By Chris Wallace
If you’ve watched much golf on television through the years, you’ve heard good players talk about staying in the moment. But what exactly does that mean?
To put it most simply, it means that when you’re in the middle of a round of golf, nothing else matters other than the shot you’re about to play.
Too many times, average golfers find their minds wandering during a round of golf to something other than the shot at hand. If that’s happening to you on the course, you’re unlikely to be getting the most out of your game.
And truth be told, staying in the moment is much harder to achieve than one might think in theory, as there are so many reasons why minds start to wander during any given round,
It could be that you’re looking ahead to a hole on your home course that typically gives you trouble. It could be that you can’t stop thinking about that tee ball on No. 2 that you hit out of bounds, even though that happened more than an hour ago. Or it could be that you’re standing over a 4-foot putt exactly like one you missed on the previous green and the miss is what’s front and center in your mind.
Even more common, however, and even more dangerous, is being too score conscious during a round of golf.
You might be working potentially on your best round ever and get caught up in thinking about the scores you’ll need on the last three holes to eclipse your previous best mark. You might be 6-over after 14 and worried about how you’re going to break 80 when you haven’t shot a score that high all year. You might have strung together three birdies in a row and find yourself on the tee thinking about a fourth, something you’ve never done.
Regardless of what the particular scenario is, if you start looking ahead or toward the finish line, or you get caught looking in the rear-view mirror at something you can’t do anything about any longer, you’re adding stress and/or pressure to your game, and golf is hard enough as it is without making the game even more difficult.
So the next time you hit the links, see if you can make it through 18 holes or even nine without thinking about your score or anything other than the shot you’re about to play.
It won’t be easy and you’ll probably slip up. But if you can do that for the most part, it’s almost a certainty that when you do add those scores up, you’ll see improvement, and for many that improvement just might be dramatic.