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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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