Positive Mental Imagery
 
 

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Newsletter March 2008


     The idea of Daylight Savings Time (DST) was first conceived by Benjamin Franklin while he was living in Paris in 1784, but DST was actually first seriously advocated by London builder William Willett. During one of his pre-breakfast horseback rides, he observed with dismay how many Londoners slept through the best part of a summer day. And as an avid golfer, he also disliked having to cut short his round at dusk. Due to The Energy Act of 2005, DST has started almost a full month earlier this year, which means more rounds of golf after work. 

            Here in Western North Carolina the new spring golf season has come alive. The Spring Equinox beginning on March 20th signals a new season full of new energy and vitality. As the heaviness of winter fades, it is time to lighten up your diet by reducing sugar and fats and eating simple, light foods. As you “spring forward” it is also time to prepare your body for the flexibility it needs to swing your golf club easily for maximum power. Pilates is a good way to develop your core strength and maximum flexibility.  


            If you live further north and the golf courses aren’t operational yet, you can prepare by practicing your mental and physical skills indoors. According to the National Golf Foundation, 21% of all golfers maintain a handicap. The average handicap in that 21% category is 15 for men, 23 for women. The breakdown of adult golfers is: score under 80 (5% of golfers); 80-89 (19.7%); 90-99 (27.2%); 100-119 (32.8%); and 120 and above (15.3%). This is a significant lowering of handicaps in the last ten years, which I believe is due to the addition of information about the mental side in the game of golf. Begin to practice your mental skills now so you will be ready to play in the scoring category of your choosing.  


         The easiest and most effective way to practice is inside your mind, by imagining or visualizing what you want. Begin with your putting stroke. Performance anxiety comes from your belief about yourself and the way you view your putting ability. First, change your thinking to believe that you can roll the ball well enough to give it a chance to go in. This means you must accelerate the putter through the ball on every size putt. Second, keep your focus on each putt instead of putting pressure on yourself to make the putt. Focus your eyes on a mark on your ball, and don’t move your eyes until after you have hit the ball.  

“When you visualize, then you materialize. If you go there in the mind, then you go there in the body.”                --- Denis Waitley, Ph.D.  

            To help you imagine or visualize the peak performances that you are capable of, I have recorded seven self-hypnotic CDs full of imagery and positive affirming thoughts. Take advantage of a personal session with me to improve your golf game by simply listening repeatedly at your convenience. On the PMI shopping cart (www.pmi4.com/cart) find the CDs that will help you change what is missing in your mental golf game.    

            Stay focused on the things you can control. Give every putt the same importance. Don't label putts as makeable or missable. Decide you can make every putt. Concentrate on the process of what you need to do to make the putt. When you have a good attitude, good feel, and image in your mind, you can then practice on your carpet indoors or outdoors on a putting green.

"You can’t change anything in your swing, until you can feel it".    --- Dana Rader, Top 100 Instructor  

            Tiger Woods is considered by many the best putter that has ever played the game. Early in his pro career, Tiger practiced for more than 3 hours on the putting green at Lakeside Golf Club in Burbank, California. He spent the first hour working on his stroke, moving around the green, not aiming at anything. The second hour he worked on distance, from 10 feet, then 10 feet 1 inch, then 10 feet 2 inches, and so on. The third hour he tried to make all the putts while telling himself that it was to win the Masters, U.S. Open, etc. Remember that Tiger is such a great putter because he really enjoys putting.

“A good intention clothes itself with power.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson  

            Our minds are incredibly powerful. We put that power to work for us when we consciously set an intention to be or do something. Get into the practice of consciously setting an intention for every part of your golf game.  

            When you perceive that you are under pressure on the golf course, the anxiety will cause you to swing fast and lose your rhythm. A good tempo is one of the best mental tools you have, and you can groove a good tempo indoors. Draw a line with tape, or use a yardstick to delineate your target line. Swing with a controlled, slow tempo taking the club back smoothly for the first few feet. Check your swing plane and backswing position in a mirror, looking to see that your right elbow is close to your body. Try putting a towel under your right arm and see if you can hold it there through the swing.  

            When you have established your rhythm, visualize a shot that you might perceive as a pressure shot. For example, a long iron shot over water. Let go of the image of the pressure shot, replace it by visualizing the shot landing on the green, and then swing with the practiced smooth, easy, fluid swing. Through repetition you will own the rhythmic swing that you can count on in any situation.

Play "in the zone" with Joan

Entrain Your Heart & Brain for Peak Performance! 

Improve your golf game NOW by listening to PMI self-hypnosis CDs in the privacy of your own home. Order today at www.pmi4.com/cart For one on one Coaching: Call 828.696.2547, or contact Joan by email for a free consultation to learn about  what is missing in your game so you can achieve your peak performances.   

Please share this monthly mental instruction newsletter if it has been helpful to you. Forward it to your friends so they can have more fun playing the game of golf while lowering their scores. Logging on to www.mastermindgolf.com you can download previous PMI newsletters from 1999-2006 on the Archived Newsletter page.

If you have a question or need help with your mental game, email Joan at pmi4@bellsouth.net Also, please share with us how this website information has helped improve your golf game.

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Positive Mental Imagery
128 Forest View Drive
Flat Rock, NC 28731
Phone: 828.696.2547
Email: pmi4@bellsouth.net