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Newsletter February 2010

Here in western North Carolina the golf courses are covered with a foot of newly fallen snow (again). If you are in a place where you aren’t able to play because of the winter conditions, here are some mental ideas to ponder when you are inside dreaming of playing golf.


Have you ever played with someone, told them “good shot” and they answered sarcastically with a comment like “not really,” “not quite,” or “it’s not.’ Their retort indicated that the shot wasn’t perfect. Perfectionists will always find something wrong with every shot. And they will then get angry at the person who says it is a good shot. Some of the annoyed replies I have heard from this type of golfer are:

  • S/he said “good shot” but s/he didn’t mean it.
  • It was one of my worst shots.
  • I missed it.
  • S/he wasn’t even looking when I hit.
  • S/he was writing down the score and didn’t see my shot.
  • S/he said good shot before it started to slice OB.




            The main problem with the perfectionist is that s/he is never content with his/her performance. S/he is always trying for the perfect game. The perfectionist demands too much of him/herself, is never content, measures him/herself against too high a standard, becomes impatient or angry, and thinks about his/her mistakes more than his successes. I once played with a gal who declared at the end of nine holes that she had already made X number of mistakes! Needless to say with that kind of focus she made many more on the back nine. 


            The perfectionist spends endless hours of practice on the range and is dedicated to winning. S/he will try new equipment. If the new equipment doesn’t provide enough improvement s/he will try others. This personality type knows all of the latest swing drills and is constantly asking questions of others trying to find the “secrets” of the game. BTW the only “secret” is that there is no secret.


            Golfers who understand the game know that no matter how low their score is, it could always have been lower. The perfectionist needs to change his/her high standards, set reasonable goals, and realize that no one can play the game without mistakes. Even the very best pros constantly make mistakes. Jack Nicklaus said that he only hit a few perfect shots a round. Ben Hogan said he only hit one perfect shot a round. Can we expect more?


When you miss-hit a shot, where is your focus? Do you judge yourself or your ability as a result of a less than perfect shot? Do you judge the comments of others? Do you judge the person who made the comment?


Most people remember compliments for a few minutes, and insults/criticism for a year. They then become garbage collectors, carrying around trash that was thrown at them years ago. We can apply this to golf. Most people only remember good shots for a moment, and missed shots for a year. They become garbage collectors carrying around the trash of three-putts and snowmen. How else would you develop a fear of hitting a certain club, or a fear of a certain hole?


When you miss-hit a shot:

  • Don’t analyze your technique. Without a video camera you don’t know what happened in the last swing.
  • Step aside and swing the club until you feel the tempo of the shot you desire.
  • Tap into your awareness of what a tension free swing feels like.
  • You are the only judge of what it felt like. Anyone can see the results.




The Universal Law of Giving: Giving and receiving are the same. A compliment is a gift. A compliment is given without wanting anything back in return. If you give a compliment and it is acknowledged, the gift of giving will return to you with a feeling of good will. It is disheartening to have it thrown back in your face.


Are you a giver or a receiver? Do you like to give as well as receive? All of the universe can be reduced to a circle. What goes around, comes around.


            Being able to give and receive compliments is an indicator of your self-esteem. Low self-esteem creates anxiety. Without personal responsibility, there is no self-esteem.     


            You must be responsible for how you create your life. Anyone with high self-esteem says thank you to the person who gives them a compliment. When the giver of the compliment receives a thank you, the circle is completed and everyone feels good. When the compliment is destroyed with a put down reply, the giver and receiver both feel badly. You have probably been in the situation on the golf course where a person didn’t acknowledge your compliments and so you just stopped giving them.


You don’t have to be perfect to accept a compliment with a simple Thank You. When someone gives you a compliment (on or off the golf course), say Thank You. Successful people always say Thank You, and accept a compliment without a follow-up comment. People with low self-esteem will explain why they don’t deserve the compliment.


How do you remember what you want? In order to repeat well hit shots, it is necessary to anchor the wonderful feeling into your subconscious mind. Some people remember faces, some names, some don’t remember anything. You have five senses, seeing, feeling, tasting, smelling, hearing that give you input to remember feelings. We remember great shots and we remember miss-hit shots because we put the most feeling into them.

            The way to repeat well executed shots is to compliment yourself with feeling. You know it is well executed because it feels easy and effortless. Make sure you hold your follow through and enjoy letting the smile of accomplishment come through. Let your eyes twinkle and tell yourself how well you did. You created the good feeling. Don’t dismiss it with a put down comment such as, “Well, it’s about time.” This is what success feels like. This is what you are waiting for. This is how your mind remembers what you want.


 Entrain Your Heart & Brain for Peak Performances!


© Copyright PMI 2010. All Rights Reserved.


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