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Playing in the “Zone” & 7 Keys to Entering One

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The best score that any golfer has ever achieved in any official or unofficial competitive major golf event is 13 under. Two players who have achieved this are David Duval and Annika Sorenstam, who were both in the “zone”, that day. Annika Sorenstam shared her deep desire and vision to shoot a perfect round, which is 18 under or a score of 54. She said “I believe I can hit 18 greens, hit every fairway, and make one putt which is you know—Vision 54, which means you birdie every hole. That’s in the back of my mind.

I want to putt better, chip better. That day when I hit 18 greens and one putt, I’ll know I’m a complete golfer.”

Will that ever happen? I’m not sure, but it’s possible when one is playing with supreme confidence and an invincible feel. A day like that is one when you can’t seem to put a foot wrong. You are so immersed in your game that you are oblivious to other players, distractions and the passage of time. Your swing seems so easy and effortless and the club an extension of yourself. You feel so much in control of your game and emotions. Only after the round do you realise that you played the best round of your life, and were “in the zone” or the Bubble as many would also call it.

The Zone is what most golfers aim for but is a rarity in golf. However, most golfers would have experienced the Zone even if it is briefly and for a few holes. It’s impossible to force yourself into the zone, but I believe you can create a mindset that helps you enter the zone more frequently. Let’s look at 7 Keys to entering the Zone. This will enable one to play better golf and achieve their lowest score ever.

Develop Pure Belief in Self: Supreme belief in your ability and that you can hit good shots are pre-conditions to playing well. Confidence develops from quality practice, past successes, trusting your skills and knowing that you are talented.
Focus on Task: The ability to totally focus on the job at hand is critical to peak performance in any sport. Many amateurs lose focus by thinking ahead (future) or thinking about what just happened (past). Know the performance cues you should focus on and be aware when you are not focused on them.
Get Razor Sharp Focus: Focused attention is another characteristic of playing in the zone. Your attention varies from broad to narrow, and you need both to play well.
Rely on Sub-conscious mind: The feeling of an automatic and effortless swing is another mental state associated with the zone. Trust your swing and your ability to produce the shot that is needed. Just envision your plan – the shape, type of shot and the target and swing freely and fearlessly and it just happens.
Emotional Balance: Most of the time golfers fight themselves on the golf course when they make mistakes. Golf requires a balanced emotional level.
Clear Plan: A clear plan leads to a decisive mind that is very important to entering the zone.
Have Fun: Golf is a game at the end of the day and it should bring joy.