I have been doing some work on my mental approach to the game recently through some meditation exercises.
It’s actually pretty helpful, but I certainly have not mastered it. For those that don’t know, my wife was a competitive pistol shooter and made it to the Olympics in 96. Why does that matter? Well, during her training, she spent a significant amount of time learning to visualize and meditate from sports psychologists at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado.
I’ve been taking her advice, which she has now shared here in a full article on the mental game of golf.
How I’ve been using Meditation
Simply spending some time, even if it is just 5 minutes, closing my eyes and immersing myself into hitting a ball with my driver. I’ll walk up to the tee box, go through all of the thoughts, feelings etc, then hit a perfect tee shot.
It might sound crazy, but your mind doesn’t know the difference between a visualized repetition and a physical repetition.
As I play courses like Pebble Beach on my simulator, I pull myself back after a bad shot. I’ll visualize a perfect shot, allow myself to reset and this usually turns into a good result.
I have been hitting balls with all of my wedges, I only have 3 which includes a PW and SW. I also have a newer 50 degree which I have absolutely hated since getting it. I have not been able to hit it well and it basically went into the corner all season.
I recently dusted it off and committed to practicing with it. I’m figuring it out. I think I was hitting down on the ball too much and just wasnt getting the sweet spot on the ball. I hit it thin far too much. It’s getting better however!
I wish I could say I’ve been working out like a madman, but I’ve been easing into it. Working out 3 days per week and really only doing somewhat light work. Lots of bands and really trying to stay focused on gaining some flexibility and adding core strength. I’ve lost about 10 pounds in the process, so definitely some progress.
This has translated into more consistent “high” swing speeds with what feels like less effort. For example, to swing at 115mph, I had to “give it my all”. 110 or even 108 really felt comfortable and 105 felt easy. Now 110 feels easy and I’ve been getting into 113-115 range much more often without feeling like I’m trying to swing hard.
One of the exercises that I’ve found particularly useful to help – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbe_DqMJfzg