Consistency plays a pivotal role in mental golf wisdom. However, consistent golf is not a matter of technically improving your shots during the game; it is a matter of emotional self-mastery in the key moments of a round.
The vast majority of golfers have exactly the same reaction to a poor shot or round:
They become frustrated and even angry at the poor outcome. They demonstrate no mental golf wisdom.
They become anxious about the next shot, worried it might be as bad as the previous one.
Then they approach the next shot with tension. They often inadvertently put pressure on themselves to correct eagerly the problem. They may even start thinking about their swing or technique to make sure the next shot is better than the previous one. They are at a loss as to how to apply the mental golf wisdom to their game.
What is Zen golf wisdom?
Essentially, it is mastery of the mind, which is the mastery of mental golf. There is no sport requiring as much complete control of the mind as the game of golf.
Tiger Woods once said: “My mother’s a Buddhist. In Buddhism, if you want to achieve enlightenment, you have to do it through meditation and self-improvement through the mind. That’s something she passed on to me: to be able to calm myself down and use my mind as my main asset.”
Tiger Woods also commented on the golf success of Jack Nicklaus, “The biggest thing is to have the mindset and the belief you can win every tournament going on. A lot of guys don’t have that; Nicklaus had it. He felt he was going to beat everybody.”
If you are playing your very best, you are in a state of meditation, transcendence -- the ideal conditions for mental golf success.
So, what exactly is the wisdom of Zen golf or mental golf wisdom?
The word “Zen” is Japanese, but it derives from the Chinese, meaning “meditation.”