Justin Rose has a chance to move to World No. 1 with a win at the Turkish Airlines Open this week. We may not be facing the same level of pressure during our weekend foursome that Rose will this week, but it’s pressure nonetheless. To this point, Rose recently shared a characteristically eloquent outlook that can help golfers of all skill levels.
The chance to win and ascend to the top of the sport obviously fuels a lot of thoughts and Rose, speaking to the Golf Channel on Wednesday, was asked about some of them.
“It’s an added thing to think about, but that’s not going to help me,” Rose said. “I just need to run my routines and keep it simple. That’s how you play your best golf. I always play my best golf when I focus on stripping away thoughts, rather than adding them, so I need to be careful about how I frame it this week.”
It may seem like a pretty straightforward comment on the surface, but it’s actually really good insight into a top player’s mindset — and it can help your own game. Whether you’re on track to shoot your new lowest score, close out your match or are chasing the World No. 1, the thoughts often come flooding in.
What if I make another bogey? What if I mess this up? How will I explain this afterwards?
It’s easier said than done, but the next time you feel your mind spiraling, rip a page from Rose’s book: Take a moment to process your thoughts, focus only on the things you can control, and work on stripping as many of the other ones as possible. Using Rose’s current situation as an example: He can’t control whether he wins this week or ascends to No. 1. Those are outcomes; results of doing other things well. So, he’ll put those aside and focus only on the things he can control. Things like doing his pre-shot routine every time, as he mentioned, and choosing the right shot. All the other thoughts are unnecessary and unhelpful, so he disregards them.
So the next time you feel your mind racing, try Rose’s technique. Keep it simple: Focus on what you can, not what you can’t.