"The most important shot in golf is the next one"
~ Ben Hogan
Yeah yeah... I've heard that one 1000 times already...
But have you internalized it?
I used to hate it when someone told me this while I was playing golf, but now, it serves as a gentle reminder to stay present while playing golf.
During a round of golf, we tell ourselves convincing stories about how we are doing.
"I'm playing really well right now. I hope I don't mess this one up."
"This round is awful. I want to leave."
When you say these things to yourself, you are moving away from the present moment. You are distracting your attention from the shot at hand, and decreasing your chances of hitting a good shot.
It's all pretty easy to understand, but how do you bring yourself back to the present moment??
Whenever I find myself judging my performance, or moving away from the present moment, I take a few deep breathes, focusing on the warm/cold air entering my lungs.
I then notice how I feel, and what is going on around me.
Finally, I start tossing a golf ball, glove, or whatever object I can find in the air.
Over and over.
Toss and catch.
It's a great way to bring yourself into the moment, and escape that harmful judging state that we as golfers love to get into.