Improve Your Golf Focus

Follow Davis Love III Example On How To Deal With Distractions During His Recent PGA Tour Win 

golf focus

The ability to focus while golfing is one of the biggest challenges on the golf course. Is your attention all over the place during a round of golf? Does your mind drift to negative thoughts when lining up critical shots?

There is a vast array of possible distractions while golfing: the leaderboard, injuries, feelings of being tired, your last shot, part of your game that is off, anxiety, your potential ranking, your score, how you will place, how your competition is performing, spectators, weather, your parents, etc. There are so many things battling for your attention. What do you focus on the majority of the time?

When you golf, you have three choices where to place your focus:

  1. You can be a historian – Historians analyze past events trying to figure out what went wrong or what could have been done differently.
  2. You can be a fortune teller – Fortune tellers try to predict the outcome or results of an event that has yet to happen.
  3. You can be a driver – A driver needs to be focused in the present and make decisions based on what is occurring in the environment at the current moment. If the driver is focused on the road behind them, they will likely crash. If the driver is focused too far forward, they will likely veer off course.

Even PGA Tour players are confronted by distractions constantly throughout a round, but it is unrealistic to believe you can be focused 100% of the time on your game. Your mind will drift and that is normal. The key is success is managing distractions and the ability to re-focus. Davis Love III faced a fair amount of distractions and challenges en route to winning the 2015 Wyndham Championship.

Love is older than most on the Tour, has battled foot injuries and hasn’t had a Tour victory since 2008. Moreover, Love bogeyed the first hole on the last Round before he made a run for the title. Image all the thoughts that could have been running through his head. Somehow, Love was able to be in the “here and now.”

How was Love able to focus enough to surge forward after being four strokes back after Round Three? Love talked himself into being a “driver.” Love actually pep talked himself to stay in the present moment.

LOVE: “After I eagled [the fifth hole on the last Round], I said to myself, ‘You cannot look at the leaderboard the rest of the way. You have to just play your game…you just don’t get lost in results, get into the process.I had to keep grinding out one hole at a time and one shot at a time…  I actually walked off 18th green and didn’t know I had a two shot lead.”

Thoughts are conversations in your head. You can buy into all the negative distractions endlessly streaming through your head or you can positively drive the conversation in a positive, self-enhancing direction.

 ACTION DRILL

Write out some situations where you tend to get distracted and loose your focus during a tournament. What can you say to yourself to help you re-focus your attention back to the present? Use these scripts to help direct your focus during those critical moments in a tournament. Have a conversation with your inner caddy or coach and stay present each shot as it comes.

MENTAL GAME COACHING QUESTIONS

What is your biggest challenge to staying focused on the shot you are playing now?

What do you do to keep yourself focused in competition?

I would love to hear from you and I will respond.

Best regards

Coach Mark