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Playing Golf

Golf And Meditation
by Mahadeva Ishaya

For many years, one of the things I loved doing was watching the final day of golf tournaments on TV. As the day begins perhaps 8 or 9 players have a chance to win, but by the time they are playing the final holes this number has shrunk to 2 or 3.

The fascinating thing for me was that on this day the level of individual skill was not the most important factor - these golfers are already highly skilled – but the event would be won by the player who could combine this with mental strength, and who could maintain their focus, remain calm and allow themselves to play their natural game.

I would watch the faces of these players and at some point it would be possible to predict who would fall by the way, and who would have the inner qualities to win.

When I learned to meditate I began to experience the “zone” that top sportspeople operate from for myself. I found sporting activities much more enjoyable and I became more effective as I used my meditation techniques.

A few years ago I felt attracted to play golf, something I hadn’t done since I was a teenager (a long time ago!), and found that it was a great opportunity to practice meditation with my eyes open.

When playing golf I found that what was going on in my head would have a huge impact on how well or badly I played. For example, I may play a bad shot (and I’ve had plenty of those!) and put more pressure on myself to play the next one well – my body would become tense and my mind would be telling me all the things I had to do to avoid screwing up again! The result? You’ve guessed it – another bad shot. And so the cycle continues. (An interesting thing to note is that the lakes in most golf courses contain not only stray golf balls but the occasional club thrown in by frustrated golfers!)

So, to have an easy and effective meditation technique was a lifesaver and has helped me improve and, very importantly, enjoy my game, exactly as it is.

About the author

Mahadeva Ishaya is a monk of the Ishaya Order, and also an avid golfer. He is the publisher of which is committed to helping golfers of all abilities realise that mastery of the "inner game" of golf is not only vital, but simple and enjoyable.

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