Archived Newsletters - SPRINGTIME GOLF PREPARATION:
Newsletter March 2005
SPRINGTIME GOLF PREPARATION
Vol. VI, Edition 3
by Joan King
In less than three weeks Phil Michelson will be defending his 2004 Masters title. For many The Masters Tournament signals the start of springtime golf. Here in south Florida, Spring has already begun with new growth on the trees that were dormant through the winter.
Spring is about rebirth and beginning anew. As the seasons change there is a renewal of energy in us and in nature. It is time to decide whether your golf game this summer will be strong like a towering oak tree or indecisive like a willow tree bending in the wind. Plant the seeds now and continually fertilize them throughout the spring and summer seasons.
Just as Mother Nature is getting ready for her rebirth, it is time for you to renew your mental and physical game skills so you will be ready when the courses open. This preparation can all be done indoors now. For those of you playing in the warm climates, this will serve as a reminder for your entire game.
- Review your basic mechanics and reacquaint your golf muscles before going to the range to hit full shots. Jack Nicklaus says, "Each year I start the season pretending I've never played before."
- Stand in front of a full length mirror and check the basics of your set-up; grip, posture, stance, ball position and alignment. If you have to think about any of these points in your set-up, practice them until you are confident that they are automatic.
- Be aware of any tension in your hands and arms.
- Review your swing plane by taking half swings with your back against a wall, making sure that the toe of the club head is pointing up on the backswing and up on the follow through.
- Practice your swing tempo by swinging a club with your feet together. If your tempo isn't good, you will lose your balance.
- Practice hitting through the ball by hitting wedge shots with a wiffle ball or rolled up sock to a spot on a wall.
- Practice putting indoors paying attention to balance, soft hands & arms, with a consistent tempo accelerating the putter through the ball. Put masking tape down on the floor to give yourself a good visual of the target line. Practice until you don't have to think about your stroke and can concentrate on the line and distance.
"Your chances of success in any undertaking can always be measured
by your belief in yourself." --- Robert Collier
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- Write down your long term, intermediate and short term goals for the summer. Those who fail to plan… plan to fail… Make your blueprint for your future NOW.
- The most important part of your mental game is how you prepare your mind. Write down your pre-shot routine and practice it over and over in your mind the same way every time until you can execute it without thinking.
- The second most important part of your mental game is relaxing your conscious mind so you can focus in the moment. Practice deep breathing through your diaphragm until you can focus easily in the present.
- Practice changing your perception of negative situations in your life into positive thoughts. See the good in every situation that you encounter.
- Practice seeing and feeling your swing in your mind's eye as you lie in bed and are drifting off to sleep.
- When you close your eyes at night in bed, see yourself stroking perfect putts, feeling the perfect tempo and hearing the ball drop into the cup over and over from four feet.
- Reinforce your belief in yourself and your game with affirmations daily. (PMI newsletter August 2002).
- Practice being patient and know that you can trust your abilities no matter what situation you find yourself in.
- Practice letting go of things you can't control and focus on what you want to create.
- Let go of judgment of yourself or others. Do the best you know how in each situation and praise yourself for your effort.
"As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world -- that is the
myth of the atomic age -- as in being able to remake ourselves."-- Mahatma Gandhi
- Now is the time to check your equipment. Look at your grips and put on new ones if they have any worn places. Have your clubs checked by a club fitter for consistency between clubs.
- Check your equipment for good rain gear, umbrella and waterproof shoes.
- Get plenty of exercise so your body will be ready for a four-hour round.
- If the pros are playing in your area, go and watch them hit balls on the practice range and the putting green. Absorb what you see into your performance memory.
"If you play poorly one day, forget it.
Entrain Your Heart & Brain for Peak Performance!
© Copyright PMI 2005. All Rights Reserved.
"I am absolutely satisfied with the personal golf CD that you made for me. I feel at peace with myself and my game. I smile with my shots now. I am having more fun and my swing feels natural. It feels great to swing fully." --- Dee Decker, Amateur Tournament Player
"One month after taking your workshop, my handicap came down three strokes. I have let go of expectations, am more relaxed, have a more positive attitude, and am having more fun while playing." ---Virginia Wheeler, Amateur Golfer
If you play poorly the next time out, review your fundamentals of grip, stance,
aim and ball position. Most mistakes are made before the club is swung.
If you play poorly for a third time in a row, go see you professional." --- Harvey Penick