Do you know where your golf ball will go? Can you control where it goes? Do the best players in the world know where their ball will go? When we watch the pros on TV we are seeing the best players for that week in the last groups. When they make golf shots it looks as if they are throwing darts right at the hole and they never miss. But the reality is: they do miss. They hit poor shots even while winning a tournament. They do not know where their ball is going until after they make their golf stroke. They can not control the outcome but they can hope that it will work out!
Once you prepare for the shot, once you make a decision, take a deep breath and make the best stroke you can at that moment in time and hope that it will be good. Yes, hope. It seems like such a flakey emotion but it really is the thought you want to have and hope can serve you the best.
Look at the definition of hope: a desire for a certain thing to happen, grounds for believing that something good will happen. Yes, this is what you would like to feel; you would like to think that the shot will work out, that it will be good. Any other thought brings doubt, fear or confusion into play. A feeling of hope keeps those undesired emotions at bay.
According to C.R. Snyder, a psychologist that specializes in positive psychology, his research on hope has found that hope is not an emotion but a way of thinking. Hope is supported by emotions but it is a cognitive process. Hope happens when we have the ability to set realistic goals and then find a path to make it happen. One of the big things with this way of thinking is to be able to tolerate disappointment and then try again, to be able to stay flexible and find alternative routes that will allow for success. It is not about being perfect but being positive, persistent and tenacious.
Hope is having confidence in yourself: I can do this. Hope is having the perseverance to pursue your goal and believing in your abilities. Standing over a golf shot I want to have hope.