Archive for In the Zone

Practice Rounds

Why do golfers talk themselves into playing the shots they don’t want to hit? I’m talking here about saying or thinking to yourself something like, “Now, don’t hit it into the water”. If it wasn’t the water, it could have been the bunker, the trees or the wrong side of the green that they were trying to avoid. If it wasn’t one of those, it could have been about not slicing, hooking, topping, shanking or yipping, for all I know. …
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I’m delighted to announce the completion and launch of the sixth of my new golf hypnosis programmes, “Golf in the Playing Zone”. It’s been a dream of mine to help people to get into the zone when they play golf, especially around their in the Playing Zone, and now, here it is. I’ve subtitled the new MP3 program, Anchor Hypnosis Unconsciously for Golf in the Playing Zone and Silence your Inner Critic, and it’s available to purchase now from the Golf Hypnotist Store.

Golf in the Playing Zone This new “Golf in the Playing Zone” programme is available in MP3 format for download, with the three long and powerful golf hypnosis sessions, each running for around 22-32 minutes. I developed the individual sessions on similar lines to the “Your Own Virtual Caddy” programme, so you’re getting more than three times the hypnosis from each programme. I have outlined the purpose of each track later in this email.

I will also be publishing a further 4 more new Golf Hypnosis MP3 audio programmes over the next month or so. As with the other new programmes, I will be including at least 3 new golf hypnosis sessions in each programme.

Although the programme names may change a little before release, here is the full list, for now:


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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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One of the key success factors of better golf psychology is learning to unconsciously play one shot at a time – in the moment, in the zone or "in the now." And this applies equally to every shot you play on the practice ground, in a friendly game and in the most important round of your golfing life. Playing in the now means that you’re protected from any poor, indifferent shots and ill-judged shots that went before. It also means that you’re protected from future uncertainties and expectation.

Now why am I talking about this today? Well, isn’t the world’s golf press just amazing, if a little predictable? They see Benn Barham score a fourth round 69 for a phenomenal total of 19 under par and they say he failed and focus their attention on his few bad shots, like his drive down the last hole "that cost him a birdie." If he’d played like that, scored like that and won, then they’d be talking about his amazing success and knocking Rafael Cabrera Bello’s disastrous failure …
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So what is this golf mind and unconscious golf stuff that I’m always writing and talking about? And how does it actually work? These are questions I occasionally get asked by more sceptical golfers. Thankfully the vast majority of people I talk to either accept my explanations or trust me based on the results they’ve seen other people achieve.

Hypnosis tends to be experienced in many different ways with different [people and what works in one session with a client may not work as well, if at all, the following week. That means that golf psychologists and hypnotherapists have to be flexible in their approach to every client session. It also means that it’s difficult if not impossible to analyse and document hypnosis and hypnotic technique scientifically. For some people that means that hypnosis doesn’t exist and that it’s dangerous because it can’t be explained.

Now I’ve often explained the unconscious mind as the source of our autonomous or instinctive actions. I illustrate this with stories about how difficult it was to consciously learn to drive, tie your shoelaces or a bow or ride a bike and how at some point it just becomes an automatic process that we don’t have to think about …
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I’ve been watching Paul Casey’s golf improvement this year starting with his consistent golf performance in Abu Dhabi when he was talking optimistically about getting into the top 20 in the world. Now, with his second-place finish at the World Golf Championships at Dove Mountain and his consummate performance at the Shell Houston Open last weekend, he’s at number six on the world rankings. With his golf mind working this well, he’s surely one of the favourites to win this week at Augusta.

He played there after being told what a tough course it was going to be. He mentioned the great greens, the way that lots of run off areas were shaved down low and the high swirling winds. What a perfect set up in the run in to the Masters.

Casey was clearly focussed and in the zone …
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Now I’m really looking forward to some unconscious golf at Doral over the weekend, but I’m not sure what sort of spectacle it’s going to be with players like Mike Weir allegedly “going unconscious” – doesn’t sound like a lot of action there.

To be fair, the article I’ve just read from Lorne Rubenstein at Globe and Mail talks about the advice that Bob Rotella is giving Mike Weir in preparation for this weekend’s World Golf Championships. And any advice from Bob is usually good advice. You can read Lorne’s article at “Trying to ‘go unconscious’ on the course”

I talk a lot in my golf hypnosis work about the difference between the conscious and the unconscious mind in my work and I truly believe that better golf is played in the unconscious mind – by being in the zone, as it’s more commonly called. …
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