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You may have heard other players or commentators talk about "the zone" when they are playing well. "The zone" simply means that you are in a state of optimal performance and great players have learned what is required to create this peak performance state.

"The zone" is something that you can induce to happen and it is a state of peak performance, where you are relaxed, focused, confident and trusting your ability to perform the task in hand.

In order to induce this and to help you stay in "the zone" where you play your best golf, you want to work on having an effective pre-shot routine. To do this, when you are next on the driving range or practice ground, create three areas that you have to move through. Each of these areas has a specific purpose to help you achieve relaxed focus, a pre-requisite of being in "the zone". Create the three areas by placing two golf clubs on the ground. Doing this will help you to visualize the areas and you only step over a club into the next area once you have achieved what is required in that area and are ready to commit to what is required.

With the ball on the ground, stand directly behind the ball looking at the target and place a club across the target line about one yard before the ball. Then place the other club on the ground one yard before this one. Looking directly at the target from behind the ball, you should now have two golf clubs to walk over.

This has now created three zones for you to move through. The first zone, furthest away from the ball, is the think zone. Here you do all your thinking about the shot. What is the yardage, what is the wind doing, what is the lie like, how will the slopes affect the shot, what shot is the most appropriate shot to play, etc.

Then select the shot you want to play and the club to play it with. Now commit to this by walking into the next zone, the feel zone. Here you are narrowing your focus down on to how to play the required shot. Take a practice swing or two and feel the swing you are going to use. Once you have rehearsed the swing you need, look directly from the ball to your target and select a spot on the ground in front of the golf ball to aim your club face at.

Step into the final zone, the play zone. In this zone you narrow your focus down again to just the target. Aim your club face at the spot you selected on the ground, set your stance and posture and swing at the target.

Sorry Try Again! - See Explanation Below

Being in "the zone" involves you creating relaxed focus. You must narrow your focus down on to only the target. If you allow yourself to be distracted so that you are thinking and focusing on other non-relevant things, such as the score, the last shot that you played, etc, you are getting distracted as these thoughts are not relevant to the task at hand, namely hitting the ball to the target.

Sorry Try Again! - See Explanation Below

Worrying causes tension in your golf swing and any tension will sabotage your technique. Worry will also distract you from focusing on hitting the golf ball at the target. Learn to focus on your pre-shot routine rather than get distracted from it by worrying about the score.

Sorry Try Again! - See Explanation Below

The key to being in "the zone" when you play golf is to stay present in the moment. If you get ahead of yourself and start thinking about what might or might not happen during the rest of your round, you are not present, you are jumping into the future. Keep yourself in the present moment by working on achieving the correct things in your pre-shot routine.