Archive for Inner Game

How much is the accuracy of your golf shot influenced by club alignment at address and how much is down to your instinctive or unconscious golf ability? Now I’m not talking here about the complexity of aligning the various parts of your body when you address the ball. That’s a subject for your golf pro, not your golf psychologist. All I’m interested in here is the alignment of your club face at address.

I’ve been writing a lot recently about the importance, in golf psychology terms, of a quick transition from the conscious processes of planning your golf shot and selecting the right club and the unconscious process of taking your stance and hitting the ball. What concerns me most is that while the best golfers seem to take as little as 11 seconds to complete this transition the average golfer seems to take that long just to align their stance and the clubface.

Now, I don’t want you to go straight out and time how long you take …
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Golf instructors often talk about the transition in the golf swing as that pause between completing the backswing and starting the downswing. They often suggest that slowing down the transition is one of the most important keys to hitting a good shot.

Well, I’m not qualified to comment on the technicalities of the golf swing. However, I am qualified to comment on what for me is an even more important transition in golf psychology. It’s the transition from the conscious analytical planning phase of your pre-shot routine to the unconscious instinctive phase of actually hitting the ball. Unlike the pause at the top of the backswing, the faster you can comfortably make this transition, the better and more consistently you’ll find yourself striking the ball or rolling the putt.

If you watch the top players in the world, like Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, you’ll notice that they take very little time between taking their chosen club out of the bag and hitting the ball …
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Improving your golf enjoyment has more to do with the golf psychology of addressing the reasons why you play golf at all than with addressing all the things you’re trying to fix in your golf swing.

I’ve been out of the office a lot this week and without the means of posting on this blog. The good news is that I’ve had some time to think about golf and the general trend of my posts here.

One theme that comes up a lot in my thoughts and in my writing is the idea that one of the main reasons for most people playing golf is the pursuit of enjoyment, both for ourselves and the people we play with. As a golf psychologist, this is also my primary motivation in my working life and it’s reflected in my mission, as a hypnotherapist and NLP Master Practitioner, of helping people to do things better and get more enjoyment out of the things they do in life and in golf …
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Back in the late 90s and early in the twenty-first century, when I started getting really interested in golf psychology, it seemed that the question everyone was asking was, “Who is Jos Vanstiphout?” At the 2002 Open at Muirfield, he was sharing his talents with both players in the play-off, Ernie Els and Thomas Levet. He was reported as having other irons in the fire that week, with clients including Retief Goosen, Soren Hansen, Sergio Garcia, Michael Campbell and Darren Clarke and quite a few others. As a betting man, he had good odds of backing a winner.

So, what exactly did Jos do for his clients? Well, they gave him lots of credit for their success – Retief Goosen handing him much of the credit for his US Open Win at Southern Hills in 2001. But what was he actually doing with his clients to help them …
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Yesterday, in Part 1 of this article, I tackled the first 5 of someone’s web-based list of the top ten mental mistakes golfers make and how to correct them instantly.  Today I tackle the last 5 and as I disagree with much of his “how to correct them instantly “advice, I’ve again included my suggestions as to how address them with NLP and Golf Hypnosis …
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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 »

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