Why attention is more important than your golf swing

Golfers still think their golf swing is most important. It isn’t. When you’re thinking about your swing, you can’t be experiencing your best golf.

We might think we’re doing a really good job when we’re trying hard and thinking about things. But we’re not. Here’s a different way of looking at things.

Instead of trying hard and thinking lots, can you give golf your full attention? Attention is very different from trying. Way different.

Can you remain focussed for the duration of each shot?
Can you feel the club head throughout the swing?
Can you hear the club strike the ball?
Are you aware of all your feelings and emotions when you play?
Can you hear the birds, smell the grass and see the trees?

Because if you can do any of the above you are giving golf your full attention. And when you’re playing with attention you’ll be playing in the moment. And it’s this state of mind that will allow you to play better. And don’t think for a minute that attention means you’re analysing what it is you’re doing. Nope. Attention is just being aware of what is happening – you’re not judging or thinking. I call this “playing golf”.

It’s a magical state to get into. When you start giving up control for each part of your swing and start opening your senses to what is actually happening, strange things start to happen.

– you’ll hit the ball more consistently
– you’ll learn more (you probably won’t even notice anything except for better shots and scores)
– you’ll experience greater enjoyment
– your swing will improve (yep, and you won’t even have to think about it)

You may even wonder why you’ve made golf so hard for so long. All that thinking really does make golf a bore (and bloody hard).

As 2011 draws to a close, see if you can play golf with more attention in 2012 and report back here with your findings.

Thanks for reading and good golfing in ’12,


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  • Grayden Provis

    Reply Reply January 7, 2012

    Hi Cam

    This comment probably doesn’t really belong under this post but I want to share it with the group and didn’t know any better place to put it so here goes:

    I’m amazed at how stuff of yours I thought I “got” a couple of years ago is only now just sinking in.For example this comment of yours about short putts:

    “The biggest mistake I see (and one that took me ages to overcome) is trying to be careful and safe. You have to let the stroke go! You can’t control it. Your natural stroke will work far better than anything else. So you must learn to trust it when your out on the golf course”

    Despite thinking I have been automatic and letting go with my putts for some time now I’ve just discovered I wasn’t really. Sure, I was with the long ones but have only just discovered I was still trying to be “careful” on the short ones. Its a truly bizarre feeling at first when you stop being careful with short putts. It feels insane – as if you’re just being reckless and not trying. But I can’t deny it: MORE PUTTS GO IN! Don’t take this the wrong way but lately I just keep surprising myself at how good at golf I actually am 🙂 – and how MUCH I have been getting in my own way for SO long.

    Cam, I don’t know how you can say what you say any clearer – we’re just so SLOW to really catch on, to really trust (then again, I guess you admit above that you were the same yourself!). We THINK we’re trusting and letting go but then something happens which shows us there’s a whole different level of “letting go” which we haven’t even explored yet. Its kind of depressing in a way – but exciting at the same time. On behalf of the many out there like me (I’m sure they’re there!) I want to thank you for what you do. Its fantastic. You have truly figured out how to play golf and now just have to endure the frustration and difficulty of getting whats in your head into ours! May you continue to keep plugging away. Millions of confused and frustrated golfers out there need what you are offering – even if they don’t realize it themselves yet.

    To the rest of you I urge you to read and re-read the things on this site. Read them CAREFULLY and THINK about them. There’s little gems tucked away everywhere (there’s a heap of them just in the quote above). And then try and be HONEST with yourself about whether you are REALLY doing what is being said. When you finally experience the terror of actually “letting go” on a short putt in competition you’ll REALLY know what Cameron is talking about above.

  • Lukey

    Reply Reply January 8, 2012

    Never a truer word has been spoken and you are right we do try very hard to be auto and yes sometimes we get in our own way but I feel I am one of those that tries too hard .I am totally convinced auto is the way to go but all I have to do is let go (whole game)but at the same time not try SO HARD to do it.Good to see your input too Grayden because it just makes it easier for others who are struggling a little bit.
    Cheers Lukey

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