How Much Should You Think in Golf?

Over thinking and the yips

Freeing Up Your Golf Swing

How much should you think over your putts or shots?

Great question…

One golfer wrote in to tell me he’s starting to understand that over thinking or being too conscious of what he’s doing does not help….

This is what Mark had to say:

“The yips are definitely mental, caused by doubt and self-consciousness, not physical. The more conscious thought about the putt, technique, etc, the more likely you are to yip.”

He went on to say:

“A change of equipment or technique might be a temporary fix the yips, but equipment or technique are not a cure.”

I have to agree with Mark about the fact that the more you “think” about HOW TO putt or hit a shot, the worse your results.

In the yips cycle, tinkering and fixing can keep you stuck in a mindset of correcting your stroke and over thinking.

But it will get so bad that the mind and body become very confused. This leads to you tightening up and stabbing at the ball–due to too many conscious instructions (and of course fear about the outcome).

How do you not think when playing golf?

When playing golf, you are thinking about the target, landing area, or line for the putt–you have to plan the shot.

I call this the planning and programming phase of the preshot routine. For example, you read the green, select a line and/or pace and visualize the putt.

However, when you are over the ball, that’s when you have to shut off the over-active mind…

I call this the procedure stage of the routine because now you are executing the plan and what you see or feel in your mind. This applies to every shot.

The idea is your swing or stroke is already grooved from practice and repetition. This is the time to trust your motor memory (or what golf coaches call muscle memory).

You already know how to swing or make a good stroke. Get out of your way with the over thinking and allow your stroke to come out.

Interfering with a well-learned stroke is what cause you to bind up or tighten up…

This is why freeing up your swing or stroke is so important.

So how do you free up your swing or stroke?

1. Keep it simple with one image over the ball.

2. Practice my drills you downloaded every day and before rounds.

3. Address the fears that makes golf so challenging for you.

4. Win the fun trophy at the end of the day! Make score secondary.

You will free up the putter, when you can stop over thinking, worrying about the outcome, and regain your confidence on the course.

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