This blog is about the mind, not the brain, and there is a difference. Boy, is there a difference. If you look up information about the mind, you will get a large variety of ideas and theories. What I found interesting is, if you start with googling the brain, you will get mostly, if not all, academic and scientific sites. If you google the mind, you will get philosophic sites, and some of the other two sites. The mind has much more debate, about where it is,( yes not everybody thinks it is in the brain), about what it does, and how to control it. The mind seems to encompass all facets of life, the past, the present, and the future. Most sites seemed to be interested in what the mind can do with the future. The mind can change the way you eat, behave, and perform various activities relating to work and recreation. These are all related to changing thought processes and attitudes. Mind control is discussed at various sites, ranging from brainwashing, hypnosis, and marketing ploys, to affect the mind. On the other hand, the brain sites are much more scientific and discuss the functions of the brain. We have learned a lot about the brain, over the last 40 years because of advance neuro imaging, which shows which parts of the brains are functioning, when we are thinking, or performing simple tasks. However, all this brain imaging has at times led us down the wrong path concerning how the brain really works, and has not helped us much in answering questions about the mind.
There have been plenty of books on the “Golfing Mind,” and these books could be classified as books on the mental game of golf. These books discuss a variety of subjects. They range from visualization, planning of the shots, first tee preparation, positive thinking, and handling pressure, to name just a few. But does all this have anything to do with the mind. Before I started reading all these sites on the mind, my answer would have been a 100% positive yes. After looking at some of these sites, I am not too sure these golf mental processes have anything to with the mind. The other question is, what controls the mind? On the site wikiHow, there is a list of things you can do to control your mind. They are various things but all of them are related to thoughts. Now where do thoughts originate from? That can have many answers, including nowhere. As you can see these questions can go around and around with many perspectives and answers. But the bottom line is this, do we, as golfers, really care, or should we be concerned with this? This time the answer can be an unequivocal, no.
After pouring through numerous sites on the brain, the mind, and thoughts, here is one man’s view, on what all this means for the golfer. I think you can forget about a lot of the so called mental preparation that would go into playing a round of golf. If you like to do these things, plan your round, visualize shots the day before, pre game relaxation exercises, then go ahead. They are not going to hurt you game at all, but probably, they are not going to help much, either. Listen, it’s always good to not beat yourself up, think positively, and have an upbeat attitude on the golf course, no matter what happens. This not only can make you a better golfer, but a better person to be around. No one wants to play with a grouch, who gets upset at the first bad shot of the day. Is there one thing that you can count on from the mind? In my view yes. I believe there is one thing that you can count on from the mind. I am 100% sure of this. I do not have proof of this, or articles I can reference, because there are just as many articles, that would refute what I am about to conclude. I think the mind controls the body 100%. It controls the body so well, that it can even tell us what not to do. It’s not like our thoughts. It’s not like the old story, about telling a person to think about anything but a white elephant in the room. What do they think about, the white elephant. If your mind tells your body not to do something then it will not do it. By the same token, if the mind tells you body to do something, it will do it. I will explore this further in future blogs, and how it applies to playing golf much better. For now, let this sink in and believe it. The mind controls the body. The mind controls the body. The mind controls the body. Am I trying to brainwash you? Never mind.