A guided imagery coach typically assists the player to relax deeply using a variety of techniques, including deep breathing and calming suggestion. Then he instructs the player to imagine himself perfectly executing the golf strokes that he wants to perfect.
Using imagery to improve your golf game is a skill that can be taught so the participation of a coach is no longer needed. It takes some practice to be able to trigger a relaxation response and to focus on a task, but practice pays off.
Positive vs. Suppressive Thoughts
Professor of psychology Sian Beilock and others at Michigan State University compared the effects of "suppressive" thoughts, such as "don't hit the trap," with the effects of positive imagery--imagining oneself successfully making the shot--and found that suppressive thoughts harmed performance while positive imagery enhanced it.
Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology, scientists can see what areas of the brain change when a golfer is imagining herself hitting a shot well.
Neurosurgeon Jeffery Ross and others at the Cleveland Clinic found that golfers with higher handicaps stimulated more areas of the brain with positive imagery than scratch golfers.