Ok…I apologize, but couldn’t help it… I had to throw the orange in. Rickie always wears orange on the final day of an event. It’s his signature outfit for day 4. It’s his power suit! He loves wearing it, he feels good in it and he exudes confidence while strolling up the fairways. Not unlike Tiger and his red shirt/black pants combination on a final round. That was his power outfit. The funny thing is, Rickie, similar to Tiger in his hey day of dominance, always seems to stroll up the fairway with confidence. His head always held high, never hanging low as if to indicate he just dumped it in the hazard for the second time or perhaps carded a snowman on the previous hole. No, on the contrary…he walks as if he has birdied or at least parred the previous hole. There is something to be said for appearances. Rather than drop kick a club because of a yanked tee shot or worse, throw a club at your unsuspecting golf bag while it stands at the ready, take a deep breath and then take another. If you walk with confidence you start to feel confident. If you walk with your head held high it just feels better. We can very easily be our own worst enemies out there with all the negative self talk, living in the past and the confidence busting “I can never make that shot anyway” banter. The more we say it…whatever it is…the more we believe it. It was Henry Ford who once said, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t…you are right!” This quote, is something to ponder! So, take a page out of the book of orange and wear a power suit, walk with a bit of confidence…it’ll make you feel better.
How often have you arrived on a tee box with a water hazard near by and said, “I always hit it in the water!” and Viola! Splash! And your response to the ripples in the once shimmerless pond? “See..I ALWAYS hit it in the water.” “Next time, I should just walk up to it, throw the ball in and THEN take my drop.” The negative self talk will permeate your game and your swing. Change your self talk and you will start to change your outcome. “I CAN get over the water”…”my drive is GOING to go in the fairway”…”I WILL do my best to hit a good shot.” All these little phrases just feel better when you say them. And, they are aligned with your intent. Many folks think that the thing causing the wayward drive has something to do with their swing. Well in some cases, maybe. But interestingly enough, it is not often the case. There are two things that have to happen however, and they must coincide in order to play good golf. They have nothing to do with swing, swing mechanics, elbows, hip rotation, kinematic sequence, stance or anything else “swing” related. Once you know these two things, your golf game will start to change. Are you ready? Here they are…..the two things that must coincide are….. your INTENTION AND ATTENTION. That’s it, it’s that simple. If you INTEND the ball to go in the fairway, then your ATTENTION must be on where you want the ball to go…THE FAIRWAY. If your attention is on what you want to avoid ala the water hazard, then that’s exactly where your ball is going to go. Why? Because your attention is on the hazard so the brain connects to it and the ball ends up in it. The focus has to be on what you WANT to do rather than what you DON’T want to do. The simplest explanation is that the brain and the word DON’T…well…don’t really mix. Due to its inability to form an image /relationship with the word “don’t”, the brain latches on to whatever words follow in the statement. AKA..DON’T think of the pink elephant. Oops, there it is, the pink elephant.
So, the next time you go out to play, change your language to what you WANT to have happen. Start saying things like, “I WILL hit the ball in the fairway” or “I WILL hit the ball on the green.” Change your language to positive self talk rather than negative self talk, align your INTENTION AND ATTENTION and see what happens. You will certainly feel better when you play and you may find that the ball will start to go where you want it to go. Oh, and don’t forget the power outfit!