During the press conference ahead of the WGC Bridgestone Invitational, Phil Mickelson gave us an insight into how he stayed sharp during his 6 week break from the game. He explained that “mental rehearsal for golf is just as important as physical rehearsal”. He went on to describe how, although he was not able to swing a golf club, he was able to keep his touch by visualizing shots and feeling them with his practice swings. He was actually able to practice, without being on the driving range or golf course. This tells us a lot about the application and power of the Phil Mickelson mental game and for the world’s best.
You too can improve your skills using visualization. Ben Hogan used to do what’s called “process visualization” while working on his swing. He imagine the look and feel of the swing he wanted to make. Using the power of your imagination can help get those movements ingrained. So it’s possible to practice without being at the driving range! Close your eyes now and imagine your swing. How does it look and feel? How is the contact with the ball and the ground? Hit some chips and putts in your mind also.
Tour players know how important a strong routine of visualization and feel is to their game and they continually work on improving it, not just while their practicing. Simplify your game by thinking more in this way, instead of always working on your technique. With this practice, you’ll develop the skills you’ll need on the course, to shoot lower scores, by synchronizing your body and mind with a clearly defined visual goal. This is the way to play better golf. As Phil explains, this is something you can work on without a golf club, so there is no excuse for not practicing a better mental game.
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