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Few golfers are mentally present when playing a golf shot...which is a problem.

The fact that all creation takes place in the present moment is pretty obvious. The fact that our thoughts are almost never centered in the present moment is not so obvious. It's also a problem.

In his wonderful book, The Power of Now, Eckhardt Tolle writes that despite the present moment being the ONLY REALITY, our thoughts are continually centered in either the past or in the future. We allow our thoughts of the past to establish our self-image and our perception of present circumstance. Our thoughts of the future provide us with an insight as to where we might be headed.

While we constantly think about where we've been and where we're headed, we almost never think about where we are. For example, what are your thoughts when faced with a lob shot over a steep bunker to a tight flag? If you're like most golfers, your first thoughts will be centered in the past. By remembering similar experiences, you'll try to determine what chance you have of pulling off the shot. Your mind will be filled with thoughts like, "I've never been good at this shot" or "The last time I had this shot I shanked it" or "I've always hit this shot well".

To consider the possible outcomes, your mind will also jump to the future with thoughts like, "If I hit the shot fat, I'll end up in the bunker and probably make a double bogey" or "If I blade the shot 20 yards over the green everyone will laugh at me" or "If I knock this shot stiff everyone will be impressed".

Unfortunately, none of these thoughts have anything to do with actually making the shot. The shot can't be made in the past or in the future, it has to be made in the present moment.

The golf ball, the golf club, your body, your swing, and the golf course all exist in the present moment. YOUR MIND, HOWEVER, COULD BE ANYWHERE. Since all creation takes place in the present moment, that's where your mind should be fully engaged.

Bringing yourself to the moment is one thing, staying in the moment throughout the swing motion is something else. As the great Bobby Jones once wrote, "...there must be no mental daisy-picking while the shot is being played."

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