Have you noticed how good some of the leading professionals are at grinding out a good score, even if they are swinging the club below their best or downright badly? It’s interesting to note that the real greats like Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus always seem to be able to do this, however they’re playing, and whatever the “rub of the green” throws at them when they get to the last nine holes of a championship.
If I look back to my early years in golf, before I had any thoughts about golf hypnosis or golf psychology in general, I was lucky to have a fair amount of natural ability. At the same time, I was rather too inconsistent for my liking. It seemed that if I started out a round playing well, but not scoring that brilliantly, then my golf would gradually go from good to bad to worse and I’d have a frustratingly high score. On the other hand, if I started off playing relatively poorly, but scoring ok, then my golf would often improve as the round went on and I’d have a bewilderingly good score. What was odd was that my scores after 6 to 9 holes in these two types of rounds were often similar.
Back in those days, I was a member of Brookmans Park Golf Club, and there was a relatively long and secluded walk around a small lake between the fifth green and the sixth tee. It was also quite common for there to be a bit of a delay on that tee, so, all in all, there was plenty of time to think. Over a couple of years, I began to notice that I could predict my final score when I got to that sixth tee. If I were two over par or better and playing poorly, I’d break 80 easily. If I were over par, even by just one shot, and playing well, then I’d struggle to break 80.
So what did I think I was doing back then and what could you do to avoid the same trap? Well, if I started out the round playing well and scoring poorly, I used to interpret that as bad luck or blame the condition of the course for my dropping shots. I also tended to feel that my typically excellent short game had deserted me and try to find out what I was doing wrong. These thoughts rapidly become self-fulfilling prophecies as I found more and more external reasons for my poor scores. I was probably not a pleasant person to be around!
On the days when I started playing poorly but was scoring reasonably well, I used to marvel at how well I was scrambling. I just seemed to know that if I hit a bad shot, I could scramble a par and move on. As a result, the pressure to hit the ball well went away, and I started swinging much more freely and naturally – today I’d call that trusting my unconscious golf mind.
There are many golf psychology, NLP and self-hypnosis techniques that can help you if you have a similar problem. One of the best would be to use self-hypnosis or pre-record a golf hypnosis program. Other mind techniques you can use for this include:
Perceive your bad luck as being good luck. Next time you get a bad lie on the golf course, remember to reframe it positively. Think how much worse it could have been and the shot you have to play won’t seem so difficult. You may find you enjoy your golf more as well.
Use an NLP resource anchor to help you manage your state. NLP anchoring provides a very useful method for stacking and anchoring our past resources and positive experiences. We can call upon these resources whenever we need them for golfing excellence.
Andrew Fogg, the Golf Hypnotist, is an enthusiastic golfer, Hypnotherapist, and NLP Master Practitioner. He is a practicing golf psychologist and author of a soon to be published book “The Secrets of Hypnotic Golf” and a series of golf hypnosis MP3 programs.