How to focus when golfing

by Jordan on July 13, 2011

Deal with distractions and have better focus on the course

Losing focus on the course is easy.

You get lost in conversations with playing partners.

Your mind can’t escape that thing that needs to be done at work.

Whatever it is, I feel your pain.

After reading this article you won’t have any problems maintaining focus on the course.


When you are on the golf course, are you completely conscious? By conscious I mean fully in the moment and focused.

On a golf course you’re away from work, your family and other stuff. But deep down, are you really free of all outside thoughts and distractions?

It’s hard to leave that stuff behind.

The encouraging thing is you don’t have to concentrate for long on the course.

Many golfers think they need to focus for the entire 4+ hour round.  That’s not true at all. You only need to focus during your pre shot routine and during the swing. 

That”s all of 30 seconds per shot. You can do that!

But you have to be conscious.

I’ve seen golfers who don’t look fully in the moment and free of the outside world.

This makes it difficult to enjoy the game to its full extent and become a better player. They may they say they’re free of thought and in the present. But their body and facial expressions say otherwise. Actions always speak louder than words and I’ve become very good at reading body language and facial expressions over the years.

This post came about from a round I had yesterday. It was the first time in the last couple of years I felt completely present throughout an entire round of golf.

What a difference this made on the scorecard and my enjoyment level.

I wasn’t thinking about anything non golf related stuff. My walking pace was slower. I was enjoying how beautiful golf courses and nature are.

Since I enjoyed my round so much yesterday, I wanted to share a few tips so you can become fully present and focused on the course.


No matter if you have rushed to the course or arrived with plenty of time, it’s best to calm yourself down and clear your mind with this breathing technique.

Do it on the range or around the putting green before you tee off. If that doesn’t work and you can’t focus, try a nice quiet place around the clubhouse.

No matter where you go it’s imperative to focus when you get to the course.

Go Inside Your Body

While working on the breathing technique see if you can go inside your body. What do I mean by going inside your body?

Start off by seeing if you can feel your toes. If so, slowly work up your body all the way to the heart and feel it beat.

At first this may be tough as it’s probably something you have never done before. If so practice at home if it doesn’t come to you at first because I really want you to go inside your body to understand how it’s reacts in certain situations on the golf course.

When you go inside your body, you’ll be less in your head and mind. Which makes it really easy to become conscious.

Blend Into Nature

My good friend Brad Morris who wrote an article on nostril breathing for better balance has a interesting way to blend into nature. Brad would be considered a hippie by most people. But he’s just at peace.

Anyways in his his book Be Golf, he wrote about hugging a tree before your round. Most people laugh when I tell them this. However it’s the essence of being conscious and focused.

That’s definitely one way of blending into nature!

If you’re not into that, here’s what else you can do. Since a golf course is a part of nature , take plenty of time to admire the setting.

Whether it’s hearing the leaves blow in the wind or feeling the grass underneath each footstep you take, pay close attention to each subtle movement and sound.

Get lost in clouds even.

Whatever it is get yourself into the moment.

I’ll end with my hippie talk and get into some self monitoring now.

Watch Your thoughts

If you catch yourself thinking about things unrelated to golf and are distracted, stop for a moment and disengage from those thoughts.

At first it will take some time to realize that you’re not fully present with your game. The more and more you pick up on these thoughts, the faster you will be able to disengage from them and close the gaps. Soon you will be able to pick up on them quickly and pull yourself back into the present.

Don’t get frustrated that your mind wonders. Be thankful that you caught your mind tailing off.

Now it’s not to say you shouldn’t talk to anyone about your daily life on the course as those conversations are hard to avoid. When a conversation comes up unrelated to golf be sure to come back to the present moment and to leave the conversation behind.

Often times a conversation comes about in regards to work or family and it’s tough not to think about those things. All you have to do is reset your mind after once the conversation is over.

Simply catch your mind as it races off into no man’s land and pull it back to the present.

Work on these things to become fully present on the golf course. Once you’re fully present and in the moment, your mind will be clear and free from stuff that’s harmful to your game.

What Do You Think?

What do you admire most about golf courses and their settings?



Jordan J. Caron is a former Canadian PGA Class A member who still wants to help golfers shoot better scores. He is also the President of Meaningful Marketing. In his downtime he likes to read, play squash and drink wine.

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