How has the season been going for you up to now? Is it delivering on the hopes you had at the start of the year? Are you getting the most out of your game? Or does the following scenario sound all too familiar:
It has been another day on the golf course where you have produced a game you know is less than you are truly capable of. You have a nagging sense of regret as you realise you have given so many shots away unnecessarily.
What happens now?
What do you do after a round of golf?
What is your particular pattern of habit?
Maybe, as many of us have done over the years, you get to the clubhouse bar, order a pint and spend the next hour sharing stories with your pals about what could have been and what should have been over the previous four or so hours.
We often find some sadistic solace in picking the bones out of our perceived golfing incompetence. They say misery loves company and at some point every one of us will have held a ‘pity party’ for the state of our game. Friends and self-appointed experts offer well-meaning advice and sage guidance to what they believe is really holding you back from revealing the player you know you could be.
‘You need to get a lesson from the pro’, ‘practice more’ or ‘just believe in yourself’ are some of the standard fare we are offered by others in our quest for golfing betterment.
Yet have you ever considered how important what you do after you have finished a round could be to the quality of your game in the weeks and months ahead? Almost nobody sees this as a route to improvement. Yet I promise you a slight change in what you do after golf will pay big dividends, and I am not talking about hours bashing balls on the range.
We spend so much time working on trying to change our swing.
But how about getting more out of what you CURRENTLY have? I am not for one minute saying you shouldn’t work on your game or your swing, but to access more of what you already own will put a lasting smile on your face as you find ways of putting good scores together, even when you are not quite at your very best.
I firmly believe success leaves a trail behind and perhaps the most important thing we can do as a golfer is to understand ourselves better.
Yet very rarely do we look over our shoulder at the trail success leaves and really understand what makes US tick as a unique individual.
Please don’t stop having your pint of Guinness with your pals and shooting the breeze after you have finished playing, but I do want to suggest that you get into the habit of asking yourself a few key questions after the round is over.
Just taking that bit of time to reflect on your game and then being able to move on into the future with a purpose. Ideally do this once you get home with the help of a notebook and the willingness to jot down a few of your reflections
The single most important question you can ask is, what were the 3 best shots today?
Write out in some detail the three best shots you have hit. How did the swing feel? What process did you go through before you hit the shots? What did you see in your mind’s eye?
As you do this exercise you will not only strengthen the memory of the three good shots, but you will start to notice patterns. Patterns of what YOU do when you play good shots. These patterns are gold nuggets of information as to what makes you tick.
So many golfers ask the question when they play poorly, ‘what am I doing wrong?’ Yet it is far more important to ask what do you do right when you hit good shots. It may be an over simplification of the game but in my experience, to get the best out of your game it is about doing more of what works for you and less of what doesn’t. To follow that simple advice though you need to actually know yourself well.
By taking these few moments to reflect after a round, you will become much more of an expert in the only person that will hit the shots, namely yourself. A five-minute exercise after the round which at the very least will make you feel better about the day you have just had, and could just provide you with some vital clues as to how you can access more of your very best golf on a more frequent basis.
To book Karl Morris to present his Mind Factor workshop at YOUR club, go to www.themindfactor.com