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Golf Psychology – Improve your game from your inbox – Visualisation

Golf Psychology – Improve your game from your inbox – Visualisation

The 2017 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard was highlighted by a 15.5 meter eagle putt on the 16th hole by Marc Leishman. To sink a putt like that you have to read the line and visualise the speed and roll of the green. Visuaisation in golf is a technique that is crucial to your success. Visualisation has been proven to:

* stimulate the muscles necessary to perform an action

* program the mind and muscles prior to playing to increase confidence

* control pre-round nerves and relax the body and mind

* re-frame from negative to positive outcomes

* Help with swing changes

* Help recovery from injury

* Improve concentration


Visualisation is not only important on the greens but also for every swing you make during your round.

Tip of the week – Visualisation suggests that to start using visualisation as a technique you have to attempt to visualise your shot in a similar way to what you often see on TV when they use the shot tracer. In other words you need to visualise your back swing and the tension created in your body. Then visualise the trigger moment when you start to unwind. Visualise the sequence when you hit the ball. Then proceed to visualise the flight path of the ball toward the hole. Picture where the ball will land and bounce and how far it needs to roll.

Don’t worry if your execution is not perfect. Richard Suinn, a sport psychologist, did a study where downhill skiers were strapped to a machine that measured muscle activity. When asked to imagine skiing downhill the same muscles were activated that would have been activated while actually skiing downhill. The take-away point here is that even if your execution is not perfect, by visualising the shot beforehand you actually “train” those muscles to work the way they should when you actually take the swing. Therefore, this week’s tip really allows you to improve your game from your inbox as you can visualise a golf shot right there where you are sitting and reading this article.

In the words of Jack Nicklaus [At a par-5 hole] I don’t say, ‘I’m going to drive it as far as I can and then get home in two.’ I think about the kind of drive I want to hit and try to get my mind to make my body hit that kind of shot. This thing of trying to make the same kind of pass at the ball on every swing is a bunch of baloney. I don’t think it can be done.

Quote of the week

I feel that hitting specific shots — playing the ball to a certain place in a certain way — is 50 percent mental picture, 40 percent setup, and 10 percent swing. – Jack Nicklaus with Ken Bowden. Golf My Way. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1974

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Coen Welsh, a qualified industrial psychologist, is an expert on the Antecedents and underlying Psychological Conditions predicting Employee Engagement.He has worked in diverse teams in the UK, Egypt and Namibia. Coen regularly gets invited to speak at HR and other conferences. He is a regular contributor to NBC National Radio as well as Tupopyeni and Off-the-Hook on NBC Television. He is a founding member of the Professional Speakers Association of Namibia. You can visit him at

About The Author


Today the Typesetter is a position at a newspaper that is mostly outdated since lead typesetting disappeared about fifty years ago. It is however a convenient term to indicate a person that is responsible for the technical refinement of publishing including web publishing. The Typesetter does not contribute to editorial content but makes sure that all elements are where they belong. - Ed.