To become a great golfer you must be committed to great detective work. The golfers who make the most progress in their game are those who set goals and do whatever is needed in order to reach those goals.
Perhaps you feel as though you’ve exhausted every way to improve your game. But if you aren’t taking the mental side of your game as seriously as you take the technical side then you are missing one of your biggest opportunities to reach your goals.
You can’t do anything, including play golf, without your mind leading the charge. So unless you are very well versed in how to develop and maintain a mindset that enables you to free your talent you are likely not producing as many quality shots as you could. No matter what level you play or how “serious” you are about golf, neglecting your mindset will prevent you from playing great.
What Does It Mean to Be a Great Golfer?
Being a great golfer doesn’t mean that you’re trying to play like somebody else. It means that you’re following a mental process that unlocks your best game. The time and effort you put into developing the physical and technical side of your game constitutes your current ability or “greatness” level.
If you aren’t consistently playing with a disciplined mindset then you are probably only catching glimpses of the higher end of your ability range. To be a great golfer you must commit to develop and play with a mindset that enables you to free the most amount of your ability every time you play. And this is impossible if you aren’t a great detective.
How a Great Detective Views the Game of Golf
Whenever you play, you have the option to look at your game through the eyes of a critic or a scholar. If you are a great detective then you maintain a consistent scholar’s outlook on your game. You see every practice and every round as a time during which you can learn and grow, not just score or hit perfect shots.
To become a great golfer your mission has to be more than just scoring well. Your mission has to be centered around the things that actually contribute to good scores.
When you think about the game like a great detective failure becomes the ideal training ground for success. In the event that you do fail you know how to intentionally draw value from it.
With a great detective’s mindset failure can be just as rewarding as hitting good shots because you know how to use failure as a launch pad for your next achievement. If this sounds like a far stretch for you there are three ways you can begin to play with a fresh perspective that will help you become a great detective.
#1 – A great detective approaches the game with objectivity over babying the ego
To be a great detective you have to play golf for the right reasons. I recently shared three great reasons to play golf in another post that you can check out HERE.
It’s important to play golf for goals other than to impress others, to score, or to stroke your own ego. Play to improve your strategy, to learn more about how you think about the game, to reach meaningful and attainable goals, for enjoyment, and to improve the process side of your game. Any of the above can actually contribute to better scores.
#2 – A great detective focuses more on evaluating the process side of the game than chasing a score
The process of playing golf is what effects how you swing. You can control everything you do leading up to making impact with the ball. To produce quality shots on the range and the course the main thing you want to manage is what’s happening in your mind before and after each shot.
There are three parts to every shot — a beginning, middle, and end. I teach golfers how to play with a consistent framework that keeps their thoughts under their direct control through the entire shot cycle so that their mind is consistently leading their performance in the right direction.
As a great detective you can effectively manage your mindset you don’t have to worry about micro-managing your swing mechanics. You will swing as well as you’ve already trained yourself to swing instead of feeling the need to force shots to turn out well. Keeping tabs on the quality of your mindset becomes the best way to ultimately score.
#3 – A great detective uses deductive rather than inductive reasoning
With inductive reasoning you draw broad conclusions from individual instances. On the course, one poor shot or hole could leave you feeling as though the round is a disaster. I’ve been in playing lessons with plenty of golfers who, after hitting an errant shot, begin thinking that all the rest of their shots will probably not go well either.
Have you ever followed a poor shot with a negativity like, “I just can’t do this!” or “I knew that was going to happen.” At the first sign of trouble you might start thinking that there’s a fundamental flaw with your mechanics instead of trusting your swing. The last thing you want to do is draw the conclusion that you need to give yourself a swing lesson in the middle of a round.
Deductive reasoning makes it possible to play with confidence. Confidence is meant to be a constant in your game rather than something that you’re waiting for your performance to validate.
A great detective chooses to fundamentally believe in and trust his or her game. You can do this too by habitually examining past success to establish a foundation of trust in your swing. When you train yourself to look at the right things it can provide you with a strong belief on which you can choose to stand.
The right mindset makes it possible to maintain a confident perspective no matter how the round unfolds and for you to expect that you will hit your next shot well because you see yourself as a great golfer in your mind.
How will you commit to think like a great detective so the great golfer who is already inside of you can start showing up more often? Leave me a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!