How can I get into the zone on the golf course?

The Tokyo Olympic Games with 339 events, will begin in a couple of weeks on July 23rd after a year’s delay due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is a good time to learn from these world-class athletes about how they develop their self-confidence and body confidence to perform in front of millions of viewers. 

Golf has only been part of the Olympics three times: in 1900, 1904, and then in the 2016 Summer Olympics when it was reinstated. This year in Tokyo the men’s stroke play will begin on July 28th and the women’s stroke play will begin on August 3rd.. To refresh your memory, in 2016, Justin Rose of Great Britain and Inbee Park of South Korea won the individual gold medals at the new Olympic Golf Course in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There were no team medals awarded.

There is such a high level of competition in the Olympics, we watch in amazement as the athletes perform their superhuman feats of athleticism under conditions of external noise, internal fear thoughts, distractions, pressure and anxiety. These athletes have trained their minds to tune out these conditions and immerse themselves entirely in the routines that they have practiced over and over, physically and mentally.

For the past 29 years I have been helping golfers and other performers learn how to access their peak performances through an understanding and awareness of Self. The mental game of golf is about being stronger mentally by changing your beliefs of lack and limitation and changing the internal judgments that came from someone else’s beliefs and values. When you have the self-esteem to believe in yourself and your abilities, there is no internal struggle, and you can allow yourself to play “in the zone.”

What is the Zone State? 

When a golfer is in the right mental state, they can access their peak performance throughout the round. They can feel as if they are in another world and someone else is swinging the golf club for them. They can feel as if they are in a trance, in an altered state of awareness called “the flow” or “the zone.”

In this state, the golfer can experience feelings of total calm and peace (no fear); ease and effortlessness in swinging; a heightened sense of intuition; ease of movement; total enjoyment; weightlessness; a sense of euphoria; increased power; intensified concentration (no indecision or distractions); mental clarity (seeing a line on the green or a line to the target); and being in complete control.  Golfers “in the zone” typically play with more accuracy due to an increased sense of feel and awareness. They hit the ball longer and shoot lower scores indicative of their peak potential.

To gain control you have to let go of control 

When you are “in the zone” you do not worry about the results or the thoughts you have about yourself. You allow the feeling process to continue without effort instead of trying to control your shots. That is when golf becomes fun. When you are “in the zone” your mind is relaxed, free of tension, and absorbed in creating your shot. When you give up conscious control of trying to make things happen, your peak performances manifest.

Being “in the zone” is when you have let go of all the restrictions imposed by conscious thought and you have created a heightened state of effortless and unwavering concentration, calm, and confidence. It is when your brain and body are in such harmony before you swing that they act as one, and the swing occurs without conscious effort or thought. Golf is different from other sports where we react without time to think. In golf, as the ball waits for us, we can spend too much time in extraneous confusing thoughts.

The zone state or flow state is when a golfer is totally focused and has full involvement and enjoyment in the process of playing the game of golf. Your energy then flows in the direction of your potential. This is what it means to be centered, in the moment, or in the present. You are completely engrossed and giving all your attention to the task at hand. Self-judgment is gone. Your emotions are positive, energized, and aligned with the process of shot making. There is no awareness of anything except the creation of the present shot.

Achieving this higher state of consciousness is how the Olympic athletes can perform seemingly impossible feats that seem too difficult to achieve. The zone/flow state is like being in a meditation of action and awareness.

Use Mental Imagery for Increased Flow 

Visualization is a psychological tool that teaches athletes to focus on every aspect of their performance rather than on winning. It is a process of watching themselves experience each nuance of their performance in their minds.

Another term for visualization is mental rehearsal or mental imagery 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. Once you have visualized doing something, it is already done except for the physical execution. With mental imagery athletes not only imagine/visualize, but they also truly feel themselves playing the game.

In 1964 Maxwell Malte, the author of Psycho-Cybernetics discovered that your nervous system cannot tell the difference between an imagined and a real experience. Scientists have found that mentally rehearsing your golf swing will improve your swing because your brain is creating stronger neural patterns telling your muscles how to move.

At night or in the morning when you are half-awake is the best time to practice your golf swing/game. Train your brain for success and increase your states of flow by rehearsing what you want to happen that day. In your mind is the only place you can practice perfectly. Program your mind. All thought originates in the mind. You are your mind, and you are your golf swing.

If you have trouble visualizing or mentally rehearsing what you desire in your golf game, eight mental golf guided imagery CDs are available at www.pmi4.com/cart.

Moving into “the zone state” is your overall goal 

The process to allow movement into the zone state of awareness is to:

  • Have a positive attitude.
  • Trust your intuition & decisions.
  • Relax your body and mind by deep breathing.
  • Let go of mental interference
  • Focus on the task at hand.
  • Use imagery to program your shot.
  • Be totally absorbed in your pre-shot routine.
  • Enjoy the process of feeling.

For further information about how to achieve these mental keys, go to www.pmi4.com and link on the monthly Archived Newsletters.

Play “in the zone” with Joan 

Entrain Your Heart & Mind for Peak Performances

© PositiveMentalImagery 2021 – All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

 

How good is your golf course management?

The following article was published yesterday in Women’s Golf emagazine at https://www.womensgolf.com

How Good is Your Golf Course Management?

Peak Performance Psychologist Joan King’s favorite course management golf tips include pre-round planning and making the best shot and club selection decisions.

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?

Plan for Good Golf Course Management

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. 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.

Lexi Thompson and Cristie Kerr - Team USA 2018 UL International Crown - Photographer Ben HarpringLexi Thompson and Cristie Kerr – Team USA 2018 UL International Crown – Photographer Ben Harpring

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 golf 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 trouble. Use 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.

Lizette Salas LA Open - Course Management Golf Tips - Photographer Ben HarpringLizette Salas at the 2018 LA Open | Photographer Ben Harpring

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

  • Be prepared for bad shots and bad breaks. Let go of bad shots and bad breaks as they are over and done. Stay confident and focused to hit the next shot.

Ariya Jutanugarn 2018 US Womens Open - Course Management Golf Tips - Photographer Ben HarpringAriya Jutanugarn at the 2018 US Women’s Open | Photographer Ben Harpring

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 help you play better and enjoy your golf.

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 at 828-696-2547.

 

 

ARE YOU OVERTHINKING YOUR GOLF GAME?

Recently I have been helping several high school softball pitchers with the anxiety they are experiencing in pressure game situations. All of them indicated that they were struggling with overthinking. They are thinking about unrelated things while playing and are not able to relax and focus. Thoughts that are interfering with their concentration were their expectations, fear of making a mistake, not being perfect and a lack of confidence. Softball is similar to golf because patience is required while waiting for the action. There is a lot of time for the mind to wander. Golfers also experience overthinking when they are standing over the ball.

Unrelated thoughts cause the anxiety. If it becomes a habit, you will not even recognize it when it happens. If you do not deal with the anxiety, it will cause excessive worrying, disractions, and feelings of distress. It is important to control your thoughts in order to focus on your present shot.

Worrying is using your imagination to create something you don’t want.

Everything is a process. You need to enjoy the process of creating your shot or putt as much as you enjoy getting the results – that’s when progress really starts to happen.

More and more pro golfers are aware that their mental games are keeping them from achieving the success they desire. Phil Mickelson described the changes he made to win the PGA Championship last week at age 50. Lexi Thompson, an LPGA Pro since age 15 said he was changing her mental game from work to play, “I just realized that I needed to change my mindset. It was only hurting me. … The mental side was really getting to me. I was just taking it way too seriously and thinking that Lexi depended on my score.”

If you are looking for a way to enjoy your golf game more, using positive self-talk can help you. Negative self-talk can lead to a downward spiral where you lose confidence in your ability and make mistake after mistake.

What is self-talk?

Self-talk is the constant stream of thoughts that you have going on inside your head. Everyone has self-talk. We have positive as well as negative self-talk. During a round of golf, you will give yourself hundreds if not thousands of suggestions. You probably are not even aware of these thoughts because they are so familiar. If your self-talk is negative, it will affect the way you view life and your golf game.

Self-talk is the dialogue we use to communicate to ourselves. Whether positive or negative, self-talk affects your sense of self-worth, your self-esteem, and how you perceive and react to situations. In short, it literally affects everything in your life, mainly because your thoughts directly determine your actions. So, if your thoughts are positive, your actions will also be positive and vice versa.

Recognize your self-talk

Many golfers do not realize they are sabotaging their golf games with inner critical, judgmental, sarcastic, or negative thoughts. They let their minds wander and play the mental game of “what-if,” which are worrying thoughts such as:

* What if I flub my drive O.B. on the first hole?

* What if I get on the green and three-putt?

* What if I cannot get out of the sand bunker?

* What if I “lose my swing” when I am playing well?

If you find yourself thinking “what if” fear thoughts, change this negative kind of thinking to “so what” thoughts to bring yourself back into the present. Then, act as if you love everything about the game of golf. Act as if you are confident. Act as if you like challenges, and act as if you are playing like a champion. Act as if you are having fun no matter what happens. Happiness is not getting what you want. It is being happy with what you get.  You will be pleasantly surprised when your game turns around.

Your mind is full of sayings that are repeated over and over again on the golf course to sooth your wounded ego. It is time to become responsible for deleting the negative ones and replacing them with positive visions of what you do want to happen. Your imagination is the biggest tool in your mental toolbox. Use it constantly to create your dream of success. Always imagine playing at your peak potential that you have already seen at times.

Once you have the awareness that you create your internal world, you will realize that you can change it into productive thoughts. Your body learns what it is told to do. Learn to tell it what you want, not what you do not want. Control of your body is not accomplished by force. Control is accomplished by becoming relaxed, being positive, and visualizing what you intend to change. Activate your memory of the great shots you have played. You are the spirit that activates your body.

Use your mind to send correct messages to your body.

FYI  All hypnosis is self-hypnosis. Self-hypnosis will work because you are constantly conditioning your subconscious mind to react in a positive, constructive manner. In hypnosis you are working toward implementing and strengthening your own inner power and resources. This is just like any other training. The more you do it, the stronger it becomes. To train your brain to play your best golf, listen to Positive Mental Imagery golf self-hypnosis guided imagery CDs in the privacy of your own home, available at www.pmi4.com/cart

Play “in the zone” with Joan

Entrain Your Heart & Mind for Peak Performances

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

“THE HEART OF GOLF, Access Your Supreme Intelligence for Peak Performances” explores and explains negative emotions such as fear and performance anxiety, the four Cs of mind blockage, the four progressive stages of learning the supreme intelligence of the heart, and the way to access the zone on the golf course. 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

https://amzn.to/3jEMVuv

All royalties will be donated to Junior Golf programs!

MAINTAIN A NON-JUDGMENTAL ATTITUDE ON THE GOLF COURSE

One of the keys to having a good mental golf game is to have NO SELF-JUDGMENT.  The less judgmental you are towards yourself and others, the more balanced and centered you can be.

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 we reject ourselves because we feel inadequate. And so, we pretend to be what we think we should be (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.

There are three parts to your “self”:

  1. The way you see yourself.
  2. The way you think others see you.
  3. Your true authentic SELF.

Humans punish themselves endlessly for not being what they believe they should be.  It is the Judge, the Victim and our belief system within that make us do this.  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 take the attention from us by covering 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 trusti9ng and allowing—– just enjoying the experience.

“I think I fail a bit less than everyone else.”  —-Jack Nicklaus

When you are playing well, your mind is quiet, free of tension, relaxed and absorbed in what you are doing. There is no judgment, only trust and enjoyment.

When you are playing poorly, your mind is judging your performance and probably producing the following scenarios:

  • You are giving yourself a lesson and trying to “fix” your swing.
  • You are judging your performance as right or wrong, good or bad.
  • You are emotionally upset with high scores.
  • These thoughts are bringing up feelings of failure and doubt in your ability.

When you let go of the judgment and evaluation of yourself and your performance, what is left is self-awareness.  When you are aware of yourself, you are playing “in the zone” where there is no judgment, only intensified concentration and total focus on making the shot.

“When I am in a zone, I don’t think about the shot or the wind or the distance or the gallery or anything.  I just pull a club and swing.”  —-Mark Calcavecchia

Albert Einstein was “in the zone” when he developed his Theory of Relativity, E = Mc2.  He allowed his creative mind to create while he was doodling and daydreaming. When you let go of the judgments, worries, and thoughts you have about yourself, your self-judgment disappears. Then you are “in the zone” having fun and playing the game of golf.

You go against yourself when you judge or blame yourself or other people.  When you have good self-esteem and feel good about yourself, you take responsibility for your actions, on and off the golf course. Then you are tapping into your Authentic Self by using the mental tools of responsibility, acceptance and forgiveness.

“Mistakes are essential to progress.  The willingness to learn from them is the backbone of any progress. The object is to succeed, not to count your mistakes.” —-Tae Yun Kim

When you judge or blame yourself for a missed shot, you go against your true Self and set up a rejection of yourself, which in turn sabotages your game. Some professional golfers routinely blame outside interferences so they won’t judge or blame themselves.

Your miss-hit golf shots do not reflect upon you as a person —- Your mental/emotional reaction to your missed golf shots does!  When you fail to make a good shot, know that you have just failed at that task. It does not mean that you are a failure.

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 miss-hits 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.

Reinforce the good that you want to create in your golf game.  Be your own best coach.  Encourage and treat yourself as well as you do the others in your foursome. Tell yourself to LET GO of self-abuse and self-rejection that comes from never measuring up to being perfect.  Accept and love yourself more than anyone ever loved you.

At its highest levels, golf is a game where you are feeling all the goodness, happiness and euphoria of the Universal Force.  Happiness is not getting what you want. It is being happy with what you get.  Every day congratulate yourself for what you did well during the day. You probably made fewer mistakes than you thought.

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: https://amzn.to/3jEMVuv

All royalties will be donated to Junior Golf programs!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EMOTIONAL FREEDOM ON THE GOLF COURSE

With the advent of Spring, I am beginning my 29th year of counseling golfers how to balance their mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual bodies to produce lower scores on the golf course by accessing “the zone state” of being.

It has been my pleasure to work with golfers because they are willing to try anything new that could produce their peak performances. Peak Performance is a state in which the person performs to the maximum of their ability. It is characterized by feelings of confidence, effortlessness, and total concentration on the task.

Most sports are determined by how well you react to the action. Golf is different. The ball waits for you to hit it. However, your emotional mindset reacts to your programmed thoughts and controls your golf game.

Whatever is going on in your mind determines whether your inner state is peaceful or resisting. The good news is that you can be in complete control of your inner realm by releasing any resistance and by allowing your subconscious to create the effortless shot that you have trained it to make. Stay focused in the moment by using your pre-shot routine for every shot.

Change is constant. When you allow it, you are utilizing the natural laws of creation. As you resist change, you are creating opposition to those natural laws. To play to the best of your abilities, you must face your fear and anxiety feelings instead of giving in, or avoiding them, which only brings up more avoidance. Face your fears whenever you can because it is worse for your performance to avoid what you are afraid of instead of facing it.

As you shift your energies within, then your outer world can change. What are the thoughts and energies that you bring to the surface on the golf course? What would emotional freedom and peace feel like? The choice to stay emotionally in a fearful situation, or to expand beyond it is up to you. Discern what it is that you want alive within you and move beyond what you don’t want to carry forward.

Golf is an inner game. Get to know yourself well. Before you can be set free, you have to be aware of the “monkey mind” chatter going on in your head. How we feel is determined by our emotions. Our emotions are influenced by our thoughts and beliefs.

When we think positive thoughts, our brain releases feel-good chemicals like dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins. But when we think negative thoughts, our body releases chemicals like cortisol and adrenaline; the stress hormones that cause the “flight or fight” response.

As every player knows, golf is played in the mind as much as it is with the body. Controlling your mood of feeling 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.

Golf is a reflection of the journey into your inner self through exploring the mysteries of this royal and ancient game. At its highest levels of hitting perfect shots, and achieving your fullest potential, your spirit quietly soars “into the zone” where you are in a state of euphoria and trust. No longer is your spirit dampened by past experiences of fear, anxiety, indecision, distractions, and self-limitations. The joy you experience is in the moment, and not in the outcome of your score.

Before adding up your score after you complete your round of golf, ask yourself if you had fun and enjoyed your experience. Your answer will tell you whether you had a mindset of resistance or allowed yourself to enjoy your time on the golf course.

I have been writing monthly newsletters since 1999 that include every facet of the mental golf game. Log on to www.pmi4.com Archived Newsletters to find information relevant for improving your mental golf game.

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” guidebook for transforming your life

and golf game is available now on Amazon at

https://amzn.to/2MQzjfq

All royalties will be donated to Junior Golf programs!

How can I control my mind so I will be more consistent playing golf?

Your unconscious mind is what controls your involuntary actions. We operate 95 percent of our lives according to our subconscious programs. It is 30,000 times more powerful than your conscious mind. Your subconscious mind is subjective and works like your computer by following the instructions it is given. The subconscious mind lacks reasoning, logic or rationalization. It is a creature of habit and repetition. Reprogram the data in your subconscious mind with positive thoughts and affirmations for what you require in a consistent mental golf game.

When you win there is nothing to learn, when you lose, there is something more to learn. Remember the following axiom: 

When you win, you win.

When you lose, you learn. 

To play more consistently you must have the same positive thoughts and attitudes and behave in the same way to promote success. If one of your thoughts is not consistent with another, it will contradict your desire and nullify your result.

Here is a check list of positive thoughts, attitudes and behaviors to anchor into your subconscious mind for consistent results:

  1. Trust Your Swing. Train your mind to feel and sense your swing instead of being paralyzed by constant analysis. Let go of mechanical thoughts of how to swing. It is impossible to “fix” your swing on the golf course after missing a shot. Instead, step aside and swing your club until you find the rhythm and tempo of the swing that you desired.
  2. Direct your brain with a consistent pre-shot routine. Your pre-shot check list prepares you to let go of conscious thoughts so you can allow your smooth automatic swing. For your swing to be consistent, your routine prior to swinging must be the same every time.
  3. Practice the way you play. Train your brain by using your pre-shot routine with every practice shot you hit on the range until it becomes a habit. If your practice routine and your on-course play routine are the same, your results will be similar.
  4. Correct your alignment and set-up.  If you set up incorrectly, even a great swing won’t produce a good shot. Every shot on the course is hit from a new position, which is very different from hitting from the same spot on the range.  Always pick a target for each shot so you will get feedback on how you are doing.
  5. Anchor your good shots.  Remember your good shots, not the missed ones. To be able to repeat your good shots, anchor them in your subconscious mind with the wonderful inside feeling of hitting a solid shot.
  6. Relax your mind and body. You can’t be relaxed and anxious at the same time. Take deep breaths to relax your body and slow down your thinking mind for sharper focus.
  7. Be patient. Golf is a waiting game. Wait for the opportunities to happen. The more you rush, the quicker your swing becomes and the more mistakes you will make.
  8. Concentrate only on your game. Being concerned with your competitors’ games will distract you from being in control of your own game.
  9. Play one shot at a time. Play each shot as if it is the most important shot you will ever hit by giving it your 100% full intention and attention.
  10. Change all fear shots into positive images. Stay focused in the present, giving your full attention to what you desire to happen, not what you are afraid will happen.
  11. Play target golf. Take DEAD AIM. Have a clear picture of your target in your mind and swing down your target line without your mind telling you how to do it. Your body knows how to swing if you will allow it.
  12. Be decisive. Indecision is the enemy of golfers. Don’t hit a shot until you have absolutely made up your mind which club to use and what you require to do with the shot.
  13. Believe in yourself. Believe in yourself no matter what the results are. Believe in your ability to score. Trust that you can always improve.
  14. Less is more. Swing within yourself. Feel your awareness of balance, rhythm and tempo. The ball will go farther and straighter with a smooth, easy, effortless swing than a forceful, jerky swing.
  15. Let go of expectations. Don’t add up your score until you are finished. Enjoy each shot as its own reward.
  16. Enjoy playing the golf course. Accept and enjoy everything that happens from a place of childlike wonder and joy and you will then be playing from your heart space at your peak performance level.

Play “in the zone” with Joan

Entrain Your Heart and Mind for Peak Performances

Self-empowering hypnosis mental golf CDs are available at www.pmi4.com/cart

If this article is helpful to you, and you want to learn more, call Joan for a complimentary 15-minute consultation about improving your mental game. She can be reached by phone at 828-696-2547, or by email pmi4@bellsouth.net

 “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!

Feel the love of playing golf in your heart

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY

February is the month of love. The feeling of love comes from your heart. The feeling of hitting a perfect golf shot resonates in your heart. Discounting that feeling by judging the result keeps you in your thinking mind.

Love is a state of peace inside and out where you are focused in the moment. There is no worry, fear, doubt, indecision, humiliation, feelings of self-doubt, unworthiness, inferiority, or superiority.  Any impulse to aggressively control your game will move you into these feelings of self-judgment.

One of the mental keys for successful golf is 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.

“In the rounds of golf where you are in the zone and everything seems to flow in perfect order, your heart rhythms, blood pressure, and brain waves are entrained, or in sync. When you have a passionate love for what you are doing and are playing at your peak performance level, you have bypassed the fears of the ego.

The power to do this is in the heart. By activating feelings of the heart, you gain powerful insights that we call intuition, or inner wisdom. You intuitively know what to do.

Your mission is to discover and embrace the real you, not the person you think you have to be to be loved or accepted. Your hopes and dreams are waiting for you. Claim what your heart already knows and turn your dreams into reality. Love is the intuitive knowledge of our hearts. Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned about limiting our belief in ourselves. When we release the limiting and self-sabotaging thoughts, we free our minds and can return to love.

You will have your share of heartache on the golf course, but it doesn’t have to be a negative. See it as another vitally important experience that is useful to learn from. Then bring your awareness back to your heart to remember why you love to play this intriguing and seductive game.

Every thought and emotion you have produces chemicals and affects your central nervous system. When you are frustrated on the golf course and your body produces adrenaline, there is an easy way to bring your state back to peace and calm by thinking of someone or something you love.

Thoughts and senses of love produce endorphins. What do endorphins do? They calm and relax you. All you need to do to access this state is to move your thinking from your head to your heart. Holding the feeling of love for thirty seconds will balance your hormonal system.

Think about someone or something you love. For example, think about your pet. Imagine your pet giving you its unconditional love by jumping up and down, being excited to see you, licking you and wanting to play with you. With this easy imagery, your heart is filled with love, and the anger you experienced moments ago has dissipated.

Emotions like anger, frustration, and anxiety cause your heart rhythms to become irregular, which causes an energy drain in the brain that results in doubt and insecurity, making it difficult to make decisions. On the other hand, feelings of love, caring, and appreciation increase the access to clear, effective thinking and problem solving. These emotions produce more coherent heart rhythms, thus reducing disorder in the nervous system.

You have probably experienced the separation of mind and body and heart and have called it indecision or doubt. It is when you know in your heart you want to choose a certain club, and your rational mind talks you out of it.

You will be creating at your highest level when the electrical patterns of your heart and mind are entrained. This is done by creating positive attitudes and beliefs in your mind and by feeling emotions of love and fun and in your heart.

The best state of mind/body for competing is the attitude of going out and having a good time. This will give you a feeling of being loose and free. When fun, not score, is the desired outcome, it won’t matter what the score is, and more than likely the score will be a good one.

Being in the flow or zone happens when a golfer is totally engrossed in the process of playing. Happiness is in the heart, not in the circumstances. The fun happens when the golfer’s mind and heart are entrained in the challenging activity that matches the person’s skills. You forget about yourself and are one with the feeling of euphoria that comes from being in love with playing the game. The mystery is solved, and you want the feeling and game to go on forever!”

*Excerpts are from “THE HEART OF GOLF, Access Your Supreme Intelligence for Peak Performances”; Chapter 19 The Heart Connection

“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 at

https://amzn.to/3rI8XiJ

All royalties will be donated to Junior Golf!

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.

 

 

 

SUCCESSFULLY MANAGE YOUR WAY AROUND THE GOLF COURSE

Understand the design of your home course and why you make mental playing errors 

Before the golf season is in full swing, why don’t you take the time to analyze the holes at your home golf course? The golf course architect designed each hole with a specific purpose. If you look at the holes from the architect’s perspective, with your abilities in mind, you might find a smarter 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 have a plan 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 or use Google Earth https://www.google.com/earth/ It allows you to search for your golf course and measure hole distances using satellite images.

In planning your strategy, ask yourself the following questions for each hole:

  • What is the length of the hole?
  • Is the fairway landing area 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 shape, slope, speed of the green?

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

  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. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

If this is your “off season” it would be a good time to formulate your plan now before you get back to the golf course. By looking at the yardages on each hole you can make decisions on which clubs to use to avoid the trouble and hazards. This will allow you to avoid indecision, thinking and analyzing when you are on the course.

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 at https://amzn.to/2MQzjfq

All royalties will be donated to Junior Golf!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Change Your Strategy for Having Fun on the Golf Course

During this holiday season, I send my heartfelt gratitude and thanks to all of you for your continued support in my mission to help golfers achieve joy, peace, and awareness in their lives and in their golf games.

December is a month of reflection and preparation. It is the arbitrary end of a cycle we call one year. This natural cycle is one way to measure your movement along your path of life. It is an opportunity to look back upon the experiences you have had: the successes, the missed opportunities, and the memorable moments. It is a good time to ask yourself some questions that will empower you to ensure that next year is even more fun and rewarding than the past year.

Among the pandemic, economic slowdown, and election year, many circumstances, and relationships have been put on hold.  With a few new restrictions, golfers have been fortunate to move out of quarantine and on to the golf course for enjoyment as an outlet for exercise, companionship, and competition during the past nine stressful months.

Are you having fun playing golf?

When you watch golfers on TV, do they look like they are playing a game? …. or closing a business deal?

I remember playing in the Palm Beach County Women’s Championship at Ironhorse Golf Club in Florida. Next to the 17th green, there were several men putting a roof on a new home. They had their boombox playing loudly. They were laughing, obviously enjoying their work as they scampered across the roof. As I looked at my playing partners waiting for their turns on the green, it was quiet, somber and serious. What is wrong with this picture? The roofers were having fun while they worked, and the golfers were working at having fun.

When you watch golfers on TV, do they look like they are playing a game? …. or closing a business deal?

When I ask golfers why they play golf, they almost never mention it is to have fun. Somewhere along the timeline of learning how to play the game, golfers move from their heart center which feels the love and fun for the game back into the brain to analyze, criticize, and problem solve in hopes of moving to a higher level of performance. 

Play golf from your heart, not your ego 

When I ask golfers why they spend 4-6 hours of their unbelievably valuable time playing golf, the general answers I receive usually include:

  1. The challenge of the game; the competition.
  2. Because they are good at it, or want to improve.
  3. To enjoy the game with friends – the sociability.
  4. The scenery, being outdoors, the exercise.

While these are all good reasons, the intentions usually get lost in the round of golf, and the fears of not performing well enough surface instead. Rarely do I hear that the number one reason for amateurs and professionals to play golf is to have FUN.

From the beginning, it has always been my purpose to show golfers how to have FUN playing the game of golf. Once this intention is sidetracked the ego takes over. If golf isn’t fun, it will be a struggle. For me personally, my number one reason for playing golf is for my own enjoyment; to have fun.

Are you having fun on the golf course?

What then is fun? Fun is an activity engaged in for enjoyment and recreation.

What does it mean to play? Engaging in play is a physical or mental leisure activity that is undertaken purely for enjoyment or amusement and has no other objective. You experience play when you are totally engrossed in the moment.

My basic premise is that golf is a game we play for FUN. And the operative word is play. We don’t golf, we don’t go golfing, we play golf.

For most of us, it was the first shot we hit perfectly on the sweet spot that made us feel so wonderful inside…..and we were hooked! That is the heartfelt feeling of fun!

My second premise of that if you play for fun and enjoy what you are doing, then you will play well. All you have to do is look back on your school years. The courses you took that you really enjoyed, you did well in because it was fun to put in the effort.

My Uncle Dick loved to play golf. His favorite way to play golf was to go out late in the afternoon and play a course of his own design. He would tee off and then play cross-country creating shots across fairways instead of playing down them, and then hitting shots back to put the ball in the hole. That was his way of having fun.

The mental game of golf is the same for all golfers, amateur, and professional. Arnold Palmer was trying to shoot his age (66) at the GTE Northwest Class in Seattle. On the 18th hole, he crushed his drive and had 205 yards left, which was a perfect 5-wood for him. He let his desire overcome his allowance and he choked. He said he was so nervous he hit it fat and left it 50 yards short of the green. He said he could have hit it that far with his backswing! After regaining his composure, he pitched his third shot within a foot and tapped the putt in for a birdie, and was able to shoot his age.

Most golfers rely on playing well to have fun. I believe that the opposite is true. The more fun you have, the better you will play. You will have fun when you are at ease, focused, and enjoying what you are doing.

How then do you have fun? 

Children have fun when they are totally engrossed in what they are doing. That is why they can watch the same cartoon over and over, enjoying it the same every time. They can play the same game a multitude of times, enjoying it every time. There is no judgment. There is no criticism. There is no analysis. They just enjoy being a part of it.

Golfers, on the other hand, make work out of what is supposed to be their play. Golfers can make golf a game of frustration, aggravation, humility, fear, worry, anxiety, and other self-defeating emotions. Where is the fun in that?

Most golfers believe that when they play well, they will be happy. And when they aren’t playing well, they experience anger and frustration. To be successful requires a paradigm shift in the thoughts that cause your emotions. It is important to remain in a state of loving the experience of playing golf no matter what the results are.

Get out of your own way on the golf course

You have heard that golf is a metaphor for life. The way you play reflects the way you live. When you lose your focus, you become self-centered and forget about having fun.  Happiness is a journey, not a destination.

The best state of mind/body for competing is the attitude of going out and having a good time. This will give you a feeling of being loose and free. When fun, not score is the desired outcome, it won’t matter what the score is, and more than likely the score will be a good one.

The Human Spirit of the Golfer

Golf reflects the journey into your inner self through exploring the mysteries of this royal and ancient game. At its highest levels of hitting perfect shots, and achieving your fullest potential, your spirit quietly soars “into the zone” where you are in a state of euphoria and trust. No longer is your spirit dampened by past experiences of fear, anxiety, indecision, distractions, and self-limitations. The joy you experience is in the moment, and not in the score.

Being in the “zone state” or flow on the golf course is the feeling of being in love. You have lost your personality self by being in love with the game and have forgotten the worries, judgments, and thoughts you have about yourself and your game. Align with your mind-body-spirit by experiencing love for the game rather than fear.

Show how strong your spirit is. 2020 was a year of living through fear potential. Keep your heart disconnected from the fear. Maintain neutrality through all your experiences.

Make next year more playful and fun

Trust that you have practiced enough mentally and physically and can let go and allow what you have learned to happen so you can have fun playing the game with full awareness of experiencing being in the moment.

Trust! Allow! It’s just a game. It’s supposed to be fun! Enjoy yourself and enjoy the journey!

Remember that the more fun you have on the golf course, the better you play. Put a smile into your pre-shot routine so you are programmed and ready to enjoy!

Play “in the zone” with Joan

Entrain Your Heart & Mind for Peak Performances

Gift yourself this Christmas with Positive Mental Imagery self-hypnosis guided imagery CDs to program your game for success, 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

https://amzn.to/37PE9EA

All royalties will be donated to Junior Golf!

SUPERSTITIOUS GOLF

Superstitions give golfers a feeling of luck based on their past performances. Some golfers believe superstitions help them to avoid bad luck and that their performances would fail without them.

What will the pros who are superstitious think and feel about playing Augusta National Golf Club on Friday the 13th?

Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day and the most feared date in history. The second round of the 2020 Masters will be played on Friday the 13th. If the Masters had been played as usual in April, the only other Friday the 13th in 2020 would have been avoided as it was in March.

In addition to the fear of playing on the 13th, there is the Masters superstition jinx that if a player wins the Wednesday Par-3 Contest, he will not win the tournament as no one has won both in the same week. in 2009, Tiger played in the Par 3 contest at the Masters. He was 8 under par and hit balls in the water on 9 and 10 to make sure he wouldn’t win the Par 3 contest and jeopardize his chances of winning the Masters. Angel Cabrera won in a play-off against Kenny Perry that year. And in 2004 Tiger withdrew from a three-way playoff just in case the superstition was real. He finished tied for 22nd.

With the Masters Tournament just two weeks away, the committee just announced cancelation of the Par-3 Contest because of the lack of fans due to Covid 19 restrictions. The fear of the jinx is gone for this year. 

This got me to thinking about how professional golfers view superstitions. I had always heard about tour pros repeating rituals when they were winning. They would drive the same car to the golf course, wear the same shoes, the same clothing, go to the same restaurant, eat the same food, and use the same number on their balls. Since their livelihood depends on their ability to play consistently, it is understandable that they don’t want to change anything when they are playing well. However, some of the pre-game rituals they use make me wonder if they have convinced themselves that it will really affect the outcome. A ritual is an action an athlete takes with the belief that it has the power to influence their performance.

Why do golfers believe in superstitions?

When a golfer has an exceptionally good round, s/he usually goes over the round to figure out how it happened. What did s/he do to “cause” it? In addition to reviewing their swing mechanics, they might notice what they wore or ate, and anything that might be unusual. The success of the round is then attributed to one of these “causes” and the golfer will then try to recreate the same situation.

I remember hearing of a high school team who won their first spring match when everyone was wearing their team sweaters. They didn’t want to “jinx” their success, so they wore their sweaters even when the temperatures climbed into the 90’s. Does this make sense?

Superstitious beliefs on the Pro Tours

The Reader’s Digest Universal Dictionary defines superstition as “an unfounded belief that some action or circumstance completely unrelated to a course of events can influence its outcome.” Here are some examples of superstitions that world-class professionals believe will make them perform better.

Bubba Watson eats one or two burritos every day while playing the tournament. He won twice there.
Tiger Woods always wears a red shirt for power in the final round of a tournament.
Paula Creamer changes her shirt to pink for the final round of a tournament.
John Cook marks his golf ball with the quarters that have state pictures where he played well in tournaments.
Doug Sanders considered white golf tees unlucky and refused to play golf with them.
Tom Weiskoff said he never teed off without 3 tees and 3 cents in his pocket. He will only tee off on a par-3 hole with a broken tee.
Paul Azinger always marked his golf ball with a penny, with the head of Abraham Lincoln looking at the hole for good luck.
Christina Kim doesn’t step on the edge where the fairway meets the green, as she believes this will bring bad luck to her golf game.
Jesper Parnevik always marks his ball with the tails-side up.
Jack Nicklaus always played with three coins in his pocket.
Ernie Els changes to a new ball after every birdie because he figures that ball’s luck is all used up. He also believes the number 2 is unlucky.
Retief Goosen starts the 1st round of a tournament with a ball with number 4, number 3 in the 2nd round, number 2 in the 3rd round and a number one ball in the final round.
Davis Love III only uses white tees and marks his balls on the green with only 1965 or 1966 pennies. Any coin minted after that will bring him bad luck!
Zach Johnson’s wife made him a ball marker that contains biblical phrases and verses that he reads during the round.
Vijay Singh uses balls in the reverse order.
Ben Crenshaw only played low number balls to keep his score on a hole to four or below.
Davis Love III marks his ball with a 1965 or 1966 penny.
Stewart Cink who stays clear of all superstitions because, he says, all they do is bring him bad luck.
Graham DeLaet grew the traditional Canadian playoff beard and applied it to golf. He grew a thick beard for the FedEx Cup.
Lee Trevino, a former U.S. Marine wouldn’t play yellow tees because yellow is the color of cowardice.
Some players do not play number 3 balls because they think it is a jinx for 3 putts.
Golf balls with a number higher than four are often associated with bad luck and are hardly made anymore.

Fear vs. Luck

Would it affect your luck if you did not act on your superstitious beliefs? Does it bring you luck? I believe there is a certain amount of luck in the game of golf. I also believe that luck happens when preparation meets opportunity.

To have consistent results in the game of golf, it is necessary to have a consistent pre-shot routine. The rituals listed above are routines that are not needed. Golfers practice superstition routines in the hopes of bringing success, or to keep away the fear of bad luck. Fear is always a belief conjured up by the individual that keeps the mind emotionally engaged. If the golfer forgets to do the ritual, the fear of creating bad luck takes over.

Golfers always want to have more control on the golf course. Practicing superstitious rituals gives away your power as it occupies the mind with thoughts that have no relevance to preparing for the shot/putt. Visualization and mental imagery are mental routines that recreate successful past shots and feelings as if they are happening in the present moment. Prepare your mind with these useful mental skills and forget about the rituals based on an irrational belief. Put your trust in yourself, your preparation, and in your abilities.

The secret to success in your golf game is NOT in having what you want but in being grateful for what you do HAVE. Having an “attitude of gratitude” on the golf course brings you into a higher vibration that moves you past any negative situation and attracts more of the best in your game. Remove your expectations from all outcomes of attachment to how you want things to be. Enjoy the process of being in the present and PLAYING this wonderful game of golf.

Play “in the zone” with Joan
Entrain Your Heart & Brain for Peak Performances!

Improve your control, consistency, concentration and confidence to play focused golf by listening to PMI compact discs in the privacy of your own home. As you listen to these audios 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
https://amzn.to/2MQzjfq

All royalties will be donated to Junior Golf!