Better mental and physical performance
A healthy mind and body are essential when playing a sport like golf or undertaking other forms of physical activity. By increasing your cortical thickness, regular meditation improves your attention, focus, and ability to perform under stress according to a study carried out by the University of California (source). Meditators also have large amounts of gyrification, the folding of the cortex, which boosts information processing and memory formation according to this research (source).
Regular meditation sessions boost your immune system & functions and fight against diseases and infections (source), which affects your performance on the course. A healthy immune system prevents diseases, allowing you to have more time for practice and play.
Meditation also keeps body organs healthy and functioning, which amplifies your performance. According to a 2012 study, it was revealed that frequently meditating significantly reduces the risk of heart disease and improves overall heart health (source).
Moreover, research shows that meditation helps in the prevention, treatment, and management of various illnesses and conditions including
- Hypertension (source).
- Inflammatory disorders (source).
- Asthma, Rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease (source).
- Premenstrual syndrome and menopausal systems (source).
- Alzheimer’s and premature death (source).
- HIV, according to this study (source).
Mediation benefits golfers mentally and physically by boosting performance and keeping you healthy, which translates to improved play, skill, and mastery in the game.
Your body needs to rest after a long day at work, and sleep is its way of doing so. You need at least 6 hours of sleep every day for your body to remain healthy and body systems & functions to run smoothly.
Busy schedules, smartphones, and unlimited internet connectivity limit your sleep; affect your sleeping patterns, and put you at risk of disorders like insomnia and narcolepsy. Inadequate sleep leaves your body and brain fatigued, which affects your concentration, focus and overall performance on the course.
Forget sleeping pills and practice meditation every day before bedtime to get enough sleep and rest. Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is a potentially effective intervention for sleep disturbances and insomnia (source). Meditation also improves sleep by helping you to stay away from electronic gadgets and other distractions that affect your sleeping patterns.
Having enough sleep improves your performance on the course by enabling you to relieve stress, concentrate, focus, and take better shots.
Quieter and clearer mind
A calm and clear mind can be a life-saving tool during stressful occasions on the course and in general life. Sometimes, you will need to take difficult shots from tricky places like sand bunkers and under trees, which require you to be extra calm and composed. In these situations, having a quiet, clear mind helps you take better shots and improve your performance.
Can meditation give you a clearer and quieter mind?
Meditation helps in many ways including clearing your mind to give you peace of mind. Many meditators practice it to relax and clear the mind (source). Meditation gets rid of clogged thoughts and stories you attach during life events.
Meditating regularly before your game allows you to tap into your intuition, boosts creativity & energy, and helps you to develop enthusiasm for your game. That way, you improve your overall performance on the course.
Be more present with loved ones
When you play golf, you meet and engage different people on the course. You establish healthy relationships with other players, which enables you to network and close deals easily on the trail. Regular meditation also helps you to have good relations with loved ones through ego-resilience, self-acceptance and ‘a loving attitude.’
What is the connection between meditation and relationships?
Although it’s a solitary exercise, meditation improves your personal and social relationships. Metta, for example, is a loving-kindness type of meditation where you focus on developing a sense of care and benevolence towards living beings (source).
Nurturing healthy relationships through regular meditation on and off the course helps you play better and reduces the chances of developing social anxiety disorders, loneliness, worry, and isolation (source).
Ability to stay consistently focused
Maintaining focus consistently on the course can be difficult thanks to distractions like the environment and your golf buddies. The time between shots also affects your attention and consciousness, ultimately affecting your performance.
Does meditation help you to remain focused consistently?
A study done by Emory University demonstrated that meditating regularly increases connectivity within the brain networks that control attention. It also develops cognitive skills like maintaining concentration and disengaging from distraction (source).
Consistent focus and attention during your game enables you to maintain a low score, good play and improves your performance on the course.
Higher levels of confidence
Let’s face it! Skill and mastery are essential for you to be at the top of your game, but without confidence, your game can be greatly undermined. Golf is a challenging game that requires you to be confident to perform at your level best.
How does meditation increase self-confidence?
True self-confidence is based on a foundation of self-awareness by understanding your strengths and weaknesses at an intimate level. One core tenet of meditation is to disregard judgment & negative thoughts and instill a sense of self-appreciation and confidence.
Meditating before a game helps you to condition your mind to refrain from judging your limitations and mistakes, and instead use them as hidden strengths (source).
True understanding of your strengths, limitations, and mistakes ultimately becomes powerful, subtle, and effortless self-confidence that improves your performance on the course.
Ability to eliminate tension
It is not unusual for you to feel tense before a game whether during actual tournaments or friendly matches. Tension results from many things including the fear of losing, making mistakes or intimidation from better players. Tension affects you focus, accuracy, and overall performance, which results in poor play and high scores.
How does meditation remedy tension?
A study conducted on 32 adults by All India Institute of Medical Sciences revealed that practicing meditation regularly before stressful events limit the adverse effects of tension and stress (source).
You significantly reduce stress and tension before your game by meditating frequently beforehand, which enables you to play better and improve your overall performance. You can practice tension-relieving meditation through these three ways.
Anxiety occurs in many golfers during different stages of the game, but it’s most common when putting your ball in the cup; a feeling golfers refer to as Yips. Both skilled and amateur players suffer from yips (source).
Yips, which is a common anxiety problem amongst golfers affects your game and may lead to mistakes that prevent you from putting your ball from a mere 3 feet away.
How does meditation limit anxiety and golf yips?
Anxiety is a cognitive state that limits your ability to regulate emotional responses to threats or stressful events. When you meditate, you strengthen your cognitive abilities and curb anxiety.
Researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Center conducted a study with fifteen volunteers to establish the effects of mindfulness meditation on anxiety. According to the findings, meditating for at least 20 minutes every day helps with anxiety relief (source).
Reduced anxiety and yips enables you to play better, reduces chances of mishits, and helps you to put your ball in the hole comfortably.
Better Visualization of the next shot
Planning and preparing for your next shot can be a huge advantage especially when you need all the luck you can get. Failure to have a strategy before every shot leads to poor hits or mishits that affect your performance. Visualizing and strategizing about your next shot improves performance and limits chances of distraction between shots.
What role does meditation play in this?
According to a study, long-term meditation improves your visuospatial processing and executive functioning (source).
Improved visualization not only helps you to take better shots, but it also limits distraction between shots. That way, your mind stays focused on the game and enables you to perform better.
Playing better under pressure
Seldom does a golf game lack situations where you experience increased pressure. Pressuring conditions include putting, hitting your ball out of bunkers or playing a timed game. During such moments, you require increased calmness and composure to take winning shots and perform exceptionally.
How does meditation help during pressuring moments of the game?
A study done by the University of California confirmed that meditation training helps you to remain focused and attentive during stressful events and when performing tedious repetitive tasks (source).
Meditating before your game improves your ability to focus, remain attentive and calm when paying under pressure. You can take better shots and perform better during such situations.
Learn how to manage time and to reduce negative thoughts between shots
Time is of the essence during every golf game. Observing time is a rule in golf that requires you to take as less time as possible when it’s your turn to play. Some of the everyday events that cause you to waste time include distractions, anxiety, stress, double bogeys and more. Negative thoughts also limit your performance and force you to take too much time when playing.
If you can handle most of these situations, you perform better and save time on the course.
Meditation helps you to deal with all these time-consuming events including limiting distraction, stress, anxiety, and negative thoughts. It also improves your focus and enables you to play better as seen earlier in the article.
Be more resilient when faced with setbacks
You will not always have a good time on the course. Sometimes you take bad shots, miss some hits or suffer double bogeys that affect your performance. Resilience and patience are essential qualities that you should have whenever you suffer such setbacks.
Resilience helps you to continue playing when you don’t feel like or when your performance is poor, and patience enables you to remain calm during such situations.
Where does meditation come in?
Meditating regularly allows you to be more resilient and increases your levels of patience, which help you when you suffer setbacks on the course (source). Practicing meditation before every game can also limit the chances of suffering setbacks, which allows you to perform better.
Meditation has numerous benefits both psychological and physiological. When practiced over a long period, meditation improves your health and mental well-being. Having a sound body and mind improves your moods and leaves you happy, stress-free, and relaxed, which improves your overall performance on the course.
How does meditation improve my moods and increase my happiness?
Meditation limits instances of stress and low moods and improves your psychological well-being, which increases happiness according to this study (source).
Playing golf when relaxed and happy influences your game and helps you to perform at your level best.