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Are you one of these golfers who when they get a competition scorecard in their hands that they just go bonkers – swear and shout, have a panic attack and / or get totally stressed out? Well if you follow the information below then you will have a greater chance of conquering your demons. 
 
“Change the way you look at things, and the things you see will change” 
Dr Wayne Dyer 
 
If you take a blank scorecard where you regularly play and write down your current handicap score in the Marker’s Score column and total up the front nine, back nine, total for the 18 holes. Then subtract your handicap to give you your net score. 
 
Now in column ‘A’ write down the best score you’ve ever had on each hole, irrespective of how long ago that was. Then as before add up the front nine, back nine, and the total (gross score) for the 18 holes. Then subtract your handicap to give you your net score. You may well be surprised what a fantastic score it is. Now just imagine putting that score together on one single round! 
 
Now as you look at both scores in the two columns (Marker’s Score and ‘A’) what do you see, hear, feel and notice about the two scores? The main thing is to just focus on how good the ‘A’ column score is and begin to have the confidence to shoot a better score than your current handicap next time. Post the scorecard where you can see it daily as a reminder that your capable of shooting a far lower score than your current handicap. And remember to update it every time you better your current score. 
 
I use this method with my clients and also get them to write down in columns ‘B’, ’C’ and ‘D’ imaginary scores what you would need to shoot to get you down to your desired handicap over three rounds. Obviously first choosing the holes that you know you can par or birdie more often than not. Both these approaches begin to build up your levels of confidence and self-belief so that you can begin to reduce be the best that you can be.. 
 
Remember practice makes improvement so do this exercise regularly and you will begin to build up your mental tenacity little by little. That’s the principle of kaizen and the aggregation of marginal gains! 
 
Another way of reducing the stress of a competition score card is to divide the 18 holes in six sets of three. Just imagine that you’re playing six mini games of golf and score the best possible score that you can shoot for each set of three holes. Just draw a pencil line under each set as a reminder to just focus on one set of three holes at a time as this again can reduce the levels of anxiety and stress. Even if you have a disaster on one hole or even two you can just start afresh on the next set of three holes. Go ahead and give it a go and I can guarantee this will have a positive impact on your handicap if you practice it regularly. 
 
Until next time - keep it on the fairway ... 
So, what is meant by the term muscle memory as this seems to be such an important element in honing a great golf swing. There’s no such thing as a perfect golf swing that a golfer can repeat on every shot or we would be seeing scores in the 50’s on a regular basis. I see and no doubt you do golfers at the driving range hitting ball after ball with well over 95% not focusing on specific swing refinements or practicing with purpose. It’s a waste of time, money and effort but the driving range is making a tidy profit, thank you! 
 
Various neuroscientific research has taken place over the years on the issue of muscle memory and whether or not it can be achieved. Well due to our ancestors the pre-historic man repetition was not very useful when using a spear or knife to catch dinner or do battle with dinosaurs or another tribe. So, the modern human being’s physiological and psychological structure eliminates the idea of developing perfect muscle memory e.g. a study in 2010 at Standford University researchers Shenoy, Churchland and Afshar confirmed this theory after carrying out extensive research, among others. On the other side of the coin Depak Chopra MD in his book Quantum Healing confirms that every cell throughout the body is bathed in neuro-transmitters! 
 
So, what really is muscle memory – from my perspective I believe it’s purely the physical process obtained through practicing to swing the golf club and the muscles become use to the physical movement more easily. So when called upon to swing the golf club your muscles will perform the action with relative ease. Coupled with minimum stress and anxiety through mental toughness training that allows a free-flowing muscle movement. As our bodies are changing daily (i.e. our organs, skin, skeleton are rebuilding themselves constantly) we cannot repeat the golf swing exactly the same every time we step out on to the golf course. So even if there is a slight element of muscle memory its lost due to the ever-changing body structure. Another factor is that the golf course and weather are going to be different from one day to the next – in fact it changes for those teeing it up in morning to those who tee up after lunch! 
 
So how does this help the amateur and professional golfer – well the important thing to remember is that to make a free-flowing golf swing then all forms of stress and anxiety need to be minimised if not eliminated from the mind and body. You can do this by: 
 
• Being physically fit through regular exercise and nutrition 
• Using the two-box routine every time you execute your golf swing, thus building up your self-confidence and managing your stress and anxiety levels 
• Accept that you’re not going to make a perfect swing on every shot – but you do the very best that you can on that particular swing 
• Stop beating yourself up every time you hit an imperfect shot – remember golf is a game of consistent inconsistences! 
• And just enjoy the game with golf nuts like you and me, fresh air and exercise 
 
 
Hopefully you’re beginning to find my blog articles of interest and have started getting you thinking about the importance of the ‘mind game’? Make contact if you have any questions or disagree with what I’ve said, ok. 
 
Please forward to your golfing buddies and make contact if you have any questions or require some mind coaching sessions? 
 
As always - ‘Keep It On The Fairway’This content will be shown in the summary on the main blog page. Click on this text to edit it. 
Welcome to the very first My Golf Mind blogging service for serious amateurs and professional golfers who have been and / or being troubled by interference of negative thought patterns prior to, during and after their round of golf. My Golf Mind aims to provide you personally with a crystal clear no nonsense information that explains the cause, symptoms and techniques to minimise and even eliminate negative thought patterns that ruin your round and competition golf. 
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