Imagine standing on the tee at the 132 yard 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass just about to walk into your shot to play it, what would go through your mind?
You wouldn't be human if you didn't feel a little challenged as you contemplated playing this shot across the water to an island green.
It's one of those situations where regardless of your playing ability you have to commit totally to the shot as you're not offered any other 'bail out' option.
Here's a good question for you to consider; "how would you swing the golf club if you didn't have the fear of hitting poor golf shots?"
Would you play better and more consistently if you could just walk up to the ball and swing the golf club with a care-free attitude? I bet you would. I'm sure you'd agree that your level of competence is greatly determined by how much belief you have in your ability to just hit your shot and not worry about the consequences.
Think about it; how much time do you spend thinking about what you don't want from your game compared to what you do want?
The 17th at Sawgrass is a great example of a golf hole where you have to completely commit to the process of just hitting your shot. No frills, no fanfare, just hit the golf shot the correct distance. This is a great way to think about every golf shot you make. Just hit your golf shot and couple it with the belief that it will be successful.
The Power of Positive Commitment
When a PGA tour professional plays a shot to the 17th during the Tournament Players Championship he knows that there are consequences if the shot he hits doesn't come off, but he plays the shot with the confidence that the shot will come off just the way he wants it to. This is the power of positive commitment. He knows he can hit the ball 132 yards and it doesn't really matter whether it's uphill, downhill, across the water or anywhere else, he justs plays the shot 132 yards.
When an average golfer stands on the tee at 17 telling himself that he can play the shot across the water and onto the green but knows that its more likely that the ball will end up in the water then this is the opposite of positive commitment, this is a negative commitment. The golfer is positive that the experience will be negative.
You see its not enough to tell yourself that you can hit your golf shot onto the green, you have to really know that you can. So many of the golfers who hit the ball into the water on 17 know that they can hit a golf shot with a short iron 132 yards (120 meters). The only thing that has changed is that they are asked to commit completely to the golf shot. This is where the problems begins for many because it now gets down to how much you trust your ability to pull off the shot.
"He who lacks trust, also lacks commitment."
The next time you face a golf shot and you start telling yourself that you can't do it, stop yourself, take a couple of deep breaths and focus your mental energy on imagining your golf shot behaving exactly the way you want it to. Your muscles that swing the golf club don't understand your words, they only understand your images which is where your commitment lives.
Knowing you can do something is communicated to your muscles positively so that they can respond and commit perfectly to the message. Telling yourself that you can hit the golf shot will not help you unless you can translate the words into a positive image. Positive talking with a positive commitment is the difference that will make the difference when you hit a shot 132 yards across the water to an island green.
If you're not sure whether you think in images, then let me ask you this simple question "what color is your car?"....if you said its red, black, blue etc..."How did you know it was?"