In the modern era of golf, many top players are seeking techniques from the gurus to enhance mental strength for the game. Ernie Els, who won the last British Open had visited mental coach to acquire mental skills before the start of the season in 2003, he spent some time with his ‘mind’ teacher and went on to shoot 30 under par and win the first event of the season.
So do the best of the best also need to be mentally prepared? Els proved that they do. With the right mental approach, players at all levels can synchronise their body’s action, swing and mind. Here is an example of mind over swing.
Do you envision your shots before executing them? Jack Nicklaus, one of the greatest golfers ever, is legendary for his use of imagery prior to every shot. Tiger Woods often talks about ‘seeing the shot’ before he hits it. What you do with the pictures in your mind can create your stand behind the ball next time you make your shot. Imagination has an unbelievable power in influencing your capacity to perform at the golf course. If you are not using it, you are neglecting a valuable tool towards being a successful golfer.
To do this, visualise your shot clearly until it creates an imprint on your subconscious mind, nervous and muscular systems. The image actually gets embedded there and your body will begin to respond to the images. When you make the shot, it turns out perfect
because you have the con-fidence to do it. This is the power of visualisation. Here is a little exercise for you to try before you make your next shot:At the practice range, each time you hit a ball, stand behind it and visualise:
a. The ball’s flight
b. The landing area
On the course, use imagery to see shots you want as part of your pre-shot preparation:
a. Visualise the shape, type and landing area of each shot
b. See yourself comfortable and relaxed over the ball
c. See the picture as clearly as possible
d. Add feeling to the visual-isation for greater impact
Your handicap is not a factor in using imagery, both low
and high handicappers benefit from it equally. Though the best players in the world do it all the time, it is effective for
all levels of play. Give it a
try and see how your game
improves. If you are already using it, build on it; make it bigger, brighter and clearer.
(The author is a golf
instructor and golf director at Gokarna Forest Golf Resort
& Spa, Kathmandu.
He can be contacted through firstname.lastname@example.org)