The Mindful Golfer: a six week program with Dr. Tim Walker and Ed Hanczaryk
Preshot Mindful Assessment
Visualizing Ball Flight
Start Fresh Each Moment
Following is an article on using the earth:
Developing a Mindful Golf Swing, using the earth
When you move your body in a certain way, patterns develop. After enough repetitions, these become habits.
The way you swing a golf club is a habitual pattern, and like a fingerprint, no two swings are alike. To be an effective player your arms and body must work together, within certain parameters, to deliver the club to the ball in the best way.
Following is an exercise designed to shine the light of mindfulness onto your swing. No club is needed for this. To accommodate lefty and righty golfers, I will use target and trail to indicate left and right, ie a righty golfer’s target arm is the left, closest to the target.
Stand erect, and imagine that the soles of your feet have three points of contact with the ground, the pads under your big toe and little toe, and the heel. These three are the balance points you will continue paying attention to during this exercise.
Bend forward into your golf stance- it should feel like your bum goes up- all the while keeping your mind on the points of contact between feet and ground.
Now make a swing with your arms, staying mindful of the soles of your feet. You might feel some weight move back to your trail foot as you swing back, then shift over to the target foot as you swing through to a full finish.
You just made a swing using the first point of contact, feet on the earth, as the object of your attention. The point of this exercise is not to judge right or wrong, but rather as a foundation exercise in paying attention, being mindful of your swing. The light of mindfulness is the first step to consistency and feel.
Let’s do it again. Start by standing erect, feeling the three points of contact in each foot. Bend forward, feeling your tailfeathers go up, all the while keeping your attention on the balance triangle on the soles of your feet. If your mind drifts to something else, just notice that and come back to the soles of your feet.
Make two clubless swings, maintaining mindfulness of your feet on the earth. After each swing, hold your finish for a moment, long enough for someone to take a photo of you for Golf Magazine.
Notice how your conceptual mind gets bored with this exercise, and wants to help. Try this, try that, or waves of negativity, thinking `I can not do that’, or `what’s the point’. Stick with it; mindfulness is about coming back to the moment, over and over again.
Every time you do this exercise you are strengthening your ability to stay in the moment and feel the nuances of your swing. Do this daily, for at least ten repetitions. Once you have made mindfulness a habit, we will move to the arms.