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Golf: Getting Over Golfzheimers

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Contributor:
Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland

“Numerous psychological studies have found that the majority of people can remember five bad experiences more readily than five good ones, and assuming this is true, it speaks a great deal about how we have been conditioned to think since an early age.”
That’s from Mike Dowd who asks the question, “Have you got Golfzheimers?”

Like trying to teach a blind man

Mike writes, “When it comes to swinging the golf club, I can generally teach someone how to hit pretty good shots in a fairly short period of time, but teaching them to remember them with the same level of clarity as those of the more wayward variety often seems like trying to teach a blind man to see. Despite a general awareness of this phenomenon by most players and its detrimental effect upon their golf game, little has been suggested until now as to why it exists and what if anything golfers can do about it.”

Taking in the good
Mike’s words remind me of the work of Rick Hanson author of Buddha's Brain where he explains how we can boost our positive emotions.

Rick writes, “Scientists believe that your brain has a built-in “negativity bias.” In other words, as we evolved over millions of years, dodging sticks and chasing carrots, it was a lot more important to notice, react to, and remember sticks than it was for carrots.”
In your own mind, what do you usually think about at the end of the day? The fifty things that went right, or the one that went wrong? Like the guy who cut you off in traffic, what you wish you had said differently to a co-worker, or the one thing on your To Do list that didn’t get done . . .

In effect, the brain is like Velcro for negative experiences, but Teflon for positive ones. That shades “implicit memory” – your underlying expectations, beliefs, action strategies, and mood – in an increasingly negative direction.”

And now for the cure
Mike Dowd writes, “Hitting the golf ball well is actually a near miraculous achievement when you consider the complexity of the swing and the incredible timing and hand-eye coordination it requires. Enjoy it (or anything else for that matter) when it actually comes off right. Do it several times a day for a month or more and there will be subtle changes in your brain chemistry, how you feel, and your outlook on life. You will notice, and so will those closest to you.  Make it a long-term habit and you might even be able to avoid ever having your playing partners ask this unfortunate question: “Have you got Golfzheimers?”

Link to Mike Dowd  and Rick Hanson

Quote of the Day
“The brain is drawn to bad news.” – Rick Hanson

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