Play “No thinking golf” like Bubba Watson!
Play “No thinking golf” like Bubba Watson!
Hi, I’m Mel Sole, Director of Instruction at the Mel Sole Golf School, headquartered at Pawleys Plantation Golf and Country Club in Pawleys Island, SC. We conduct 1, 2 and 3-day golf schools, hourly golf lessons, and senior golf schools. Any type of golf instruction program your heart desires. Give us a call at 800-624-4653 or 843-237-4993. We will be happy to book a commuter school or a package that contains accommodations, golf, and golf school.
Golf Blog by the Mel Sole Golf School.
David MacKenzie is one of the game’s leading sports enhancement coaches, with golf his specialty! In teaching the world’s best players, David has defined what all great players have in common. And why they can play under pressure when they need to. It all boils down to a process I like to call “The Clear Key.” Everyone who has taken my 3 day school has been taught how to clear the mind of all mechanical thoughts when playing on the golf course! The less you think mechanics and the more you focus on course management, the better you will score. David MacKenzie owns Golf State of Mind and gives us his insights as to why Bubba does so well in the big moments!
What You Can Learn From Bubba’s Mental Game
What a finish it was in last weekend’s Northern Trust Open at Riviera. Congrats to Bubba Watson for putting in a stellar final round performance. He took the title for the 2nd year running.
During the last hour of a PGA Tour event, it’s undoubtedly the mental game of golf that’s the decider. And Bubba continues to show he’s pretty strong in that department.
Bubba’s Mental Game
You could argue that the only type of training that Bubba does to improve his game, is mental training. He’s never had a golf lesson in his life and his game is based purely on being able to visualize and feel shots. We saw it in full effect yesterday as he moved the ball both ways at will, being able to get at the tough Sunday pin placements.
Bubba plays from his subconscious
Since Bubba has never had a golf lesson, he never thinks about a golf shot from a technical perspective. He simply picks the target, sees the shape of the shot he wants to hit, and trusts his body to hit it there. In other words, his swing is all “subconscious”.
But this requires practice. Instead of hitting one ball after another at the same target during practice, most of Bubba’s practice is play. He rarely hits the same shot twice. Instead he’s able to put thousands of different random shot shapes into his subconscious memory, for recall in any situation. His brain has been trained (by effective random practice), to adapt quickly to any type of shot. By trust and belief in his ability, he’s able to stay away from swing thoughts and keep his mind quiet, so he can access those skills via his subconscious mind.
Lee Trevino says:
“The key to playing the tour is hitting shots from the subconscious mind. If you don’t believe you can do it without having to think about how you’re doing it, you might manage to hit a good shot about 50 percent of the time, but never under pressure. Bubba completely trusts his ability to hit the ball–all he’s thinking about is what he wants the ball to do, and with his ability, it gives him a huge arsenal. If he ever figures out how to hit straight instead of curving everything, look out. Every time he wins a tournament, he learns and just keeps getting better.”
He has a Process-focused, Growth Mindset
Bubba, talked in this post-round interview (below) about his focus on his “process” and only being able to control what he can control. He said:
“It’s a long process, I’m not working on the swing, I’m not working on the physical part, I’m working on the mental part.”
Any student of Golf State of Mind will know that having a process focus is the first place to start in improving: building a process that becomes your blueprint for success. This includes everything from your goals, your pre-round warm-up, your self-talk, your focus in between shots, shot routine, how you practice, post-round review. If you don’t have a process and you want to improve, check out my mental game books.
Pictures: Galatians Design
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