Golf is more than a game. It’s a way of life, a lifestyle. It finds its way into all aspects of the rest of your life. When you are playing well, you are up and when you are down, well…
Having the right equipment makes a difference. Sure, there’s a minimum bar for that. You don’t need ALL the clubs, but there is a set that is required to play. A “Sunday bag” worth, if you will. Of course, clothing makes a difference. You want to be comfortable but not look like you just crawled off the sofa. And balls. Don’t get me started on the balls. Got a favorite type? You bet you do. Got a specific ball that you do better with? Probably so.
Maybe you have seen some of the gadgets advertised on the Golf Channel. They range from “That looks like it might work.” to “There’s NO way I’m spending that much on that!” Remember the scenes in “Tin Cup” where first the psychologist, then the golf pro each put on every device known to man trying to get an edge? It still makes me laugh.
That psychologist, at least, should have known better.
Golf is played in your head. Do you recognize any of these players?
- “Golf is 80% mental, 10% ability, 10% luck.” -Jack Nicklaus
- “90% of golf is mental, and the other 10% is mental too.” -Jim Flick
- “Golf is 95% mental and 35% psychological”. -Chi Chi Rodriguez
- “Sometimes the biggest problem is in your head. You’ve got to believe!” -Jack Nicklaus (again)
Before the round, during the round and after the round. It’s all in your head.
Every golf club in the land has a golf pro of some measure who can give you a physical tune-up. But when is the last time that you met with the club mental tune-up pro? I’ll bet never. But it’s not your fault. When is the last time the club recommended a session with their in-house hypnotherapist?
So, what do the pros know that you don’t know?
At the tender age of 13, Tiger Woods began mental training with Dr. Jay Brunza, a psychologist and family friend. Brunza used hypnosis as one of his techniques. The first time Jay hypnotized Tiger, he had him stick his arm straight out and told him that it couldn’t be moved. Tiger’s father, Earl, tried but couldn’t pull Tiger’s arm down. Dr. Brunza hypnotizes Tiger to block out all distractions and focus entirely on the golf course. Tiger says hypnosis is “inherent in what I do now.” Woods adds this perspective: “I always have an inner peace on the golf course. I’ve learned to trust the subconscious, and my instincts have never lied to me.”
Jack Nicklaus has said that his mind is his strongest weapon in making him a champion.
Chuck Hogan, a PGA Professional, switched his golf schools to concentrate less on swing training and more on mental training. He coaches over 60 PGA, LPGA, and Senior Tour players.
Many other sports are using hypnosis techniques to elicit better physical success.
- Bob Reese, the New York Jets’ head trainer and hypnotherapist, utilizes the power of relaxation and visualization (often referred to as hypnosis) to reprogram the subconscious minds of his players.
- Jimmy Connors used hypnosis to win the U.S. Open Championship.
- Mark McGuire has used a sports psychologist/hypnotist since 1991.
- Michael Jordan has been quoted saying that he has shot many more baskets in his mind than he ever did on the court.
These experts understand the power of creating an environment that allows the subconscious to practice success. By doing so, the subconscious becomes poised to take the necessary actions when the right moment arrives. For more than three decades, athletes, including golfers, have been using hypnosis to rehearse perfection.
So put down the hockey-stick shaped putter that Golf Digest promised would take a stroke off your game and get your head into the game.