My long awaited comeback has been postponed thanks to Melbourne’s wet weather. So instead of playing golf, the next best thing was to write another golf lesson.

There’s been a bit of discussion of late about golf awareness. This is something that had a huge impact on my golf development and formed a large part of my recent golf seminar.

The thing is, golf awareness is not your usual type of golf lesson. If you’re used to golf tips and regular instruction it may seem a bit airy fairy. But if you can open your mind and take some time to explore awareness exercises, I know you’ll get a positive experience.

Here are some awareness exercises that you can use immediately.

Noticing the golf swing

I like to swing in the backyard for a few minutes and feel what is happening with my swing and surroundings. I’m not trying to fix anything or judge my swing, I’m simply noticing what is happening. You can perform this exercise with all sorts of shots (putting, chipping etc). Some things that you can be aware of,

  • Any tightness in your swing
  • The noise your swing makes
  • How does it feel when the club strikes the ground?
  • The weight of the club head in your hands

There is no limit to what you may suddenly become aware of. You can take this a step further by closing your eyes.

Hitting Balls

The next step is to hit the ball with more awareness. I know some golfers struggled with this at my golf workshop and the reason is we’re so used to thinking and analysing about our swing. It’s rare for us to just hit the ball and notice what is going on. But when you can stop the analysing you will wake up and be ready for better learning experience. Some things you can notice when hitting balls,

  • The feel and speed of the swing
  • The whooshing noise of the club through the air
  • The sound of the impact
  • The ball flight – do you actually watch the ball as it sails through the sky?
  • Can you smell the grass?
  • Can you see the dimples on the ball?

More advanced step

Awareness doesn’t always need to be the physical stuff around us. It can be internal. So start paying attention to your thoughts and emotions when you’re out playing or practising. Again, don’t judge, just notice what is happening with your thoughts. This was a massive eye opener for me – I was amazed at how closed off I was and also how much chatter was going on. The funny thing is when you notice what’s happening the thoughts and bad stuff dissipate. This can also be confronting, we have so much garbage going through our minds that noticing it may be a bit scary. Some things to notice,

  • What thoughts are creeping in?
  • What are you saying to yourself?
  • What are you focusing on?

My secret awareness exercise for improved play

When all this awareness and learning material started making sense I took it a step further by incorporating it into my game on each shot I play. The following is almost automatic now and is a huge part of my success in learning how to play my best golf when I’m under the pump. It doesn’t take a lot of time and nobody will ever notice what you’re doing. Here’s the process,

  1. Before each shot I take a second or two to notice what is going on around me. I might look at a cloud formation, feel the wind in my face or notice my thoughts.
  2. Then hit the ball.

Why does this work?

Because it gets me into the present. If I’m looking at and noticing a tree, feeling the wind in my face or being aware of my thoughts, then I’m in the present. I’m now being distracted by the past or present. I’m in the now. It’s also a simple step. There’s nothing complicated to remember and it requires little skill. Give it a go next time you play and let me know how you get on. The hard part is staying in the moment for the duration of the shot but it does get easier with continual practice.

I know awareness exercises are not going to be everyone’s cup of tea but if you’re ready to try something a little different then I urge you to give it a go. Please leave your comments below and share your experiences.


My golf book explains awareness in more detail and will give you greater insight into my ideas

To see the process in action please go here or here.