 2-man invitational match play, and will probably be paired against some strong competition because of my brother's super low handicap. Have to keep it loose and relaxed.
 
OP
sssmokin

sssmokin

Retired and loving it
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Jul 2, 2006
3,189
778
Central Wisconsin
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  • #7
The group I've played with for years IS a distraction. We have a couple who talk nonstop. Others will decide to walk towards the hole while you are putting. But... after probably five years playing with these guys it is no longer distracting. None of us seem bothered if someone farts in the backswing or sneezes. What can be distracting if, suddenly, it gets perfectly quiet. The mind swirls wondering if they are up to something or there is a snake right behind you.
The two things that seem to help me most are 1.) Swing easy and get through the ball, and 2.) If you miss, where do you want the miss to end up. It is so much easier putting from below the hole. It is better to be 10 foot below the hole than 5 feet above. Hence, make sure your shot is going to end up below the hole. Likewise, where is the pin and don't end up short-sided.
Golf is 90% mental and the other 20% is all in your head.
Thanks much limp. I'm learning this course better as the summer goes on, after playing my old course for 30+years, and where to play your shots to. I was always used to my old group.............whenever someone was hitting, everyone kept quiet and waited behind you. It was only a few seconds that they had to wait. It was a respect thing, and now this year, the group my brother pulled me into is talking, driving around, driving 50 yard in front of you, walking around on the green, and standing right behind the hole as you're putting. It's a nightmare for me. As a Vietnam Vet, I have a real problem now with anyone disrespecting me. I know it's my problem, but it gets to me.
 

jhmeg2

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Sep 16, 2011
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Appreciate the advice, bdcrowe. I have my own swing thoughts that work for me. It's the mental thing that I am having trouble with. Playing this weekend in the members 2-man invitational match play, and will probably be paired against some strong competition because of my brother's super low handicap. Have to keep it loose and relaxed.

I hope I'm paired with you, that would be fun.
 

limpalong

Mental Ward Escapee
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Oct 18, 2006
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Thanks much limp. I'm learning this course better as the summer goes on, after playing my old course for 30+years, and where to play your shots to. I was always used to my old group.............whenever someone was hitting, everyone kept quiet and waited behind you. It was only a few seconds that they had to wait. It was a respect thing, and now this year, the group my brother pulled me into is talking, driving around, driving 50 yard in front of you, walking around on the green, and standing right behind the hole as you're putting. It's a nightmare for me. As a Vietnam Vet, I have a real problem now with anyone disrespecting me. I know it's my problem, but it gets to me.
In our regular group of geezers, we have a retired Army General... retired Army ODS guy (still has all his fingers)... retired Air Force pilot who spent most of his career flying transport planes... and a Marine Vet. The AF guy talks non-stop. I don't seen how he even takes breathes as much as he talks! Seems they are always on each other about their particular branches of the service. Guy used to play in our group now plays just in front or just behind us with his wife. He is a retired Army CSM. Spent a big portion of his career with SF. Grew up in a bad part of Philly. We have fun trash talking him. Get him about half mad and he reverts to that Philly accent and we all have a laugh. He could explain 5 ways to kill you with a #2 lead pencil and he never gets a break from us ragging on him.
I think most of these guys find the way we play golf as an outlet... a way to just cut up and have fun and not be in a regimented environment. As we should, we most certainly respect these guys service to our Country... and yours!!!
 
OP
sssmokin

sssmokin

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Thanks limp. Good read. I will tell myself "if I have to worry about anything then it's not fun...........so I won't worry about anything." I play for fun, not to have to win.
 

Hoganman1

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Feb 10, 2018
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Charlotte, NC
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I have three swing thoughts: Extend the club back slowly, cock the wrists and focus on the ball. One would think those would be automatic after playing for 55+ years, but I still need them to play my best. I've actually written them on a small card I carry in my golf bag.
 

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