Learn to Visualise and See How Good your Golf Can Become
One of the things that really annoys me about so many hypnotists I know is that they simply assume that because they can see pictures clearly in their mind then so can their clients. If like me, you used to struggle to visualise things clearly in your conscious minds, then you’d also be frustrated with their insistence that everyone can visualise. In fact they often go on to say things like, if you couldn’t visualise, how would you know what to wear every day and how would know where to look for your car.
Now they are right about the fact that every normal person can and does visualise things in their minds, but they are wrong to assume that every person actually sees those pictures consciously. Research suggests that at least 40 percent of the population are not consciously aware of the pictures they make in their minds. If you are one of this 40 percent, then if I was to ask you questions about the colour, style and handle of your front door, you may not see a clear picture of your front door. However, I’m sure that you do somehow know the answers to those questions. Maybe the answers come to you in words or in terms of feelings.
When I think of the handle on my front door, I can feel the shape and texture of it before I can picture it. I used to have the same experience remembering people’s faces. I could tell you a few details about someone’s appearance and maybe remember their name, but I didn’t use to see them in my mind’s eye when asked to describe them. My wife, on the other hand, tells me that she can “see” the faces of people she hasn’t seen for 20 years as if they were standing right in front of her. She just assumed that’s the way it works for everyone.
Now there’s no doubt in my mind about the power of visualisation in golf, especially when I read about the way Jack Nicklaus, one of the best mind game players golf has ever “seen”, uses visualisation to such good effect. I think Jack made that clear in this famous quotation:
“I never hit a shot, not even in practice, without having a sharp, in-focus picture of it in my head. First I see the ball where I want it to finish, nice and white and sitting up high on the bright green grass. Then the scene quickly changes and I see the ball going there – it’s path, trajectory and shape, even its behaviour on landing. Then there is a sort of fade-out and the next scene shows me making the kind of swing that will turn the previous images into reality.”
The good news is that we all have the mental ability to visualise our golf in the same or possibly an even better way than Jack and that’s what this programme is all about.
If you really concentrate hard on “trying” to create a visual image, you may well struggle to see it. It’s a bit like times when you “try” really hard to remember someone’s name or a long phone number. When you relax, stop “trying” and trust your unconscious mind to find it, the name just seems to pop into your head after a few moments? Something similar happens when you recall a picture. Once you get into a light trance, like when you’re telling a story, you seem to start recalling all the visual information, even if you don’t actually always imagine a perfect photographic image.
So what’s have I included in Visualisation Skills for Golf to help me visualise like Jack Nicklaus?
Well this time, I’ve included three powerful golf hypnosis sessions for you to use in sequence to develop your visualisation skills by helping you to:
- Practice describing your better shots from successful past rounds in ways that allow you to unconsciously reveal your unconscious imagery to your conscious awareness
- Imagine your way round your favourite golf courses as if you were caddying blindfold for a good player – yes I know that sounds weird
- Learn what it will be like when you can visualise through using this programme and experience using your newly uncovered visualisation skills on the golf course.
Open your Eyes to Better Golf – Hypnosis Session
As with many aspects of life, perfect practice makes perfect, so the more you describe things visually to other people, and yourself, the better you see the picture in your mind’s eye. So in this first hypnosis session, you’ll practice, in hypnosis, describing your better shots from successful past rounds in ways that allow you to unconsciously reveal your unconscious imagery to your conscious awareness.
To illustrate this, I worked with a client who had big problems with his pitch shots, where he would quite often make a very disjointed swing, usually on a 50-60 yard pitch shot, and either thin it over the green or duff it just a few yards. He never knew when it was going to happen.
When I asked him to describe to me in detail about a good pitch shot he’d played recently, he knew he had played one, but he couldn’t remember it well enough to describe it to me. Not one to give up easily, I asked him to talk me generally through that round. As he was talking me through how he played various holes, I casually asked him if he’d played any mid-range pitch shots in the round and, if he had, did any of them go well. “Oh yes”, he said, “I hit a really good pitch into the 15th green.” I asked him what was special about it and he told me excitedly how he had managed to pitch the ball just over the large bunker on the right hand side and hold the ball on the green. He’d had to play that shot, because he’d hit the previous shot to the right as well, so he had to come in over that bunker.
Now, I don’t know if you’ve realised it, but by now, he’s describing the hole in great detail in visual terms. He went on quickly and easily to answer more of my questions about this shot, including the lie of his ball, the way it ran after it landed, what his playing partners said about it and his feelings at the time. He was clearly visualising the experience and describing it to me in such detail helped him to do it.
Golf with your Eyes Closed – Hypnosis Session
Now this second hypnosis session is a bit weird and very effective. I based it, with an unusual twist, on an intriguing experience I had many, many years ago. I was selected to play with a good friend of mine as my partner in the Hertfordshire County Foursomes team event at the old East Herts. Golf Club, a course I had never played before.
Despite my best endeavours, I didn’t have the time to play the course before the event, so I had to play it blind, so to speak. Back in those days, there were no yardage charts available and no distance markers on the course, so my foursomes partner, who had played there several times and knew the course well, suggested that he would have to tell me where to hit the ball and act as my caddy when it was my turn to hit our ball, as there were many doglegs and blind shots on the course.
So what’s the unusual twist with this session? Well this time you’re going to be my caddy, as I play one or other of your favourite courses in your mind. What makes it an interesting learning experience is that you will be caddying blindfold for me and you’ll have to picture and visually describe the shots I have to play. Before you say it, yes I know that sounds weird, but I think you’ll find it quite revealing
Imagine Your Way to Better Golf – Hypnosis Session
The power of the unconscious mind is truly phenomenal, especially when it comes to synthesising new ways of working from our lifetime of experiences and resources. This third hypnosis session builds on your successful work with the first two sessions to help you build a vivid imaginary future experience of playing great golf using all your newly rediscovered visualisation skills. I then ask your unconscious mind to work out how that could have happened. After all, if your unconscious mind can create that vivid imaginary future, then it can also work out a plan to get you there without interference from your conscious analytical mind under hypnosis.
I once used this technique to help a young man to overcome his inability to see himself speaking Spanish fluently. I accepted his perceived blockage and gradually talked him round to the idea of what it might be like if he could speak Spanish fluently. He suggested that he would certainly need to have lived in a Spanish-speaking country for several months if that was ever going to happen. I asked him to vividly imagine what it would be like to be there in that country and speaking the language fluently. I had no idea where it was or when it was, as I got him to imagine all the details of what he was seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling and tasting. He seemed to be there and living the experience in his mind.
I then helped him into hypnosis and asked him to imagine that he could float out of his body and travel along his timeline to that future time he’d imagined and to float down and observe his future self experiencing that great experience. After he enjoyed that for a while, I asked him to float back above his timeline and travel slowly back to the present time noticing the things he had done and the decisions he had made along the way to achieving his desire to speak Spanish. I also gave him the suggestion that he didn’t need to consciously remember any of the things he saw. When he got back to the present, I helped him back out of trance and sent him on his way. A week or so later he was thinking in Spanish.
The power of the imagination and the ability to see things in the “mind’s eye” is often very obvious to us as spectators when we see golfers thinking out their most difficult shots. You only have to think of some of those amazing chip shots Sergio Garcia and Jose Maria Olazabal play, the pitch shots of Padraig Harrington and those unbelievable shots that Phil Mickelson pulls off, to name but a few.
Visualisation is also a key part of the pre-shot routines of these top players and I suspect that most of them consciously or unconsciously think about it in a similar way to Jack Nicklaus.