Increased awareness, understanding and commitment to the skill of creative visualization have inspired anxiousness to move the new learning to the course. The purpose of this blog is to share some of the learning and practicing experiences with a view toward keeping you posted about results on the field of friendly strife.
What is creative visualization? Visualization, or imagery, is experiencing performance in the mind and is the equivalent of playing movies in your head. As Macy & Wilding-White suggest, this video needs to be vivid, controllable and positive; and it requires engaging the senses to really see, hear, smell, feel and taste the experience. With learning and practice, this mental rehearsal skill has the potential to increase confidence, sharpen concentration, control nerves and strengthen motivation. This technique of using the imagination to create what you want and to create a clear image, idea or feeling of something you wish to manifest can be quite inspiring. As Bubba Watson remarks, “My golf game is all about imagination turned into something real.”
Jack Nicklaus offers in Golf My Way that the number one goal in golf is impact and that “It helps to know where—and how—you want to go before you start going there.” Following Jack’s advice, here is a snapshot of the game plan for a course-ready pre-shot routine and thundering impact scenario that has evolved from the recent study, learning and practice.
PRE-SHOT ROUTINE: standing behind the ball for a final programming of the subconscious before a shot or putt.
The mission is to unleash the artist to create thundering impact of the club face and ball.
Estimate of the shot conditions
• Lie and lie conditions
• Conditions of landing area
• Pin location
• Danger and penalty possibilities
• Risk and reward percentages
• Type of shot
• Club selection
Be the ball and go from where the ball is to its final resting point (Option: create movie watching the ball)
• Take moment…
-Breathe deep, center, quiet the mind, embrace the beauty of nature and be grateful for playing friends
• Feel impact reaction and hear sound
• Watch launch action
• Follow flight pattern and trajectory
• See landing bounce and roll characteristics
• Pin point final resting point of ball
Be the golfer with a club who makes the perfect swing to create the imagined shot: see the required shot in motion (Option: create movie watching the golfer)
• Set-up: grip is not too tight, not too loose; aim: club face is perpendicular to ball-target line; align body…feet, hips, shoulders; stance: feet comfortable distance apart and provide stability for club being used; posture: proper spine angle; stable right side to support full shoulder turn and shoulder tilt; ball position correct for club being used.
• Complete back swing: good shoulder turn and tilt; left shoulder to chin; club parallel to ball-target line
• Fluid, smooth transition; as back swing is finishing, hips begin transition for forward swing
• Effective release of hands, wrists, forearms and upper arms
• Orgasmic impact
• Finish follow-through: right heel shows
• Practice swing though grass similar to current shot conditions
• Feel whether practice swing will deliver required shot: complete finish and hold finish
• Possible swing thoughts (one maximum, if necessary): stable swing center, stable right-side and lower body; maintain spine angle; feel full-turn of upper body against lower body: good shoulder turn and tilt
Putting specifics for imagination
Touch (What is required to happen: distance and direction)
• Length of putt
• Speed of green’s surface
• Roll: uphill, downhill, flat, combination
• Size of swing (power required)
Feel (How to deliver what is required: stroke)
• Practice swing for desired result
• Feeling of swing
• How far for this swing
• How perfect is this swing
Set up, go to the breath, quiet the mind, release felt tension, dance to feel balance and feel rhythm, focus on point of contact of ball with square club face and PULL the TRIGGER to UNLEASH the ARTIST.
Will keep you posted about progress!
Jack Nicklaus (2005). Golf My Way. New York: NY: Simon & Schuster.
Lynn Marriott & Pia Nilsson (2005). Every Shot Must Have a Purpose. New York, NY: Gotham.
Shakti Gawain (2002). Creative Visualization. Novato, CA: New World Library.
Golf Rules Illustrated (2011). United States Golf Association. Hamlyn.
Erin Macy & Tiffany Wilding-White (2009). Golfing with Your Eyes Closed: Mastering Visualization Techniques for Exceptional Golf. New York: NY: McGraw Hill.
Dave Pelz (2000). Putting Bible: The Complete guide to Mastering the Green. New York, NY: Doubleday.
Dave Pelz (1999). Short Game Bible: Master the Finesse Swing and Lower Your Scores. New York: NY: Aurum.