How to practice a process with outcome

To play your best golf, it’s critical to adopt a “process vs. outcome” approach. That means focusing on the elements of the current shot, not the possible results of a good, bad or indifferent swing.

Of course, learning any new skill requires practice and patience. The driving range is a great place to develop and ingrain a process-based approach. Here’s a good way to start:

  • At the beginning of each practice session, choose a single thought you’ll repeat on every shot. It could involve your alignment, your grip, your takeaway, the downswing or anything else. But limit it to one simple key.
  • Be mindful not to pick a result-based goal, like hitting the ball within 20 feet of a marker. Remember, you’re working on the process of hitting the shot, without concern for happens after contact.
  • Commit to giving full attention to your one thought on each and every shot.
  • After hitting a shot, assess your success in focusing on that thought. Did you actually call it to mind? At the proper time? With total focus?
  • If you’re consistently concentrating on your single key, that piece of your setup or swing should be on the money more often than not.

It’s much easier to focus on the process, not the result, when you’re merely practicing. After all, there are no real consequences, good or bad, to distract you on the range. Strengthen your focus there and it will carry over to the course.