Finding Your Rhythm in Golf
Why do some golfers take so long to find their rhythm?
Maybe you can relate to this experience…
You get to the course and something seems off… Mentally, you feel like you are not ready for the round.
At the first tee, you don’t feel comfortable.
You set up to your shot and hit the ball but it lands nowhere near your target.
After that bad shot, all you want is to not double bogey.
The next few holes, you are left trying to get into the flow of the round.
When you finally get into the groove, you are solely concerned with making up strokes from the first three holes.
So, exactly what’s at play here?
Why is getting into a rhythm difficult for some golfers?
The reason has to do with preparation, more specifically, when a golfer starts to mentally prepare for a round.
Some golfers are haphazard and not consistent with their preround preparation. These golfers have no standard preparation regimen and hope they are ready to play by the time they walk up to the first tee.
Golf doesn’t start with your first tee shot.
Preround preparation should be intentional, purposeful and routine. As for the timing, preround preparation should start long before the first tee.
Preround preparation should be something you consciously attend to, something you perform habitually in the same manner prior to every round.
Preround preparation is about getting your mind and body ready to play at your peak from the very first swing.
In fact, if you make your preround preparation a routine, it will send a message to your brain signaling, “Hey, I’m totally ready to play.”
This message to your brain not only calms you, it fosters confidence! And isn’t that what you want to start your round, high confidence?
World No. 1 golfer Dustin Johnson attributes his success to his extensive preparation, in particular, his preround routine.
Johnson has steadily moved up the ranks since 2016 due to his consistent play in tournaments. Johnson’s consistent play is directly related to his consistent preparation.
JOHNSON: “If we tee off at 7am I’ll get up at 4am. I’ll get ready, go to the gym. Then I’ll head to the course, eat, go to the range and start warming up an hour and 15 minutes before my tee time. Chip and putt, hit balls, go through the whole bag. If I haven’t warmed up, the first few shots don’t feel so good, because I’m not loose.”
That is a very specific routine! Johnson’s routine helps him slowly narrow his focus so, by the time he tees off, he is totally prepared to play… And you can’t argue with his success.
If you want to consistently play at your peak, heed Johnson’s example and adopt a consistent, thorough and purposeful preround routine.
A Tip for Developing an Effective Preround Routine:
Write out a schedule for what you should do from the moment you leave your house to prepare yourself mentally and physically.
Consider pre-round meal or snacks, preparing your equipment, stretching, warm-up, visualization, checking out course conditions, etc.
Don’t forget the importance of your mental preparation for the round. Play a few holes in your mind, review your game plan, and use positive self-talk to build confidence.
Consistent performance starts with consistent mental and physical preparation.
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