Serenity Now: Practicing Mindfulness While Focusing on Your Golf Game

By Dr. T. J. Tomasi, Keiser University College of Golf Senior Faculty and Director of Research

In a famous TV Seinfeld episode, George’s irascible father screamed out ‘serenity now’ as he flew into another rage. The show’s writers were making fun of the new-age psycho-therapeutic concept of mindfulness, where individuals learn to accept the powerful emotions flowing over them as they remain serene. Mindfulness is a stress intervention technique where you pay attention to the present moment, and in golf, that means you focus on the process of playing vs. obsessing about results. You evaluate the shot, plan it out, and then flow into a non-judgmental golf swing.

Of course, no amount of staying in the moment will help you if you don’t have the swing technique well in hand, so groove your swing on the practice tee, then on the course, let the flow of play get each swing done. This requires an entirely different mind process rather than playing golf swing – and it can produce a rare mental state called the zone.

In the Zone

Why is the zone so rare? Because it must be practiced like any other skill, but unfortunately, it is not ‘like any other skill.’ You must work at being zoned because we humans are judgment-makers, and as such, it is unnatural to suspend judgments/consequences even though they can derail your focus and execution.

Of course, there is a time for judgments/consequences, but this comes in the planning stage, not in the execution. This is why a surgeon rarely operates on a loved one; there is too high a chance that the consequences of a mistake may cause the mistake.

If you placed a 20-foot 12-inch-wide board on the ground and asked someone to walk on it without touching the ground, it would be very easy to do since walking is part of our unconscious motor skills, so you don’t have to think of ‘how to’ do it. But stretch that board across the Grand Canyon, and most people would have trouble – suddenly, the consequences of an error would force you to over-control your body such that you make exactly the mistake you were trying to avoid.

Serenity Now: Practicing Mindfulness While Focusing on Your Golf Game - Keiser University College of GOlf

Here’s a tour player preparing to slip into the zone at the 9th hole of the Honda Classic a few years ago. When you play golf, the plan before the swing includes an analysis of the consequences – but the swing itself cannot be correctly made when focusing on the threat of bad results.

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Want more tips? If you want to take your game to the next level, contact our team at Keiser University’s College of Golf & Sport Management today. With our dedication and experience, together, we can elevate your game to new heights. Give us a call today at 888-355-4465.

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