Archive for Own the Putting Green

I’ve been working for a couple of months with a very promising young golfer who’s been working this winter on taking a major step forward with his game. He’s making the transition from amateur golf to building a career as a tournament professional.

Now, he clearly has the golf game and has built up an enviable team of coaches including, in my opinion, the best and most innovative swing coach in the world today. He also has the benefit of working with one of the worlds best Mental Game coaches in the world: a four time world record holder and Olympic Gold medallist. No, that’s not me!

When we started working together …
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Strangely for someone who promotes the benefits of Unconscious Golf, I’ve always been fascinated with golfing statistics, especially about my putting! One thing I always seemed to notice was that I played better in certain forms of golf than others, especially with particular partners in foursome and fourball golf.

Well, I always seemed to putt better when I had a playing partner, so I’ll set aside 2-ball match play and stroke play for the moment. Now that I come to think about it, I generally seemed to putt better when I had a partner than when I was just playing for myself.

So why did I putt better with certain partners than I did with others? Well I fairly certain that I putted better when I played with a confident partner who I trusted to read my putts for me. The odd thing is that the partner I remember putting best with was not in my league in terms of handicap. He just seemed to read greens instinctively and he was certainly a good putter. He knew my putting style and trusted my judgement of distance, so he simply told me where to aim and I holed the putts – far more than my fair share.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone like that caddying for you now, I hear you say …
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Have you noticed how some people can just walk onto a green, take a cursory glance around and then hole a simply unbelievable breaking putt? I don’t know if you’ve holed one or two like that yourself. I’m sure you have, if you cast your mind back. It happens with other shots as well. Think about that amazing horseshoe chip that Tiger Woods holed on the 16th at the Masters a few years ago. Even with all his talent, I’m sure he didn’t honestly expect to hole it, but I suspect that he did intend to. That’s more than enough direction for the unconscious instinctive mind to work on, unhindered by doubt.

The older they get, the more golfers tend to forget how easy putting really is. They also forget how good they used to putt when they were younger and more carefree. You often hear the golf pundits on television talking about how some or other up and coming young professional hasn’t yet learned how difficult putting really is. They sometimes go on to talk about how the accumulation of years of missed putts slowly frazzles the nerves and undermines the confidence of the older and more experienced golfers. Maybe that’s how they justify their own inability to maintain their competitiveness on the tour. It’s small wonder that they’re now commentating rather than playing.

I work regularly with an American Senior Professional Golfer …
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Learn the Six Steps to Unconscious Putting, a key part of the pre-shot routine that Darren Clarke used so effectively at Royal St Georges in wining the Open Championship.

Unusually for me, there are no instructions here about using any formal self hypnosis technique before following these six steps. You’ll usually be using this technique as you transition from the conscious process of planning your putt in your pre-shot routine to the, hopefully, unconscious process of stroking the putt in your shot routine. Having said that, if you’re an experienced user of the “Finger Breathing technique, you’ll only need a couple of deep breaths at this point to get into just the right state.

Step 1:
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Shortly after first publishing my technique for “Six Steps to Better Putting in Your Unconscious Mind” over a year ago, I was surprised and delighted a few weeks later to see Darren Clarke using virtually the same technique in his dramatic return to form to finish second at Scottish Open at Loch Lomond.

I remember avoiding the suggestion, at the time, that Darren started doing that after he or one of his support team read about it in my ezine. However, it was obviously helping him in overcoming some of the “demons” that seemed to be afflicting his putting confidence back then. The six steps and his action back then of gripping left hand low and then re-gripping right hand low were clearly keeping his conscious mind occupied while just trusting his unconscious mind to hit the putts. …
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Own the Putting GreenI had a very interesting question from a client the other day. As well as telling how much he was enjoying my Winning Golf hypnosis programme, he referred to a round of golf I mentioned in the introduction track. It was the time I played competitively with then young Nick Faldo and he asked me if I ever did figure out what made the difference between us that day.

Before I answer his question, here’s a bit of background to that round back in the 1970’s when I was regularly competing as an amateur in national events.

The Hertfordshire Stag, at Moor Park, was the premier open amateur competition in the county, and I was drawn to play with someone I’d never played with before and such was my focus, I didn’t take in his name, even when we exchanged scorecards. However, I was intrigued to be playing in front of a small gallery. That wasn’t something that normally happened to me.

Anyway, I felt I was playing well at the time and this was reflected in the fact that throughout both rounds, I seemed to strike the ball much better than my playing partner on every shot and putt. In fact, he commented on it a number of times. However, when we added up the scores at the end of each round, I was a couple of shots over par and back in the pack, while he was 3 or 4 shots under par and won the event, as I recall! I later found out more about Nick Faldo, my mystery playing partner, when he turned professional a couple of months later – the rest is history, as they say.

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I’m delighted to announce the completion and launch of the third of my new golf hypnosis programmes, “Own the Putting Green”. I’ve subtitled the new MP3 program, Become the King of the Putting Green and it’s available to purchase now from the Golf Hypnotist Store. The new product comes hot on the heels of the recent successful launches of “Winning Golf” and “Overcome the Yips”.

Own the Putting Green The “Own the Putting Green” golf hypnosis programme includes three powerful golf hypnosis sessions that address putting confidence, your belief in your putting and your trust in your instinctive green reading abilities. I’ve also included a very effective and imaginative technique for you to learn and take out to the greens to help you make the most of your unconscious putting abilities. The programme is available in MP3 format for download, with each session running for around 20-25 minutes. I developed these sessions on similar lines to the “Your Own Virtual Caddy” programme. I have outlined the purpose of each track later in this email.

I will also be publishing a further 6 new Golf Hypnosis audio programmes over the next couple of months. As with “Winning Golf”, “Overcome the Yips” and “Own the Putting Green”, I will be including 3, and in some cases, 4 new hypnosis tracks in each programme. Although the programme names may change a little before release, here is the full list I’m working on:

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Have you seen the putting pre-shot routine that Darren Clarke’s using at the Open Championship this week and used to such great success in coming second in the Scottish Open last week? And did you notice how he seems to be incorporating my “Six Steps to Better Putting in Your Unconscious Mind” that I detailed in my Golf Hypnotist Ezine the other week?

Now I’m not suggesting that Darren started doing that after he or one of his support team read about it in my ezine. However, it is obviously helping to overcome some of the “demons” that seemed to be afflicting his putting confidence in recent years. The six steps and his action of gripping left hand low and then re-gripping right hand low are clearly keeping his conscious mind occupied while he’s just trusting his unconscious mind to hit the putts. It certainly seems to be working for him.

Why not give it a try? You can still read that ezine edition here and subscribe to regularly receive my free Golf Hypnotist Ezine using the box on the right hand side of this page. The new edition of the ezine comes out later today and includes the opportunity to download a free audio recording of the Finger Breathing relaxation technique I’m always talking about.

There were some amazing golf and putting psychology lessons on show with Phil Mickelson’s stunning win at the Tour Championship at East Lake this weekend. Yes I know Tiger won the FedEx Cup and the $10 million with an amazingly consistent series of results. But given Phil’s year, both on and especially off the course, his victory on Sunday was a simply joyous and breathtaking turnaround. Phil had looked out of sorts in recent weeks and after his quadruple bogey 8 on the 14th hole in the first round, I had sadly anticipated him failing again over the weekend.

You’ve probably heard about Phil’s putting woes and his comments about how "I’ve hit the ball so well and yet my scores haven’t reflected that." You’ve probably also heard about how "Bones" Mackay, Phil’s longstanding caddie, urged him to get help the week before the Tour Championship from Dave Stockton, one of the best putters in golf and twice a major winner. As if those weren’t sufficient reasons, Stockton also putts a bit like Phil does when he’s at his best.

So what major flaws did Dave Stockton notice in Phil’s putting stroke and what major changes did he prescribe …
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Putting was clearly very difficult for all the players at Hazeltine in the 2009 PGA Championship, especially in terms of putting psychology. Now we all saw Tiger Woods missing a lot of mid-range putts that we’d normally expect him to see and I’ve already written about how those were the result of his uneasiness about the swirling wind. I’m more concerned here with a number of really crucial putts missed by Lee Westwood and the massive number of short putts missed by Vijay Singh.

In my humble opinion, Lee Westwood is striking the ball as well as he ever has, especially in the major championships. As a result, he keeps getting himself into contention in the last round before throwing away the opportunity in the last nine holes on Sunday. How many times did he miss apparently easy putts at Hazeltine, including a three putt from not much more than 3 feet? At the Open Championship we saw him three-putt the 72nd hole after recovering well from a few bad putts earlier in the round. The same sort of thing has plagued him for such a long time that it can’t just be coincidence and I keep reading about Lee working with golf psychologists, so it can’t be that; or can it?

Well, I’ve seen Lee’s name mentioned as a client of a number of high-profile golf psychologists here in the UK, like Dr Karl Morris and Jamil Qureshi, the official psychological performance coach for the European Ryder Cup team last year. I also noticed, in the Westwood Academy page on Lee’s website, that the list of sessions participants will receive includes psychology.

Imagine my surprise when I heard about Lee’s comments about golf psychologists in an interview at Hazeltine. "Look at them all," he said, "They all look a bit odd …
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