Archive for Secrets of Hypnotic Golf

As a golf psychologist using hypnosis and NLP, I am often asked about the merits of taking swing thoughts or keys out onto the golf course when they play. I’m thinking here about some of the classic ones like “keep your head down”, “keep your eye on the ball”, “swing back in one piece”, “left shoulder under the chin”, etc.

Now, my major concern about swing thoughts and keys is not so much about their content, but rather about when you think of them. Some would argue that there’s no place for them at all during a round of golf and they should be confined to the practice ground. While I broadly agree with this, I feel it’s more important to eliminate conscious thoughts about the swing once you step in to address the ball.

There are parts of a golfer’s routine that require conscious though and there are parts where it’s better to trust your unconscious …
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I’m sure you’ve been wondering what’s happened to the Golf Hypnotist, his Blog and his Ezine over the last few months. Now, you are finding out why. And it isn’t just the summer holidays, the Ryder Cup and all the work I’m doing with my personal golf hypnosis clients.

I’ve also been developing my ideas and talking to a lot of people about the new series of golf hypnosis recordings that I’ve been developing. I simply can’t tell you how delighted I am to announce today that the first of these programmes, “Winning Golf“, is available to purchase now from the Golf Hypnotist Store here on my website.

The “Winning Golf” hypnosis programme includes 3 wonderful new golf hypnosis sessions. The programme is available in MP3 format for download, with each session running for around 20-30 minutes. I have outlined the purpose of each track later in this post. I developed these sessions on similar lines to the “Your Own Virtual Caddy” programme. You should already have downloaded that free if you’ve signed up for the Golf Hypnotist Ezine.

At the same time, I am also making my book, “The Secrets of Hypnotic Golf“, available to purchase in downloadable PDF format for £11.99 (approximately $17.99) from the Golf Hypnotist Store.

I will also be publishing a further 8 new Golf Hypnosis audio programmes over the next couple of months. Like “Winning Golf“, 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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I’m reading a recent New Scientist article talking about the Five emotions you never knew you had and I’m starting to think about how our emotions influence our golf. And they’re influencing us every time we play.

Now I’m sure that like the rest of us, you’re experiencing all sorts of emotions every minute of every day of your life. It’s a key element of living whether we are playing golf or doing something less important.

So what are these emotions I’m talking about? Well, as the article says, we all see different ones, but the consensus seems to include what psychologists apparently call the Big Six – Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear, Surprise and Disgust. Well they all crop up on a regular basis in golf, now don’t they? And they all appear either as desires or problems with many of the people who seek help from golf psychologists. My new book, The Secrets of Hypnotic Golf
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Have you made your New Years resolutions for your golf improvement – using golf psychology, perhaps? Well, even if you haven’t, I’m sure that many of you are excited about starting fresh, turning your life around and in some cases doing something about playing better golf. That’s fantastic! I know that 2010 is going to be an exciting year. I’m excited already, after completing my new book, The Secrets of Hypnotic Golf, over the holiday period. I’ve been talking about it for long enough and now its written, formatted and with the publisher, ready for launch late January or early February – Woo-hoo!

Coming back to those New Year’s resolutions, have you made your ones yet? No, don’t tell me what they are, that’s supposed to be unlucky. It’s enough that you’re clear about what you would like to change in your life and your golf in 2010? You know what you’d like to accomplish and where you want your life to go. That’s enough, isn’t it?

Well, I’ve got some bad news and some good news for you. Which would you like first? Okay, let’s start with the bad news. The bad news is that New Year’s resolutions generally don’t work …
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Effective visualisation is one of the key golf psychology tools for improving your golf score and your enjoyment of the game. It’s also one of the secrets of hypnotic golf. However, for most people, including me until recently, that visualisation tends to be two dimensional, a bit like looking through the viewfinder of a camera or at a picture on a television screen. Yes, I know that I could imagine some depth perspective, but what if I couldn’t actually see the bottom of the pin over that high lip of the bunker at the front of the green. That meant that I was looking at the lip of the bunker in my minds eye and then having to mentally add some more for the distance between the lip and flag. That’s too complicated for my golf mind!

You may remember my recent article about mental foursomes practice with golf hypnosis the other week. Now shortly after writing that I was watching a rerun on television of a recent US PGA Tour event and enjoying the overhead pictures from the blimp, when I had a sudden flash of inspiration. Why not visualise my shots in 3D and incorporate an overhead shot of how I visualised the shot I was about to play. It sounded difficult until I realised that if I can see it on TV, then surely I can visualise it. After all, I already had the overhead view on the course planner, so why couldn’t I incorporate it in my pre-shot routine visualisation and mental golf practice.

So, later that evening I took myself into a light trance using self-hypnosis and played an imaginary round of golf at Beaconsfield, my home course. I visualised playing every hole and every shot in 3D, even the putts. It worked great and I couldn’t wait to take the idea to the course …
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As a golf psychologist, I am especially interested in the importance of separating the conscious and unconscious elements of the pre-shot routine and the actual striking of the ball. In an ideal world, we should use our conscious rational mind, sometimes referred to as our Left Brain, for planning our shots and our unconscious instinctive mind, or Right Brain to manage the execution of each shot. Yes, I know that there’s lots of controversy in psychology circles about where these functions actually exist in the brain, but, however it’s actually organised, the conscious and unconscious processes of the brain do seem to work separately to our advantage.

When we learn to do anything new, we employ our amazing analytical power of our conscious mind to work out how to do it. We keep trying new ways and deciding on which is the best for us in a particular situation. The process is very effective in the long term, but very slow and frustrating. This is what’s going on when we learn to ride a bike, drive a car or have a golf lesson. It often seems frustrating or even down right impossible to achieve.

After much trial, error and frustration, we eventually learn the new skill …
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Practicing golf in your mind, mental golf if you like, is just as effective as playing golf and physical practice on the range, if you want to play better golf. As I’ve written many times before, it also works a lot better when accompanied by golf hypnosis and other golf psychology techniques.

But there’s a problem. How do you imagine hitting shots from difficult lies if you’re playing an imaginary round? Surely you’d have to hit bad imaginary shots in order to get into the difficult positions. Wouldn’t that be bad golf psychology?

When you play golf for real, you’ll probably hit the odd bad shot now and then. Hopefully, you’re already using a good post-shot routine, so you’ll be able to learn from the bad shot and release it to the past. It can’t hurt you there. Maybe you could use the "Reset Button" technique Nick Faldo spoke of when commentating on Tiger Woods the other week …
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There’s a lovely lady hypnotherapist called Ellie Blunt who has a really interesting blog called The Transparent Hypnotist. She posts 7 days a week on a broad range of topics – “All about hypnosis, NLP, positive thinking, suggestion work and the reality of it all.”

Every week, Ellie posts a standard questionnaire based interview with a hypnotist somewhere in the world and last week, it was my turn to provide the answers for “…
10 Questions with Andrew Fogg.” As her questions are quite direct, my answers go well beyond the information on the About the Golf Hypnotist page on my website and I felt it appropriate to share it with you here Click here to read the full post »

I’m just re-reading Timothy Gallwey’s The Inner Game of Golf again after almost 25 years! It’s fascinating and given my training in Hypnosis and NLP, I now see why it didn’t work for me when I first worked with it. That insight may also help to explain that despite the plethora of tennis coaches teaching Inner Game techniques, there seem to be very few PGA Professionals claiming to teach. I know that’s asking for a big bag of emails from the ones who do – I’d like to know who they are.

Now, when I first started playing golf, like most beginners, I focussed all my attention on developing my golf swing. I was lucky to start out with a good swing teacher in Colin Christison, who hailed from …
Blairgowrie and learned his golf on the picturesque Rosemount Course. He instilled many of the basics and taught me to play well enough to get down to 4 handicap in my first year and to play off 2 handicap for the next decade or so. Colin also took me with him to caddy or just watch from inside the ropes when he went to play tournaments. I remember watching him play in the Agfa Tournament at Stoke Poges with the legendary Dave Thomas, one of the UK’s foremost golfers in the 1950’s and 1960’s winning many European tournaments and later designing the Brabazon, Derby and PGA National courses at The Belfry and many others . Dave tied for the 1958 British Open at Royal Lytham St Anne’s, losing to the legendary Peter Thomson in the playoff. He also finished second to Jack Nicklaus at Muirfield in 1966 and played in four Ryder Cups. The other member of their threeball was Ian Connelly who later taught Nick Faldo when he started out in golf at Welwyn Garden City. Some experience for an 18 year old playing off 4 handicap Click here to read the full post »

Now I’m confused about golf practice and just how much leads to better golf. More importantly, just how much is good for golf improvement? I’m confused because I keep getting contradictory advice from the books I’m reading, TV programs I’m viewing and the stuff I’m browsing on the web.

As a low handicap golfer for over 40 years, I’ve done a fair bit of work on the practice ground and had lots of golf lessons from lots of good coaches – some of the best in the world in their day. However, I know that much of the technical advice I received left me confused and inconsistent …
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