Doubt kills more golf shots then swing mechanics ever will.
This is the third of an eight-part series on the ‘Golf Obstacles’ inspired by Patanjali’s Yoga Sūtra.
Doubt and Indecision (Sanskrit:
Different from Self-study (
When doubt is in the mind, it greatly weakens our game. It undermines our efforts and leaves us with a lack of conviction. As with the other hindrances, doubt is a mental habit built up over many years. The perspective check of the glass as being half-full or half-empty was invented by someone who couldn’t make a decision. We either have something in the glass or we don’t. And if we don’t like what’s in it, we should pour it out and fill it with something we want. Especially in golf, we must be 100% committed to the work and our decisions.
The pace of the game also grants us plenty of time to be indecisive. One way to combat this is to create a quick and effective pre-shot routine. Do not spend very much time over the ball in the pre-shot routine. There is too much space for doubtful thoughts and uncertainty. We would lightheartedly tell our new students ‘If you are going to suck, suck fast. Get the bad shot over with quickly. The doubtful voice has less time to take over. Standing over the ball longer will not help you!’ Our effective pre-shot routine should be fluid, efficient and fast!
We also don’t wait for something outside ourselves to intervene and make everything OK. The fact our own thoughts and actions have created the indecisiveness means that we have it in our power to redirect our mental habits to create confident tendencies and a full commitment on every shot.
Doubt kills more golf shots than swing mechanics ever will. Indecision is going to arise. . .are we going to let it stop us in our path?
Dodie Mazzuca is the author of “Golf Sutras: Lessons for Transforming the Mental Game with Yoga’s Inner Wisdom” and founder of Golf PROformance. She teaches golf and Mindfulness for Golf programs in Santa Cruz, CA.