Archive for Anchoring

The ability to learn from your bad shots and release them from your mind is one of the keys to winning golf. You only have to look at the world’s greatest ever golfers to see this. I don’t ever recall seeing the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Nick Faldo dwelling for any length of time over a bad shot or allow one to affect a subsequent shot they had to play. They certainly got over it before they played their next shot and just went back to their regular routine.

One of the key techniques in the application of golf hypnosis is the use of metaphor to communicate a concept that may be rejected or over analysed by the conscious mind. As an example, if I wanted someone to swing their golf club naturally and unconsciously, I might talk to them about the way they throw a ball of paper into a wastepaper basket or skim a stone across a pond – without any conscious thought.

So I’m always on the lookout for a good metaphor …
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I’ve been writing a lot lately about the negative and positive golf psychology of fear on the golf course. While I’ve been thinking all about golf fear consciously, it seems that my unconscious mind has been quietly working away on the question of how we actual do this "fear" thing in our golf minds. Using a post-shot routine was the answer – to the problem, not the question.

Now in NLP and golf hypnosis, we have many ways of managing a person’s fears. If it’s a full blown phobia, we can deal with that easily. If it’s a habit or belief that’s blown out of all proportion, we can help there too using techniques like the NLP Swish Pattern. If we need a skill that someone else has we can use modelling and Richard Bandler’s "Stealing a Skill" technique. If the fear is doubt related and, as we might say colloquially, there’s a part of me that wants to play a risky shot and another part that’s saying it’s too dangerous, then we’ve got the NLP Visual Squash parts integration technique. And there are many more NLP tools we can use before we even start looking at golf hypnosis.

So why not use one of these techniques to manage or eliminate fear? Well, you can use these techniques and if they are really deep-seated fears, you may need them. But what about nipping the fears in the bud …
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There’s a danger we treat fear completely as a bad thing in golf psychology. Now I know this goes against a lot of what I’ve been saying, but I’m talking hear about the thin end of fear – nervousness. For many people, nervousness is the buzz of competition, whether we’re competing with other people, ourselves or the golf course we happen to be playing.

For many people the buzz is part of the enjoyment. Perhaps that’s what Mark Twain was referring to when he wrote that "Golf is a good walk spoiled" and HRH Princess Anne meant when she said “Golf seems to be an arduous way to go for a walk. I prefer to take the dogs out."

Personally, I feel that if I’m not nervously shaking when I get near the end of a seriously good scoring round or close game of match play then I might as well give up golf and go and do something else that excites and inspires me. Jack Nicklaus knew that if you didn’t feel nervous at the end of a tournament you’re trying to win then there’s something wrong with you – he thrived on it …
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Fear on the golf course can come in many shapes and sizes and it can result in a multitude of problems ranging from lack of enjoyment, through poor scoring and frustration to outright anger. Most golfers will have experienced fear on the golf course, either personally or from watching a playing partner.

As an amateur golfer, although my golf is very important to me, my livelihood does not depend directly on my ability to score well. However, I can think of many times, especially in my younger days, when I was uncomfortable, nervous, scared and downright terrified on the golf course.

Those of you who subscribe to my …
Golf Hypnotist Ezine will have read in a recent post about my nerves on the first tee in the Golf Illustrated Junior Vase at Hexham in the early 70s. When the starter announced on the loud speaker system that they were expecting great things from me after my hole in one there the previous day, I could hardly stand up, let alone hit a good drive down the middle Click here to read the full post »

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NLP anchoring provides a very effective method for stacking and anchoring our past resources and positive experiences. We can call upon these resources whenever we need them for golfing excellence.

In the About the Golf Hypnotist page on my website, I outline my experience of using anchoring resources to talk about using NLP resource anchoring to build and hold together a really good round of golf. The words I used there were

“I was just so calm and composed. Despite not hitting the ball that well, I hit 16 of the first 17 holes in regulation and hit a long drive up the middle on 18. That’s when I suddenly realised what was happening and I started thinking “all I need is a par” to have my best round here. I completely lost it for 3 awful shots then suddenly remembered about my NLP skills and got back in the zone and almost holed a tricky shot from the over the back of the green.”
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