Golf Staying in the Moment

Golf and staying in the moment is the sublime act in golf. Yet the paradox is that it's not really an "action" at all. It's an inner commitment and inner orientation toward stillness. It's more of a mindset than an action.

To play in the moment is a supreme challenge for most people who play golf. If we're not thinking about the demands of the shot and the things that can happen to a poor shot, we're analyzing our swing and filling our head full of countless details hole after hole. This paralyzes flow.

To play in the moment and truly settle in the now is often times even more difficult for people in the west. We seem to be so hardwired toward what to do next, things we must do tomorrow, what happened yesterday or just a few minutes ago, etc., etc..

golf in the now graphic

In a couple paragraphs I'll give you a specific process to really learn how to become present when you play. To step deeply into the moment and enjoy the game regardless of what just happened.

Being present while golfing

Ok, did you quickly scroll down the page and bypass the paragraphs between here and there?! This is being oriented to the future and NOT the present! If we're to make a deep and lasting structural change to our perceptual orientation (wow, that was a mouthful but it is the best way to describe things) then we need a process that can guide us in a natural way.

What is being in the moment? The irony of this conversation is that the only thing you EVER have is RIGHT NOW. There is no such thing as the past or the future. They are both mental abstractions constructed by our brain to "position" ourselves in relation to the moment.

Most of us do not have a solid sense of what it means to be present. Welcome to the human dilemma. We're either stuck in the future or the past. You hit a bad shot, 3 minutes have gone by and you're standing on the next tee still thinking about it. Stuck in the trance of the past.

stillness within golf image

You just hit an iron shot in the bunker and you're already self imposing concern on yourself yet you're still minutes away from getting up to your shot. Your locked in an imaginary future. Once again you're not present. These mental activities directly influence the "now". No surprise being present is so challenging...

If you want to Do you must first Be

Ok, here's what you'll do to begin the change and become more present while you play. I encourage you to take these few simple notes and make the effort. Making this change will have more lasting effect on your game and your performance than all other changes you make combined. Not to mention the noticeable gains in your experience of life itself...

    Be a student of the game - treat each round, each hole and each shot as a teacher and you are the student. There are game improving lessons in every moment. Berating yourself is an absolute waste of valuable head space. Focus on what you gained and how this helps you grow as a player AND a person.

    calmess golf picture

    Be detached - I've taught this to many players and it has an immediate effect. While there is more to it than I can express here, this is the mark of a player who has reached a very high level in mental development. Treat each shot, regardless of the result, as EXACTLY the same.

Side note: I have done this at length and each time I compared emotionally involved play with a calm indifference (yet very focused), my performance was always superior when detached and in the moment. To the point of being like two different players.

    The mindset of discovery - this is a great process. Imagine you're a scientist, an experimenter or on a mission of discovery. What are you looking for you ask? Distinctions about yourself, your attitude, your ability to remain focused and calm, your commitment to your pre-shot routine, etc..

    You are calmly making mental notes on your game while you play. All without judgment.

These will transform your game and gradually move you into playing golf staying in the moment. Being fully present on each shot. Settled in the now while truly enjoying the experience of this great game.

For those of you who are committed to improving your scores AND your experience of the game as well, I offer my mental game program, complete with audio sessions to enhance your game and make playing in the moment a habit.

Mental Game of Golf