Golf is a challenging game to learn. There are few golfers who do not find themselves both surprised and a little frustrated by its complexities.
One’s first thought is that it really should not be too difficult to play golf. You are after all simply aiming to hit a ball with an appropriate implement and direct that ball along a fairway. And eventually you have to get it into a hole, again using an appropriate club.
You soon realize that you initial thoughts were a little simplistic. That ball turns out to be more difficult to hit that it first appeared. It’s all too easy to take aim and just hit fresh air, completely missing the ball. You begin to appreciate that a little work will be required to get that ball moving at all, let alone sending it flying in the right direction.
And so most people spend a fair amount of time struggling away on the range until that ball begins to respond in the way you wish it to. Probably every golfer will acknowledge that to take some lessons at this early stage of the game is a very wise move indeed. You thereby learn good techniques from the start, and that helps a lot. There are easier and harder ways in which to swing a golf club and you may as well ingrain techniques that are easier and more superior.
This stage of learning to play golf is mechanical and technique oriented. It involves practice and repetition. And eventually you are rewarded by being able to hit the ball further and straighter along the fairway. You feel great as you begin to think that you can play this pesky game after all.
Yet as soon as you think that thought, another challenge appears within this game called golf. You begin to realize that your mind can play tricks on you. You learn to appreciate the need to tame your mind and dial in your focus. You have to control your emotions. The mental game of golf is a game in itself, within the game of golf.
Once you gain a little mastery of the mental game of golf you have yet another stage of the game to traverse. To play golf well you need to employ your creativity. You have to be able to see a shot and follow your instincts to find a way in which to create the shot that you have seen.
Arguably this is part of the mental game, as you see the shot in your mind’s eye and then set about creating it. In fact what is happening is that your mental and creative focus triggers in you the ability to explore and develop further in your technical ability. Your play becomes less “robotic” and more creative.
Think Seve here, and you’ll appreciate what I am saying. Your ability to see a shot clearly allows you to improve and hone in your technique. The task you set in your mind leads you to develop new and greater technique. It leads you to “feel” your golf shots.
You can see when a golfer truly feels their shots. You can see the focus upon their face as they take their practice swing, feeling how the club head brushes the grass, taking a few swings until they have that perfect feel. And then they set up to the ball and feel that same swing repeat itself again.
And so the stages of learning to play golf naturally feed from one to the next. You learn your basic technique and then you start to focus and get your mind on side. You start to see your shots and develop your creative mind to set tasks which further develop your technique and eventually you really feel your shots.
Golf is a wonderful game to learn and to play in innumerable ways. It is very challenging but at the same time enormously rewarding. And there is always more to learn!
Roseanna Leaton, avid golfer and specialist in golf hypnosis mp3s and author of the GolferWithin golf mind training system.
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