Archive for Jay Brunza

In parts one and two, I talked about the golf psychology lessons from the performance of veteran Tom Watson and young Ross Fisher at this year’s Open Championship at Turnberry. As a 59 year old myself, I was overwhelmed by Tom’s amazing performance and mental strength around one of the toughest links courses. It almost seems unnecessary to mention his age and recent hip replacement operation. As a golf psychologist helping clients to play the best golf they possibly can, whatever happens, I couldn’t fail to be impressed with Ross’s calm ability to shrug off the disappointment of that quadruple bogey and play on like the consummate professional he has become.

So what’s left to comment on and learn from this year’s Open Championship at Turnberry? Well, I started to talk about Tiger Woods in part 2, but put that on hold so that I wouldn’t detract from the praise I wanted to lavish on Ross Fisher. I also feel that there’s a lot to learn from Lee Westwood’s sad failure over the last few holes, as he was playing as well as we all know he can and probably better than the other leading contender …
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So who’s using hypnosis to improve their golf performance – apart from Tiger Woods and maybe Phil Mickelson? Well, taking first things first, it’s difficult to be sure who’s using hypnosis because most people who do don’t want to let on. Why’s that? Well firstly, they want to keep the competitive edge that golf hypnosis gives them to themselves. Secondly, although it’s becoming acceptable for a top golfer to admit to using a mind coach, their marketing people are still wary of saying they use golf psychology or, worse still, hypnosis – that’s all to “new age.” You only have to look at the comments of Angel Cabrera, a real man’s man, after he won the Masters, “Now I don’t have a sports psychologist and I don’t smoke.”

If a golfer won’t tell you he’s using hypnosis, then what are the signs to look for to know he or she is? Well let’s take Tiger Woods as our first example. I’ve not heard him say that he uses hypnosis or read anything that confirms that he’s admitted it. However, just watch the controlled and methodical series of blinks he makes just before stepping into every shot. If that’s not a hypnotic trigger or anchor …
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I guess that like many of you out there, I was glued to the TV on Sunday watching Tiger Woods and his golf hypnosis prevail over Sean O’Hair in the last round of the Bay Hill Classic. It was great to see Tiger prevailing despite not producing a really outstanding last round. It was also great to see his self-hypnosis induced mental strength prevailing even when his game is not quite up to his best. Now that’s a bit outrageous isn’t it, Andrew, are you saying that Tiger’s not back to his best? Well yes I am to an extent.

I would contend that Sean O’Hair outplayed Tiger in all the physical and technical aspects of the game – he just let himself down on the mental side of the game, especially in the area of self-belief …
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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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When people write about the top professionals, they tend to talk about the externally visible aspect of their game – their swing technique. Those same writers rarely tell you about the golf mind golf secrets of those same professionals.

So what about Jack Nicklaus and 90% of golf in the mind?

When I started out in golf in the late 60’s I recall hearing Jack Nicklaus talk on TV about golf being 90% in the mind. However, when I eagerly read his first book, The Greatest Game of All published in 1969, I found very little information about golf psychology. In fact, two thirds of the book was biographical and the remaining third was about the golf swing. Maybe that was what the public wanted to hear or what Herbert Warren Wind, his co-writer, wanted to write about …
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