Imagine yourself in the green, looking at the ball which is ten feet away from the tee hole. Itís just there, and youíre looking at it. The ball is not moving. Silence pervades the course. Itís just you and the ball and empty space between you. You grab your bag to choose the appropriate iron. A putter would be perfect. You measure the distance. You study the level of the green. You determine where the wind is blowing. You calculate the force that is needed. You consider the angle which the ball would take.
And you look at the ball once again. Itís still motionless.
This period is often the most neglected aspect of the game of golf. And it is the most telling aspect as well, as it indicates so much regarding what golfing is all about. Those moments of silence when you allow your brain to work and prepare your muscles to execute your plan is not as simple as it seems. Believe it or not, success in golf often hinges during those moments, when itís just you and the ball.
Again, picture yourself as you look at the ball, preparing your moves, and allowing your mind to do the preliminary work. Itís just you and the ball, but such is not really the case. Golf is a game played for an audience. People will be watching you. They will be your checks. They will be the ones who will tell you if you violated a rule. They will be the ones who will tell you that once you hit the ball, you have spent a turn and thereís no way you could get it back no matter how badly you missed. A game without an audience would be subjected to your whims alone. Itís good enough for a practice, but the essence of the game would be lost.
So the audience plays an important role, especially during those times when Ė again Ė itís just you and the motionless ball. If you are made of less internal fortitude, youíll crumble under the pressure of many prying eyes critical of your every move. So what are you to do? Prepare for them well. The best way you could combat the pressure is through a self-mustered confidence. This is the importance of proper golfing attire. Golfing does impose an informal dress code. Ever wondered why? This is the reason. You have to look good because people will be watching. If youíre dressed properly, youíll feel more confident and the pressure from the people who will be watching you would be less.
Yes, indeed. Confidence is the reason for the dress code informally imposed for this sport.
Now back to you and the ball and the moments in between. The mind would begin to process the event that is to unfold. It will send out some signals to the different muscles of the human body, preparing them to execute the plan into motion. Different golfers deal with this in different ways. Some do the waggle. Others practice their stroke in the air. A few say a prayer or two. All of these methods are meant for a single, solitary goal: to hit the ball as best as you could.
This is one of the most important aspects of golf. Sadly, it is one of the most neglected as well. There are a lot of processes that happen between you and the ball. Paying attention to them would greatly improve your game and make you enjoy the sport even more, with stronger passion, firmer resolve and a better appreciation of the mechanics behind the game of golf.