Make 'Tunnel Vision' A Part Of Your GameCopyright © 1999 - 2035 Craig Townsend
Golf is not a game where you have the luxury of thinking cumulatively about your past shots while you are about to hit your next - golf is a game of complete and utter tunnel vision.
Tunnel vision means focusing upon your goal so completely that you can no longer see any obstacles getting in your way. Tunnel vision is 100% thought on the present goal, and 0% on the past, present or future obstacles. This is the kind of intent focus which allows the pros to totally block out crowd noise and other distractions from affecting their shot during their swing.
Try this exercise for a moment: Imagine that you are looking through a narrow tunnel, directly at your goal (to help with this, try making a 'tunnel' with your hand and look through it at something on the other side of the room) and you'll notice that this 'goal' is all you can see, because the tunnel stops you from seeing anything else - right?
So this means that the goal is all you can focus upon, because there's absolutely no distractions or uncontrollables for you to see. This is tunnel vision, which is the best way to achieve any goal (and hit any shot), which is an ability most champions possess - often simply called focus.
But back to the exercise - now, imagine that this tunnel is becoming wider and wider (open your hand out more and more until the whole room is in view), and suddenly you'll see there are lots more distractions going on (which prevent you focusing 100% upon your goal), and these are the obstacles that get in your way during a shot. I'm sure you can see that it's definitely better to see 'just the goal', than to try and focus on everything at once.
For instance, if you focus only upon the hole (and completely disregard the water) - you will generally hit the green. However, if you focus upon hitting over the water, you will generally hit the water, and miss the green. This is because we get what we focus upon. If we focus upon the obstacles, we'll hit them, almost everytime - and if we focus upon the goal, we will most often get it.
Of course, before you line up for your shot, you become very aware of any obstacles you need to deal with to make a successful shot. However, once you line up to hit the shot, focus only the hole, or the desired direction of your shot - but never focus upon the bunkers, water or trees. This will give you the most consistently positive outcome.
After the shot, needless to say, you can relax your focus in order to conserve your mental stamina, and then re-focus your mind upon the next shot when your turn comes around.
The secret to success in almost any sport is tunnel vision, and golf uses this principle far more than most other sports. Try it over your next few rounds and see what a vast difference it can make - and then make it an integral and permanent feature of your game.
"The Mind controls the body, and the Mind is Unlimited"
The best of success, Craig Townsend
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