How can you build visualization into your playing routine? Most golfers have a pre shot routine in terms of waggling the club or practice swings, yet fewer have a mental routine to match. This is a great shame, because the mental routine is the most important. Everything in life starts with a thought. You have to think straight if you want the golf ball to go straight, so to speak. You have to plan the golf shot mentally before you can transmit this information to the clubface. Or put another way, how can you impart the right information from the clubface to the golf ball if you are unclear about your shot?
You may think that you are clear about the shot – that you want to hit the golf ball down the fairway. But let us draw a comparison here. Golf balls know nothing, they don’t have minds and they don’t have prior knowledge. If a stranger to your town asked for directions how would you reply? Presumably the answer would be detailed, and you might even use gestures to help make the directions easier to follow. You may even get pen and paper out and draw a map. Unless you took the time to explain the directions fully and precisely that stranger is likely to get lost. The same thing happens to golf balls.
I’m not joking. This is what actually happens. Unless you want your golf balls to take a different route to the one which you desire (and end up getting themselves lost), you need to have clear and precise intent when taking your shot. You need to mentally plan the golf shot, and picturing the desired outcome is all important. A picture is worth a thousand words. Picture the shot, the distance, direction, trajectory, spin; See the ball landing and coming to a stop. Then take the shot. By doing this, the golf ball, like the stranger in your town, stands a far better chance of reaching the desired destination.
It only takes a couple of seconds to visualize your shot and all you need to do is to build this into your pre shot routine. To make it into a habit, you need to do it consistently; Visualize EVERY shot before you take it, not just putts or tee shots, EVERY shot. It won’t take long before this type of visualization is so habitual that it’s impossible to hit a shot without doing it. It will become as automatic as brushing your teeth morning and night.
Mental skills are a part of the game of golf which you can practice easily from your armchair when conditions are inclement outside, and also when its sunny. Don’t forget that every time you vividly imagine a perfect shot your brain doesn’t know the difference between that and a real shot and so every time you visualize great shots you are strengthening the neural pathways in your brain which create an expectation of achieving the perfect outcome. There is no excuse for being “bored”; Even when you’re in the check out queue in Safeway you can be visualizing great golf shots.
Roseanna Leaton, specialist in golf hypnosis cds and hypnosis mp3 downloads.