How can you eliminate those distracting thoughts that keep popping up in your mind?

Achieving an optimal mental state of clarity before each shot involves removing all thoughts of the past and future and focusing on the present task. By clearing the mind of distractions that are unrelated to what you are doing at the present moment, you’ll be able to focus your complete attention on executing the perfect shot. The main objective in achieving mental clarity is to be in a state of intense focus that allows you to shut out any thoughts that may interfere with your performance. Introducing unpleasant thoughts from your last hole, or from the last time you were placed in a similar situation will divide your focus between the shot you are about to take, and memories of the past. Alternatively, placing too much emphasis on an expectation like winning a competition, or beating your personal record will not only disrupt your concentration and result in a bad shot; it may also ruin your attitude for the rest of your game. An entire game can be sabotaged by over-thinking past and future shots. If you remove unproductive thinking and make an effort to concentrate on the present moment, you’ll conquer feelings of disappointment, and improve your concentration skills. There is only one shot that should be in your mind at any given time – the shot you are about to make.

Are you “in the moment?”

Shifting your entire awareness to the present moment to eliminate fears and distractions is the basis of a philosophy that embodies the ideal mindset for golf. Zen philosophy states that in order to have peace of mind you must achieve enlightenment, a oneness with the universe by removing all mental barriers. In eliminating all past and future thoughts and becoming one with the present, you will have the power to create your own truth. On the golf course, if you can learn to let go of the past and the future and play in the moment, not only will you become more confident and focused, you will grow to be a happy and relaxed player.

To achieve a “Zen” state of mind in your game is to remove the negative emotion connected with anxiety and recollection. The fear of duplicating mistakes causes self-doubt, and in turn diminishes your concentration ability and your overall power. Everyone makes mistakes, and we can learn from them, but this does not mean we should dwell on them. Changing your outlook by enjoying the moment instead of dwelling on negative possibilities will open the door to your true potential. Achieving the outcome you desire is all about managing your frame of mind and believing in yourself.


1. Once you have decided how you are going to play your shot, step up to the ball, get your conscious mind out of the way, and create the image so your body can perform and then hit.

2. Discarding thoughts of previous holes and your score while addressing the ball will help you create the shot you want now in the present.

3. Placing too much emphasis on winning a competition, or beating your previous score shifts your focus, causing poor shots which subsequently leads to a destructive attitude for the remainder of the game.

Author's Bio: 

Tracy Tresidder M.Ed, ACC is an author, speaker and golf mind coach. Read the complete guide to lowering your handicap - "Golf Mind Play: Outsmarting your brain to play your best golf". Designed as an easy to read 45 minute guide. Download it now and discover proven tips, tools and tactics on how to relax and play in the zone.
Go to Golf Mind Play to download the ebook now.