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GolfStash Blog. Written by Golf Professional Alex Ward.

Power of the Mind in Golf

How powerful can the mind be?
I go back to a shot I remember vividly as if it happened just yesterday. It was this shot that got me thinking about how powerful the mind can be. Before this particular shot, I had never really paid any attention to the thought processes or how the mind can influence you and your shots. Obviously, I had an idea that the mind can play tricks, and sometimes how you feel in the moment can have an effect on what comes next. Never had I experienced the effect so clearly or with such a connection to it as I did on this day. This day marked a new beginning and era in my golf career.
The shot in question:I was standing over the ball about 80 yards from the pin, which was perched precariously at the front of the green. I had chosen my sand wedge as the weapon of choice. For me a full swing results in a shot of about 95 yards. As I was addressing the ball my thoughts wandered all over the place, but I remember the very last thought I had. “I wish I was about 15 yards further back, that would have been perfect”. As I began my backswing, that was my only focus, being further away. As I came down onto the ball, something strange took place, something I did in my swing, a movement that even Hank Haney would not be able to describe nor explain resulting in the ball popping about 10 feet up in the air. The ball landed on the ground and by some miracle spun back about 15 yards. Unbelievably, I now had my 95-yard shot. Mission accomplished, well sort of. It was then it hit me “wow, this is exactly the end result I was hoping for; it was exactly what I was focusing on doing.” “This is huge; can the mind really be that powerful?” I thought. Looking back on the shot and analyzing it brought me to the following conclusions:

Golfers swing

    The body, or more precisely the brain will do what you tell it to do, even when you are not aware of all the internal dialogue going on

    The quality and awareness of your internal dialogue determine the outcome in your life

    All your energy must be accounted for in consciousness, when you wish or something you have begun the process of manifestation

Becoming aware of your internal dialogue is a must; it can bring new clarity to your golf game and your life. If you have never experienced your internal dialogue, give this mind drill a try;

    Presence of mind drill. Focus on your internal dialogue and see where it takes you.

    Categorize the areas to which you are paying the most attention.

    Try to stop your internal dialogue for 2 minutes.

    List the five most important beliefs you hold about yourself and recognize that you are working 24 hours a day to make these true, to make these beliefs a reality.