For many years we have pondered. “What is the most important shot in golf?”
There’s no definitive answer to that yet however, the putter is surely the club you should train more with, but it's all about knowing which shot to hit at the right time to save the hole, the score; or to win the tournament.
There is a great book called: " Your 15th club ” by Bob Rotella, who is considered one of the best sports psychologists in the world . There are many books that cover this topic : “Be the Ball” by Jones Doren, “Silent Mind Golf” by Robin Sieger… Every golfer should read one or all of these books at some point in their career. Your 15th club highlights the importance of creating a mindset / process to achieve your goals and win your competition, the book refers to the 15th club as a useful tool when needed.
You can be the best ball striker or the best putter in your golf club, regular foursome or on a professional tour, but if you are not able to control the excitement or handle the pressure and reduce the tension you are going to lose ! It is easy to improve your state of mind . Try this :
close your eyes for a few minutes and I mean a few minutes (not 3 seconds!) and focus… Are you able to control your emotions? Are you able to hit that short pitch shot from a tight lie to save the hole ? Try to visualize the game from the first handshake with your fellow golfers to the end of the round . . . How did you feel ? Positive or negative ? Confident about your game or afraid of what’s going to happen ? Think about how you were happy and relaxed ..
Do it now !
To improve focus only on the positive memories of a good game , remember how positive you felt when you hit a good shot during your best round , how your mind reacted positively . Close your eyes and reflect on those same emotions .
How do you feel now? I bet you are feeling good ! This process is crucial to improve your game . ..Always believe that you are playing to WIN !
After this exercise you will have a better understanding of your personality and your attitude before and during your round. You will develop a positive mindset to hit the ball close to the pin when and where you need it. You will develop an understanding of where to go and look for that mindset you had last time you putted out to save par and attained your best score . If today, tomorrow or this weekend you are playing the course and the pressure is ON, just close your eyes for a few seconds and reflect on the feeling of your best shots and visualize the particular shot you need at this particular time . To strengthen this ability, it is important to practice visualization at the driving range, chipping and putting green. If you are on the course and your mind can’t find anything , just visualize the shot , starting at a certain point and landing exactly where you want it.
The mind is very powerful and visualization will greatly increase your chances to hit a great shot.
Our mind does not distinguish between what it has actually experienced and what it has vividly imagined.
Many people focus only on the negative, especially after a bad shot it is very common to say things like: “I knew I was going to miss it”!! If you focus on the negative you will never consistently play well . Before you hit a shot you need to focus positively on the shot at hand .
Recently, a test was conducted with 30 great golfers and the outcome was impressive . By using a positive visualization process each player improved their mindset , and achieved significant progress in terms of the quality of their game thanks to a positive outlook and visualization of the shot .
Remember, the most important “shot” in your bag is between your ears use it ! !