Golf Psychology Tips: Control Your Thoughts on the Golf Course
Why is it that you talk yourself into playing shots you don’t want to hit?
You’ve a tight tee shot and you say to yourself “Don’t hit it in the trees” or “Be careful, watch the out of bounds on the right”. If it isn’t out of bounds or the trees, it could be water, bunkers, thick rough, the wrong side of the green or hole that you look to avoid. Or you might be thinking about NOT slicing the ball, NOT hooking, NOT topping, NOT shanking, NOT skying, NOT thinning, NOT yipping – there’s a lot going on in some golfers heads!
I recently supported a client who had a huge problem with her 11th hole at her home club, a short par 4. When I asked her to describe what she thought about on the tee shot, she went into overdrive listing all the trouble and things that she needs to avoid! The out of bounds on the left, the tree’s on the right, the large tree on the left, the bushes on the left, the awkward sloping hill, the path that runs across the slope. When I asked her where the ideal spot she wanted to hit the ball to was – she was clueless and struggled to answer. After years of struggling on the hole, she had virtually hypnotised herself into thinking the shot was impossible and had no clear target in her head. She had forgotten there was a fairway 60 yards wide to hit!
Later in the session, when she was more relaxed we discussed her favourite hole and I asked her the same question. Immediately, she was able to tell me it was the 4th hole and went on to tell me where she hit it 9 times out of 10, and how this opened the green up and set her up for a good second shot. There was no mention of trees, out of bounds, bushes….. she had a clear target and was confident that she could pull the shot off.
So what then happens is we use imagery and golf hypnosis to help her imagine playing the 14th hole as she did the 4th hole and other shots she did when she was confident. The session and follow up audio’s helped her play like she was advising and encouraging herself on the golf course, much like a great caddy does. The very next time, her tee shot on the 11th was much better, she felt much more relaxed and swung more freely. She went on to par the hole.
I’ve come across this type of success, numerous times as imagery and golf hypnosis, help people remain calm and confident on the course. Their inner critic starts to be less prominent and they become a much more friendly and positive person to play golf with.
It is not the normal thing a golfer relies upon to get better, but it gives exceptional results and quickly and is used by top professionals on a regular basis (often secretly!).
Feel free to forward this blog to other golfers or golf coaches who you think would find it helpful. Also, if you enjoyed this blog offering Sport Psychology advice for golfers be sure to sign up to “The Mental Edge” for regular updates.
Or to get in touch to improve your golfing mindset with one 2 one Golf Psychology Coaching with a Leading Sport Psychologist, David Charlton, based near Newcastle upon Tyne – Face to face, via the telephone, SKYPE or online via email available.
Personalised golf imagery and hypnosis audios are also available on request.
Online Golf Performance Psychologist who supports many golfers around the world from the USA, United Kingdom, Ireland, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Australian and New Zealand, using ONLINE Video Conferencing.
Managing Director – Inspiring Sporting Excellence, Host of Demystifying Mental Toughness Podcast and Founder of The Sports Psychology Hub. With over a decades’ experience supporting athletes, coaches, parents and teams to achieve their goals, faster.
T: +44 7734 697769