3/21/2011 5:39:20 PM
Once a player has confidence in shot results, then optimizing the chances of hitting a great golf shot is the next step.
Here are the five musts I would recommend that you do.
1. Time travel and imagery:
When a player approaches his next shot and is evaluating the situation -- the environment, lie and his target -- he is clearly in the present time. But, he travels into the future when he goes about imagining the shot that he needs to play for that particular situation.
To choose that shot, however, he must go back into the past in order to remember a shot that he has already hit in a similar situation. The player goes back and forth in time -- into the future and the past -- until he settles on a shot that he will play.
Every golfer produces a clear visual of the distance, line, trajectory, speed, curvature and spin characteristics of the ball in flight and on the ground until it comes to rest. These images are vivid and clear. Then you return to the present and commit to your mind's eye.
2. Feel imagery:
This is the feeling of the motion that you are about to use that matches up exactly to the image of the shot that you are conceiving to play. As you visualize the shot, the appropriate muscles start firing in anticipation. A practice swing can enhance awareness of exactly what is required.
3. Set up:
Create a starting position that optimizes your chances of hitting the particular shot. This includes the proper grip, posture (the attitude of the mind and body), alignment, ball position and muscle tone. You are layering your concentration and focus; holding together the image, feel image and set up characteristics of your anticipated result .
This part is the last overtly physical act to prepare your mind and body to produce the result you want before the actual swing. The waggle is done while holding this layered focus of imagery, feel imagery and set up. It is performed relative to the speed, direction and clubface characteristics that will be needed in your swing. It tunes and tones up the muscles that you are about to use.
In my opinion, this is often overlooked by top players today and yet every player that has ever dominated the sport has utilized the waggle. Done properly, you definitely can acquire the assurance that your shot will come off exactly as you have planned. You're committed, athletically relaxed and confident in your method.
5. Let it go:
You have done everything in your control to create a great golf shot. At golf's highest levels of performance, this three-letter word -- let -- becomes the most important word in the dictionary.
The skill of letting go, while holding your layered focus, allows your swing to find its way without any physical or mental interruptions. It gets the friction out of the system. You get to see what is real, evaluate the outcome and assess what adjustments are needed to hit the next shot.
Imagery, feel imagery, a proper and appropriate set up, the waggle and letting it go optimize your chances of hitting a great golf shot each individual time. Work it into your system and watch your results improve.