The Lessons of Golf: Focusing on One Shot at a Time and the Power of Routines

So, the first part of my career was with golf and what I want to share today is, all those things that I’ve learned and continue to learn by playing the great game of golf. It’s interesting because it’s an individual sport that, unfortunately, I can’t blame others. Right? It’s on me. And so my result is directly because of my output, my training.

It’s all on me and that was hard at the start for me to deal with because I wanted to blame other things. But guess what? It comes down to me. So golf to me is that ultimate sport. So when I wrote the book, “Golf, the Ultimate Mind Game”, it really was a mind game for me. I had to learn to, as the cliché is, take one shot at a time.

Sometimes in life we think ahead way too much. Right? We have an anxiety about the future or we’re still thinking about the past and we’re beating ourselves up. But, golf allows us each shot to have a new opportunity to perform. And so I need you to learn how to be present, be focused on one shot at a time.

And that’s helped me in life also. What can I do at this moment, in these next five seconds, ten seconds, to be more present in this world? So, one shot at a time led to me understanding the power of routines. In golf we have what we call a pre-shot routine. Which is take all this information in, get ourselves dialed into what we want, our intention or our target, be able to maybe take a practice swing, visualize what we want and go.

We’re allowed 20, 30 seconds to be able to prepare to be ready for this shot. So, if we use proper routines, we can give ourselves a better opportunity for success. If we just go up there stressed and don’t know which club we’re using, we’re probably not gonna succeed. So, golf taught me a lot about using proper routines to get me mentally, emotionally, and physically ready to now hit that golf shot with that pure intention and visualize success and be in the moment.

Internal Competition, Mental Toughness, and Resilience: What Golf Has Taught Me

Golf mental game also taught me about competition. Certainly there’s competition from others. Right? We have the score. We measure ourselves with the score. But what I learned is that competition was actually about myself. How could I be better this round than I was last round? And that internal competition always keeps going, doesn’t it? And so with golf it taught me that sometimes I may not win the tournament, but I can certainly win the competition within myself. And so competition was key. It wasn’t always about the external environment, it was more about my own internal environment.

So, with golf I started to understand again, one shot at a time, routine’s gonna help me be present in that, in that I had more control over my internal world than I thought. And so in golf, I think we can take that to life. Right? Because throughout the day, we have a lot of “golf shots”, we have a lot of experiences, and a lot of events that are occurring. How are you going to show up to those events?

And the other thing that I found out with golf is about mental toughness and resilience. So, some days we have our good days, some days we have our bad days. Right? And how am I gonna get up to train for that next day? Practice those skills, have more intention as I’m going out there because there’s no guarantee that we’re gonna succeed.

When I teed up on that round, there was no guarantee that I was gonna play well or I was gonna win the tournament and such. So everyday becomes a new competition, a new round, and a new day to perform. So, golf has taught me a lot and I’m very lucky to be able to play that game to this day.

So today, start thinking about what is your routine? What is your golf mental game toolkit? How can you be in the “one shot at a time” mindset. How can you compete against yourself and just measure your own standards to now bring your level up a notch. So remember, every day we’re performing so let’s work on our golf mental game.

Flow Golf Podcast TV | Rick Sessinghaus & Hallam Morgan / Golf mental game training
Flow Golf Podcast TV | Rick Sessinghaus & Hallam Morgan