Guest Columnist: Erin Menath

Mental tip: commit to each shot

One of the simplest mental golf tips to reduce your number of errant shots is 100% commitment! Now I don’t mean to commit to practicing or playing regularly, giving up your home or work life to commit to the game of golf – although that would reduce your score! I mean the commitment to each shot, the kind of commitment that drowns out the rest of the world, being fully present and enveloped in the moment.

What does commitment mean? It means that even if you’re not sure what the best shot is or what club to play, before each shot you have to decide and stick to that decision 100% and then make it work. If the ball doesn’t finish where you wanted, yet you played the exact shot you chose, you have played a great shot because you stuck to your commitment. Success should therefore be measured not simply by your results, but by how well you execute your intention.

Commitment Drill:
Set up to your ball and I want you to connect with how it feels. There must be no doubt in your mind that this club in your hand is the perfect club for the shot. In our lives we have all committed fully, 100%, to something. Whether it be love, a job, a swing change or a goal. I want you to remember and elicit that feeling, how did you feel when you fully committed?

Remember that feeling, where inside did it reside? Once you can attach the feelings of commitment to the golf shot in front of you say the word “Yes” before you begin your swing. Attaching positive affirming words to the feeling of commitment will definitely increase the good shots and the overall joy of the round. Now remember, there is no middle ground when commitment is at stake. Its either yes or no! If you have not fully committed to a club or a chosen shot, if you cannot say “Yes” to yourself before you swing, step away from the ball and restart the process.

As you begin to commit to yourself, commit to your actions and instinct on the course, you will find the freedom to play better golf.

Erin Menath is an LPGA teaching professional with GolfTEC in Bellevue, Wash.