One of the most powerful tools of our mind

When a golfer uses imagery - visualization to its fullest potential, it can accelerate his progress and help him immensely in his mental preparation of individual shots and the entire round.

NOTE: When you concentrate and visualize the look of the proper golf swing and get a clear focus for 15 seconds in your mind, it is equivalent to 10 hours of physical training! Tiger Woods's coach said when he started working with Tiger, he would get perplexed as to why Tiger would often walk off and sit down and then come back. Tiger explained he was visualizing the swing changes he was being instructed to make and by doing this quickening up the learning process.

Golf players use visualization extensively but usually not in their best interest and they are not even aware what they are doing. It's when they are thinking about negative consequences of their play.

They are basically visualizing failure and feeling in the present how that will probably feel in the future. This makes them nervous, they are not focused and are expending precious energy.

They need to reverse this process and start visualizing their success and how good they will feel when they achieve it. This will fill them with lots of positive energy and program them for success.

Where can visualization be used in the game of golf?

It can be used in all four major areas of golf:

1. Technique - when the player is still learning  a new swing or improving an existing one, he first needs to see the correct execution on the video or in demonstration and then visualize how he performs this stroke perfectly. This will greatly speed up the learning process.

2. Tactics and strategy - when the player is planning his strategy before the round he can visualize how he hits certain shots. He can visualize good and precise driving, approach shots and all other areas of the golf round. Golf is a non-reactive sport and so he will decide much faster because he will already have preprogrammed decisions and directions.

3. Physical abilities - Mental images have incredible influence on our bodies when we use them consistently.

4. Mental preparation - Dealing with all the distractions and pressures of a round or tournament becomes easier when the player visualizes these situations before, gets used to them in his mind and when they happen in reality he is ready and relaxed.

Golf One Of The Most Powerful Tools Of Our Mind Australia

How to visualize effectively

Sit comfortably in your chair and take a couple of deep breaths to relax first. Then put yourself in your mind on the golf course and try to see the colors.

Next try to see the shapes of the objects on the course - the trees , the greens, the fairway...

Then try and hear the sounds that you would normally hear on the course - the sound of hitting the ball, your breathing and other sounds.

Then try and feel your movement and your strokes. Make a long drive in your mind and try to feel how that would really feel. Then try to feel your movement on the course the grass under your feet and so on.

The last and most important component are your emotions. This time try to feel the emotions of how good you would feel if you hit a certain shot, won an event or reached your desired handicap.

When you include your positive emotions: joy, enthusiasm, happiness and satisfaction, then the effect of visualization is much more profound and permanent.

Another very effective and useful use of visualization is immediately after you make an error on the course. As soon as you miss, you turn away and in your mind see how the ball hit the target. See it exactly fix the stroke in your mind.

This has double effect - it takes you away of your negative thinking since you are not seeing success and it also trains your body for the next similar situation when you will have to play a similar shot. This way it will be already stored in your mind.

Practice for one week the following ways of visualization:

1. After you make an error imagine how you actually hit the ball. Write down some of the mistakes and how you imagined them later.

2. Rate yourself from 1-10 how good you are at this - 10 means that you can do it clearly and immediately, 1 means that you can't do it and that you don't see anything (yet)

3. Every night before you fall asleep visualize for 5 minutes one of the elements of the golf game that you want to improve - technique, tactical play, physical or mental abilities.