Manage your anger and frustration on the golf course

The following article was published this week on Womens Golf emagazine at https://www.womensgolf.com/anger

4 Ways to Manage Your Anger and Frustration on the Golf Course

Try these proven mental strategies from Joan King the next time you feel your anger, stress, and frustration rising on the golf course.

LESSONSMENTAL GAMEAUTHORS

As every player knows, golf is played in the mind as much as it is with the body. Controlling your mood and managing the inevitable frustrations that are part of the game is critical if you plan to improve your scoring, and most importantly enjoy your time on the golf course.

Here are some questions I frequently get asked by the golfers I work with.

Q1   WHEN I HIT ONE BAD SHOT, I GET ANGRY AND THEN HIT A SERIES OF BAD SHOTS. HOW CAN I STOP DOING THAT?

Your anger may come from having unrealistic expectations. Every golfer has hit “the perfect shot” and hopes to duplicate it every time. This is an expectation that is impossible to deliver. A good attitude to adopt is that golf is not a game of perfection, but rather a game based on your real ability, and how well you meet the challenge of recovering from missed shots.

Watching the world’s best golfers on weekend TV can distort your perception. The telecasts show the players who are playing at their peak potential that week and often only show their best shots. We then expect that we should duplicate what we see. To keep it in perspective, look at the stats for the entire field. For instance, an average field of pros “get it up and down” only 50% of the time out of a greenside bunker.

Another unrealistic expectation of most amateurs is based on the maximum distance they can hit each club. A golfer who can hit a 6-iron 130 yards on her best day under perfect conditions, will hit that club every time she is around 130 yards from the target. As a result, her approach shots are often short where most of the trouble is. A more realistic approach would be to take one more club and hit to the middle/back of the green and avoid the bunkers.

Choosing a low-percentage shot when there are safer options can result in anger and frustration when you fail to pull off the “miracle shot.” Don’t expect good results from a low-percentage shot if you haven’t practiced it enough to be confident of success.

The best expectation to have on the golf course is that you are there to have a good time and enjoy yourself!

Q2   WHAT CAN I DO TO KEEP FROM GETTING STRESSED WHEN I’M PLAYING?

Begin to monitor the chatter that might be going on inside your head. We all have self-talk that goes on constantly. The banter on the first tee is a verbal indication of what golfers are saying to themselves such as, “I haven’t played in a week (so don’t expect me to play well), or “My handicap just went up (because I am playing terribly)“. These are examples of negative self-talk which sabotage your golf game.

Begin to see the game (and yourself) the way you would like it to be. Talk to yourself as if you were the finest caddy on a pro tour. A good caddy’s job is to reinforce your self-worth, remind you of past successes, help you to think clearly, and keep you relaxed and calm. Treat yourself as if you were talking to your best friend, encouraging her and pointing out her good traits and successes. As you give yourself positive affirmations, breathe deeply to create a feeling of relaxation and acceptance. Also, adopt the attitude that you can improve and that you believe in yourself and in your ability.

Brittany and Brooke Henderson discuss a shot at the 2018 CME Group LPGA Tour Championship 2018 | Photo: Ben Harpring

Q3   HOW CAN I BE LESS FRUSTRATED ON THE GOLF COURSE AND ENJOY IT MORE?

Frustration on the golf course could be the result of unrealistic expectations. When you set standards of perfection that are unattainable, you will constantly experience failure. It is important to acknowledge that you will hit bad shots. Blaming yourself and feeling badly only increases the chances that you will make even more mistakes. When you associate your feelings of self-worth with your ability to avoid mistakes you will be on an emotional roller coaster. You will feel more relaxed and experience less pressure if you do not demand perfection from yourself. The more you replay your missed shots in your mind, the more you deplete your self-esteem.

Realize that you cannot change your missed shots, but you can change your thoughts that upset you. Life or a round of golf is very seldom all good or all bad. Don’t make your missed golf shots the central theme of your thoughts. Reverse that kind of thinking and focus only on the good shots that you have hit.

Q4   HOW CAN I HAVE TRANQUILITY ON THE GOLF COURSE WHEN THINGS ARE NOT GOING QUITE AS THEY SHOULD?

To regain tranquility on the golf course is a simple matter of remembering that golf is played in the present. When you have expectations of yourself such as hitting a perfect shot every time or shooting a certain score, you are not in the present time. Play one shot at a time and give each shot the same amount of attention.

Tranquility is a state of being where you are at peace with yourself and the world around you. If you are upset with the way things are going and you lose your confidence, focus on breathing out the tension and breathing in calm and relaxation. When you are calm and centered inside yourself, visualize successful shots you have made either that day or in the past. Replay them over and over in your mind, feeling the good physical and emotional feelings until you are confident once again.

Golf is a game, but it is a challenging game mentally. Keep some of these simple strategies in mind the next time you begin to feel stressed, frustrated, or angry on the golf course.

Joan

Feature photo of Sung Hyun Park at the 2018 KEB Hana Bank Championship by Ben Harpring

ALL ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Joan King

Joan King, BCH, Peak Performance Strategist, Master Sports Hypnotist & NLP Practitioner, founded Positive Mental Imagery, a mental sports consulting firm in 1992 in Florida. Her academic background includes a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Vermont, and Joan is Board Certified by the National Guild of Hypnotists as a Sports and Clinical Hypnotherapist.

A low handicap senior amateur golfer, Joan has competed in state, national and international championships, including qualifying for nine USGA Senior Women’s Amateur Championships, and three Canadian Senior Ladies Amateur Championships.

Ms. King has taught thousands of amateurs, junior tournament golfers and LPGA and PGA professionals how to understand the mind-body-spirit equation for peak performances.

Visit Joan King’s website at positivementalimagery.com where she writes monthly articles on the mental side of golf. You can also follow Joan on Twitter and Facebook.

Joan can also be contacted by phone on 828-696-2547.

All of Joan’s articles on WomensGolf.com

 

What do you do when you get the first-tee jitters?

The players in the Ryder Cup say that teeing off at the first hole the first time is the most frightening experience they have ever had.

The Ryder Cup is no ordinary tournament. This year’s Ryder Cup was EXTRAordinary. The first tee grandstands at Le Golf National in Paris had seats for 7,000 and an additional 10,000 spectators were lining the right and left-hand sides of the first fairway. Only 7 percent of the fans were supporting Team USA, but all those 15,000+ people were making noise.

Why wouldn’t you be nervous with all those people watching and cheering?

As a rookie in the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor in Wales, Rory McIlroy said that he didn’t know what all the fuss was about. He described going to the first tee as, “I still thought it was this team event that really doesn’t matter in the big scheme of things. I was more concerned about individual titles and all that. Then I got to the first tee and I realized the magnitude of it all. It just hits you. You try and put your ball on that tee and it takes you a couple times to get it to settle on there.” 

Why wouldn’t you be nervous in an important tournament?

Everyone who has played golf for any length of time has experienced this fear on the first tee. Anytime a golfer has thoughts of failure, or an expectation of missing, or loses concentration of being in the process of preparation, the nerves can take over.

The first tee jitters are caused by fear and anxiety about what might go wrong. These emotions  can cause shaky hands, weak knees, tight, tense muscles, stomach churning, and adrenaline surges that produce those off-line shots. Fear of failure is what causes an unconscious sabotage of a golf shot.

Here are some thoughts on how to use your mind to control the situation, rather than having the situation control your mind and emotions.

  • Take several DEEP breaths, inhaling and exhaling slowly through your abdomen to slow down your heartbeat, mind and body. Take the last deep breath just before you swing.
  • CONCENTRATE on executing a SMOOTH swing to put the ball on the fairway. Thinking about HOW to swing is the #1 way to sabotage your success.
  • LET GO of the impulse to swing hard and fast. To get off to a good start, accuracy is more important than distance.
  • REALIZE that the people around the tee aren’t judging you and probably won’t remember your first shot whether it is on the fairway or in the woods.
  • RELEASE the temptation of making the first tee shot more important than any other shot.
  • Visualize and FOCUS on the area where you plan to land the ball.
  • Think about the PROCESS of executing the shot, not on why your heart is pounding or your mouth is dry.
  • Take several practice swings with your eyes closed to FEEL your TEMPO and acceleration.
  • Commit to your consistent PRESHOT ROUTINE to keep your emotions and thoughts calm and in the PROCESS of hitting the golf shot.
  • TRUST your ability to let go of the self-induced pressure by ALLOWING your mind to focus on creating the present shot.
  • Remember that golf is a GAME that you PLAY for the FUN of it.

For further information about any of these mental keys, link on to the Positive Mental Imagery website Archived Newsletters.

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.

A new mental golf book is available now on www.amazon.com 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How good is your golf course management?

PLAN AHEAD FOR GOOD GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT

Do you have a presupposition about the toughness of the golf course you are going to play? Are you visually intimidated by the many water holes, fairway bunkers, tree-lined fairways, mounds, railroad ties, tiered or severely undulating greens?

Intimidation can lead to indecision, which will most likely result in a missed shot. Most golfers think that course management is what you do to get out of deep trouble. It is more than that. Course management comes into play on every shot with some shots being more important than others. A good mental game includes good course management. Efficient course management is your ability to play around the golf course the way it was designed by the architect, avoiding the trouble and placing each shot in the best position to hit the next shot. It requires you to plan and concentrate before every shot. The golf course is set up so you will make hundreds of decisions.

Course management is smart golf; thinking positively to avoid mistakes and managing your imperfection. Golf is about managing yourself around the golf course without letting your ego take over (Tin Cup experience). When you change the way you see the world, your world changes. When you change the way you see the golf course you can see opportunities.

You see the obstacles and make plans to avoid them. Your course management depends upon a myriad of things including your skill level, your personality, course conditions and the pressure of the situation. It is important to have a strategy for playing each hole so you will be prepared ahead of time to handle the feelings that might arise to deter you.

You can be a genius at course management if you are confident with your wedges and putter. Then it won’t matter if you miss greens. You have learned from experience how to manage your home golf course well because you know your plan. When you play a new course, you need to concentrate on creating the shots you want. Golf is a game of maneuvering the ball around the course and having fun doing it.

COURSE MANAGEMENT GOLF TIPS

HAVE A COURSE MANAGEMENT GAME PLAN

  • Plan your strategy according to your ability. Less than 1% of all golfers have shot even par or better. Measuring your performance against par is a set-up for failure for the average golfer. Decide which holes you can par and which you can bogey, etc. and set your own par on each hole.
  • In match play, play your own game and the golf course, not your opponent.
  • In a scramble, you will probably want to swing all out, unless at least one other ball is not in a good position.
  • In a stroke play tournament, you will want to play consistently and perhaps conservatively.
  • On a team playing for one best ball, you might want to think about the best ways to make birdies.

MANAGE YOUR MENTAL GAME

  • 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 you want to do.
  • Be positive. Be decisive. 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!
  • Manage your misses. If you hit five to seven shots per round just the way you want, that is a great achievement. The rest of your shots should be playable, or good misses. Don’t dwell on a bad shot; concentrate on the shot at hand and stay focused. Then you can turn it around quickly.
  • Eliminate tension. If too many thoughts are going on in your mind, you become tense. Make up your mind where and how you are going to hit the shot and just do it! When you get over the ball, all of your thoughts and emotions should be on the ball and where you are going to hit it.
  • Manage your time in between shots. Since playing the ball only takes about 10 minutes in a four-hour round, decide how you will spend the time between shots to keep yourself in a positive frame of mind, loose and relaxed.
  • Stick to your game plan. If you are behind, don’t press and try harder. Be patient. Make up your mind that everything happened to help you.
  • Plan to finish well. Most tournaments are won or lost on the last three holes. Play your game. Let your opponents match your performance.

POSITION YOUR LONG SHOTS

  • Aim for the side of the fairway that opens up the approach to the green.
  • Carefully balance what you are risking against the reward. When you plan your shot, allow for a margin of error. Play the percentages
  • Know your best lay-up distance. Know when, and how to lay up. Don’t try to hit it as close to the green as possible leaving a three-quarter wedge shot. Leave 80 to 100 yards to make a full swing.
  • On long approach shots, aim for the center of the green.
  • Short par fours usually have subtle troubleUse less than a driver for position play. Hit your tee shot to a full shot distance into the green.

PLAN YOUR SHOTS TO THE GREEN

  • Check the pin placement. There are usually six “sucker” pins, six easy pins and six medium pin placements. Hit to the pin when it is in the middle of the green. When there are “sucker” pin placements tucked behind the bunker or on a shallow part of the green, hit to the middle. Take enough club to hit over the greenside bunkers.
  • Put approach shots below the hole on a course with fast, undulating greens. It is almost always better to leave yourself below the hole when possible.

ON SHORT APPROACH SHOTS GO FOR THE FLAG

  • Divide the green into thirds or quarters and get the ball into the right segment for the best chance at a one-putt.
  • If your shot is halfway between clubs, use the longer club and choke down an inch or so.
  • Master one approach shot so you can play it under pressure. Choose one approach shot you are comfortable with; pitch and run, chip shot, lob shot, etc. Don’t try and execute a shot you don’t know how to hit or have any confidence in.

USE THE PUTTER FROM OFF THE GREEN FOR HIGHEST PERCENTAGE SHOT

  • Most people think their worst putt is as good as their best chip shot. If you putt to four feet you think you have hit a poor putt, but if you chip to four feet, it feels good. Play every shot you can with the putter just to get it close enough for a one-putt.

THINK CAREFULLY TO GET OUT OF TROUBLE

WHEN IN TROUBLE, MAINTAIN YOUR EQUILIBRIUM

  • Take your time to figure out all your options, what the percentage shot is, what shots you have confidence doing and carefully exercise your pre-shot routine.
  • Take the shortest route out of trouble.

LOOK TO SEE WHERE THE TROUBLE IS

  • Then turn your attention to where you want the ball to go. If your last look or thought is the trouble, there’s a good chance that is where your ball will end up.

MAKE SURE YOU GET THE BALL OUT OF A FAIRWAY BUNKER

  • Look at the lip of the bunker and make sure you have a club with enough loft to get over the lip.
  • Clip the ball off the top of the sand by swinging with more arm movement and less body turn to avoid hitting the ball fat.

I hope that these course management golf tips have helped you. Don’t hesitate to contact me at 828.696.2547 or pmi4@bellsouth.net if you would like some personal advice on the mental side of golf.

Joan

All my articles on WomensGolf.com

Take the fear out of important putts

The winners of the 2018 Ryder Cup matches were once again determined by the most important putts made at the most crucial times. Over and over again we watched the American team miss make able putts to lose holes.

In his Saturday morning fourballs match with Tony Finau against Sergio Garcia and Rory McIllroy, Brooks Koepka needed to hole a two-foot putt to win the 15th hole. His putt circled the left side of the cup and didn’t go in. The gallery gasped at the unexpected miss of a short putt. This result was exactly why the European Team Captain Thomas Bjorn had told his players not to give putts at Le Golf National.

A footprint on a green usually takes 24 hours to smooth itself out. On a four-foot putt or longer you might be able to rationalize a miss due to imperfections in the grass. To avoid this, Tour caddies bend the flagstick to stand outside of the three-foot area around the cup so their player won’t have to putt through any footprints.

I suspect that every golfer at sometime has missed a carefully executed two-foot putt when they were thinking of what making/missing it would mean. A putt in a Ryder cup match would have the ultimate meaning of missing/winning in front of 50K cheering spectators.

Putting is the most crucial part of the game of golf.  Putting is the great equalizer. It is the part of the game where the ball never leaves the ground. It is a game within a game. The better you become as a golfer, the more you will realize the important part that putting plays in scoring low. Up to 40-50% of your score can be played out on the greens.

Even though the putting stroke may be the simplest skill in all of sport, it is perhaps the most mental. Golfers make it the most difficult because of a change in their mindset. Don’t take the fun out of putting by creating a fear thought about the outcome. If you think you should make the putt, that thought puts fear into it. Staying in the present by using your mental skills of deep breathing and a consistent preshot routine is the way to overcome fearful thoughts.

Putting is the only shot used on every hole.  It is the shot you have to trust to score well/win the tournament.  It makes up for other flaws in your golf game.  If you can master putting you will be the envy of all other players.

Improving your putting and your golf game requires a positive attitude, consistent mental skills, trust and discipline.  To monitor your progress, use the following questionnaire to see where you need to improve.

PMI Mental Putting for Peak Performances

Date of play:_____________________Tournament:_____________________________

  • Did you use the same pre-shot routine on every size putt?  ____yes  ____no If no, where did you discontinue it, and what were the results?
  • How was your attitude toward putting?  Did you have any negative thoughts about the greens or your putting?  If so, how did you change them?
  • What was your level of confidence for this round?  Were you able to maintain your confidence?  If so, how did you improve or maintain your confidence?  If not, what caused you to lose it?
  • How was your concentration while putting?  Were you able to focus inward and stay focused for each putt?  If not, how will you improve your focus for the next round?
  • Were you able to visualize your line for putting?  _____yes  _____no  If not, what did you do?
  • What percentage of your putts were you able to trust to your inner knowing?  _____%  What percentage of your putts did you revert to putting mechanically?  _____%            When did you not trust?
  • What did you learn from today’s putting round that will be helpful in your next round?

You have total control of giving any putt a chance to go in by rolling it well. Acceleration is absolutely necessary to hold the line. Trust your mechanics and your intuition. Be totally committed to your preshot routine once you have decided on the line. Visualize the ball going in the hole.  See it, or feel it, or hear it, enjoy it.

Everyone has the ability to become a great putter. Make the decision to become a great putter.  Focus on what you want to have happen NOT on what you don’t want to happen. Execute every putt on every hole, in every round, with the same mental and physical routine, giving every putt the same importance and attention.  Put thoughts and feelings in your head to become a great putter.

Great putters don’t spend time thinking about missed putts. They remember the good putts they made. Choose to change your putting game by visualizing and thinking only about your good putts. Choose to change your putting game by visualizing and thinking only about your good putts.

To become a good putter, you must have a confident attitude that you believe in no matter what the results are. That positive attitude includes being enthusiastic about wanting to putt, having your complete focus on the process of making the putt, having a specific plan, believing in your ability to carry out your plan, and being relaxed enough to putt the ball where you want it to go.

Putting is both an art form and a science. There is a wealth of information about the scientific mechanics of the putting stroke. Putting is artful because in your mind you create the path the ball will travel and then stroke it with an artful stroke of gentleness or firmness depending upon the conditions. It is the stroke where you need to completely trust your intuition and creativeness. Create your putting game as an art form. Enjoy putting no matter what the outcome!

Play “in the zone” with Joan

Entrain Your Heart & Mind for Peak Performances

To train your brain to become a great putter, listen to the Positive Mental Imagery CD,  “Confident Putting for Lower Scores” in the privacy of your own home, available at www.pmi4.com/cart Also available are seven additional self hypnosis CDs to improve different mental parts of your golf game.

Also available is the new mental guide book for transforming your life and golf game for success: 

 “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.

THE HEART OF GOLF is available now on Amazon and Kindle

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

All royalties will be donated to Junior Golf!

 

 

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!