Mental GameJanuary 20, 2017

Do You Have Commitment Issues?

Here’s a little secret: We pride ourselves on delivering great tips to help your golf swing, but if you don't commit to your shots, you’re not going to get the full benefit from improving your swing. As one one of Golf Digest's Best Young Teachers, Megan Padua puts it: “Playing with a high level of commitment can be the thing that takes your game to a new level.”

Most people aren’t fully committed to every shot. It’s hard, because you’ve seen your game -- You know how easily bad shots can happen. Think about it: When you’re standing over a downhill chip, the memory of that last downhill chip you bladed creeps into your mind a lot easier than positive thoughts about how exactly you want to hit that shot. Whenever you feel yourself getting distracted from the precise shot at hand, take a step back and reevaluate.

The good news is, you already know what total commitment feels like. Padua says to think about a time when you were playing and said to your friends, “I'm going to hit this shot right here and let it release to the hole.” You were probably just messing around, but you also executed the shot almost exactly how you wanted to, right?

What you did was make a plan. You took out all of the stress of remembering previous failures on the golf course, you weren’t thinking about what could go wrong, you just made a plan and took a confident swing. You committed.

“Hitting a shot with commitment means that regardless of the result, you had a clear objective in mind, and a high level of confidence in your ability to hit the shot,” says Padua. “This concept may sound easy, but it's something that takes practice and attention to detail just as much as making a swing change.”

To help keep tabs on your commitment levels, Padua says to keep track on your scorecard. Rate yourself on a scale of one to three at the end of each hole. One if commitment was high, two if your commitment was neutral, and three if it was bad.

“You are in control of your commitment to each shot,” says Padua. “Decide that you want your commitment score to be low, and you will see your real score drop too.”