When Golf Psychology is the Enemy...
Whether you call it Golf Psychology, Sports Psychology, the Mental Game of golf, the Mental Side of Golf, or Playing in the Zone...
Golf happens in the mind, and it's not just a matter of good or bad thoughts, because there is a crucial time period during every shot when ANY conscious thought will ruin the shot...
The Mental Secret That Separated the Tiger Woods
of 2006 From The Rest Of The PGA.
The reference is a 2008 Golf Digest article called, Tiger Secrets it is one of the best articles on Tiger I have read.
This article shows how Tiger is thinking on the golf course. It also explains why Tiger has stayed with Hank for so long.
“I’ll tell you 100 percent what happened,” says Williams. “Tiger came back from Carnoustie, and instead of spending hours on the practice field, he just tried to picture how he wanted to swing the club. He used what Hank was telling him to do — which he had been having quite a bit of difficulty putting into practice — and went about getting swing thoughts organized and the right mental picture. He came to Firestone having done little actual practice, but from that point on, he had a mental image of himself that he was able to relate to the movement of his body.
“And each week he played, he got a little bit better right up to the Tour Championship. His rhythm and balance with every club were exceptional, and never changed. In the 10 years I’ve been with him, it was the best stretch I’ve ever seen Tiger play.” That process was how Woods came closer than he has ever been to “owning” his swing, to borrow the phrase that has been his goal since he began working with Haney in early 2004.
Tiger's secret during that stretch was using pictures and video rather than thoughts during his pre-shot routine.
When the mind can see a clear picture of what you want to do, it can execute that picture or video to near perfection. When golfers are in the Zone, most times they aren't aware of how they are playing so well, but this is what they are doing.
You might be thinking, "What pictures?" It's easier to show than explain.
If you were in a dark room that you knew, you could walk around until your bearings were a little off. What happens then? You slow down and reach out to touch something. As soon as you touch something you know, the picture comes back into view and you know where everything is. If the picture wasn't there, you would be super cautious until you could get to a place you knew.
A very important detail to notice in the dark room is that when we touched something, the mind created instant pictures.
Your visualization system is what creates an accurate golf swing, but where most golf psychologists miss the mark is that your visualization system is linked to touch. You might think, "What touch is there in the golf swing?"
Your hands to the club.
Your feet to the ground
The proper use of those two touch sensors during your golf swing is what makes a feel golfer so much more accurate than a technical golfer.
At that time, Tiger was developing into a feel golfer...
It's unfortunate that it didn't last but once he regains a swing that works to protect his left knee, he will probably find it easier to get back there.
Let me wrap this up so it makes sense for you.
The reason most visualization taught in golf doesn't help is because your mind links your pictures to your sense of feel. Your golf swing is generated in your mind by a combination of feel, called bio-feedback, and visual pictures that are linked to your feel.
You can use this same touch feedback system to make clear pictures to make your golf swing more powerful and accurate. Using this picture /feel system keeps conscious thought away while making your golf shots better.
It's a simple three-step process.
Awareness of internal balance/touch feedback.
Creating vivid pictures using the feedback.
Using the pictures and feel together to make great golf shots.
Article written by Tracy Reed
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