Drive it down the middle? It’s the mind-set that makes all the difference

To me, the most important thing I can think while I’m hitting a tee shot is to make the best swing I possibly can, all the way through to the finish. This mind-set allows me to concentrate on what I am able to control, and it allows me to make the best swing I’m capable of making at that moment. It also changes my focus to the execution of a swing, rather than anxiety about the result of a shot.

A correct mind-set is focused on making great swings, thus producing consistent swings. An incorrect mind-set is focused on results, producing anxious swings. These anxious swings cause us to “guide” the ball into play, resulting in inconsistent shots. They keep us in a mode of guiding the shot, rather than trusting our swing.

Do you see the difference in mind-set?

Most people can swing well on the driving range but have a hard time transferring it to the golf course. On the range, we put the best swing we can on each shot and consequently we hit good golf shots. But once we’re on the course, our focus changes into producing a result rather than a swing, greatly hindering our execution.

When you’re on the course, you cannot allow yourself to “guide it” at the fairway, hoping to at least keep the ball in play… or to not hit a slice… or to simply not embarrass yourself. No! You absolutely must keep your thoughts under control and it begins with a decision. The next time you step onto the tee box, be determined and decide, “I’m going to make the best swing I possibly can, all the way through to the finish, no matter what.”

Use this simple drill and I promise you will drive better:
Stand on the tee box and look at the entire hole. Now ask yourself, “How far left can I hit it and be okay? Now, how far right can I hit it?” Aim exactly in between them and decide to make the absolute best swing you can. This allows your brain to relax, and gives you a green light to make your best swing possible. Does this guarantee that you will never hit a bad shot? No. But it will guarantee that you will be more confident and make better swings along the way, producing better shots. And when you hit better shots, then who knows? You might just have more fun too! Isn’t this what it’s all about anyway???

I’ve used this technique to win golf tournaments, shoot course records, and to simply play my best. It keeps it fun and it keeps me from worrying about the result. Remember, only you can control your mind and it’s your mind-set that makes all the difference.