Archive for Nick Faldo

So what makes so many of the world’s top golfers look so nonchalant, especially during the last nine on Sunday, when they are really trying to win? Well, it obviously includes technical golfing skill, course management and an understanding of the physics of golf. However, when I first work on the course with some of my new clients, I see golfers who have all those things and more. The problem is that they’re not yet winning or coming in the top 10 very often.

What makes the difference …
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There’s nothing wrong with striving for perfection, just as long as recognise that Golf is Not a Game of Perfect, to quote Bob Rotella. That’s why I stress the importance of acceptance and release in the Post-Shot Routine. It’s also why I so liked Nick Faldo’s comment about Tiger Woods “hitting the reset button” after a bad shot that made him angry.

Even with their well polished mechanics and a good understanding of ball flight physics, the top players still hit a less than perfect shot every now and then. Even if they don’t actually hit a bad shot, the course and conditions and outside agencies can turn a good shot into a bad one. We even have a term for that in golf – “Rub of the Green”.

So what else do the top players do when they experience one or more bad or unlucky shots? Well, I was listening to Rory McIlroy giving a clinic to a large group of young players at the Grand Final of the Faldo Series. Someone asked, to a ripple of laughter, “If you can’t stop making bogeys, how do you bounce back on the next hole?” …
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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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Own the Putting GreenI had a very interesting question from a client the other day. As well as telling how much he was enjoying my Winning Golf hypnosis programme, he referred to a round of golf I mentioned in the introduction track. It was the time I played competitively with then young Nick Faldo and he asked me if I ever did figure out what made the difference between us that day.

Before I answer his question, here’s a bit of background to that round back in the 1970’s when I was regularly competing as an amateur in national events.

The Hertfordshire Stag, at Moor Park, was the premier open amateur competition in the county, and I was drawn to play with someone I’d never played with before and such was my focus, I didn’t take in his name, even when we exchanged scorecards. However, I was intrigued to be playing in front of a small gallery. That wasn’t something that normally happened to me.

Anyway, I felt I was playing well at the time and this was reflected in the fact that throughout both rounds, I seemed to strike the ball much better than my playing partner on every shot and putt. In fact, he commented on it a number of times. However, when we added up the scores at the end of each round, I was a couple of shots over par and back in the pack, while he was 3 or 4 shots under par and won the event, as I recall! I later found out more about Nick Faldo, my mystery playing partner, when he turned professional a couple of months later – the rest is history, as they say.


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Do you talk to yourself when you’re playing golf? Well, if you don’t, you may have a serious problem. It’s called brain death! Self-talk, otherwise known as internal dialogue or intrapersonal communication, is one of the main functions of our conscious mind. It allows us to make sense of our conflicting thoughts and to express our ideas and feelings to ourselves. Most of the time we talk to ourselves internally and sometimes, particularly after a bad shot, we share our self-talk with everyone in earshot. That can be a large distance with some of the golfer’s I’ve played with!

Self talk really comes into its own when we are internally analysing and evaluating complex choices in our lives. A good example is when you are starting your pre-shot routine and deciding on the type of shot you’re going to play. Have you ever had one voice in your head proposing an ambitious shot with a driver and another one encouraging you to make a more conservative shot with an iron? Don’t worry about it. It’s perfectly normal and unlikely to be a symptom of schizophrenia!

Now, I’ve often written about the concept that whatever we consciously think about our unconscious mind does it’s best to deliver. And self-talk is the most powerful and influential mechanism for conscious thought …
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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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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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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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So who made it to Sunningdale to watch the Senior Open Championship last weekend? I know that one of the latest subscribers to my newsletter did and he tells me that he and his wife really enjoyed it? For me it was well worth the visit, especially as it’s only 10 miles down the road from me the Old Course at Sunningdale is one of my favourite courses in the world – not that the New Course isn’t just as good.

There’s absolutely no doubt that this weekend and so many times before in majors Greg Norman has struck the ball brilliantly and enjoyed a great short game, it just seems that he’s missed out on the mental side of the game, especially in the closing holes. As far as I can recall, Greg has never worked with a golf psychologist and sadly it shows at times like these. If he had Tiger’s training and could use golf psychology and self hypnosis at these critical times, just imagine how many majors he would have won by now …
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Still tied up with half-term duties, so just a quick post today to say how delighted I was last night to see Ian Baker-Finch open his return to Colonial and his return to competitive golf with a 68 – that must have taken some guts and some powerful golf-psychology work.

Now, whatever Ian does in today’s second round doesn’t matter, he’s made it back to the game he loves – and in a classy way. That said, seeing him make the cut and have a good result at the weekend will be wonderful for him, and the world of golf. I’ll be glued to the television this evening to give Ian my support.

Come on Nick Faldo; don’t let Ian beat you in the comeback stakes. We like to hear you both as commentators, but we’d much rather hear your clubs do the talking.

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