Positive Visualization Leads to Positive Results
You will play the greatest golf of your life this year. Entering the golf season with that mentality is your choice and a mindset you should apply to every shot you take.
Positive thoughts breed positive results and this is especially true in golf. Successful players visualize great shots during their pre-shot routine to fuel their game. Imagining positive results increases the likelihood of that picture becoming a reality.
Here are a few tips for improving the mental aspect of your game.
Be decisive in the shot you want to play. There are many options to play off the tee, from the fairway, out of the rough, and on the green. Consider your options and commit to the shot you’re going to play.
Also, make sure you envision the shot all the way through. For example, if you’re imagining a long approach shot right at the flagstick and the green slopes downward towards a water hazard, adjust your target to the front of the green.
Visualize a shot that you can hit. Imagine your ball is off the fairway and a tree stands between your position and the green. You opt for a long iron, close your stance, and hood the clubface to hit a low draw, so the ball stays under the tree limbs and runs up to the green. Make sure you’re capable of hitting this shot! If not, grab your wedge and visualize a pitch shot out to the center of the fairway.
Slow your breathing. Taking deep breaths helps you slow down your mind and sharpen your focus. Slow breathing also relieves tension, which improves your clubhead speed for longer shots and your touch for short shots around the green.
See the shot more than once. Picturing the shot once is not enough. Rehearse the shot in your mind multiple times to increase your confidence and eliminate doubt. You can even try giving thought to how the shot will feel off your club.
Carry it onto the putting green. Putts account for 33% to 36% of a player’s strokes per round (depending on their handicap). Positive visualization on the green is equally important to your shots on the course. Imagine the pace, break, and result of the putt. For putts 20 feet and further from the hole, picture the putt coming to rest within 6 inches of the cup. For putts inside of 20 feet, visualize your putt dropping to the bottom of the cup.
Positive visualization doesn’t guarantee a great shot, but it increases your chances. Too often, players fixate on the shot they don’t want to hit. Think about the great shot, so you swing the club with confidence and conviction.