When you are worried about your swing because you have fears about the result of a bad shot costing you dearly in score or perhaps just embarrassment, then you are not in the present and likely to commit the very foul you are trying to avoid.
A player who can swing in the present moment will find a place where fear cannot exist, regardless of all that has gone on before.
To understand the present you may want to appreciate what the alternatives are.
You can go forward to the future with your thinking and you can think about the future in either a positive or negative way. You can go back in time with your thinking and remember your past in either a negative or positive manner.
Being in the present is to be fully absorbed in the moment, in what is going on from second to second with no room for thoughts or interruptions by anything that is not happening right in that moment.
When you are thinking back to a poor golf shot you played a few minutes or even years ago, you are in a past life reinforcement of a negative event. You are doomed by your history and will repeat the same mistakes over and over. You are not in the present and you will play golf that reflects the fact that you are dwelling on past poor performances.
If you think about the possibility of making a mistake, a poor swing, then you are living in a negative future and this will cause anxiety and tension while also sending a suggestion to your unconscious mind that it should make a swing that creates the poor shot. Your unconscious mind is not logical as witnessed by the fact that you can have a nightmare that has real physical effects on you and yet when it is analysed by your conscious mind, the nightmare makes no sense at all. But you still experienced real emotional and physical reaction to it so be in no doubt that your unconscious WILL have a big influence on you as a golfer.
If you are in the present then you will play freely and confidently on each swing, even if the swing you just made was poor because to be in the moment is to have thought only for that moment. If you are in the present then you have no concern for the outcome or result of your shot because the moment you think of the outcome, you are in the future again.
To play in the present is to plan a shot, pick a precise target and then hit the ball there with no other thought other than striking the ball to the target. There is no past or future, no worry over swing thoughts, no thinking about winning or losing a hole or a competition. There is only that swing and complete absorption in following the process of setting up, swinging and watching where the ball goes. Then you go to the ball and repeat the process all over again until the ball is in the final hole of the days play.
Imagine being able to remain in the present and strike every shot with full commitment and confidence as your scoring and enjoyment of golf gets better and better as you learn and master this precious skill.
Learning the Mental Game of Golf is absolutely imperative if you have any desire to improve, be proud of your game and really enjoy playing every time you walk the wonderful country that is a golf course.