Jack Burke's golf tips to lower your score

In the opening pages of this book I implied that there is something new in golf. Perhaps, as I close, I can bring it more into focus by explaining what is old.
There was a day when I might have attempted to
describe the golf swing by, first of all, handing you
fifty-seven varieties of stance. To these I could have
added that supergyration known commonly as the
“pivot” and another known as the “weight shift.” I
am willing to wager that Hemingway couldn’t put
either into words.
To impress you further, I could have explained in
detail, one by one, literally dozens of positions which
together form the pattern of the swing beautiful.
Hypothetically, you’d have a swing like Bobby Jones.
Actually, you’d have the same old swing you always
had.
I could have sold you a bushel basket full of posi-
tions at the top of the swing. To rescue you from
them, I could have peddled as many different contor-
tions of the hips.
Another old stand-by in golf books is a line or two
of verse, to be recited during the swing for the sake
of rhythm. As a matter of record, I didn’t even ask
—116—

ADDING   UP  THE   SCORE
you to recite “1-2-3-4” to yourself. All I asked is that
you swing the clubhead back, pause, and swing it
down.
I have not stuffed a handkerchief under your right
armpit nor hung a plumb bob from your chin. What
I have done is divide the golf swing into its basic
maneuvers, the golf game into common sense.
The secret of consistency in the golf swing is to
hit every shot, from the putt through the drive, with
the same basic action.
Hold the club no tighter than you would as your
caddie hands it to you. Some good golfers hold the
club incorrectly, but no bad golfers hold it correctly.
So, as near as you can, hold it the right way. After
all, the hands are the only parts of the body attached
to the club.
In addressing the ball, stand erect enough to speak
when spoken to without looking up to answer. This
prevents you from pulling up as you swing, and per-
mits you to look up as much as your concentration
will allow you.
Play all irons midway between the feet. The woods
are played more toward the front of your stance to
allow for the projected face, particularly the driver,
which meets the ball on the upswing because the ball
is already in the air.
Use the square stance whenever distance is a prime
factor, opening it when distance is not.
Swing the putter with the hands, arms, and shoul-
ders as a unit. Start the backswing with every club
the same way. Ignore the follow-through and so-
called “wrist action.” Both are superfluous.
A chip is struck down upon. Any other way simply
is not a chip. This is the action which gets any ball
—117—

THE   NATURAL   WAY   TO   BETTER   GOLF
off the ground with an iron, and in turn causes the so-
called “follow-through.”
Pause between the backswing and the downswing.
This causes the slow backswing, which causes the
head to remain still.
Hit all your irons in the same tempo.
Proper footwork is as important as a proper hold
of the club. After all, the feet are the only parts of
the body attached to the golf course. They are the
motor of the swing.
Proper footwork finds the left knee pointing behind
the ball on the backswing and the right knee pointing
in front of it on the downswing.
With the driver, tee the ball as high in the air as
the tee will allow. Always tee the ball on par-three
holes.
Hit all shots with less than your full strength.
Three-quarters strength is about what is needed to
get all the distance of which you are physically capa-
ble. A long ball is composed of fast feet as well as fast
hands.
Learn the shots you can’t play, and fit the shots
you can into your own par.
Think before you address the ball. After you have
addressed it, concentrate only on hitting the ball.
With the putt, distance is more important than
direction in the long run.
Percentage golf is hitting the ball squarely at all
costs; a wild shot is not nearly so damaging as a mis-
hit ball. Percentage golf means hitting the fairways,
hitting the greens, and missing the hazards. Nothing
can be more important in your strategy than giving
all hazards a wide berth.
Approach each game with a tactical plan. For ex-
—118—

ADDING   UP   THE   SCORE
ample, make up your mind to stick to the percentages
of medal play.
Prepare your muscles for each game by hitting
balls on the practice tee or at least by swinging sev-
eral irons at once.
Don’t use your driver off the tee simply because
the caddie handed it to you. Start with a spoon, and
work your way to the driver through the brassie. The
tee shot is still a percentage shot.
Never tee your ball up in the fairway. Each time
you do, you are doing the equivalent of spreading
Vaseline across the face of the club.
Don’t seek advice on your selection of clubs. Hit
what you feel like hitting, for indecision will ruin
the shot even though it was the correct club.
Debate each of your first choices of clubs. Do
hazards dictate playing to the front or back of the
green? Or the right or left of it? Be wary of any pre-
conceptions you may have about the correct club.
Aim at the green, not at the pin. You can’t hit it
with a golf ball if you can’t hit it with a rifle.
Play the last putt as decisively as the first drive.
There are eighteen holes to a game of golf, not seven-
teen and a half.
Bad golfers think first of recovering from hazards.
Good golfers think first of getting out of them.
The trap shot should be the easiest shot in golf.
You don’t even have to hit the ball.
Think strongly in terms of the shot you want to
play. Think “hook” if that’s what you want the ball
to do.
On either a downhill or uphill lie, always play the
ball nearer the higher foot.
Reduce all trouble shots to what you probably can
do, not what you possibly can do.
—119—

THE   NATURAL   WAY   TO   BETTER   GOLF
After you have addressed the ball, have only one
thought in mind: “Hit the ball.”
Those who play the best golf of which they are
capable relax and enjoy the game—their own game.
And those who relax and enjoy their own game play
the best golf of which they are capable.

Jack Burke

Excerpt from “The Natural Way to Better Golf”

Posted by
January 20, 2012 in Misc

How to get a junior golfer to listen to you

Junior Golfer Putting Reading Green

It’s the 18th hole and my junior golfer, 15 year old son, walks up to the green and eyes his ball lying about 25 feet from the hole. It’s a double breaker with a bit of an uphill putt that he needs to win a bet from me.   I follow him around the green as he squats behind the ball to take a look at the slope.  I hover around him and look him in the eye and finally decide to give him a little lesson in managing his mental game.

I ask him: “So AJ, right when you take the putter back, do you breathe in, out or hold your breath?”

I have a sly smile on my face as he sends mental daggers my way through his eyes.  He is determined to show up the old man for the first time in our many years of playing together.  I just keep smiling and smirking while noticing his body language reeks of tension.

Flash backwards in time for a moment.  I’ve been playing and teaching my junior golfer since he was 3 years old.  Before that, I actually pushed him around a course while in a jogger’s baby carriage in his first year while I played the game. Heck, it was the only way I was going to get to play some weekends when his mother left him with me.  I’ll never forget the gyrations I went through to try to keep him either asleep or entertained enough to stay quiet on a golf course!  From a distance, other golfers must have thought I was nuts doing African dances around my funny-looking golf cart!

Come to think of it,  you know, those times were probably very instrumental in my learning how to deal with distractions and still play the game at a high level.  Did you know that Tiger Woods Dad would purposely yell and throw clubs in front of Tiger while he was swinging in order to teach him that famous Focusing ability he is famous for?

But I digress from the main story.  From the age of 3 til about the age of 12, AJ would listen and hang on every word that I would say about golf.

Golf Swing follow through

I showed him a very simple swing that served him very well and we enjoyed many years of playing together, driving golf carts in crazy ways, and celebrating another grand day at the course with a tall soda (and beer) at the 19th hole.

And then, something happened…AJ hit that age where he all of a sudden “knows everything” if you know what I mean.  His game started to get better and I could see this wall come up any time I would talk about the mental game of golf.  In his eyes, it was just a matter of him playing more and practicing more and he’d seen the beginnings of improvement from that formula.  Never mind that I write to 10,000 golfers every week, never mind that I’ve worked with hundreds of kids and elite athletes from all over the world. Never mind the fact that I took my own golf handicap down to a 5, shot a 1-under and a hole in one, all without practicing….No, never mind all that…I’m just Dad and I don’t know anything, right?

Sound familiar?

Flash  forward to that 18th hole where he challenged me to a bet where if he won, I would have to buy him some new Nike shoes and if I won, he would have to wash my car 10 times.   He wants those shoes really bad.  I don’t let up as he walks all around his putt and takes an unusually long time to line it up. I know that he is a bowl of jello inside and his legs look like they will give out from under him at any moment.

He takes the putter back very hesitantly and leaves himself a 4-footer.   I mentally pounce all over him as you can feel the pressure in the air between us.  I tell him that he will not be able to handle the pressure and that I am looking forward to a clean car for the foreseeable future.

Score is everything

Hi misses the putt and I say nothing, not a word.  We walk to the car in silence as I let him process the whole thing his way. I turn the radio on in the car to break the tension as we drive home.

A whole month later, he comes to me and tells me he is ready to learn about the mental game and we get going in earnest.

I just learned this week, as I write this, that AJ has earned a college scholarship to play golf in college. He is a fine, upstanding, moral young man who impressed a college coach not just with his golf skills but with his personality and character.

Sometimes, golfers need to get their lessons in a certain way that only works for them.  After working with hundreds of golfers in person and more online, I’ve noticed a few patterns about what makes you a play your best game.  It’s all about being able to play under pressure. More to come on that…

Greens and fairways,

Craig Sigl

The No-practice expert

Tips for playing golf with beginners

There’s a bit of a controversy out there in the golf world. On one hand, there’s the golfers who think of the game as a respite or a haven from the rest of the world.

Those golfers look forward to a half day when they can be with the guys or the gals.  They secretly (or maybe openly) don’t want their spouse to be there on the course. I know some golfers who prefer to play by themselves for this reason.  Or maybe they enjoy showing up at the golf course and being paired with somebody new each time. I think this is all great, it’s just personal preference!

On the other hand, there’s the golfer who loves playing with friends and family. Many of us, like myself, have kids whom we have tried to brainwash into loving the game so we can take them out, connect through the sport AND GET MORE PLAYING TIME!

Above all, make it fun!

I was successful with that for one of my boys.  (I’ve been successful at brainwashing the other one to love my other favorite past time, fishing).

Anyway, I want to give you some insight and tips on how to get a beginner to want to play golf with you so that you can spend quality time with them AND get your golf fix at the same time.

The biggest tip I have for you here is….

Think long term!

You are planting a seed and each time you take a beginner out and show them a good time, the seed grows.

In other words, when you are introducing someone to your passion on the course, don’t make it about you…MAKE IT ALL ABOUT THEM!

You can still have a great time out there but you can’t expect everyone to instantly fall in love with golf the way you did.

I recently took my girlfriend on a golf trip weekend.  She doesn’t play normally but was willing to give it a try.  I had previously taken her out on a short par 3 course and given her a basic lesson.  Before the round, we hit a few balls at the range and a few more pointers on the putting green.

Be patient with your beginner golfer

She was optimistic. It was a beautiful day. The course was in great shape. Life couldn’t get much better for me until…

She squibs the ball about 30 yards ahead on the first tee and the frustration started.

So what did I do after this shot and about 20 more just like it?

I kept emphasizing the positive!

You have to think about what  beginner golfers are going through if you’ve already forgotten.  They look at you or others and think that they should be able to hit the ball almost as well as you.  And when they don’t, they get down on themselves and forget all about how beautiful the course is and how great it is to spend time with you playing a very fun game.

Anything she did well, I made it a big deal to point it out.  I kept my positive, encouraging voice tone with every bit of advice I offered.

As I was pointing out her improvement, she started to enjoy the game (just like you when you improve).

I also went out of my way to have fun with her and joke around.  What I didn’t do was get so immersed in my own game like I normally do.

All of this works the same way as when you bring a kid to the course. If you want to make it even better for your kid, then bring fun snacks along to munch on.

Kids love golf for shorter amounts of time

Remember, it’s all ABOUT THEM, and not you,  when you bring a beginner to the course.

Make sure and let other players play through behind you so that your beginner doesn’t feel pressured.  Keep an easy, smiling attitude throughout and you will be anchoring positive feelings and experiences to being on the golf course.

Whatever you do, do not let your beginning golfer attach a score to whether or not they like the game. In fact, I’d recommend you don’t even keep score until they can get a bogey or better once in a while.

There’s so many facets to enjoying the game and I want you to experience them all.  Yes, I know, the challenge of going for your personal best score is probably your primary reason for playing.

There’s one valuable mental skill that you will really be teaching yourself when playing with a beginner that is very valuable to improving your score…
Patience.

The end of the story? She was done after 9 holes and I finished the round playing multiple balls and trying all manner of
rescue shots that I wouldn’t normally try if I was keeping score. By the end of the day, I had completely satisfied my addiction for the game and my girlfriend picked me up a few hours later and we had a great evening from there, talking about her new adventure in golf.

What a great day on the course and I didn’t keep score!

Tell me your stories below in the comments section, good or bad, fun or not,  about bringing a beginner out to the course with you.

Greens and fairways,

Craig.

***********************************************************************

Ever hear of a golf pro tell you about the importance of “visualization?”

John Daly said  “visualization is the best thing that I do.”

“I never hit a shot, not even in practice, without having a very sharp, in-focus picture of it in my head. First I see the ball where I want it to finish, nice and white and sitting up high on the bright green grass. Then the scene quickly changes, and I see the ball going there; its path, trajectory, and shape, even its behavior on landing. Then there is a sort of fade-out, and the next scene shows me making the kind of swing that will turn the previous images into reality.” – Jack Nicklaus

“The best lessons I ever gave myself were at 4 in the morning, in bed, visualizing my game before the tournament” – Byron Nelson. All-time record holder for most tournament wins in a row – 11

“I have three keys to long and accurate driving.
The first is visualization, and it is the most important one to me.” – Arnold Palmer

Click Here To Learn Powerful Visualization Skills

Posted by
September 21, 2011 in Misc

Is Tiger Mentally Tough?

Did my email anger you?

Did you feel threatened?

Did that bring up some old feelings?

or

Did you agree with the statement I made that Tiger Woods is not mentally tough and get a smug feeling?

Or did you have some other reaction?  Either way, I hope you felt something from that.

I received a lot of hate responses after that email. Some people said that I’m an idiot. Others said I was racist. Others said I had no idea what it takes to make it on tour. (I find it fascinating what it takes to get people to feel…something…anything and then respond.)

I pulled those statements I made about Tiger from yesterday’s front page of our local paper and another article I read online.  I didn’t even come up with them. I don’t normally make provocative statements but felt compelled to teach this way today.

…But this is not about me.  This is about you.

I write this blog and the emails in order to teach you something about golf that maybe you’ve never heard elsewhere.  But really, I’ve got a greater purpose for you in doing that. If you’ve followed me at all, you know that I think of golf as a metaphor for life. It’s almost like a religion. There are so many things to learn from playing this game that can be applied to the rest of your life. If you’ve read anything from me, you know that to be the case. You know you aren’t going to get mechanical swing instruction from me. I write about bigger things than that.

You know, I put out content all of the time and get no responses whatsoever. And then when I mention Tiger Woods,  the emotions come out.   Yes, yes, I could have said something about religion or politics to get a reaction but I thought I would stay within the bounds of golf since that’s what we are all doing here.

I sent that email out as it was…on purpose: to get a reaction from you for a powerful lesson and something I’ve been working on the last few years and that’s Emotional Mastery. A few years back, I became totally convinced that this is the key to opening the door to your golf (and life) potential and have been working on it ever since.

So why should you care about emotion and your golf game? Here’s why:

What is it that causes the yips? Emotion

Why does it seem that a 5 foot putt is sometimes harder to make than a 10 foot putt? Emotion

Why do we play well on the front nine and not on the back (or vice versa)? Emotion

Why is it that some golfers seem fired up and do very well when challenged? Emotion

Why is it that you play better on some courses and not on others? Some days and not others? Emotion

I could go on and on about that but you already know all of that.  All pressure is emotion too!

When teaching about emotion, other mental game teachers would just write something like:

“You’ve got to manage your emotions”

or

“Don’t get too high or too low”

“Get in control of your emotions”

When have you ever heard from someone who can tell you HOW to do that?

I, on the other hand, am trying to show you something by experience. In order to do that, you have to actually FEEL something and not just intellectualize it.There are answers and there are solutions to the emotion problem.

When you become aware of and work with your emotions, LIFE and GOLF gets so much easier and you perform better

Here’s some questions you might want to ponder about yourself. You don’t have to answer the questions directly…just absorb it and let your mind go where it needs to go.  The questions themselves will do the work for you and help you to take back control of your emotions. Take your time with each question and see where you need to go with it. I recommend you get yourself in that difficult emotion while doing this…remind my email again and get angry again if that helps.

In order to first make change, we have to aware of what needs to change.

If you got a strong negative reaction from my email:

1. How is it that you could allow a total stranger whom you’ve never met or seen in person cause you that emotion?

2. How does that happen on the course? In business, in your relationships?

3. Where does that emotion begin in your body. Try bringing up that emotion again and see where it starts.  When you become aware of this, you will be able to nip those troubling emotions in the bud BEFORE they become a problem.

4. Ask yourself:  “Why is it that some people would not have a strong reaction like I did”  Follow that up with: “Is that difficult emotion USEFUL to me?

5. Do I want to be a victim of my emotions out on the course or master them?

6. When have I been offended before OFF the course and shrugged it off? How did I do that? Can I do that ON the course just the same?

Now, here’s the big kicker:  7. What is the belief I’m holding that is causing me to have a negative reaction.

I’m sure that the people who wrote to me expressing their anger and hate would say something like:  “What he wrote made me so angry”

But how can I MAKE anyone angry?  I can’t.

NOBODY or NOTHING outside of you can MAKE YOU EMOTIONAL

If you got NO EMOTIONAL REACTION from my statement, you want to ask yourself: “Do I allow myself to FEEL?”  Can I get excited and passionate about golf…or anything?

Some golfers may be missing out on their potential because their true nature is a FEEL golfer yet they’ve shut that system down over the years.  I’ve run into that many times working with male athletes.

Emotional Mastery isn’t just about dealing with difficult emotions. It’s also about creating the fun ones like joy, bliss, pure, flow, etc. All of those emotions and more are what golfers use to describe THE ZONE.

You might be thinking about now: “This is a bunch of garbage. This has nothing to do with golf or my life. All I need to do is work harder  at my game,  practice more and I’ll get better.

And I would have to ask you…”How is that belief useful to your game?”

Tiger’s got some work to do. That’s no secret. He can still develop a type of mental toughness that he doesn’t have right now. That’s also a fact.

My own personal opinion is that the game of golf would be so much better if he were back in contention every week and I want to see that.  He brought excitement and passion into the game and it is sorely missed now.

The first step to mastering your emotions is allowing yourself to feel them.

The next step is to resolve the reason for the emotion and tell yourself that resolution WHILE IN THE EMOTION.

There’s more to this. I’ve developed a 7-step process to Master your emotions.  I’ll tell you more later.

The next time you hear from me, I’ll be giving you some training from a real pro instructor….unlike me.

😉

Greens and fairways,

Craig

How to get real improvement in your golf game – part 2

In case you missed part 1, you can go read it here:  improve your golf game – part 1

******************

Now to continue on with the story…

My first drive is perfect. I can’t ask for more.  What do I do? Instantly after watching my ball land right where I want it to and as I walk towards it, I am reminding myself of what made that happen, namely, my plan I told you about in part 1.

Golf improvement on the green

Improvement on the green came from "The Plan"

I followed my plan to the letter. I did exactly what I said I would. I got the result I wanted. I felt totally empowered. I told myself that I got it now. I replayed that shot over and over in mind as I walked to the ball. I talked to my unconscious mind and thanking it for pulling the “280 yard straight shot” file from the filing cabinet in my mind.  I told it that I wanted that again and again…all day.   I went over an over in mind what went right. I filled my thoughts with “this is how I play” and “this is how I drive the ball.” Etc.

And…I’m smiling all the way as I keep walking to the ball.

Deer on the golf course

Deer on the golf course

I get up to my second shot and it’s about 70 yards to the pin. Great, no problem. I know what to do here as well.  I know that my sand wedge will go 70 yards at about a 3/4 backswing.  I figure that out a couple years ago when I took a bucket of balls down to the schoolyard while the kids were out and I placed a rag at 30, 50, and 70 yards out and then hit while only observing how far back I take my backswing.  You really only have to do this once and it pays off for years.

Now, the problem for me wasn’t my distance on approach shots. The problem was hitting the darn thing straight.  Standing over the ball, I re-committed my entire mind and energy to what I had been working the last 2 days…square and point.

I took a look at the pin and used that target to draw an imaginary line to my ball.  I squared my body up to that target line.  I went through my preshot routine like religious monk in prayer.  I NEVER LOOKED AT THE TARGET AGAIN.  I didn’t have to!

Yes, I know, this goes contrary to popular golf advice for score improvement.  Everyone says to be “target oriented” and so do I. But, you see, at my level of play and for 90% or more of all recreational golfers JUST PICKING A TARGET AND FOCUSING ON IT ISN’T ENOUGH.  We need to have an intermediate, simple instruction between the target and our swing that bridges that gap.

That “bridge” is the 12-18 inches of imaginary target line from the ball to the target.The simple instruction I give to my unconscious mind is to “square the club face at the point of impact and point it (or “follow it” if you like that better) down the target line”

I hit to about 10 yards from the pin, I lip out my putt and tap in for an easy par.

Wild turkeys on the golf course

Wild turkeys on the golf course

My son, on the other hand, is in big trouble having hit his shot into the lateral hazard. He pulls out a bogey and I can see the sweat starting to bead on his forehead as says “nice hole Dad” to me…and we go to the next hole.

I end up following my plan to near perfection.  I end up the day with NO DOUBLE bogeys and 1 birdie.  I shoot a 79 playing strictly by the rules of golf and I win the bet.  I’m very excited! I’ve got my game back!!! Woohoo!!!

My son owes me 12 hours of labor. What do you think I should have him do for me?  🙂

Car washes? Clean my clubs? Clean my house and toilets!, Yes, that’s it…hahaa.

I don’t rub any of it in with him. At the end of the round, I’m a good sport and I put my arm around him and remind him of some great shots he made.

The 19th hole

The 19th hole

We go out to beer and pizza afterward and have a good laugh about the round and the funny things we said and did that day.  We love golf. We love the camaraderie that goes with the game. We love the competition whether it’s with someone else or with just ourselves to beat our personal best. We love the outdoors and we love the game itself.

I go to bed that night in total gratitude…

The next day, in the car on the ride home, I ask my son what his plan was for fixing what went wrong with his game.  He gave me the typical teenager “I don’t know” answer.

We had a long talk and I helped him devise it.  He says he is committed to the plan…we’ll see

We’re playing tomorrow.

I’ll let you know.

Greens and fairways,

Craig

p.s. This just came in from one of my golfselfhypnosis.com members:

“Thank you so much.  I’ve really been helped with my golf game.  Having
been a therapist for several years before I retired and got to play
more golf, I’ve seen what hypnosis can do.  I usually shoot in the low
100s, but after listening to that one time I shot a 92.  I’ll be sure
to keep it going.  I hope any of the older women will go with it.  I’m 68  and
it’s great to play better!

Thanks again.

Katharine Abbott, Ph.D., Provo UT

Golf Self Hypnosis

$24.95 for real golf improvement - Click Here

3 steps to really improve your golf

I just got back from my annual golf vacation trip to the Running Y in South Central Oregon.  It’s a beautiful Arnold Palmer course along Klamath Lake. It winds in and around some amazing scenery and you usually get to see wildlife like snakes, eagles, squirrels, marmots, deer and I once saw a bobcat there.

Golf Course Snake

Wild things on the golf course

Anyway, the first round out, I played horribly.  I put a couple dollar bet on the score with my 17 y/o son who lives for the days when he can beat me at golf.  He’s well on his way and ended up winning by a stroke as I carded an 88. Ugggh.  I was not happy with my game at all. Usually on vacation, I play my best because, well frankly, I’m in a great mood as vacations tend to do that!

After that game, I examined myself to find out why I played so poorly.  By the way, the time to do that is after the round. During the round, you just want to focus on your successes and forgetting your misses.  In that review of each hole, it was obvious to me that I just wasn’t hitting my approach shots which is one of my strengths!

As I teach my son and you, I then went about designing a plan to fix that before the next round and that plan revolved around “square and point.” (If you missed that video, here it is:  straight golf shots)

I thought, “Great, I know the problem, I have the solution, I know what to do” and vowed to put some attention on it during my warmup before my next round.

So the next round comes up a couple days later and I go to the range to warm up. I go through my usual routine of pretending to play the course while on the range. During my “pretend” approach shots, I’m thinking and practicing “square and point” and my shots seem a lot better than before.

I go out on the course and shoot an 86. Ugggh!

Running Y golf resort

Running Y golf resort

Please understand that I don’t mean to insult you if that’s a great score for you. Everyone has their standard and mine, of course, is to break 80.

“What’s going on here” I again reflect and ask myself after the round. I was making putts and chipping reasonably well but my drives were bad and that undermined my confidence for my approach shots.  Net effect on score: NO GAIN.

We had a 3rd round planned in a couple days. I vowed to fix these problems and finish the week with a great score.

With my driving, it was simple. I found myself trying to be too tricky in “working” the ball. I was trying to turn it over to get that extra 10 yards so as to make sure I out drive my son.  I was trying to be Mr. Pro Golfer by hitting the low screaming drives against the wind and making it fly high with the wind…all fun things to do, but if you aren’t good enough to be consistent with that (I’m obviously not) then that is a BAD plan.

I let go of that and made a solid commitment to hit my regular consistent straight shot… every time, no matter what the hole or how long it is.  Follow my preshot routine, pick my target, align my body along it, and just do “square and point.”

I spend the next 2 days thinking “square and point” with every free moment. I listen over and over to my golf hypnosis recording for accuracy. Before the round and warming up, I leave my woods in the bag and completely dedicate my warmups to “s and p.”  I turn myself into a robot before I ever get to the first tee.  I allow myself to have fun and joke and mess with my brothers and my son between shots but as soon as the preshot routine begins, I am Ben Hogan jr. with my icy focus on S & P.

Golf Green protected by bunkers

Golf Green protected by bunkers

Look over what I’ve written here as there are powerful messages on how to really improve your golf.

1. Review your game after every round.

2. Come up with a plan to fix what went wrong. In doing that, know that if you’ve hit good shots before or putted well before, then you have the answers within you. Ask for help if you need it.

3. Completely commit to the plan. Believe in yourself and the plan. Go all out to execute it.

What do most golfers do instead?  The same thing they always do. They go to the range, do the same routine they’ve always done, and then they just HOPE that the golf gods will smile on them and  give them a good score the next time. Not me, there is no HOPE in my vocabulary. There’s INTENTION and COMMITMENT.

My son makes a bet with me for straight up scratch scores.  If he wins, I have to buy him a new pair of Nike Golf shoes.  If I win, I get 12 hours of free labor from him for whatever I want.

The round begins and I rip my drive 280 right down the middle….

…tell you the rest in my next post.

********************************************************

Golf Self Hypnosis

Click Here

Lessons: Playing golf in the present

You hear it all of the time:

focus on the present

play one shot at a time

stay within yourself

Easier said than done right? You know what the problem really is? It’s that we have too much brainpower for this game. Our brains are way overdeveloped to be able to swing these clubs and knock this little white ball around a grassy field to drop it into a silly cup cut out of the ground.

Notice the beauty of a course

What I’m writing here today could just be a big breakthrough for you as it has been for a lot of my clients I work with in my office. You see, most of the athletes I see in my office for help with their mental game are smart, really smart. In fact, some are quite brilliant outside of golf and sport. Out on the course, this can be a problem.

You read all of the time about pros who say that they think of “nothing” out there on the course when they are swinging or going through their preshot routine. This is great advice FOR SOME PEOPLE. And poor advice for others.

For many golfers, much better advice is to DIRECT your mind and give it something to do that is constructive instead of the destructive things you are currently doing with it. You are too smart for golf and so you have to learn how to channel all that mind power.

Golf tee lookout

So, I have a couple main lessons for you here that once you understand, I think you could get a big “Aha” moment that frees your from your destructive thinking.

1. Just because a top pro tells you a certain way to think, don’t necessarily buy into it. Your brain probably works completely different than others. Everyone is unique. I’ve been preaching this for years now and sometimes it seems like nobody is listening. Do not think that advice from anyone in the golf world (including me) is good for everyone.
You’ve got to pick and choose and then trust that when it feels right or you somehow get a sense that this works for you, then it is!

2. I like to fill my mind with what my senses are taking in on the course. If you were to just stand on a course and just put all your attention on what your 5 senses are taking in, you will find many things to occupy your mind so that it doesn’t get in the way of your next shot so that you can play unconsciously.

3. Here’s the biggie. You’ve got to make a commitment BEFORE your round that this is what you are going to do during your next round. It’s a mental skill that you develop, get good at, and then do automatically at some point. It’s not going to happen without some effort and dedication. Too many golfers pay lip service to their mental game and then default right back to their old ways once they are on the course. If you haven’t pre-lived how you are going to think once you are on the course, then you’re unconscious is going to create a strong pull to do what you’ve always done…and you won’t break through.

Start tapping into the power of making a decision and commitment to practice using your mind in ways that support your game instead of being a victim of it. You have this power…use it!

Greens and fairways,

Craig

Playing hacker golf

The game is on!

Ok, it happened yesterday to me…I played hacker golf.

There, I said it and I admit it.  (I still am struggling with that admission).

Yesterday, I played a round and I played the worst I’ve played in years.  Now, this is no disrespect to those who are still honing their game and are happy playing hacker golf, believe me. I played that way for years and enjoyed the game immensely.

But this was different for me! You see, I played on the 4th of July (just 2 days before) and played pretty good. Not my best, but certainly right in my range. I shot an honest 80 on a full-sized course.  Yes, you probably know how frustrating it is to get that close to breaking 80 while missing 3 putts inside 4 feet when any one of them would have gotten me a 79. Oh well. I was still pretty happy with my 80 since I hadn’t done any practicing and and only played about once a month this year so far.

And then yesterday, the wheels fell off.

I’m playing with my 17 year-old son who is about as good as me and we put $5 on the line, scratch score for 18 holes.

So I go out to the first tee with all the confidence in the world. I’m loose, I’m feeling great, the weather is perfect, the course is in great shape…and what do I do?

I hit my opening drive into the trees on the left with a pull-hook.

Trees - the sentinels of the golf course

Ahhh, no problem right? It’s a par 5 and I can just punch it back to the fairway and play for the par.

But noooooooo.   I hit an overhanging branch trying to get too cutesy in attempting to advance the ball and then have to do it all over again.  I end up with a double on the first hole.

“Ok, no problem” I tell myself.  “Just get back to doing what you know how and play consistent golf and you’ll be fine.”

Hole #2 is a big dogleg left and pull my tee shot into the left trees again.

“What the *($$%%&**   is that?

How is it that I can hit 12 fairways in a row 2 days ago without any warmup and then come out and it’s like I’ve never played golf in my life?   I end up with a triple bogey and my son is snickering over there counting the money he’s going to make.

I continue with my worst round for the next 4 holes and end up being 12 over par after 6 holes and 9 strokes behind my son.  I’m in a daze and I start asking myself “what am I to learn here today?”

Just then, I’m standing on the tee of the 7th hole and the 2-some behind us drives up in their cart with a big smile on their face and jokingly asks “Are we having fun yet?”

And I answer “Not really”

And he says back “Well, why don’t you start?” and I said “Great idea!”

It's never too late to turn a round around

Something shook inside of me and I drilled my next tee shot 270 yards down the right side.  I somehow got the idea that I could still win. My next shot was 220 yards and I roll my 3-wood to the back of the green.I miss the birdie but get the tap-in par.

All of a sudden, I hear this voice inside my head “Every shot matters, never ever ever give up.” My son pars the hole too.

It’s the 7th hole and I par it.  I par the next 4 holes in a row and I pick up 5 strokes on my son.

“Never ever ever give up….every shot matters” is still ringing in my head.  I keep my focus even on the tap-ins.

We come down to the 17th hole and I’m down 4 strokes. I scramble for a par and my son double-bogeys.

18th hole and I’m down 2.  I tell him that I’m going to birdie this hole because it’s a par 5 and I’m feeling mighty powerful.

I know it puts the scare into him.  I’m 70 yards out when I hit my approach over the green and into the bunker.  “Never ever ever give up”

I wedge out to about 8 feet from the hole. My son is about 4 feet away to make his bogey.

Every shot counts!

I make the putt!!! He’s got tremendous pressure on him and I add a little more by asking him how much pressure he is feeling…hahaha.

He ends up making the putt to win by 1 stroke. I sign the $5 bill and it’s hanging on his bulletin board right now as we speak.

🙂

Now, we both played horrible, if you look at our scores, but no matter.  That last 5 holes gave me such a thrill and challenge to try to come from behind. I learned more from my day of playing hacker golf than I would have if I had shot a 77.

Never ever ever give up!

There’s always something to learn. I learned about myself that I can turn on focus like a water faucet. I learned that I have a reservoir of determination that I can call on at any time.

Even if your score is toast mid-way through a round you’ve got to find a way to make the rest of the round count.

How many times have you played a round and played bad and given up on your score only to start really playing well AFTER giving up on your score? Happens to all of us.

Even if you have nothing on the line and are just fighting your own anger from playing poorly, you’ve got something to prove… to yourself and there’s something to learn and grow from.  No round is a throwaway round unless you declare it so.

At the very least, when you let go of scoring during a bad round, you will find in yourself a certain ease and comfort about your game. A letting go.  That is something that you own that you can recall again in the future when something is on the line.  Golf can teach us many things, especially when playing hacker golf!

I’m going to be spending the weekend going back to the drawing board and listening to my golf hypnosis recordings.  Maybe I’ll see you over there eh?

Greens and fairways,

Craig

***********************************

If just about every top teaching pro says that golf is 90% mental, then why do most golfers spend next to zero time and effort at improving focus, consistency, and managing emotions like pressure and fear?

Here’s your answer and it couldn’t be easier and at $24.95, it’s a steal:  Golf Self Hypnosis

Powerful golf putting lessons by Paul Hobart, PGA

The time has come to send our golf ball on our chosen path towards the hole. As you reach this point, you have done a great job of

Author Paul Hobart

completing your key tasks. You’ve gathered all the information you need. You have a very clear picture in mind of how you are going to make this putt. You have a good feel for the speed and the corresponding line. You can clearly see what part of the cup is going to accept the ball. You know that you’ve done your best aligning the ball, and your putter.

You have officially earned the right to make this putt!

My next point is a challenging one. I’m going to tell you what to think and feel as you stand over your putt. How can I do that? I really can’t, but I am going to try to guide you towards the proper mindset and emotional state.

As I stated above, you have earned the right to make this putt. You deserve it. You have followed all of the steps, and done your homework. All of this preparation is designed to put you in the ideal mental and emotional state.

There are just 2 more things that I will ask you to do:

1). Have 100% trust in the alignment of the ball and putter

2). Make absolutely sure that your final thought is about creating the speed that you have chosen for this particular putt

The Putting Banana

Let’s look at these two final concepts in a little more detail. Having complete trust in the alignment of the ball and putter is one of the key components of the Banana Putting System. One of the main reasons that golfers miss putts is a lack of trust in their alignment. By carefully going through all of the steps in this book, you have gathered all of the information you need. You have a picture in mind of your ideal putt. You now need to place 100% trust in the work you have done.

Putts are pulled and pushed and hit with too much and too little speed because the golfer doesn’t believe that he or she is properly aligned. My good friend Dr. Craig Farnsworth once told me:

You are much better off to be completely committed to the wrong line,
than to be uncommitted to the right line.

I believe that golfers need to have achievable objectives when they play. An achievable objective is something that you can control and something you can measure or track. A key objective in putting is total and complete commitment to the line and speed you have chosen.

Total and complete commitment
Total and complete commitment
Total and complete commitment

Sorry for the repetition, but this is really important if you are going to make your golf ball go in the hole. Please remember, you’ve worked very hard to arrive at this point completely prepared. All of the work, all of the steps are carefully scripted so that you can stand over your ball with this level of commitment.
Standing in the way of this state of total and complete commitment are your thoughts and feelings as you stand over the ball. Nearly all of our work has been done from the “level eye” position that we talked about earlier. Things make sense and “look right” when we look and see with our head in an upright and level position.

Your address of the ball is getting ready to change all that. As you position yourself over the ball, you are going to tilt your body and head towards the ball. As you turn your head to look down the start line, you rotate your face and eyes toward the target. Your eyes are no longer level.

Suddenly the world looks different!

What happened to that nice vision you had of a perfect putt?

Have you completely lost your feel for the putt?

Where’s your line?

This doesn’t look right?!

Do you need to make an adjustment to fit your new perspective?

This is what goes through the mind of nearly every golfer. This is what we’re going to remove from your game. This is why you miss more than you make.

How a golfers sees the ball from sideways

Are you turning the page or your computer to see this photo more clearly? I would do the same thing. Everything is suddenly turned 90 degrees from my “level eyes” position and its very confusing. Can you imagine driving your car with your head turned 90 degrees to the side. No way! You wouldn’t make it out of the driveway before you crashed into something.

This is why you get very confused and unsure standing over the ball. You have suddenly put yourself in a position where it’s very hard to believe that you are properly aligned.

That’s why you did all the steps, and very carefully chose your start line. That’s why you very carefully lined up your golf ball. That’s why you have aligned your putter exactly with your golf ball alignment. I have asked you to do all of these things for an important reason.

I’m going to ask you to completely ignore all of these crazy thoughts and feelings you have as you stand over the ball. That’s right…completely ignore them.

Let me ask you a quick question. Do you have anyone in your personal or business life that you ask for advice? Most people have a trusted friend or advisor that they will ask for advice or input.

What would you do if this person consistently gave you the wrong answer? You would probably stop listening after a while, wouldn’t you? I think so.

In this case, the person giving you bad advice is YOU.

Your thoughts and feelings are the source of this uncertainty as you stand over the ball. These thoughts and feelings often conflict with the earlier work that you have done, and because of that, leave you confused. You suddenly change your view of the putt, and adjust your stance, your putter alignment, or you manipulate the putter during the stroke.

You do all of this because this final perspective standing over the ball is different.

*******************

This is an excerpt from the book:  “Banana Putting” by PGA instructor Paul Hobart.

Paul States at the beginning of Banana Putting:

I have a few bold statements to make before we get started.

  • You are already a great putter. You simply haven’t put yourself in a position to succeed. I will show you how to control the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of putting so that your excellence will shine through.
  • You can putt as well as Tiger Woods. Unbelievable? It sure sounds unbelievable, but I have a good reason for stating this.

  • Master these concepts and you can forget about the “Y” word.

Yes, the yips can become a thing of the past. I’ll explain them, why you get them, and how to be so ready to hit your putt that the word never even comes up.

  • Trying to figure out the perfect line of your putt is a waste of your time. You are going to learn to look at your putts differently than you have in the past.
  • You do not need to work on the mechanics of your stroke for these concepts to work. A perfect putting stroke is no guarantee of success on the greens. Sure, it helps, but I can turn you into a golfer that makes putts regardless of your putting stroke. You may find that just by reading this book and using these concepts that your stroke improves.

  • I can show you how to putt well with a range ball and a putter you borrowed from the local Putt-Putt course. You do not need the latest and greatest equipment to be a great putter. It doesn’t hurt…but there are no guarantees when you walk out of that Pro Shop with your new purchase. My concepts will work with any equipment.
  • You can putt better tomorrow. I have no idea how long it will take you to read through this book…in fact I just began writing, so I don’t even know how long it’s going to be! Let me say this…when you finish reading this book, and have digested the concepts, you will have become a better putter. Sounds crazy? Give it a chance.
  • The principle in this book require no practice. Doesn’t that sound to good to be true? My experience in working with lots of golfers is that these concepts will immediately change the way you look at, think about, and feel about putting. I do not mean to downplay the role of practice. Great players practice, and I believe that practice helps. For the purpose of this statement though…practice is not necessary for you to improve using my concepts.

Practice will enhance the concepts in this book, and I will suggest some drills and techniques if you want to take your putting to another level.

To get more information on Banana Putting and Paul Hobart, click here

How to putt better

Start with a better alignment…by Scott Myers

Getting the correct alignment for the putt is crucial to starting the ball on-line. Not only does this mean having the correct alignment of the putter, but also the correct alignment of the body.

When the body is correctly aligned to  your target, the putting stroke will remain square to the target through the entire motion. This will eliminate any need for the body to try and compensate for poor alignment during the stroke.

Alignment is the act of getting not only the putter aimed correctly at your target, but also having the appropriate areas of your body aligned correctly with your target line.

While your putter will point directly down your target line, the line formed by your shoulders, knees, and even feet will not be pointing at your target – they will be parallel to it.

Imagine standing over a set of railroad tracks. The track farthest away from you is the line down which you will aim your putter.  The track closes to you is the one with which you align your body.

Aligning your body correctly to your target line is actually quite easy and can be accomplished in only three steps.

Step one:
•    Choose the line on which you want your ball to start
•    Walk up to the ball, place your putter behind it, and with your eyes directly over the ball, align your putter to the target using the alignment line on your putter to point it straight down the target-line you have just chosen

Step two:
•    Align the toes of each of your feet on the line you have just aligned your putter to. (If you drew a line from the tip of each shoe, it would run parallel to your target-line line. )

Step three:

•    Square your shoulders to your target-line.  This is the most important part of aligning your body.

putt better

Alignment is crucial to putting better

If you decide to only follow one of these steps, make sure this is the one. The path of your putting-stroke is determined by the alignment of your shoulders.  Square shoulders=square putting stroke.  Open shoulders=out-to-in putting stroke.  Closed shoulders=in-to-out stroke.  Making sure your shoulders are square to your target line before you take your putter back will guarantee a square putting stroke every time.

•    If you need help figuring out if your shoulders are indeed square to your target-line, hold a golf shaft across each shoulder with both hands and turn your shoulders so that the shaft is now parallel to your target line.

***********************************************

This is an excerpt from the powerful ebook:  “Breakthrough Putting Secrets Revealed

Golf putting techniques

Too many golfers just go up to their putt completely mindless, having never worked on any of the foundations that set you up for a consistent putting stroke that sends the ball on the chosen line of travel.

There are a number of things you must do if you want to be a putter who doesn’t fold under the pressure of a must-make putt.  The problem with far too many every-day golfers is that they have made some great putts in the past and so they carry around with them the idea that they are good while using a poor mechanical motion.

Even a stopped clock is right twice a day!

Get Breakthrough Putting Secrets Revealed to find out what you must do to really become a great putter.

There are other books and programs out there to learn putting. 

Breakthrough Putting Secrets Revealed

teaches you what you NEED TO KNOW and not what you ought to know and nothing more. Focus on this foundational system and you will discover how to become a much better putter.

My friend Scott Myers has done a fantastic job of breaking it down to the core principles. Forget the rest and focus on the 80/20 of putting Breakthrough Putting Secrets Revealed.

Greens and fairways

Craig

P.S.   Tell me what you think about this topic below!

>