The Power of Visualization

In life, we generally become, or “live into” what we visualize for ourselves in the future. The same happens in golf. If we focus on what we don’t want to happen in the future, we have a tendency to fulfill that image. Since the body responds far greater to images than it does to words, positive visualization becomes a key factor in our success in golf.

For example, imagine yourself standing on the tee with out of bounds on one side of the fairway. If you let your mind focus on not hitting it out of bounds, rather than on your target and the shot you WANT to hit, you will invariably produce the shot you fear. Such thinking causes the body to try and steer the ball away from the danger, resulting in a bad swing and the ball going exactly where you didn’t want it to.

We need to learn how to replace these negative images with positive ones. The focus always needs to be on a precise target with a desired shot shape.

A good practice regime involving visualization and feel exercises, will teach you how to you can eliminate focus on negative outcomes and synchronize your body and mind with a clearly defined positive goal.

On the driving range, get into the habit of using your imagination and visualizing shots before you hit them. Develop a routine of hitting a complete variety including fades, draws, low and high shots. This will not only increase your awareness and feel for those shots, but it will get you into the habit of positively visualizing shots before you hit them.

The first step towards better golf is improving your state of mind for golf. It’s really the only thing holding you back. I’m convinced that whatever your handicap, you have the ability to become completely absorbed in a positive process for every shot and live into your future as a very good golfer.

Where do you see the ball going on this hole?

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David MacKenzie

is a golf coach and golf publisher and lives in Washington DC. He is the founder of Golf State of Mind a teaching program designed to help golfers eliminate negative mental interference and play with confidence.

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