Singleness of purpose!
Make that your attitude towards every stroke you play.
Whether you're making a short putt, a full " bang " with a wooden club, an iron shot of a hundred and fifty yards, or a chip shot of half that distance, the underlying principles must be the same if it is to be played perfectly.
All of the physical factors - distance, wind, condition of the turf and so on - must be considered.
After doing this, and conjuring up every successful shot like it that you have ever made, you'll select the right club and shot. Perhaps a mid-iron with a half shot pitched to a nice spot on the fairway.
Finally, you make the shot and register the result for future use.
This is just a long way of saying you should consider the shot you're going to play, play it, and remember what happens.
It seems this is what every golfer does. The trouble is most do something else too. The mental attitude of the average golfer puts a lot of doubt into his mind. He lacks belief in himself, in his ability to make the shot.
This doubt drains the mental image of success. If you're second guessing the shot you should make, while you're actually making that shot, then you are certainly not imagining the shot player perfectly.
The very worst mistake is to be clear about what you need to do but then doubt that you can actually do it.
You must be clear about what you want to do and the do just that - nothing more, nothing less.
The concentration gained from deciding to do just that one thing perfectly, never doubting, will have a dramatic effect on the results.
It's true that this single mindedness cannot be acquired as simply as a new driver, but if there is any hope for progress in your game it must be acquired.
If you think you are going to succeed you are more than likely to. It is a source of surprise to most golfers that they can swing beautifully with their drivers when there is no ball to be hit, that they can drive half a dozen " screamers " down the middle of the fairway when there is no opponent.
There is no mystery in this. The change in mental attitude makes all the difference. But it is useless to try acquiring the " it doesn't matter " attitude when you play a match, because it does matter - a lot.
The mental attitude you must have is confidence in your own power. The simplest way to acquire and to hold this attitude is to have a practice swing before every shot. Select your club, decide on the length of the shot you are going to play, say to yourself, This is what I am going to do (meaning, of course, when you make the actual stroke), have your practice swing, move straight up to your ball, and without any further consideration play the stroke.
You will have done what you imagined you were going to do.
This is not an easy matter, the miracle cannot be performed in a night, and, like everything in this world worth having, it is the joy of the struggle and not the achievement that gives the keenest pleasure.
But why remain one of the " I knew I was going to top it " school of golfers ?
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