Your Left Brain is a Lousy Golfer.

tahoebum

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This is an offshoot of the "Feel vs. Data" thread, and I thought it might deserve its own.

I discovered in my 20's that the analytical(left) side of my brain could wreak havoc on my scores during a round and learned to shut that part of my brain off after all the preshot adjustments for lie, yardage, wind, green layout/pin location, etc. Letting the right side brain take over on the golf course is a skill that many don't have or are even aware of. Other sports are played with a ball in motion, making it much more natural to let go of your left side brain. In golf, the ball sits there waiting for you to hit it and allows lots of time for thinking before a shot. It makes it a unique sport as it requires the left brain preshot but the right brain as soon as you step over the ball. We all have been guilty of playing "golf swing" or having paralysis by analysis during a round, lol. I lean towards the analytical side, and it often creeps into my putting and cause me to miss putts that would be easy on the practice green.

Here's an article that sums it up from someone much smarter than me.

 

GoldenBuff

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I think this is particularly true for me with putting. I am trying to out-think myself with flatstick. But I am learning my best putting is based on feel and confidence, not analytical mumbo jumbo. But all that thinking and over thinking is hard as heck to turn off.
 

tahoebum

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I think this is particularly true for me with putting. I am trying to out-think myself with flatstick. But I am learning my best putting is based on feel and confidence, not analytical mumbo jumbo. But all that thinking and over thinking is hard as heck to turn off.
Super hard to shut off especially if you tend to be analytical. It's held my putting back since I was a teenager. My son and daughter both shoot in the high 80' to high 90's and both are better putters inside of 15 feet than I am, lol. Funny but NOT funny!
 

Snickerdog

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This is more than swing thoughts.
 

Duffer Seamus

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Super hard to shut off especially if you tend to be analytical.
I'm super-analytical, but that does not appear to be getting in the way of my swing--from driver to putter. Once I start my back-swing my brain turns off and my body do its thing.
 

golfer_teej

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Here's an article that sums it up from someone much smarter than me.

Thank you, I needed to read this. My brain on the course goes NUTS while putting. On the practice green or in my basement, I don't think and I make more putts. Gonna try some of the tips
 

Muzzy

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Great post.
I'm a lefty who plays righty.
Anything that can tame the area between my ears is much appreciated..
 

Bernoulli

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Interesting article. Makes a lot of sense. Something to think (or actually not think) about on the course while playing.
 

Sean

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Many of us play golf swing versus golf, which seems to be a left brain kind of activity.
 

init.6

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Good read. Lines up with advice I've heard about squeezing your left hand before a putt or chip. From what I've been told, this activates the right side of the brain (right brain controls the left side) and has proven to be true for soccer penalties and free throw shots.
 

Duffer Seamus

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Good read. Lines up with advice I've heard about squeezing your left hand before a putt or chip.
Fascinating, because I believe I've putted somewhat better when I let my right hand be mostly idle--just softly gripping the club, and letting my left do most of the work.
 

Reframmellator

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"How do you expect me to think and swing at the same time?" - Yogi Berra
 

Junkyard

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The golf course is a terrible place to take your brain.
 

Golfever

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I've been doing visualizing my Drive while behind the ball. Picking out a tall pine tree to aim at. And visualizing how my Drive will go. It's been amazing how many times the shot has gone just as I envisioned it. I'll see if I can do this somehow when I play the prairie courses back home with little trees.
 

Snowman

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Great read, thanks. Overthinking is one of my biggest demons when I'm playing.
 

Hamfist

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MWard

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It's pretty crazy to watch your performance just go to absolute trash once you start thinking about what you're doing opposed to just doing it. It's not even close to the same results.
 

Hamfist

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Hmmm..I wonder if there is a way to get only my left brain drunk enough to pass out before I get to the course?
 

Hamfist

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Left brain size while swinging: O
Right brain size while swinging: .
 

millsan1

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Great read. I will be using this as my go to excuse from here on out......
 

Daddio

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Thanks for the enlightenment. I really need to adopt these strategies.
 

JonMA1

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I'm going to think long and hard about that article while addressing the ball.:ROFLMAO:

I like the article and the author sounds legitimate.

I've tried just "swinging my swing" (no thoughts) and I've tried reducing any swing thoughts to just one or two. I think a lot of these suggestions work much better once a decent swing has been built. But thinking about several different things while swinging a golf club can't be good. The only reference I have are the handful of rounds where the swing was just better than normal days and there weren't a lot of thoughts or emotions swimming in my head at those times. But if simply reducing thoughts - on it's own - led to better golf this game would be a lot easier.
 

Carolina Golfer

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I'd love to just swing. But, knowing too much hurts. Like swinging from the ground up. I can't do that, unless it is an intentional thought. But, it is a good suggestion to clear out other thoughts. Is one thought ok on the down swing?
 

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