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Archived Newsletters - Discernment:

Newsletter July 2001
Vol. II, Edition 7

By Joan A. King, C.Ht., PNLP

Now that the U.S. Open Championship is over and all the hype about the leaders in the tournament choking over short putts is dying down, what can we learn from this episode in golf history?

What were your impressions of what would happen in the Monday play-off? Did you believe that Relief Goosen was so embarrassed by three-putting the 72nd hole that he would fold? Or, did you believe that he saw it as an opportunity to prove to himself that it was a fluke and he could win the tournament?

What were your emotions that surfaced as you watched the 72nd hole? What were your thoughts about who was going to win? And what did you feel when that didn't happen?

How champions perform has less to do with the golf swing than it does with how well they run their thoughts, emotions and reactions.

To play the best you can, you have to make a healthy balanced commitment to the game and to improvement. One of the areas that can always be improved upon is where you focus your mind. No one thinks in your mind, but you. If you allow in extraneous thoughts that keep you from focusing on your goal, you have not stayed centered on the bigger picture.

Discernment means to perceive with your mind and senses what is best for you. It means to discriminate between what is happening around you and then deciding to choose the best option. In this U.S. Open, the players had a lot of information to choose from that influenced their decisions. For instance;

  1. On the elevated slick 18th green in the beginning of the week, balls were landing in the middle of the green and spinning down the slope and off the green. (What would you be thinking now?)
  2. The USGA then fertilized, watered and didn't mow the 18th green for 3 days during the practice rounds. (How would you play the green each day now?)
  3. Before the first round, the 18th green was cut to 10 on the top and 11.5 on the slope. All the other greens at Southern Hills were around 11.5. (How would you change your feel on the last hole?)

On the last hole of the U.S. Open where every putt counts, golf became the ultimate test of discernment of the golfers' reasoning powers, use of their senses, and their discriminating focus on the task at hand.

It is interesting to note the different routes that Mark Brooks and Retief Goosen took to earn their way into the play-off. Brooks was the consummate USGA Open player finishing third in hitting fairways and first in hitting greens in regulation. Goosen scrambled well as he missed more F&G than Mark did. In shooting 69 the third day, he hit just 6 fairways and 9 greens for 69.

Perhaps the difference between them was the discernment about how to putt the greens. On the last day, Goosen had 30 putts and Brooks 33. Brooks stated that "I was more concerned about getting the ball on the green than getting it close to the hole."

The true joy of golf comes when we are empowered and follow our own inner voice of guidance. Keep your eyes open, become informed, and consider all options, all styles of playing. Then make decisions about what's right for you.

"It is what's inside that makes a winner."

How do you discern under pressure what is the right thing for you to do?

It seems that all golfers at some time are distracted by the thought that someone is watching them and judging their performance. Whether you are a self-conscious beginner or a tournament player in front of a crowd, it is important to keep your mind and your eyes from wandering to the wrong thoughts.

Be like the tiger, moving silently through the jungle quietly seeking what he is after. He moves silently, not disturbing anything around him, always moving forward toward his target, eyes focused, completely aware of his surroundings, ever vigilant of his goal. There are times when he springs into action and captures his prey and other times when he just sits and waits quietly, contemplating his next move. When disappointment, past emotions and thoughts of failure to capture your dreams rise up on the golf course, this is the time to remember the tiger. Choose to focus with the eye of the tiger on your ultimate goal and contemplate the steps you need to take to achieve it. Like the tiger, see and experience your life and golf game as an adventure, always covering new ground seeking, finding and seeking more.

Picture yourself watching two TV sets. One set is programming a beautiful, uplifting, empowering story and the other is broadcasting an exciting, horrifying episode of fearful action. Stand between the two TV sets and discern which picture it is in your best interest to watch.

Notice that the fearful story is cleverly designed to catch and hold your attention. It overwhelms you with noise and action so that you forget what it is you really want. It begins to dull your mind with roar.

The intention of the uplifting program is to energize your mind and spirit and awaken your heart energy so that discernment rules. Then your inner wisdom comes forth effortlessly and taking action is easy. Discernment flows when the mind is quiet and paying attention to the messages from the heart.

If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, This is the best season of your life. Wu-Men


"While I was unable to practice, listening to your tapes gave me the necessary tools to focus while instilling the confidence to trust my game. I now compete in tournaments totally relaxed, and I'm winning while having fun." --Sue Warner, Amateur Tournament Player

"Your Self-Hypnosis for Playing In The Zone" tape has been most beneficial. I can access an area in my mind that I can go to whenever there are stresses in my golf game or in my daily life." --Suzi Caprise, Professional Golfer


Easily improve your golf game today by listening to PMI self-hypnosis tapes. You can order now at Positive Mental Imagery.

If this monthly enewsletter has been helpful to you, please forward it to your friends so they can have more fun playing the game of golf while lowering their scores. You can download the previous PMI newsletter issues by logging on at Postive Mental Imagery.

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

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