Players who have a clear, visual image of a shot are more likely to execute better than a player who does not know what a shot looks like. Visualization is key to not only a more focused game, but also lower scores overall. Find out how visualization can help on the golf course and steps to success.
The brain plays an important role in golf for focusing the mind and getting the body aligned properly to hit the best shot possible. Studies demonstrate visualization during physical action can stimulate muscles used when performing the actual move. In essence, the mind is practicing before the body takes the shot. While visualizing the shot is a great starting point, it is important to also commit to the shot to have the best chance at success.
Every shot needs a plan of action. It is not possible to hit a great shot when hesitation or doubt creep in about a shot. The following steps can help commit to a shot and make it great:
- Let go of fear, doubt or reservation
- Ask the right questions
- Build a picture of the perfect shot
- Move confidently and fluidly through the action
Focus needs to be external, not internal. See what lies in front of the ball, rather than focus on swing mechanics. The subconscious mind needs to be able to control the movement and having an image of the shot helps the brain do this. Trusting oneself is key to hitting the best shot.
Reaction in golf is different than other sports in that players do not respond to what someone else is doing. A stationary ball does all the talking which gives the player time to think, but also makes the shot much harder. Visualization helps still the mind, calm the body and prepare for a free flowing movement towards hitting the ball. Think of it like having a camera in the left ear (for a right-handed player) which keeps an eye on the target at all times.
Outcome and Process
Two types of visualization can be helpful to players on the golf course. Utilize either or both to help build a better, stronger game with more focus and intention when taking the perfect shot.
Outcome Visualization – focus on the following questions to support a better game:
- How will the lie affect the shot?
- Where does the ball need to land?
- How high off the ground will it go?
- How will it release to the hole?
- Where on the hole will it drop in?
- Paint a picture and look at the shot. Give the line the ball will travel a color and keep the image at the forefront of the mind.
Process Visualization – some players like to use visualization to imagine hitting the shot. Players are able to program the body’s movements to align with the shot desired before it ever occurs.