This week’s mental golf tip is a simple one: Turn off the cell phone and leave it in your bag. Or better yet, leave it in your car.
A lot has been written about the impropriety of phones on the course, and of the danger of having one go off while you’re in the middle of a swing. But I don’t think that’s the primary problem. I think the primary evil of cell phones on the course lies in informational distraction. The mere presence of the things and their incoming messages takes your mind away from golf.
I’ve ignored my own advice far too often. I’ll forget to switch the phone to silent, and it will ding its new message notification. Then I begin wondering whether it’s junk email or important. Perhaps it’s a text message from my wife. Wondering distracts me from my game. So I check the message. Usually, it’s junk. But often enough, it’s something I need to attend to, so I begin thinking about that instead of the game. And by that point, I’m into a golfing death spiral.
This tip is an excerpt from The Five Inch Course: Thinking Your Way To Better Golf. The complete book is available in Kindle format at Amazon.com.