MINDTRAPS ON THE GOLF COURSE
By: Jennifer Munro
Golf courses are designed with hazards and obstacles to make them more challenging. As we master fundamentals, we try to work more on “trouble shots” to minimize our losses when we encounter these obstacles. Although we all know there is a very large mental component to playing golf, few golfers spend enough time on their mental trouble shots, or become familiar with their personal Mind Traps.
Personal temperament determines which specific Mind Traps will plague us most as individuals. While the mind can be very complex, most of us fall into fairly simple and predictable patterns of what distracts and deters us from playing the game to our own personal best potential. GolfMindRx, Inc. identifies four Mind Trap buckets that correspond to four primary Golfer Types: The Challenger, Social, Traditional and Technical.
Mind Trap #1 – It is all about winning and control!
The Challenger Golfer is typically a person who will fall into this Mind Trap. With a strong dominance trait in their personality makeup, they thrive when they are in control of all major aspects of their lives. This includes the golf course. They play best when there is challenge from the course, or from strong competitors, or both. They are focused and purposeful until they fall into their Mind Trap.
Challenger Mind Traps
Boredom from lack of challenge, competition
Choke the club, swing harder and faster, experiment and change the fundamentals they do well.
Mind Trap #2 – It is all about relationships and fun!
The Social Golfer is most likely to fall into this Mind Trap. With extroversion as their highest trait, they play golf for fun and play their best and enjoy their game when they are playing with good friends with positive attitudes. They are more externally focused than others and quickly become mired down when subjected to negative and complaining partners. They are also uncomfortable when they are playing well and those around them are not and try to shore up their partners.
Social Mind Traps
Significant silence from playing partners
Complaining, negative, or insulting companions
Over-swing, too loose, widen stance too much
Lose focus, focus on others, talk or listen through backswing
Mind Trap #3 – It is all about Practice and Respect!
The Traditional Golfer is most likely to be troubled by this one. Their highest traits are patience, steadiness and persistence. They thrive when they have plenty of time to prepare, practice and master their routine. They are most comfortable with traditional views and techniques and might prefer practice to playing. They remain internally focused unless there are obvious distractions they find uncomfortable around them.
Traditional Mind Traps:
Conflict, dissension in partners or venue
Time pressure, changing pace or format, unfairness
Take more time to address and execute each shot
Conservative, fall back and rely on comfortable shots and technique from past
Mind Trap #4 – It is all about Perfection and Discipline!
The Technical Golfer is challenged by this Mind Trap. Their highest traits center on conformity, or adherence to systems, processes and perfection. They believe in mastering the process and maintaining strict discipline to reach mastery of their game.
They trust credentialed sources and strive to incorporate the best of all of them and hold themselves to a demanding standard. They are comfortable with strict adherence to the process until the process lets them down.
Technical Mind Traps:
Uncertainty, shots between clubs
Criticism, Too many swing thoughts, Dos and Don’ts
Overanalyze, mentally replay bad shots, lose focus on upcoming shots
Hesitate on execution, indecision
Once you understand your primary Golfer Type and recognize the Mind Trap associated with your temperament, you are well on your way to understanding why you don’t always do what you intended to do on the golf course. To get an in depth understanding of your Mind Traps, and the solutions, go to www.GolfMindRx.com.