Life Lessons Learned on the Golf Course

I remember as a beginner the hardest part of learning to hit the golf ball was getting all the parts of my body moving together. This was an unnatural movement as it was done sideways like hitting a baseball, but with a much smaller ball at my feet. It wasn’t until much later that I discovered that it was my thinking about how to accomplish this that kept me from doing it consistently. As I progressed, I learned that the harder or faster I swung, the more the synchronicity I desired disappeared. And because of this the ball didn’t go as far because my timing was off. Learning to swing at my own personal natural swing tempo was the solution.

I learned the way to prepare my mind was with a consistent preshot routine on every shot whether it was a tee shot or a putt. I think of the preshot routine as a series of actions that move me from behind the ball to the place over the ball where I am ready to swing. When you are concentrating well, you are not thinking. You are totally absorbed in the routine process of getting the ball to the target. When you use the same routine each time, you then have control of your thinking and send good messages to your body.

A mind that is busy, restless or indecisive will find it difficult to concentrate on an activity. The first step toward improved concentration would be to quiet your mind. When it is your turn to hit, turn on your focus by going into your established pre-shot routine to keep your mind from wandering. Begin the routine by taking deep abdominal breaths to relax and slow down your thinking mind.

Another valuable lesson I learned was to let go of my attachment to the outcome. When I stopped thinking about how I was doing, and the possible score, I focused on playing one shot at a time without any expectation of what the number of strokes taken would mean. I stopped thinking about how to swing. I stopped thinking of what others might say about me or my game. I stopped thinking about having to make a certain score to maintain my low handicap. I stopped thinking about beating others. I stopped trying to win. I played for my own enjoyment.

Love playing the game of golf more than you love the outcome.

As I let go of these mental blocks, I began to trust my abilities. I believed that I knew enough to play at my peak potential. I believed that I deserved to have good things happen on the golf course. I believed that I deserved to be a winner. And I did win, again and again. Miraculous things happened on the golf courses that were beyond my fondest dreams.

I returned to the state of loving the game for what it is, a compelling game full of ups and downs, twists and turns. Love is a unique life force energy that motivates us. Without the love, it is just dedication. Without the love, it can feel like an all consuming work effort. Love is what makes it easy. Love holds our attention in the present. It was no longer satisfaction for my ego.

I learned to let go of self-judgment. When you think about how you are doing, or how to do it, you are judging yourself and your performance under the guise of helping your game. When you judge yourself you are likely to feel anxious, guilty, embarrassed or angry. These feelings will ultimately sabotage your golf game, lower your self esteem and keep you from being successful.

Judgment is the comparison between how something seems and how we think it should be. We would like to believe that we could hit every golf shot perfectly. And when we don’t do that, we feel frustrated, embarrassed and humiliated, and reject ourselves because we feel inadequate. And so we pretend to be what we think we should be (the perfect golfer) by demeaning ourselves with words or physical actions of disgust. In other words, we pretend to be what we are not (perfect), because we are afraid someone else will notice that we are not what we pretend to be.

The way we judge ourselves is the strongest Judge there is. When we miss a shot in front of other people, we try to deny the mistake and cover it up with excuses and rationalizing why it happened. To be a champion golfer, you need to seek your own approval, not the approval of others.

To maintain our balance and composure it is necessary to look at the game of golf/life in a different perspective. We need to forgive ourselves for being human, for making mistakes. This is the answer to Judgment. It requires a change of attitude and a new belief system. Golf is management of imperfection. Each shot is a story. When it is over, you begin a new story. Instead of blaming yourself for your mistakes, learn from them so you won’t repeat them. When we are “in the zone” and playing at our peak performance level we are not learning, we are just enjoying the experience.

Become a magician! Use your thoughts and words and pictures to create the life and golf game that you desire. Let go of judgments that sabotage your game and put you into an internally self-created prison. Give yourself permission to enjoy the game of golf with its ups and downs, with its perfect shots and imperfect shots, with its humiliating situations and its joyous moments! Remember that golf is a game where an inch can make the difference between total disaster and absolute perfection! See the round in its entirety. Don’t be trapped by a few mishits into judging your whole performance by them. Reinforce and enjoy the good shots.

Peak performing athletes rarely put themselves down. They talk to themselves positively about what they are attempting to create. They change past negative messages that come up into positive empowering ones. This is a part of their mental training program. They repeat positive mental affirmations and training routines until they are wired into their brains, body and spirit and become a conditioned response.

You are your most important critic. Nothing is more critical than the opinion you have of yourself. What you say to yourself in your inner mind is the most important conversation you will ever have. You become confident by affirming yourself.

Keep doing your best. If you always do your best, there is no way the Judge within can find you guilty or blame you. When you give it your best effort, you learn to accept yourself. Practice, learn from your mistakes and look honestly at the results. This increases your awareness of your Self.

Focus on the good that you want to create in your golf game and more good will come to you. This is the Universal Law of “like attracts like.” Be your own best coach. Encourage and treat yourself as well as you do the others in your foursome. Let go of all your unreal self assessments in which you find yourself in any way inadequate that comes from never measuring up to being perfect. Accept and love yourself more than anyone ever loved you.

Golf is a game in which we have to play our mistakes. Learn to forgive yourself for your imperfection of being human. Instead, congratulate yourself for what you did well during the round of golf. Gratitude is the answer to forgiveness. You probably made fewer mistakes than you thought.

There are hundreds of other lessons that I learned from the game of golf. You can access them on the www.pmi4.com Positive Mental Imagery website, on the www.pmi4.com/blog weekly blog or “THE HEART OF GOLF, Access Your Supreme Intelligence for Peak Performances.”

This guide book for transforming your life and golf game is available now on

www.AmazonKDP and http://amzn.to/2znB4tN

All royalties will be donated to Junior Golf!

 

 

 

Model Your Golf Game on Successful Behaviors

Model your golf game on success

Modeling is the basis of Neuro Linguistic Programming. NLP is the study of the internal maps in successful people’s brains, and then modeling their patterns of successful behaviors.

Children are the most accelerated learners. For children everything is new. They don’t have to compare their new learning experiences with old experiences (maps). Children learn unconsciously by trial and error without judgment. This is evident in the way they learn to operate cell phones, computers, and video games.

What is your knowledge base that keeps you from playing successfully?

Golf like everything else responds to your attitudes, beliefs, words and your energy. Old, outdated beliefs create conflict and indecision. When you shift your limiting beliefs to positive empowering ones, it will be reflected in your physical game.

Energy follows thoughts

In its most successful realm, golf is a mystical experience. When you are playing “in the zone” you are experiencing a profound state of one-pointed focus of concentration, fearlessness, creativity, euphoria and peacefulness. There is no need to think and analyze.

Model your behavior on success. Entrain your mind and body. Entrainment in golf means to have your brainwaves and heart waves operating at the same frequency. This is known as being “in the zone” state where you play at your peak performance level.

  1. Manage your emotions. Release a missed shot or putt by taking a deep breath and smiling. This will release endorphins to calm your mind so you can refocus for the next shot.
  2. Manage your physical body. Stand tall, shoulders back, eyes straight ahead. Model Dustin Johnson striding quickly forward with anticipation of hitting his last shot on his way to winning his 19th PGA Tour title last week at the RBC Canadian Open.

Feel your swing tempo

Imagine how you can access the perfect rhythm of your swing. For most golfers their swings tend to get faster during a round. This happens through increased confidence, or the opposite, forcing due to a lack of confidence.

Model the preparation routine of Tour players. Breathe deeply to relax your body and mind so you can focus on the shot you are about to create. Take a couple of swings before each shot, not to think about how to swing, but rather to access your natural swing tempo so your mental, physical and emotional selves feel comfortable and in sync.

Mentally practice taking the club back slowly and smoothly, making sure you finish the backswing before starting back down. There is a momentary pause at the top to accommodate the change of direction. Let the speed build gradually. If you finish out of balance, your swing tempo is out of balance.

When you stop thinking about how to swing the club and instead feel the swing, you will access and trust your own perfect swing tempo.

Play “in the Zone” with Joan

Entrain Your Heart & Mind for Peak Performances 

 “THE HEART OF GOLF, Access Your Supreme Intelligence for Peak Performances explores and explains negative emotions such as fear and performance anxiety, the four Cs of mind blockage, the four progressive stages of learning the supreme intelligence of the heart, and the way to access the zone in competition. It is a player’s guide for developing your true inner self by returning to the joy and love of self instead of seeking praise and rewards from the outside world.

This guide book for transforming your life and golf game is available

now: http://amzn.to/2znB4tN

All royalties will be donated to Junior Golf!

To train your brain to play your best golf, listen to Positive Mental Imagery self-hypnosis guided imagery CDs in the privacy of your own home, available at www.pmi4.com/cart

If you aren’t able to maintain trust and belief in yourself on the golf course, email Joan at pmi4@bellsouth.net or call 828.696.2547 for a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation about developing a new strategy. Learn what is missing in your golf game so you can achieve the success you desire.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Program Your Mind for Successful Golf

We are all creating our own reality. There is a universal law that states that like attracts like. This law of attraction is constantly running within us and does exactly what you are thinking. When we feel negative experiences like fear, self-doubt and criticism, those experiences are attracted into our lives.

What we desire is to play golf at our peak potential, but what we are really doing is programming the opposite. When we repeatedly talk or think about the unsuccessful experiences we have had on the golf course, or in our lives, we attract more bad golf shots and high scores.

When you trust your abilities and act as if what you desire is going to happen, your subconscious mind will accept it as being true and begin to operate according to the new programming. In this way your negative reactions will change to the new positive programming for the success you desire in your golf game.

“Affirmations*  

Confidence comes from both physical and mental training. Begin now to let go of the self-talk that sabotages your self-image and start affirming your belief in yourself and your abilities. You know that you have the ability because you have hit many good shots in your past. Choose to believe in what you can do, not in affirming what didn’t work.

One of the ways to develop a belief in yourself and your abilities is by positive thinking and nurturing affirmations. An affirmation is a positive thought that you consciously choose to put into your belief system to produce a specific desired result. Affirmations give you permission to be or do what you desire. The most powerful affirmations are always stated in the present, beginning with “I AM,” not as “I will,” or “I hope.” The latter are statements of the future and are not under your control.

Affirmations are designed to help us begin reprogramming our negative thinking into positive thinking. The times energy flows through your brain in a particular pattern, the easier it is just to keep the energy flowing in the same pattern. It does not matter whether it is positive or negative.

Through repetition the affirming statement replaces the negative self-talk in your subconscious mind (authoritarian messages from the past).

Affirmations work directly with the unconscious mind and can directly impact the emotional body and engage the mental body as well. It is your key for opening the door to positive thinking. You can program your brain by using affirmation for your personal success.

Affirmations enhanced with imagery and feel-good emotions imprint on the subconscious mind ten to one hundred times more powerfully than just the words, and makes your reality that much quicker. The subconscious is the feeling mind. Once accepted, these affirming statements continue to produce the same physical reaction over and over again. Through repetition they replace the negative self-talk in your programming. It is a form of autosuggestion. Affirmations give you permission to be or do what you desire.

There is a story about a young boy who was having nightmares every night. His mother took him to a child psychiatrist to determine why he was having such frightening dreams. The doctor asked the boy about his dreams. The little boy told him that every night he dreamed a bad black horse and a good white horse were fighting each other.

The psychiatrist asked the boy to tell him which one was winning. The boy answered, ‘The one I feed the most.’

What thoughts are you nourishing? You are the only thinking in your mind. With the use of affirmations, you can put new programming into your mind that will override your limiting thoughts and feed the thoughts that will bring you the success you desire.

Using affirmations and creating imagery is not just a mental tool, but a state of consciousness. We are the creators of our lives and our universe and must take responsibility for ourselves at all times. Manifesting by using affirmations and creative imagery is the process of realizing and making things appear in the physical. It all begins in the mind. Remember that you cannot build on the negative. Growth only comes from building on the positive.

The written word is very powerful. Writing down an affirmation is a dynamic technique to change your mental programming. Because half of the thoughts we think are negative, it is also important to write these down so you won’t keep repeating them in your head. As you write the affirming words, read them out loud and feel them powerfully instilled in your subconscious replacing your former belief.”

Instructions on how to write affirmations for success can be found in the PMI newsletter August 2002, https://bit.ly/1yARX0h

*Excerpts are from Chapter 16: Confidence; “THE HEART OF GOLF, Access Your Supreme Intelligence for Peak Performances”

This guide book for transforming your life and golf game is available now on 

www.AmazonKDP and http://amzn.to/2znB4tN

All royalties will be donated to Junior Golf! 

 “THE HEART OF GOLF, Access Your Supreme Intelligence for Peak Performances” explores and explains negative emotions such as fear and performance anxiety, the four Cs of mind blockage, the four progressive stages of learning the supreme intelligence of the heart, and the way to access the zone in competition. It is a player’s guide for developing your true inner self by returning to the joy and love of self instead of seeking praise and rewards from the outside world.

© PositiveMentalImagery 2018 – All Rights Reserved

Play “in the zone” with Joan

Entrain Your Heart & Mind for Peak Performances 

To train your brain to play your best golf, listen to Positive Mental Imagery self-hypnosis guided imagery CDs in the privacy of your own home, available at www.pmi4.com/cart

If you aren’t able to maintain trust and belief in yourself on the golf course, email Joan at pmi4@bellsouth.net or call 828.696.2547 for a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation about developing a new strategy. Learn what is missing in your golf game so you can achieve the success you desire.

 

 

 

 

 

Breathe Your Way to Better Golf

 The best state for performing to your golf game potential is when your body is relaxed and your mind is alert and focused. Deep breathing is the way to access this state.

“Natural Relaxed Breathing* 

THE WAY YOU breathe can directly affect your emotional state. Changing your breathing can change your thoughts and emotions. Paying attention to your breath is a vehicle for releasing stress and allowing the body to find its balance. Your breathing is a good indicator of your feelings and thinking patterns. Proper breathing can relieve stress-related symptoms, such as performance anxiety. It is important to keep your breathing even for consistent golf.

When you are anxious, your body gives you signals such as perspiration, tightness or pain in the stomach, rapid heartbeat, short breaths, raw throat, and clammy, shaky hands. When you are relaxed your breathing will be deep, regular, comfortable, smooth, and easy instead of shallow, rapid, and irregular.

When frustrated or angry, most people breathe in, tense their bodies, and hold their breath. When there is tension the body cannot move smoothly and efficiently. Tension can cause a variety of swing problems, including poor club head speed, an incorrect swing path, and faulty clubface alignment at impact. Instead of producing a smooth, effortless, easy swing, the anxious golfer uses brute force resulting in a fast, jerky, hard swing.

Causes of Tension

Being tense can be caused by being ball bound. This means that you are so fixated on the golf ball that you automatically tense up when you put your club behind the ball at address. The result is hitting at the ball instead of swinging through it. This causes tension in your wrists, arms and shoulders, which destroys your rhythm and reduces your sense of feel. A good way to access feeling the swing is to practice swinging a golf club with your eyes closed.

Practice Natural and Efficient Breathing

Breathing is the most important physiological function of your body. You can live forty days without food, ten days without water, but only four minutes without oxygen.

If you watch a baby breathe, or watch someone who is sleeping, you will see this relaxed, natural breathing. As you breathe in through your nose, notice that your stomach protrudes on the inhale and falls on the exhale.

We have been taught to relieve tension by sucking in our stomachs, taking in a big breathe and letting our chest and shoulders rise. This actually creates tension and tightness in your chest and shoulder muscles. In golf we need to have these muscles relaxed so we can make a full shoulder turn to set up the torque for maximum golf club acceleration.

Deep breathing is the key to relaxation. The more you relax, the better you feel. The more you relax, the better you play. The more you relax, the easier it is to focus. And the more you relax, the more powerful your mind is.

My personal preference to relax and focus before hitting any shot on the golf course is to take in three deep breaths through my nose during my preshot routine. I take in one deep conscious breath each for my mind, body and spirit.   

Be in the Moment

With a simple activity of controlled breathing you are helping your body to move to a higher vibratory state of being where tension and worry change. When you are not attached to a situation and let it go, you are in the moment of stillness that resides between the in breath and out breath, and you feel calm. With this awareness your whole physiology begins to change.

There is a natural rhythm when you go within. Being in the zone state is like being in the flow of a river. When you go against the river, it is challenging. When you are in your natural flow of rhythm within, life and your golf game proceed easily. This is how you shift and transform into your true self where there is only gratitude, joy, and happiness. You become more aware of your senses, which give you the guidance you need to execute your golf shot.”

Improve your breathing technique and relaxation skill by listening to the PMI self-hypnosis CD “Progressive Relaxation of the Mind & Body” in the privacy of your own home. All eight PMI self-hypnosis CDs begin with guided breathing techniques for focus and relaxation. Order today at http://www.pmi4.com/cart

*Excerpts are from Chapter 10: Deep Breathing; “THE HEART OF GOLF, Access Your Supreme Intelligence for Peak Performances.”

 

This guide book for transforming your life and golf game is available now on

www.AmazonKDP and http://amzn.to/2znB4tN

All royalties will be donated to Junior Golf!

If you aren’t able to maintain focus and relaxation on the golf course, email Joan at pmi4@bellsouth.net or call 828.696.2547 for a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation about developing a new strategy. Learn what is missing in your golf game so you can achieve the success you desire.

Play “in the zone” with Joan

Entrain Your Heart & Mind for Peak Performances

© PositiveMentalImagery 2018– All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plan your golf and play your plan

Plan your work and work your plan, is a mental strategy you can develop to improve your golf performances. Since golf is a game, I choose to use the word play instead of work.

Even if you have played your home golf course for years, you can learn how to score lower and choose more accurate decisions when you plot out your best strategy for playing each hole. The challenge then is to see how well you can carry out your strategy and achieve the results obtainable in your plan.

Actions speak louder than words and the Nike Just Do it! are also well known phrases. Before the golf season is in full swing, why don’t you take action and analyze the way you play your home golf course?

PGA and LPGA Tour players have a hole by hole playbook to refer to even though they might have played a course many times. Play a practice round without keeping score, to plot the best possible route for your personal game. Your GPS would be helpful to determine distances. Put together your personal playbook by drawing a sketch of each hole and green, recording the pertinent information for each one.

The golf course architect designed each hole with a specific purpose. If you look at the holes from the architect’s perspective, you might find a better way to play them.

Golf is a game where the position of your golf ball is vital for scoring. Without a plan it is easy to beat yourself. Professionals and competitive amateurs have a written strategy to play each hole for the lowest possible score. With the plan in mind, they then focus by taking dead aim at each target, one shot at a time. 

In planning your strategy, visualize the entire hole and ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the length of the hole?
  • Is the fairway wide or narrow?
  • Is it flat, undulating or sloping?
  • Is it straight away or a dog leg?
  • What is the yardage from the tee to the trouble (bunkers, water, trees, etc.)?
  • Where do I want to land my tee ball to avoid all the problems?
  • Is there trouble around the green (water, sand bunkers, trees behind, etc.)?
  • Is it better to hit short or long on this green?
  • What is the size, shape, slope and speed of the green?

You may have lots of talent and skill, but if you don’t know how to think your way around the golf course, you aren’t going to play up to your potential. Here are some tips for planning your strategy:

    1. Play the percentages. Don’t expect to hit your best shot. Hit the shot that you can hit 75% of the time.
    2. Hit the ball in the fairway. Sometimes that is easier said than done. Know where the widest part of the fairway is and hit to the largest landing area. This may require using a 3-wood instead of a driver. Know exactly how far it is to avoid the fairway bunkers.
    3. Use the same pre-shot routine on every shot. You will have more consistent results if your routine is consistent. Then your brain will know exactly what to do.
    4. Consider the risk vs. reward. When you plan your shot, allow for a margin of error.
    5. Long shots into the green. Hit to the center of the green.
    6. Par 3’s: Know where to miss it away from any possible trouble spots. Plan to land the ball where you haven’t short sided the next shot. Give yourself the best angle to hit to the green. If the pin is on the left, tee your ball up on the right and vice versa.
    7. Par 4’s: Use the terrain of the hole to help you put the tee ball on a flat fairway lie. If you miss the fairway, knowing the layout of the hole will enable you to change your strategy for the best possible recovery. Short par 4’s usually have subtle trouble. Use less than a driver for position play.
    8. Par 5’s: These longer holes give you one more chance to recover. If you have to lay-up, place the ball where you can hit a full shot and have a good opening into the green.
    9. Remain positive. Indecision is the enemy of golfers. There are many ways to be indecisive, not just in club selection. Make a mental blueprint of your path to the hole. Decide on a specific target area for each shot and aim at it. Believe in your ability to hit it there!
    10. Stick to your game plan.  If you are behind in your plan, don’t press and try harder. Be patient. Make up your mind that everything has happened to help you.

Play “in the zone” with Joan

Entrain Your Heart & Mind for Peak Performances

To train your brain to play your best golf, listen to Positive Mental Imagery self-hypnosis guided imagery CDs in the privacy of your own home, available at www.pmi4.com/cart 

If you aren’t able to maintain trust and belief in yourself on the golf course, email Joan at pmi4@bellsouth.net or call 828.696.2547 for a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation about developing a new strategy. Learn what is missing in your golf game so you can achieve the success you desire.

 

“THE HEART OF GOLF, Access Your Supreme Intelligence for Peak Performances explores and explains negative emotions such as fear and performance anxiety, the four Cs of mind blockage, the four progressive stages of learning the supreme intelligence of the heart, and the way to access the zone in competition. It is a player’s guide for developing your true inner self by returning to the joy and love of self instead of seeking praise and rewards from the outside world.

This guide book for transforming your life and golf game is available now on

www.AmazonKDP and http://amzn.to/2znB4tN

All royalties will be donated to Junior Golf!

 

 

 

Short Game Golf at the Masters

Spring golf is heralded in today as the first round of golf begins at the 82nd Masters Tournament at The Augusta National Golf Club. It is the only major of the four major professional tournaments to be held at the same course every year. It promises to be full of excitement and drama with 87 invitees representing the best male golfers in the world.

In 2014 Augusta National inaugurated the Drive, Chip & Putt Championship, a free nationwide junior skills competition open to boys and girls ages 7-15.

Yesterday, the new chairman of Augusta National, Fred Ridley announced that the club will help to create and host the 54-hole Augusta National Women’s Amateur Championship in 2019, with the final round played on Saturday, April 6th at Augusta National. The first two rounds will be played at a local club near Augusta.

Augusta National was built on the site of the former Fruitland Nursery which accounts for each hole on the course being named after a tree or shrub. The course was co-designed by Alister MacKenzie, and legendary amateur golfer Bobby Jones, the last man to win the grand slam in one year.

The Masters Par-3 nationally televised competition is held the day before the tournament begins on Thursday. It was first held 58 years ago, in 1960, won by three-time Masters Champion Sam Snead on the 9-hole, par 27 course. He also won in 1974, one month shy of his 62nd birthday. Traditionally, the players’ family members dressed in Augusta National jumpsuits caddie for them, and sometimes play some of the shots for them. Yesterday Jack Nicklaus’ 15-year-old grandson Gary hit one tee shot, on the ninth hole, and scored a hole-in-one. Tom Watson who won the contest 36 years ago in 1982 was the overall winner this year.

The short game in golf accounts for more than half of the shots you play. It is the easies and best way to lower your score. Anyone can develop a good short game. You don’t need muscle, flexibility, youth, or nerves of steel. In fact what you do need is the ability to relax.

Around the greens is where the score is made. If you don’t have a dependable short game, you will not be able to recover from missed shots. The resulting emotions of embarrassment and humiliation can erode your self confidence. Playing on a par-3 golf course will help to instill confidence in your short game to recover and bounce back with stroke saving shots.

Play “in the zone” with Joan

Entrain Your Heart & Mind for Peak Performances 

If you are struggling with your short game, or want to lower your scores, the CD “Master Your Short Game for Low Scores” is for you. You can order now at www.pmi4.com/cart

If you aren’t able to maintain trust and belief in yourself on the golf course, email Joan at pmi4@bellsouth.net or call 828.696.2547 for a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation about developing a new strategy. Learn what is missing in your golf game so you can achieve the success you desire.

“THE HEART OF GOLF, Access Your Supreme Intelligence for Peak Performances explores and explains negative emotions such as fear and performance anxiety, the four Cs of mind blockage, the four progressive stages of learning the supreme intelligence of the heart, and the way to access the zone in competition. It is a player’s guide for developing your true inner self by returning to the joy and love of self instead of seeking praise and rewards from the outside world.

This guide book for transforming your life and golf game is available now on

www.AmazonKDP and http://amzn.to/2znB4tN

All royalties will be donated to Junior Golf!

 

 

 

Prepare now for your return to the golf course

Daylight Saving Time has sprung forward giving golfers an extra hour of daylight to play golf. It also means that now is the time to prepare mentally and physically for your return to the golf course.

When you have not played in awhile, it is necessary to refresh your mind and body by reviewing the basics of the golf swing. In order to be successful at golf, you need to have mastered good basic fundamentals. These include the grip, posture, stance, ball position, alignment, pre-shot and post-shot routines. Review your basic mechanics and reacquaint your golf muscles before going to the range to hit full shots. Jack Nicklaus said, “Each year I start the season pretending I’ve never played before.”

Why have a pre-shot routine?  (www.pmi4.com, Archived Newsletters, February 2005)

  • The pre-shot routine prepares your mind to hit a shot.
  • A consistent pre-shot routine will produce consistent results.
  • The pre-shot routine moves you from the thinking phase to the automatic doing phase.
  • It keeps you engrossed in the moment and your thoughts away from the pressure of the results.
  • It is a signal to the unconscious mind to get ready to perform.
  • It is a series of actions to get you totally absorbed in the routine process of getting the ball to the target. 

Why have a post-shot routine?

Your post-shot routine is just as important mentally and emotionally as your pre-shot routine. The post-shot routine helps you to build positive mental consistency. After the shot is hit, the routine prepares your mind to anchor a good shot or to let go of a missed one. Our minds are very active and the memories we remember the most are the ones connected to good feelings or negative feelings. Repetition of a positive post-shot routine will result in establishing the mechanics for more self confidence. A positive post-shot routine will help you to maintain your arousal level and prepare you mentally, emotionally and physically for your next shot.

  • Establish the mechanics of confidence with your mental, physical, reactions to a shot or putt.
  • File the memory of a good shot in your unconscious with an inner smile and warm feelings of success.
  • Release the memory of a poor shot by staying non-judgmental and not emotionally reacting to it.
  • Take practice swings until you feel the swing that you had intended. What you don’t want to do is go to your next shot with the memory of your missed shot in the forefront of your brain because it will be repeated. By finding your rhythm you will forget about the poor shot and focus on feeling your tempo for the next shot.

Mechanics of establishing a post-shot routine:

  1. Release the frustration and anger with a swear word. It has been proven that this works.
  2. Take a deep breath to calm your mind and release body tension.
  3. Do not try and analyze what went wrong with your swing.
  4. Step aside and swing the club you used until you feel the swing you desired.
  5. Focus on accessing your timing and tempo.
  6. Visualize the ball going to the target.
  7. Anchor the good feelings and visualize your perfect shot.
  8. Don’t move on down the fairway until you have completed your post-shot routine.

Play “in the zone” with Joan

Entrain Your Heart & Mind for Peak Performances

To train your brain to play your best golf, listen to Positive Mental Imagery self-hypnosis guided imagery CDs in the privacy of your own home, available at www.pmi4.com/cart

For more information about how to play with a better mental game for lower scores and more enjoyment on the golf course, email Joan at pmi4@bellsouth.net or call 828.696.2547 for a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation. Learn what is missing in your golf game so you can achieve the success you desire.

“THE HEART OF GOLF, Access Your Supreme Intelligence for Peak Performances explores and explains negative emotions such as fear and performance anxiety, the four Cs of mind blockage, the four progressive stages of learning the supreme intelligence of the heart, and the way to access the zone in competition. It is a player’s guide for developing your true inner self by returning to the joy and love of self instead of seeking praise and rewards from the outside world.

This guide book for transforming your life and golf game is available now on

www.AmazonKDP and http://amzn.to/2znB4tN

All royalties will be donated to Junior Golf!

 

 

 

How can I concentrate in the moment on the golf course?

“OUTCOME VS. PROCESS THINKING*

Focusing on the process means staying in the moment, concentrating on one shot at a time, and thinking only about the things you can control. The process-oriented golfer knows he cannot control anything outside of himself. Process-oriented golf means thinking about what you want to do (the process of doing it) versus worrying about where your shot will go or what will happen (the outcome of your score).

Focusing on results means that golfers think about the consequences of miss-hits and the trouble on the golf course. Their concentration then wanders to “what if” thinking which causes tension and anxiety and creates the miss-hit the golfer is trying to avoid.

Examples of results thinking are; trying to shoot a certain score, trying to better your lowest score, trying to hit a certain number of fairways or greens, trying to have a certain number of putts, or trying to avoid penalty strokes. It is the ability of the golfer to stay in the moment on every shot and putt that allows him to play at his peak performance level.

You are the only thinker in your mind. It is important in golf to decide to think in the present moment instead of thinking about the trouble or what might happen.  The best way to shift from outcome to process thinking is by developing a consistent and easily repeatable pre-shot routine.

Tips for focusing in the process:

  • Be aware when you are feeling anxious. It is a sign that your mind is wandering into outcomes.
  • Refocus on your pre-shot routine. Pause, take a deep breath or two and begin your routine again.
  • Make a decisive club selection and target.
  • Visualize and feel the shot.
  • Maintain your arousal level.
  • Take a deep breath to relax before and after each shot.
  • Relax your mind between shots.

Golf is a game that is played for the unlimited challenges that it provides. To play at your personal best means to play for the fun and love of the game. Choose to play for the challenge of each shot (process-oriented) and not let the pressure to perform for score (results-oriented) determine your round. Your results can be enjoyed afterwards at the 19th hole.”

Excerpts are from Chapter 15: Concentration; “THE HEART OF GOLF, Access Your Supreme Intelligence for Peak Performances” 

Play “in the zone” with Joan

Entrain Your Heart & Mind for Peak Performances

If you aren’t able to maintain trust and belief in yourself on the golf course, email Joan at pmi4@bellsouth.net or call 828.696.2547 for a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation about developing a new strategy. Learn what is missing in your golf game so you can achieve the success you desire.

“THE HEART OF GOLF, Access Your Supreme Intelligence for Peak Performances” explores and explains negative emotions such as fear and performance anxiety, the four Cs of mind blockage, the four progressive stages of learning the supreme intelligence of the heart, and the way to access the zone in competition. It is a player’s guide for developing your true inner self by returning to the joy and love of self instead of seeking praise and rewards from the outside world.

This guide book for transforming your life and golf game is available now on

www.AmazonKDP and http://amzn.to/2znB4tN

All royalties will be donated to Junior Golf!

 

 

Indecision is a mental challenge for golfers

The decisions we make in our lives reflect the choices we make. This is especially true on the golf course. Although we have hit each club in the bag hundreds of times, every situation on the course requires a new decision.

Indecision is the enemy of golfers 

Golfers know that being indecisive usually causes missed shots and putts. When your mind says one thing and your heart (feeling) says another that is indecision and doubt. In the full swing, indecision causes you to swing harder and faster, thus losing your rhythm. When putting, indecision brings on the dreaded decel; deceleration of the putter stroke causes the ball to veer off line.

Indecision will sabotage your shot

Suppose that you have decided that it is a 5-iron that you need to hit to the green. If you had hit over the green into trouble the last time you hit that club, you probably will experience some fear and will think about hitting a 6-iron. Or you think the distance is between clubs and you don’t have confidence in either club. Fear is always an emotion experienced in the past. The power of a fear thought limits your willingness to trust yourself.

Choose to use a decisive thought for good results

You must believe that the club in your hand is the right one for the shot you are about to hit. If you are unsure, act as if it is the right one. This will shut out the self-talk doubt and fear thoughts and give a powerful, decisive message to your subconscious mind about what you want to happen.

A golf swing happens now in the present. Don’t bring past fears or future anxieties of what might happen into your pre-shot routine. Be decisive. If you believe it is the right club you have a much better chance of creating a good swing. Brad Faxon said: “It’s more important to be decisive than correct.” If you are decisive……….you are correct.

Choose to use positive words for good results

One of the options to use when you are inbetween clubs is to shorten your grip on the club which shortens the length of the swing. Golfers say that they choke down on the club in this situation. Your unconscious mind will interpret this as strangling/squeezing the life out,  which will cause you to grip the club tighter. Your subconscious mind is very susceptible to suggestion. Be careful of the words you use in your golf vocabulary as they will directly impact your results.

Choose to use positive affirmations for good results

As you look down the fairway visualizing a perfect shot with the perfect club, fire in your affirmation. Remember that an affirmation is always stated in the present, such as, “I am swinging with ease and confidence,” or “I am hitting the ball at my target,” or “I am positive this is the best club for this shot.”

Harvey Penick was quoted saying, “Once you address the golf ball, hitting it has to be the most important thing in your life at that moment. Shut out all thoughts other than picking out a target and taking dead aim at it.”

Choose to create your success anew

Success is never the same two rounds in a row. One day you might have a hole-in-one, and the next day you might be successful scoring lower than you did with the hole-in-one.

Success will give you confidence, but success is fleeting. You have to start over again in the next round. Instead of trying to duplicate your success, be decisive, have patience, enjoy the moment, and watch miracles happen.

Play “in the zone” with Joan

Entrain Your Heart & Mind for Peak Performances

To train your brain to play your best golf, listen to Positive Mental Imagery self-hypnosis guided imagery CDs in the privacy of your own home, available at www.pmi4.com/cart

If you aren’t able to maintain trust and belief in yourself on the golf course, email Joan at pmi4@bellsouth.net or call 828.696.2547 for a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation about developing a new strategy. Learn what is missing in your golf game so you can achieve the success you desire.

“THE HEART OF GOLF, Access Your Supreme Intelligence for Peak Performances explores and explains negative emotions such as fear and performance anxiety, the four Cs of mind blockage, the four progressive stages of learning the supreme intelligence of the heart, and the way to access the zone in competition. It is a player’s guide for developing your true inner self by returning to the joy and love of self instead of seeking praise and rewards from the outside world.

This guide book for transforming your life and golf game is available now on

www.AmazonKDP and http://amzn.to/2znB4tN

All royalties will be donated to Junior Golf!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to manage your scoring expectations on the golf course

Have you ever played a round of golf without making a mistake?

Tour Pros who are the best golfers in the world, average hitting fairways only 60% of the time.  Amateur scratch golfers average 10.26 greens hit per round. However, their short games for getting the ball up and down make up for the misses. The average Tour Pro does not sink more than 20% of the balls from 9 feet with his first putt, and 12% from 12 feet. The best putters on Tour only make 2 out of 5 putts from 10-15 feet.

We are used to watching the final rounds of the Pro Tour and seeing these pro athletes perform at their highest potential levels. The above statistics are the average for all the pros over a four-day tournament. The percentages for amateur golfers is considerably less, but we often think we can perform like these pros who have the best equipment, technology, talent and put in the most hours seeking perfection.

Expectations

Whether you are a new golfer or have been playing for a long time, a strong mental golf game requires letting go of your expectations. The quickest way to ruin a round of golf is by trying to match or improve a low front 9 score on the back 9. Performing well at any task requires total concentration on what you are doing and to not let your mind wander into future thoughts.

Having expectations is different from setting goals. It is necessary to set positive long term, intermediate and short term goals so you have a strategy for improvement. Having expectations on the other hand is actively anticipating a desired outcome. In “expecting” a certain outcome in golf, you have put your attention and energy on the end result instead of in the moment when you are focused on creating the shot/putt.

Managing expectations means managing your internal thoughts and emotions to keep them in balance with your abilities. You can expect too much from yourself, or even too little from yourself depending on your level of self-esteem. If you expect to play well on the opening holes and don’t score well, you will probably feel like a failure.

How good you are at golf is determined by how you react to the ever changing situations during the round, not about what you expect will happen. The more flexible you are, the more control you have.

Here are seven suggestions for managing your expectations on the golf course:

  1. Have realistic expectations. The USGA handicap system is a mathematical system that attempts to have an equitable way for golfers of varying abilities to play games with each other. Your handicap is based on your last lowest ten scores. In other words, it is your personal best, not necessarily your day-to day average scores. Expecting to shoot your best every time you play is unrealistic.
  2. Let go of impossible expectations that create pressure. If your expectations are too high you will be constantly disappointed. Unreachable expectations will cause tension in your mind and body putting pressure on yourself to perform.
  3. Concentrate on the process at all times. When you are playing well be aware of your thoughts moving you away from the process of preparing for the shot. Develop a mindset to focus on relaxation and on the steps of your pre-shot routine to stay in the present.
  4. Keep your emotions and expectations in check. . The more expectations you have, the more emotion you put into the result of your shots. When your mind wanders to thinking about your expectations, bring it back to the present time by taking several deep breaths.
  5. Let go of any thoughts of what you “should” score. Not making the “should” score leaves you with negative emotions such as guilt and frustration. This leads you to stop trusting your swing and a belief that you have a mechanical problem when it is your expectations that limit your progress.
  6. Don’t count the strokes, make the strokes count!
  7. Stay confident by believing in your abilities.  All golfers, including the Tour Pros make embarrassing mistakes due to their expectations of hitting the perfect shot. Let go of shots and putts that don’t meet your expectations and concentrate on accessing the abilities that you know you have.

Play “in the zone” with Joan

Entrain Your Heart & Mind for Peak Performances

To train your brain to play your best golf, listen to Positive Mental Imagery self-hypnosis guided imagery CDs in the privacy of your own home, available at www.pmi4.com/cart

If you aren’t able to maintain trust and belief in yourself on the golf course, email Joan at pmi4@bellsouth.net or call 828.696.2547 for a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation about developing a new strategy. Learn what is missing in your golf game so you can achieve the success you desire.

“THE HEART OF GOLF, Access Your Supreme Intelligence for Peak Performances explores and explains negative emotions such as fear and performance anxiety, the four Cs of mind blockage, the four progressive stages of learning the supreme intelligence of the heart, and the way to access the zone in competition. It is a player’s guide for developing your true inner self by returning to the joy and love of self instead of seeking praise and rewards from the outside world.

This guide book for transforming your life and golf game is available now on

www.AmazonKDP and http://amzn.to/2znB4tN

All royalties will be donated to Junior Golf!