I wonder if country music legend, Kathy Mattea was playing golf when she wrote that song? Ok so the name was actual “18 wheels and a dozen roses,” but the song is about a guy retiring after 30 years of being on the road, and is heading home to be with the love of his life. Sounds like golf!
Golf is a game of using your heart and head, otherwise known as wisdom. Here are a dozen ways to bring your heart and head together on the golf course, and improve wisely.
1 Think “yes” on the 1st tee
The first tee can actually be a great place to start when you think “yes”. Start the day by saying, “Yes, I do like the first tee because …” Then fill in the blank of all the reasons you like the first tee.
2 Find two reasons hole #2 is great
Look for colors. Plants, flowers and trees, oh my! What do you notice? When you take notice of what’s around you, especially on the golf course, your senses open up. When you play golf using your senses, you improve how you feel.
3 “3” is a great score on any hole!
Be a “birder” for the day. Look for at least three different birds on the course today. See how many different species of birds you can find. Depending on where you are playing, you are bound to see a variety of fascinating birds.
4 Breathe deeply
Notice your breathing patterns. Do you hold your breath when you putt, or anywhere else on the course? Take a deep breath right now … hold it for the count of “4” … and breath out slowly. Notice how it relaxes you.
5 Visualize what you want
See the shot before you hit it. Open your visual sense and you open insightful opportunities. If you want to hit the fairway with your tee shot, then see it like a movie before you step up to the shot. See your ball where you want it to end up.
6 “Play the ball as it lies”
That is stated in the rule book. It is quite gratifying to hit the shot no matter where it is, as long as it is in play. Without the risk of injury, attempt to play the shot whether it’s in a divot or in the middle of the trees … without creating a better lie. You’ll be happy (and proud of yourself) that you did.
7 You are the judge and the jury
Be honest. In golf, you judge yourself and have to live with the truth. To be honest with yourself on the golf course only really affects you in the long run. “Truth” is a direct connect between your heart and head!
8 Balancing act
Did you know you can cut the number 8 in half vertically or horizontally, and both halves mirror themselves perfectly? Eight is a very balanced number. And when you are on the 8th hole, it means “the turn” is coming up soon to keep you balanced in body and mind. Eating wisely to keep your mind focused is key!
9 Tournament test
What better way to see what you’re made of. Playing tournament golf is not for everyone, but it does bring your game to a new level. Playing in a tournament whether a club fun event or a regional qualifier pushes you to concentrate and stay focused on the goal. And that’s a good thing in golf.
10 Childs play
Golf is a game! Sometimes we forget about the game and make it too much work. Yes, work at it to become better, but keep the kid on you while playing. Laugh, have fun, enjoy the game!
11 Enjoy the company
Although sometimes you get paired with people you don’t like, remember to take in every part of the game and share it. Point out nature you are surrounded by and find common interests to talk about. Golf is a social game. Enjoy it.
12 45 minutes of play time
Did you know in a 4 1/2 hour round of 18 holes, you are only actually playing about 45 minutes? What are you doing the rest of the time? There’s no need to concentrate on your next shot every minute you’re out there. So “remember to remember” to take in the wisdom of the game. Allow your head and heart to breathe deeply, feel the grass beneath your feet and enjoy the feast for all of your senses to enjoy.
Randy Friedman, Speaker, Mind Coach and owner of Golf Mind Power, teaches the essential missing link of the mental game in golf and in life. Randy’s first-hand knowledge as a professional athlete playing and teaching Racquetball and Golf, has given her the experience to teach others the principles behind her book, Your Inner Swing.