Last weekend I had the pleasure of playing in the final of the Taskers Bantoft Trophy along with my fellow team mates from Branston Golf & Country Club shown above with our caddies. We played a strong team from Whittington, making it an all Staffordshire final from 10 counties. It’s a fabulous competition for ladies over 50 (they also run a comp for men over 50 too) run as a knockout, with all proceeds from the event being given to junior golf development.
We played the final at a beautiful course, Wollaton Park in Nottinghamshire. 3 finals were held on the day the ladies and 2 gents trophies were up for grabs. It was comforting to have our caddies by our sides as we took to the first tee to be announced by the organiser Mike Crawford who sponsors the event.
The first 6 holes didn’t go according to plan, losing out on putting to my opponent, I found myself 4 holes down in matchplay. Along with my fellow team mates, I had played the course earlier in the week and had created a strategy using my yardage notebook. My son caddying for me shook his head and looked at me with disbelief and said “What are you doing, this is not your game, you’re trying too hard. Relax, slow down, your too tense”.
He was right, I was trying too hard. I had taken time to prepare myself before teeing off on the first so that I was not nervous, but my attention had become too tense that it was preventing me from playing. This can happen in the heat of competition, you try too hard and end up jeopardising your chances.
Scientifically what you’re doing is using your left side of the brain – the analytical side. In my case I was looking at my notes, analysing where my shot needed to be and stayed in the left-side of my brain when trying to hit the ball. What I needed to do, was switch to my mind to the right-side, the creative mind when standing over my ball to take the shot.
The most effective way to tap into your right-side, is by focusing on one of your senses, for some people this is visualisation, for others it can be feeling or listening to the sound of your ball strike. For me its about taping into feeling, its focusing on my tempo whilst making a swing or a putt. To activate this I also take a deep breathe in and exhale.
To my son’s delight I then went on a par rampage, dropping only 4 shots over 11 holes, pulling the match back to all square on the 18th, playing 5 shots under my handicap for the round. My opponent Janet played amazing golf, sinking incredible putts to keep the game alive. This meant we had to continue down the 19th hole to conclude our match. Finishing with yet another par and a shot in hand, secured my win. Our team went on to win 6-1 on the day, an incredible finish to a great season at Branston.
If you would like to learn more about these techniques please register for our upcoming event at Branston Golf and Country Club on November 2nd. The workshop starts at 7pm, costs £15 and includes a glass of wine. Places are limited, to reserve your spot click here
If you’re unable to make this event and would like one to be held at your club please contact me by clicking on this link carol.alford@
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