100% Mental Golf: Rounds 3 and 4

This week I was able to play golf on Thursday and Friday after about a one month break, due to something called winter.   Thursday played Scenic Valley and shot 77, and Friday went to Ponderosa and shot 80 where the weather and golf course conditions were a little tougher. At Ponderosa, we had a lot more wind and the golf course condition was very wet with the greens being very soft and slow.

The Good:  My ball striking was very good, considering the layoff.  I drove the ball well and my iron play was good.   I struck the ball solidly from all positions and was able to play the desired shot most of the time.   My short game continued to be more than adequate, as the early changes I made have helped.  For the most part my mental process worked fairly well and I made good decisions most of the time.

Problems: Putting was the biggest issue.  I did not putt horribly, but the best way to sum up my putting, was that I had no birdies for 2 days of golf.  I missed a couple of short putts at Scenic for pars, and some makeable birdie putts which kept that round from being a really good round for early in the season.  At Ponderosa the greens were really slow but I was ready for that, and my speed on greens was not bad but I could not get the ball in the hole.  I got off to another bad start at Ponderosa but only lasted 2 holes and some par saves on 3 and 4 helped get the round rolling a bit.   The other issue was that 2 to 3 times in both rounds I completely zoned out while hitting a shot.  My mind went completely off on other thoughts  that had nothing to do with the shot I was planning to play.  This happened completely out of the blue and at different parts of the round. Needless to say the results of the shot were horrible.   Considering  I am not thinking about my swing at all and just thinking of ball fight and shot planning it is surprising.  The definition of a loss of concentration.

Overall I was happy with the way I played during the two day.  Here is one principle, that forms one of the basic fundamentals of 100% Mental Golf.  Every golf shot is totally 100% unique.  I have stated that I do not have swing thoughts any more, which is true.  However,  I certainly have awareness as to how a certain swing feels in a particular situation.   When a shot really turns out well, that swing has a certain feeling to it.  This can be particular true on a tee shot.  The trap comes when you try to repeat that feeling on the next tee shot.   In fact this is often recommended in golf instruction to have a repeatable swing.  Believe me the shot will not be as good as the one on the last tee shot, because the next tee shot is unique from the previous tee shot.  The mind was not built to repeat, anyway.  Here is nice little test.  Get a piece of paper and make sure it is wide enough to sign your name about 5 times across.    Sign your name 5 times across the paper as naturally and with as little thought as possible.  Maybe your signature will even look exactly the same each time or there may be some slight differences.   Now drop below about one inch  each signature and try to copy that signature.  Take one look at signature for as long as you want and then right underneath the signature write it again and see how you do.  First it will take you longer to write the signature and you most likely will fail.  Part of the reason you fail is your trying to copy the exact signature.  This happens with the golf swing for even more reasons, but mostly because no two golf shots are ever exactly alike so why should you try to swing the same way a previous golf shot felt. More on that later in the year.   Hopefully a little more golf this week as the weather looks better in the middle to the end of the week.   See you then.

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