Good Course Management Requires Planning Ahead:
Hypnosis For Better Golf
Joan A. King, C.Ht., P.NLP
All of life is hypnotic!
We live our lives by suggestion.
Over the last 20 years the scoring abilities of the average American golfer has remained the same. This is surprising considering all the new club technology, the new biomechanical understanding of the golf swing and improved teaching aids and methods.
What has not changed?
Our thinking process! It has been proven that 90% of the thoughts we think today are the same ones we had yesterday. Our poor golf games are still dominated by negative thoughts and feelings learned in our past and enhanced by our golfing environment. This is why we see the same patterns emerging over and over in our golf games.
How, then, do we change our thinking process?
University of California at Los Angeles research shows the average person only uses 2% of his brainpower. The rest is stored in your subconscious mind. By understanding how your subconscious mind works you can access the other 98%. The subconscious, by the way, is the part of your mind that controls the physical movements of your golf swing, just as it has control of your breathing, heartbeat and other internal functions.
Since golf is mostly a mental game, how can I access this part that controls my body?
Through the use of hypnotic suggestion you can communicate with your subconscious mind and program new ideas in your golf game for success. These new ideas must include positive self-talk, belief in your potential and goal, and visualization of superior performance in accomplishing your goal.
What is hypnosis?
Hypnosis is a universal way for reaching the subconscious mind with messages. It involves a process of persuading yourself that you can change and achieve your desired goals by freeing yourself of distraction and doubt. Once a mental habit is formed it becomes easier to follow and more difficult to break.
Hypnosis has been around since 3500 A.D. In Eqypt people were put into sleep chambers for several days and given messages while they slept. In Russia in 1935, Prof. Emanuel Orlick introduced sports hypnosis to thousands of world-class athletes and hundreds of coaches from every country in the world who were gathered there in opposition to Hitler's 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. The Russians were excluded from the Games and did not participate until 1952, but showed up at the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games with eleven sports hypnotists. They dominated the Games until the break-up of the Soviet Union. At the 1972 Munich Olympics, the East German women dominated their events through highly developed mental and psychological preparation built around relaxation and suggestion.
We are entering a new age in golf where our superstars have been programmed from their early years to believe in themselves and their golf abilities.
Jack Nicklaus has been quoted as saying his mind is his strongest weapon in making him a champion.
Tiger Woods mental coach, Jay Brunza hypnotizes him to block out distractions and focus on the golf course.
Phil Michelson is another new superstar who was nurtured and affirmed as a child and programmed by his mental coach and hypnotist Dean Reinmuth.
Chuck Hogan, PGA Professional changed his golf schools to incorporate more mental training and hypnosis than swing training. He is a coach to over 60 PGA, LPGA and Senior Tour players.
For the past ten years, Will Childs, golf professional and master hypnotherapist at Bonita Bay Club, Florida has been teaching mind control in his golf school as well as coaching the members in mental skills for day-to-day living.
Many other sports are using hypnosis techniques to elicit better physical success. Bob Reese, the head trainer and hypnotherapist of the New York Jets uses relaxation and visualization techniques to reprogram his players' subconscious minds.
Jimmy Connors used hypnosis to win the U.S. Open Championship.
Muhammed Ali used self-hypnotism when he proclaimed ,"I am the greatest" and "Float like a butterfly. Sting like a bee!"
I just returned from playing in a Senior Invitational Tournament in Hilton Head. The first round leader was an six handicapper who had scored three rounds in the high 80's in her last tournament two weeks before. At Palmetto Dunes she surprised everyone with a first round 73, three strokes ahead of the field which included players with 0, 1 and 2 handicaps. How did she do that? She had a session with her hypnotherapist before coming to the tournament and felt very confident about playing well. She maintained her focus despite all the attention and finished fourth in the tournament.
How does hypnosis work?
Hypnosis is a natural state of life. During a normal waking day we go in and out of a trance-like state many times. Some of the natural states of trance we encounter are; highway trance, electronic trance (TV and computer), movie trance, reading trance, eating trance, doing two things at the same time, watching the sunset or ocean, daydreaming, boredom or looking at a holographic picture.
In hypnosis, positive suggestions are introduced while in a trance-like state. Contrary to popular belief, you are not asleep. Your mind is actually in a heightened state of awareness while the physical body is relaxed. In this state the conscious mind is bypassed and positive suggestions are given directly to the subconscious mind. By this process, a new habit of mental programming is established and can be accessed without interference from the conscious mind which analyzes, criticizes and rationalizes.
Your subconscious mind is like a computer. A computer can only operate with the programming that is put into it. It has no choice. It has to operate on that programming.
If you tell yourself "You are so stupid!" when you miss a two-foot putt, your conscious mind is criticizing your performance and sending a powerful message of programming to be recorded into your subconscious mind. In the future when you have a two-footer your subconscious will bring up the program to feel the emotion of being stupid and missing the putt.
Through the use of golf hypnosis these self-imposed programs of sabotage can be transformed into trust, focus, concentration, confidence, relaxation, consistently lower scores and more fun. Since golf is a unique game, it is important to find a qualified hypnotist who knows golf so you can receive relevant programming.
Hypnosis is not what we are put into.
It is what we are taken out of.
The Club Golfer, February 1996