How do I play golf one shot at a time?

Golf is called a mental game because you need to manage your thoughts to play well. Internal or external distractions keep golfers from playing at their peak performance levels. Your mind is most alert and calm when you are focused on the present moment and not thinking about the past or the future which will result in performance anxiety.

In sports, concentration is more difficult because it is done under self-inflicted pressure. Pressure causes anxiety and anxiety is a distraction. Internal or external distractions keep golfers from playing at their peak performance levels. Anyone who is playing to their peak potential is perfectly focused.

Concentration is a mindset that you can develop as well as any professional. Lack of concentration/focus is due to many factors; including tension, being too involved with your score, correcting, finding or improving your swing, indecision, negative thinking,  fear of missing a shot, fear of keeping a good round going, etc. The list is endless.

Concentration is not thinking. It is not an analytical process where you think about what is going on, what has happened in the past or what will happen in the future. When you are concentrating, the past and future thoughts disappear, and you are experiencing the process of creating your golf shot in the present. It happens when you focus your attention on one image, object, experience, or line of thought as it is taking place. Your pre-shot routine prepares you to concentrate in the moment.

Your pre-shot routine is the map that gives direction to your brain about the shot you are going to hit. For your results to be consistent, your routine prior to swinging must be the same every time. The more you are absorbed in your preparation for the shots, the less you are distracted. When you focus on executing your pre-shot routine precisely the same way every time, concentration/focus just happens. Then there is no worry, no anxiety and you are in total control with your mind and body entrained.

The ability to focus your mind is all-important in achieving a successful performance.  For most people, concentration constantly shifts from outside of you between shots to inside yourself for the actual shot.  Watching an engrossing movie, your attention is focused on the action. In the same way, planning a golf shot can be just as engrossing. Focus your full attention along with your full intention on what you want to happen. Stay committed to your mental and physical pre-shot routines. This will keep you calm, in control, and focused on hitting one shot at a time.

A mind that is busy, restless or indecisive will find it difficult to concentrate on one shot at a time. 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 by taking deep abdominal breaths to relax and slow down your mind.
  •  Be decisive about the club you are going to use.
  •  Take practice swings to feel your tempo.
  •  Mentally rehearse the shot using positive images of past successful shots.
  •  Trust you will hit the shot that you have imagined in your mind.

As you approach your ball, begin to change your outer focus of attention to creating the shot you are about to hit by using your senses of feeling, visualization, and imagery. Imagine that you are wearing blinders and can only see and feel the execution of the upcoming shot.

Analyze the wind, yardage, type of shot, target and club selection. Be totally committed to the club and shot you have selected. Narrow your focus further by standing behind the ball, connecting clearly with the target, visualizing the flight of the ball to the target. Finish narrowing your focus by feeling the swing, either by swinging the club or mentally imagining it in your mind. If you have practiced your swing using a swing-thought or swing-cue, activate it to initiate your swing.

Concentration is the art of allowing yourself to become interested. Allow yourself to become enraptured with what you are doing.

“Discipline and concentration are a matter of being interested.”  ~  Tom Kite

Play “in the zone” with Joan

Entrain Your Heart & Mind for Peak Performances

Improve your concentration and mindset to play one shot at a time by listening to the PMI compact disc “Concentration for Consistent Golf” in the privacy of your own home. As you listen to this audio repeatedly you will program your mind to become more consistent every time you play because you will be in control, concentrating easier, and having more fun playing the great game of golf!  Available 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.

“THE HEART OF GOLF” guidebook for transforming your life and golf game is available now on Amazon and Kindle at https://amzn.to/2MQzjfq  All royalties will be donated to Junior Golf!

Do Your thoughts get in the way of your golf game?

Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANT)

Do you think you are a positive person? According to the National Science Foundation, the average person has about 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts every day.

Of those thoughts, 80% are negative and 95% are the same thoughts you thought before. Are you aware of the repetitive and/or negative thoughts you have on the golf course that are detrimental for your golf game?

Your golf game is a direct reflection of your thoughts and emotions. To change your game, change your thoughts and attitude because you are your own worst judge and jury. When you hit a bad shot, or make a big number, do you quickly rush to a verdict about yourself? The more you become aware of the power of your thoughts, the more you can be in charge of your experience and world.

Self-Talk 

Self-talk is your internal dialogue. It is influenced by your subconscious mind, and it reveals your thoughts, beliefs, questions, and ideas. Self-talk can be both negative and positive. The self-talk that we all have, is either voices from our past (fear) that we have chosen to replay on the tape in our heads, or thoughts of the future (anxiety) that we expect will happen.  Either self-talk will sabotage your golf game. Even a pro will experience anxiety over an expected result.

How do we get these voices in our heads and learn to sabotage ourselves? Children are like sponges and automatically believe every single thing adults say about them, and then they self-perpetuate those beliefs into adulthood. If someone told you as a child that you had a good golf swing, that you are well coordinated, and that you will be a great golfer, you have a dream and believe it. If you were told that you weren’t good enough, this notion is then installed into your unconscious mind and you will continue to struggle with being successful.

When you think the same positive thoughts consistently, you create a powerful momentum. Ask yourself if your thoughts agree with what you want to experience. The more you become aware of the power of your thoughts, the more you can be in charge of your golf game experience and your world.

The past is behind you and you must leave it there. Walk away from the past. Stay in the present to create each shot as a new experience. Do not keep looking back. Whenever you encounter a negative thought on the golf course, replace it with a positive one repeatedly so it will become an automatic self-affirming thought. In this way you can change your internal programming from being stressed out, anxious, fearful, worried, angry, or overwhelmed to a state where you feel playful, love, creativity, gratitude, joyful, and appreciation.

Mistakes

There is no such thing as an error-free round of golf. You are going to make mistakes and you are going to have some bad breaks.

Research suggests that regardless of the activity, we make between three to six errors per hour. That is the reason there is an eracer on the end of a pencil. We all make mistakes on and off the golf course. You are not your mistakes. What is important is how we effectively bounce back from our mishits and grow stronger from the learning experience.

One of the things that defines our character is how we handle mistakes. Let yourself learn and grow from them. Let yourself be. You are only human and will make mistakes. Don’t let your mistake turn into a habit. Learn from it and move on.

When you are playing “in the zone” there is no fear or anxiety. If you mishit a shot, it doesn’t bother you because you know that you are in control of all facets of your game. You are totally enjoying being focused on shot-making.

It is my belief that all mistakes on the golf course are mental errors caused by worrisome thoughts. When I mishit a shot/putt, I immediately physically replay it to anchor the swing and the tempo that I did want into my unconscious instead of leaving the negative feeling and imprint of a mishit. In that way, I can easily let go of the mishit and focus on the one I desire.

Making mistakes is part of the human experience. We all make them. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Mistakes are just proof that you are trying. Don’t judge yourself for making mistakes. Learn from them so you won’t make them again. When you make enough of them, you will have more control and have learned how to play the game successfully.

The only certainty about golf is its uncertainty.  One day you feel good about your game and play poorly.  The next day you have no expectations and win.

Keep your golf dreams alive with positive thoughts and emotions.  You never know when the miracles will 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.

“THE HEART OF GOLF” guide book for transforming your life and golf game

is available now on Amazon and Kindle

https://amzn.to/2MQzjfq

All royalties will be donated to Junior Golf!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use Your Imagination to Create Your Golf Game

All extraordinarily successful athletes and people use their imagination to create what they want in their future, and then they bring it into the present. They imagine what they want to do, and then they act as if it has happened.

This is the reverse of thinking about what is wrong and needs to be fixed to achieve your desired outcome. If you want to be a better putter, watch videos of putts always going in the hole, and imagine you are the one doing it. Always reinforce the outcome you desire. You do not want to negatively reinforce missed putts by talking about them and remembering them.

One of the greatest tools you have in your mental toolbox is your imagination. Creativity is one of your highest faculties for accessing your potential. Use your imagination to build an image of how you want to play in your future golf game. Build the picture in your mind. As a child, Tiger’s father taught him to “putt to the picture” he had created in his mind.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited.” – Albert Einstein

A Success Story About Imagery

During the Vietnam War, our prisoners of war who were in prisons for three to seven years had to deal with deprivation and boredom. They showed self-discipline in action.  What did you do with your time during our recent quarantine? Did you use the downtime to have a retreat for self-improvement of your life and/or your golf game?

Some of the incarcerated prisoners made crude guitars out of wooden sticks and string.  Their instruments did not make any sounds, but those that knew how to play practiced from memory.  Listening in their imagination they taught each other new chords and songs.  Others made pianos out of a flat piece of board and sketched the keys in actual size. Their pianos were silent, but they practiced every day playing their favorite selections.  Others practiced playing on their imaginary typewriters and typed at 40 words a minute without an error the first time they typed on a real IBM typewriter.

Air Force Colonel George Robert Hall was a P.O.W. at the North Vietnam Hanoi Hilton for over seven years after he was shot down during an aerial combat mission over North Vietnam on September 27, 1965. In his 8×8 foot solitary cell, clad in black pajamas and bare feet, Colonel Hall imagined and created a virtual world of playing golf. Formerly, at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland he was captain of the golf team with a handicap of four (4).

In his imagination, Colonel Hall played each and every shot and hole of his home golf course, taking into account his emotions, weather conditions, counting the steps he would have walked between each shot, and mentally writing down the score at the end of each hole. He imagined playing every game he had ever played well in the past, and every course he had never played but had only seen on TV.  He used his imagination to go through his preshot routine, to feel the rhythm of his swing, to hear the club striking the ball, to visualize the trajectory of each shot, and to hold his follow-through position.

Repeating those mental images proved to validate his efforts when he got back to playing the real game of golf.  After 7 golf-less years and 5-1/2 years in solitary confinement, he was weak from malnutrition and seriously atrophied and underweight due to the P.O.W.’s daily rations of approximately 300 calories a day, as opposed to the average 1,800 to 2,000 calories. During his captivity, Colonel Hall lost about 100 pounds of his total weight, including muscle mass.

On March 21, 1973, within six weeks of his release, Colonel Hall was invited to play in the 1973 Greater New Orleans P.O.W. Pro-Am Open, where he unbelievably shot 76, true to his former handicap of four (4), which is a numerical measure of a golfer’s potential. Right after his round of golf the press asked him if his incredible round of golf was due to a case of reentry luck. Col Hall smiled and replied, “Luck, are you kidding? I never three-putted a green in all my 5-1/2 years of practice.”

Colonel Hall had witnessed what every pilot, every astronaut, every Olympic athlete, every salesperson, every musician, every performer, and what every winner has learned:  If you do it right in practice, you will do it right in life.  In your imagination, you can learn to never miss. 

Additional information about Colonel Hall’s story can be found at

https://espygolfapp.com/blog/col-hall-p-o-w-veteran-hanoi-hilton/

Play “in the zone” with Joan

Entrain Your Heart & Mind for Peak Performances

To train your brain to use imagery 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.

“THE HEART OF GOLF” guidebook for transforming your life and your golf game

 is available now on Amazon and Kindle

https://amzn.to/2MQzjfq

All royalties will be donated to Junior Golf!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PLAYING GOLF VS. SELF-QUARANTINE

Golf courses are opening up now after the two-month global shut down, offering golfers a welcome outlet after the mandated layoff. Here in western North Carolina, the golf courses remained open using the new social distancing guidelines that permit outdoor recreation. Because of the nature of the game, our sport lends itself easily to social distancing without any physical interaction among the players or golf staff.

It is common now to see four golf carts in tandem on the cart paths, enforcing the “one golfer per cart” policy, where only two carts were allowed before. Golf is probably the most social distancing you can get in any sport.

Old structures are falling away to make room for a new way of life. The self-quarantine was an opportunity for reflection while you were not able to play golf. I was pleased to see how many ordered the PMI self-hypnosis CDs to program their subconscious minds for what they do desire when they get back to the course. www.pmi4.com/cart

Flexibility

It is necessary to be physically flexible to be able to hit the ball further. It is also necessary to be mentally flexible in your thinking to be able to cope with unexpected situations and results.

Golf is a game with lots of ups and downs. Every shot and every moment of your life is a new experience. For full enjoyment and success, you must be flexible and open to allow the release of any attachment to the outcome.

Your physical world is a direct reflection of your emotions and thoughts. Most golfers are their own worst judge and jury. To change your undesired outcomes, you must be flexible enough to change your thoughts and attitudes into positive, empowering ones. Reconnect with your true powerful self, not the one you believe you “should” be.

New Covid-19 Guidelines

We were just learning about the new global World Handicap System (WHS) rules for handicapping instituted on January 6th, when the Covid-19 virus surfaced and caused the world to shut down. The USGA has put together a new set of guidelines, “Rules and Handicapping Guidance During the COVID-19 Era” https://cutt.ly/zyxHqa5  Additional guidance is provided at “Covid-19 Rules and Handicapping FAQs” https://cutt.ly/iyxHvQO

Golf is a sport where rules are of major importance and golfers obey them for the good of the game. For the protection of everyone, the new Covid-19 rules include the closure of areas such as clubhouses, driving ranges, putting greens and locker rooms. Flagsticks are not to be touched. Ball washers, trash bins and rakes were removed along with on-course scorecards, pencils, etc. All practice balls and carts are sanitized after each use. To enforce social distancing tee times are staggered 15 to 20 minutes apart instead of the usual 10 minutes, and players are asked to arrive no more than 20 minutes before their tee time.

The biggest change relates to the modification of the hole, and not requiring the player to “hole out” as required under the Rules of Golf. The liner to the hole is either raised above the putting surface, or objects are put into the hole so the ball can be more easily removed. When your ball hits the hole, it is now deemed to have been holed out. Because of this new rule, expect that your handicap will drop!

PGA Tour Return

The PGA Tour is scheduled to become the first professional sport to return to action. With the major championships and the Olympics being either postponed or canceled, the schedule opened up three weeks of flexibility. The Tour took advantage of the opportunity and moved the restart of their season from May 18 to June 11. The pros will be able to resume their careers at the first rescheduled tournament, The Charles Schwab Challenge at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, June 11-14th.  It is planned that the first four Tour events will be closed to the general public to ensure the health and well-being of all involved.

Get a New Outlook

  • Your circumstances have shifted giving you the opportunity to find ways of expanding your imagination and rekindling your creativity.
  • Do not wait for outer circumstances to shift to assist you. Write down problem areas and use your downtime as an opportunity to research articles on the internet for options. Monthly archived newsletters from 1999-2020 covering all aspects of mental golf are available at http://www.positivementalimagery.com/news_letters/index.php
  • Slow down. Let go of all old scripts that cause negative thinking and emotions to surface. Allow your deeper feelings of love of the game to create space for enjoyment. Allow the light of your soul to rekindle your imagination and stimulate your creativity.
  • Use your imagination/visioning power and put it to work for you preparing your mind for the future golf successes you desire. Do this every day, especially when you are falling asleep at night, or awakening in the morning.
  • When there aren’t any projects or social engagements to take up your time, use the space to practice inner peace and calm. Meditation, or just sitting quietly and watching your breathing for 10-15 minutes will bring you into focusing in the moment of now where there is only peace.
  • This is your opportunity to take a determined stand to create your new reality with every moment.
  • This is your time! —use it wisely and envision the success and enjoyment you desire.
  • Be prepared to receive it!

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 guidebook for transforming your life and golf game is available now on Amazon:

https://cutt.ly/6yxTywN

All royalties will be donated to Junior Golf!

 

Deep Breathing is the Key to Better Golf

Breathing is the most important physiological function of your body. You can live 40 days without food, ten days without water, but only five to ten minutes without oxygen.

The whole world is shut down now because of the fear of spreading the contagious Coronavirus respiratory illness from person to person. Fortunately for us in the Carolinas, our golf courses and forests are still operational so we can get outside and breathe in the life enhancing natural oxygen produced by the trees. With the focus on our lungs now, it is important to remember why breathing is so important for our golf success as well as our health. 

Don’t forget to breathe

The way you breathe can directly affect your emotional state. When we are frustrated or angry, most people breathe in, tense their bodies and hold their breath. Most golfers say that they hold their breath when they are hitting the golf ball. Holding your breath causes more tension, which inhibits your smooth swing motion. When you hold your breath, you hold the carbon dioxide waste product in your cells, in your blood and in your lungs. Ventilators are in demand now because they keep oxygen moving into the lungs, brain, heart and kidneys to give the lungs a chance to fight off the virus infection.

Under stress you breathe high in your chest, which means that only half of the capacity of the lungs is being used. When you use the entire lung capacity, fresh oxygen is coming in to fill it all up. The brain is then more fully oxygenated.

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.

The secret to healthy breathing is in the abdomen

If you watch a sleeping baby breathe, or watch someone who is sleeping, you will see this relaxed, natural breathing as the 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 breath and letting our chest and shoulders rise as we stand tall. This 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 club acceleration.

Less tension creates greater clubhead speed. Greater clubhead speed creates more distance.

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 before hitting any shot on the golf course is to take in three deep breaths (through the abdomen) during my preshot routine. I take in one deep conscious breath each to calm and focus my mind, body and spirit.

Here are four important reasons for using deep breathing on the golf course:

  • Breathing deeply relaxes your muscles.
  • Breathing deeply clears and focuses your mind.
  • You will have more energy and less fatigue.
  • Breathing deeply keeps your arousal level constant.

Pay attention to how you breathe. If your abdominal area is not filling up with air, you are not breathing the most efficient way for your mental, emotional, and physical health. By breathing naturally, your heart will beat slower and your entire body will relax. As you relax your body, your busy conscious mind will begin to relax and let go of worrisome thinking. Your focus on what you are doing will become easier and sharper. Now while you are quarantined at home, take advantage of the free time to practice removing your tensions by sitting alone in the quiet, breathing deeply and allowing any fear or anxiety to drain out of your body.  Enjoy breathing and being alive.

Be well. Follow the health guidelines. Be safe. Just be.

Play “in the zone” with Joan

Entrain Your Heart & Mind for Peak Performances 

Use your quarantined time to train your brain to play your best golf, by listening 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. 

“THE HEART OF GOLF” guidebook for transforming your life and golf game is available now on Amazon and Kindle at https://amzn.to/2MQzjfq

All royalties will be donated to Junior Golf!

 

 

 

Get ready for springtime golf

Golf courses are in the process of returning slowly to their summer conditions. Take a hint from nature and plan the return to your golf game by creating it one step at a time to develop your confidence.

It is important to participate in a spring training program before returning to the golf course after a lay-off. On the first warm, sunny day, golfers are in a hurry to get out and play. They invite frustration because they don’t take the time to prepare themselves mentally, emotionally and physically.

When you resume playing in the spring, do you expect to continue scoring the same way you did last summer? Or, do you expect to play poorly because you haven’t played in several months? Either way, you have mental and emotional distractions to correct before you tee off. Here are some reminders for building a strong golf game before you get to the golf course this spring.

Physical Conditioning

Sitting in front of the fire watching golf on TV is not the best conditioning for springtime golf. If you haven’t swung a club in months, your physical body is not in the same condition it was before your break from the game. It is time now to strengthen the muscles that you will be using.

Stretching for Flexibility

The place to begin is by stretching out those dormant muscles. Before you hit any balls, stretch out your neck, back, arms, legs and core. This will go a long way toward preventing an injury to your body. Stretch slowly to warm up your muscles to prevent pulls and strains. Hold each stretch for 30 seconds. Put together a routine that you can use before and after playing.

Fundamentals

Every sport is the same. When you have not participated in a while, it is necessary to refresh your mind and body by reviewing the basics. In order to be successful at golf, you need to have good fundamentals. These include the grip, posture, stance, ball position, alignment, and pre-shot routine. Review your basic mechanics and reacquaint your golf muscles before going to the range to hit full shots. Good posture will allow you to swing your arms freely and your feet and ankles to be active and provide good balance. When you have good posture, it will be easier to have a proper swing plane.

Mental Rehearsal  

Mental rehearsal or imagery is where your inner mind uses all your senses to create the event that you desire. The first ingredient to become more consistent in your golf game is perfect practice. Practice doesn’t make perfect, only perfect practice does. The best place to practice is in your imagination, mentally rehearsing perfection repeatedly, creating a habit. When you have mentally rehearsed doing something, it is already done except for the physical execution. 

Develop a Consistent Pre-shot Routine 

The whole point of learning a pre-shot routine is to make golf a reaction game so you don’t have to think when you are over the ball. Develop your own personal routine on paper and practice it indoors until it becomes habitual. A pre-shot routine prepares you to LET GO of thinking and to put your swing automatically into motion. A consistent pre-shot routine will produce consistent results on the golf course.

Believe in your putting ability

Putting is the last stop at the train station. Putting can be up to 40% of your score.  Once you miss a putt, it must be counted in your score. On the way to the green there are numerous options to recover from missed shots, but none from a missed putt. Golfers’ nerves show up in their putting sooner than in other strokes. Now is the time to practice developing confidence in your ability to be a great putter so you don’t put pressure on your full shots to get the ball closer to the hole. Listening repeatedly to the PMI CD “Confident Putting for Lower Scores” (www.pmi4.com/cart) and rehearsing the feel and rhythm of your putting stroke indoors will prepare you for your return to the golf course.

On the Practice Range

Don’t be in a hurry to hit a few balls and then rush to the course to play. Your mind and body are not in the same place they were last summer. Begin with wedge shots to access your tempo. Your golf muscles need to be activated slowly. Hit at 75% or less speed, working up to the longer clubs gradually. Hit to different targets for feedback. Go through your pre-shot routine on every shot to prepare your mind.

The Mental Game

Without mental preparation, the first day on the golf course could turn from joyous anticipation to frustration very quickly. Winners win in advance. They know how to direct their thoughts.

To have a consistently strong mental game means you need to prepare your thoughts and strategy long before you get to the golf course. Spring is a good time to look at your strategy so it will carry a good consistent mental game throughout the summer. Your spring training sessions could include:

Release expectations

Lower your expectations. Do not expect to play as you did at the end of last summer. Let go of all scoring expectations for the first few times you play and just enjoy being outdoors with friends. Realize that it will take time to regain your confidence and concentration. By letting go of expectations you will not have to deal with emotions of anxiety, frustration, embarrassment, etc. Making progress is the plan.

Breathe deeply

Breathe deeply before every shot to relax your mind and body. Remember to take a deep breath before every shot for focus in the present. Instead of trying to block out a distracting thought, move your attention to your breath. This will focus your attention away from the thought. When you are relaxed, begin your pre-shot routine. 

Have fun

You have been waiting all winter for this day. Don’t spoil it by putting pressure on yourself by having unrealistic expectations. Enjoy each good shot and let go of the mishits. Enjoy all aspects of the golf course. Play from your heart and have fun playing the game of getting the ball into the hole in the fewest possible strokes. Be patient and wait for the low scores to 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.

“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 a guidebook for transforming your life and golf game.

Available now on Amazon and Kindle

https://amzn.to/2PRbqHB

All royalties will be donated to Junior Golf!

 

 

 

FEBRUARY 2020 — A LEAP YEAR FOR GOLF

A Leap Year is a year where a day is added to the shortest month; February 29. Because of this extra day, this year will have 366 days instead of 365, one extra day to play golf. This extra day has to be added every four years to keep our Gregorian calendar (365 days) in alignment with the earth’s revolutions (365.25) around the sun.

February is a unique month in our calendar. Not only is it the shortest month, Valentine’s Day falls on the 14th in the middle of the month. Valentine hearts remind us that love is the greatest emotion that brings us joy and excitement. This is a good time to remember why we love to play golf. A change of heart changes everything.

Here are some of the reasons my clients have told me why they love to play golf.

  • Golf is a fun game to play.
  • Golf is a game they can play by themselves or with others.
  • Golf is a common social bond among all who play the game.
  • Golf is a game played outdoors in the beauty of nature.
  • Golf is a game that challenges them against the golf course and others.
  • Golf is a game that moves them into an inner state of focus.
  • Golf is played in a peaceful setting that relaxes them.
  • Golf reinforces confidence in themselves and in their abilities.
  • Golf teaches valuable life skills like patience, responsibility, self-love.
  • Golf is a game of honor.
  • Golf mirrors the game of life.
  • Golf is a sport that can be played for life.
  • Golf is the most difficult sport that keeps them playing for the perfect shot.
  • Playing golf “in the zone” is the same feeling as when a person is “in love.” What can you add to this list? What do you love about playing golf?

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY! 

 

 

THE LIGHTER SIDE OF GOLF

To play golf at your highest potential requires being in a state where you are balanced in your mental, physical, emotional and spiritual bodies. Everyone needs to seek their own Arousal Level where this happens. Golf is such a difficult game because this state must be maintained over a 4-5-hour period despite multiple inner and outer distractions. And in golf, every shot is counted. That means that every shot must be given your 100% intention and attention as if it is the only shot you will be hitting that day.

One of the ways we found to maintain this balance at tournaments, was using humor to voice how much we love the uniqueness and acknowledge the frustration of the game. After every round, we would get together and take turns telling golf jokes to relieve the tension created during the day.

Following are some humorous quotes that will remind you of why golf is such a mental game. Perhaps reading them will bring a smile to your face and change your state of being.

  • If you can’t break 80 you’ve no business on a golf course.  If you can break 80 you probably have no business. – Jess Root
  • There is no rush.  Swing as if you are working by the hour. – Harvey Penick
  • If you think it’s hard to meet new people, try picking up the wrong golf ball. – Jack Lemmon
  • Putts get real difficult the day they hand out the money. – Lee Trevino
  • The reason a pro tells you to keep your head down is so you can’t see him laughing. – Phyllis Diller
  • I know I am getting better at golf because I am hitting fewer spectators. – Gerald R. Ford
  • Golf is played by twenty million mature American men whose wives think they ae out having fun. – Jim Bishop
  • If you watch a game, it’s fun. If you play at it, it’s recreation. If you work at it, it’s golf.  — Bob Hope
  • Show me a man who is a good loser, and I’ll show you a man who is playing golf with his boss. – James Murray
  • Golf is a game in which you yell ‘fore’, shoot six, and write down five. – Paul Harvey
  • Golf is the hardest game in the world to play, and the easiest to cheat at. – Dave Hill
  • Don’t get mad at the club; it’s the same one you used to hit that great shot yesterday.  Harvey Penick
  • It’s good sportsmanship to not pick up lost golf balls while they are still rolling.
    Mark Twain
  • If your swing is grooved, you can hit the ball with a sack over your head. – Harvey Penick
  • The reason they call it ‘golf’ is that all the other 4 letter words were used up.  — Leslie Nielsen
  • The only thing a golfer needs is more daylight. — Ben Hogan
  • It’s tough to play bad when you’re happy on the inside. – Jessica Korda, LPGA
  • My number one rule for a friendly round of golf: Make sure my playing partners enjoy their game. I offer tips. I compliment good shots. It’s important to let people know you enjoy their game as well as yours. And then we go enjoy it a little more at the 19th hole. – Arnold Palmer
  • Golf puts a man’s character on the anvil and his richest qualities—patience, poise, restraint—to the flame. –- Billy Casper
  • I’ve heard people say putting is 50 percent technique and 50 percent mental. I really believe it is 50 percent technique and 90 percent positive thinking. See, but that adds up to 140 percent, which is why nobody is 100 percent sure how to putt. — Chi Chi Rodriquez
  • Eighteen holes of match play will teach you more about your foe than 18 years of dealing with him across a desk. – Grantland Rice
  • It is almost impossible to remember how tragic a place the world is when one is playing golf. –Robert Lynd
  • If profanity had any influence on the flight of the ball, the game of golf would be played far better than it is. – Horace G. Hutchinson
  • They say golf is like life, but don’t believe them. Golf is more complicated than that.
    –  Gardner Dickinson
  • If a lot of people gripped a knife and fork as poorly as they do a golf club, they’d starve to death. – Sam Snead
  • Golf is a day spent in a round of strenuous idleness. – William Wordsworth
  • If you drink, don’t drive. Don’t even putt. – Dean Martin
  • If you are going to throw a club, it is important to throw it ahead of you, down the fairway, so you don’t have to waste energy going back to pick it up. – Tommy Bolt
  • Man blames fate for all other accidents but feels personally responsible when he makes a hole-in-one. – Bishop Sheen
  • The ardent golfer would play Mount Everest if somebody would put a flagstick on top.
    – Pete Dye
  • The only time my prayers are never answered is playing golf. – Billy Graham

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.

“THE HEART OF GOLF” is a guidebook for transforming your life and golf game

Available now on Amazon and Kindle

https://amzn.to/2PRbqHB

All royalties will be donated to Junior Golf! 

 

 

 

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE NEW WORLD GOLF HANDICAP SYSTEM

When I began playing golf in 1958, changes in golfers’ handicaps were determined by our club pro so all members had an equal playing field.  He knew all the members’ playing abilities and was known to cut a handicap in the middle of a tournament if he thought their score wasn’t indicative of their handicap.

Times have changed since the advent of computers, and after decades of input, on Monday, January 6, 2020 the golf World Handicap System (WHS) will go into effect.

Currently over 15 million golfers in more than 80 countries have a handicap as an indicator of their potential skill level. The new modernized World Handicap System is designed to bring the game of golf under a single set of Rules for handicapping and provide a more consistent measure of players’ ability in the different golfing regions of the world.

The WHS system was formulated from consultations with the existing handicapping authorities around the world; Golf Australia, the Council of National Golf Unions in Great Britain and Ireland, the European Golf Association, the South African Golf Association, the Argentine Golf Association, the USGA, the Japan Golf Association and Golf Canada.

The World Handicap System has been created to ostensibly allow golfers of different abilities to compete fairly in any format, on any course, anywhere in the world. The new system focuses on three key goals:

  1. To encourage as many golfers as possible to obtain and maintain a Handicap Index.
  2. To enable golfers of differing abilities, genders and nationalities to transport their Handicap index to any course around the world and compete on a fair basis.
  3. To indicate with sufficient accuracy the score a golfer is reasonably capable of achieving on any course around the world, playing under normal conditions.

For your information, here are the changes that will go into effect next Monday.

  • The new WHS system will be based more on your good scores by averaging your eight (8) best scores out of your most recent 20 scores. This is a change from the old system that used 10 out of 20 scores. Even though you may not be playing golf now your handicap can change up to one stroke.
  • For beginners the maximum allowable Handicap Index has been raised to 54.0 for both men and women. By moving the handicap maximum up, the USGA is encouraging more golfers to obtain a handicap so they can measure their progress and enjoy the game with their friends.
  • With the new system, handicaps will be revised daily instead of twice a month. The Handicap Index will be revised the night of a score posted and a new Handicap Index will be available the following day. For the system to work accurately, scores need to be posted as soon as possible after the completion of your round, and before midnight on the day of play.
  • The new WHS will not calculate or display 9-hole Handicap Indexes. All golfers in the system will have an 18-hole Handicap Index. One-half of an 18-hole index should be used when calculating a 9-hole Course Handicap. However, all 9-hole scores played are to be posted and held in the system until combined with a second nine-hole score to make up a combined 18-hole score.
  • A new feature included in your Handicap Index is called the Playing Conditions Calculation (PCC) which determines whether the playing conditions on the day you played differ from normal conditions so that an adjustment is needed to compensate.  It is calculated each day at midnight for each golf course.
  • A new term, Low Handicap Index will be included within the Rules of Handicapping and will be made visible to you. It is established when you have at least 20 acceptable scores. The Low Handicap Index is the lowest Handicap Index value that you have had in the last 24 revisions/12 months. This value will serve as the baseline for the soft cap and hard cap procedures which will limit extreme increases or decreases of your Handicap Index.  A soft cap is applied to reduce the value of any increase over 3 strokes by 50%. A hard cap is applied when a player has reached a maximum of 5 strokes above their Low Handicap Index. When special circumstances exist, such as injury, the Handicap Committee will have the ability to override the soft cap or hard cap.
  • Another safeguard is the Exceptional Score Reduction (ESR).If a player shoots an exceptional score, their handicap will be automatically adjusted one or two strokes depending on their score according to the adjustment table. The ESR replaces the old system of Reduced Handicaps (R) and Tournament Scores (T).
  • The Equitable Stroke Control (ESC) is no longer in effect. Everyone will calculate their maximum hole score in the same way. Your maximum hole score is calculated by adding the par of the hole + 2 strokes (double bogey) + your handicap strokes on that hole.

USGA Executive Director/CEO Mike Davis said, “One wonderful aspect of golf that separates it from other sports is the opportunity for players of differing abilities to play on an equitable basis through handicapping. With one global system, golf courses will be rated and handicaps calculated in a consistent manner everywhere in the world. Removing borders to provide an easy way for all to play together is great for the game and golfers everywhere.”

For further clarification on the new WHS system link on to https://www.usga.org/handicapping.html

Play “in the zone” with Joan

Entrain Your Heart & Mind for Peak Performances

© PositiveMentalImagery 2020 – All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

It’s that time of year again to put away your golf clubs while you gather together with your friends and loved ones to celebrate the holidays.  May all the joy and wonder of Christmas touch you and those you love.

Thanks to everyone who reads my monthly blog and to those who take the time to add comments about how the mental golf tips help to improve their golf games and/or their lives.

I wish each and everyone of you a joy filled holiday season and that all your dreams and wishes come true in the coming year.

Joan