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Newsletter March 2014

Rory McIlroy apparently was "in the zone" at the Honda Classic at PGA National for his first three rounds. He took a 3-shot lead into the last round with rounds of 63, 66, and 69.

On Sunday his front nine consisted of 3 bogeys and 2 birdies. At the 12th he 3-putted from long range for another bogey, and began to hit loose shots that moved left. He had to scramble for pars on the next 3 holes, hit his 16th tee ball into a fairway bunker and then dropped the 192-yard shot into a lake for a double bogey.  

Needing an eagle to win at the 600-yard par 5 18th hole, McIlroy prepared himself by visualizing, believing and trusting himself to do just that. He hit a big drive down the middle of the fairway leaving 245 yards to the pin. Hitting his 5-wood, he hit a pure shot over the sand and water to a pin placement that could have been tucked precariously on an island green. He landed his ball softly, sticking inside 15 feet. Why didn't he hit shots like that previously? 

"A lot of the shots that I faced on Sunday on the back nine were right to left wind and I was holding the ball up and I was losing it left," Rory explained. "Any time I have a right to left wind, I always fight it."

Being "in the zone" is the absence of mental interference. Being "in the zone" is trusting and allowing your subconscious mind to "just do it." Being "in the zone" happens when you are totally absorbed and focused on creating your shot. Coming out of the zone state happens when you analyze too much and stop trusting what you have already accomplished..

To gain control you have to let go of control

You move out of the zone when you try and control your shots. Golf is a highly technical sport. There are many parts of the golf swing that need to be coordinated. Golfers choke under pressure when they think too much.  

When you break your swing down into its parts, you have created a problem and are using your conscious mind to try and find a solution. In the flow state you feel the tempo of the entire swing.

When you are "in the zone" you don't worry about the results and thoughts you have about yourself. You allow the feeling process to continue without effort instead of trying to control your shots, and then golf becomes fun. When you are "in the zone" your mind is relaxed, free of tension and absorbed in creating your shot. When you give up conscious control of trying to make things happen, your peak performances manifest.

The zone state or flow state is when a golfer is totally focused and has full involvement and enjoyment in the process of playing the game of golf. This is what it means to be centered, in the moment, or in the present. You are completely engrossed and giving all of your attention to the task at hand. Self-awareness is gone. Your emotions are positive, energized, and aligned with the process of shot making. There is no awareness of anything except the creation of the present shot.

"Staying in the present is the key to any golfer's game. Once you start thinking about a shot you just messed up or what you have to do on the next nine to catch somebody...you're lost."  ---Paul Azinger


Play "In the Zone" With Joan

Entrain Your Heart & Mind for Peak Performances


To prepare mentally to play your best golf, listen to the guided imagery CD, "Self-Hypnosis for Playing In The Zone" available at www.pmi4.com/cart


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