Archive for Tiger Woods

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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As a golf psychologist using hypnosis and NLP, I am often asked about the merits of taking swing thoughts or keys out onto the golf course when they play. I’m thinking here about some of the classic ones like “keep your head down”, “keep your eye on the ball”, “swing back in one piece”, “left shoulder under the chin”, etc.

Now, my major concern about swing thoughts and keys is not so much about their content, but rather about when you think of them. Some would argue that there’s no place for them at all during a round of golf and they should be confined to the practice ground. While I broadly agree with this, I feel it’s more important to eliminate conscious thoughts about the swing once you step in to address the ball.

There are parts of a golfer’s routine that require conscious though and there are parts where it’s better to trust your unconscious …
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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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Have you noticed how some people can just walk onto a green, take a cursory glance around and then hole a simply unbelievable breaking putt? I don’t know if you’ve holed one or two like that yourself. I’m sure you have, if you cast your mind back. It happens with other shots as well. Think about that amazing horseshoe chip that Tiger Woods holed on the 16th at the Masters a few years ago. Even with all his talent, I’m sure he didn’t honestly expect to hole it, but I suspect that he did intend to. That’s more than enough direction for the unconscious instinctive mind to work on, unhindered by doubt.

The older they get, the more golfers tend to forget how easy putting really is. They also forget how good they used to putt when they were younger and more carefree. You often hear the golf pundits on television talking about how some or other up and coming young professional hasn’t yet learned how difficult putting really is. They sometimes go on to talk about how the accumulation of years of missed putts slowly frazzles the nerves and undermines the confidence of the older and more experienced golfers. Maybe that’s how they justify their own inability to maintain their competitiveness on the tour. It’s small wonder that they’re now commentating rather than playing.

I work regularly with an American Senior Professional Golfer …
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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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I’m delighted to announce the completion and launch of the fifth of my new golf hypnosis programmes, “Anger Management for Better Golf”. I’ve subtitled the new MP3 program, Release and Eliminate Your Anger and Play Better Golf, and it’s available to purchase now from the Golf Hypnotist Store.

Anger Management for Better Golf This new “Anger Management for Better Golf” programme is available in MP3 format for download, with the three golf hypnosis sessions, each running for around 25-30 minutes, and a 15 minute NLP session. 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 5 more new Golf Hypnosis MP3 audio programmes over the next couple of months. As with the other new programmes, I will be including 3, and in some cases, 4 new 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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Have you ever had one of those days when you played better golf than normal, despite having your mind clearly focussed somewhere other than golf. Maybe it’s when there’s something exciting or absorbing going on in your life that has nothing to do with golf. At the other extreme, it could be a time when you’re feeling ill or worried about yourself. I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “beware the sick golfer” and that’s what was said about Y E Yang when he shot a 7-under par 65 on the Friday of the Chevron World Challenge. Afterwards, he related the experience to what happened at qualifying school in 2008 when “I had a huge headache because I was under a lot of mental stress.” This time, he went on, “I still have a headache, but it’s more because of illness, not because of any pressure or stress.” Another good example was Tiger Woods winning the 2008 US Open despite the obvious pain from his knee.

So what’s happening here? Well, if your mind is focussed elsewhere, it’s your conscious mind that’s doing the focussing, whether it’s worrying about your health, doubting whether you should be out here on the golf course or just thinking about what you’ll be doing after the game. The only part of you that’s free to think about golf is your unconscious golf mind and trusting your unconscious is one of the most important and effective of my secrets of hypnotic golf …
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How much do you listen to the commentators on televised golf? Do you think they’re good for your golf? Well I used to think that watching golf on TV was good golf psychology. Now I’m not so sure.

So what happened? Well after writing my recent article about talking yourself into better golf, I sat down to watch a replay of the television coverage of the World Cup from Mission Hills in China. Now I ‘m always thinking very positively after completing an article, so I was amazed at how quickly I was becoming negative watching the golf and more importantly listening to the negative messages coming from the commentators. Here’s a list of the ones I remember from just 30 minutes of watching and listening …
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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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