Category Archives for Mental/Emotional


Emotional Freedom Technique applied to golf by Stephen Ladd

Using TIG routines during your round can prove to be tremendously beneficial to lowering your handicap.

Although some clients initially feel a little self conscious about it, most are soon tapping away proudly. Often times, those who do what I refer to as “Stealth TIG” are doing so not out of embarrassment, but rather to conceal their secret weapon.

It doesnt matter if you are a TIG extrovert, or more on the subtle side – just do it! The next three chapters will show you how to use TIG out on the links. But first, lets investigate some dirty little demons called “NOTs”. Negative Operating Thoughts (NOTS)

The vast majority of all self help techniques and philosophies are based on the following principle: “Your consistent thoughts become your reality.” Now stop and read that sentence again. It really is that important. Let it sink in.

Most people walk around the course (and life) with a constant barrage of Negative Operating Thoughts (NOTs) attacking their selt confidence and eroding their self esteem, and with it their ultimate potential.

These NOTs can be insidious and rather relentless.

The Tap in Golf System provides you with a tool to successfully “neutralize” or “clear” these NOTs. You will be hard pressed to find another technique that is so simple and so effective for this “mother-of-all-problems”.

However, the real dilemma is that we are so conditioned to the presence of these NOTs, that we hardly even notice them. For example, have you ever said or thought to yourself any of the following NOTs?

“Damn, how could I miss that putt? I always choke.”

“Im no good at this distance.”

“Why cant I just ____”

“Clear the water for once this time, pleasel”

“Come on, just follow through!”

“Why cant I just get this right?” Etc, etc, etc.

Think of it this way; suppose you hired a coach to help you improve your golf performance. What would you do if s/he spoke to you in this fashion? I sincerely hope you would fire their ass faster that you can say double bogie!

It is usually painfully obvious when someone else is saying this kind of garbage to us. Then why are we so willing to beat ourselves up and accept the internal abuse?

We all have what I call an “Inner Critic”.

One reason we listen to this Inner Critic is that we believe somehow it is trying to help us. We are under the delusion that such “advice” will actually “whip us into shape” and assist us in playing better golf.

Let me be very clear about this: The inner critic, the voice of your NOTs, is NOT on your side. It has absolutely nothing to offer you – Except evidence of what needs to be cleared with your TIG techniques.

The inner critic does not want you to succeed. Is that clear?!

If your goal is to play to your maximum potential (which I ll assume it is, if you ve read this far), then you must quiet your inner critic and the NOTs that it spews forth. The Tap In Golf System provides you with a simple way to do just that.

How to identify your NOTs:

During my one-on-one playing lessons, I will have my clients literally “think out loud.”

The idea is to get them to actually hear the stuff that is going on inside their heads.  After a bit of practice, most clients become quite proficient at immediately speaking whatever thoughts come to mind.

The result- they are usually horrified at the internal self abuse and “negative framing” of their golf ability and chances of success.

Once a NOT has been identified, simply clear it with the TIG routine.

Craig’s Take:

EFT for golf is a way to clear your interference patterns. Performance = Potential – Interference.

I mentioned in a previous article that as long as you don’t have any conflicting thoughts, that what you think about must become reality. Well, many of us are unaware of the unconscious thought processes that go along with us to the course. That’s your interference. You’ve got to clear them somehow or you will be in conflict and then your unconscious mind will not bother helping you with your silly golf game.

I use hypnosis and my friend Stephen Ladd has a pretty powerful process to do the same thing. Check it out.

About the author:

Stephen Ladd is the founder of The Human Form, a Holistic Health, Fitness and Performance Institute. He has fast become a recognized expert as a Golf Performance Coach having taught successful Tour players his innovative Mental techniques.  He is a widely sought-after speaker and trainer and was recently interviewed by “Golf Guru Secrets.” Tap in Golf is the wave of the future. Find out more by visiting Tap in Golf.

Sam Snead golf tip: Playing Cool Mad

Golf tips by Sam Snead

Sam Snead headshot

Sam Snead

Letting your temper take you over, I saw, was a mistake. When you give in to anger, you lose control. A man who stays cool mad will beat you every time.

In golf, the trick of developing just the right mixture of heat and coolness in competition was one of the most difficult I had to learn. The game turns lots of pros and everyday players into club-throwing maniacs. There’s hardly a locker-room door left in the country without dents in it, and the number of clubs thrown or smashed gets bigger all the time. The number of first-rate amateurs and promising young pros who’ve let their dander rise up and ruin their game is more than you can count. On the face of it, the calm, quiet player should have all the advantage.

This so far from true that I’ll make the statement that any golfer who misses a shot and starts whistling is one of the easiest guys in the world to beat.

You’ve got to have that fire, that thing in you that sometimes makes it absolutely necessary to relieve your feelings – the thing which made Eben Byers and Jesse Sweetser two of the world’s greatest amateur champs prior to Bob Jones’s time. Byers, Sweetser, and Jones all filled the air with clubs. Bad shots drove them wild. Chick Evans was another who got red-necked, and in modern times Byron Nelson could pretzel a club or beat a bush to death with the bet.

When Doc Cary Middlecoff first joined the Grapefruit Circuit of the pros, he was described in a newspaper as `cheerful and placid of temperament” – until the Atlanta Open when Doc 3-putted and slung his club half a mile and howled like a hurt wolf. Tommy Bolt has become famous for his rages. I’ve gone through all this and been as guilty as the next man, so that I’ve formed some strong convictions on the subject.

Show me the fellow who walks along calmly after topping a drive or missing a kick-in putt, showing the world he’s under perfect control, yet burning up inside, and I’ll show you one who’s going to lose. This boy is a fake. His nervous system won’t take what he’s handing it. If you bottle up anger entirely, it poisons your control centers.

Sam Snead swing

The swing triangle

But if you go all the way in the other direction, the practice of kicking tee markers, abusing shrubbery, and wrecking equipment can become such a habit that it also spoils your muscular reflexes. Mad golfers keep their blood boiling and agitated all the time for a reason. Deep down, they look forward to tearing their hair. Without knowing it, they get to hoping they’ll butcher a shot. We’re all show-offs at heart, and guys who break up locker rooms enjoy every minute of it.

Doctors and mind experts go around explaining that it’s perfectly OK to explode on the course because it releases your built-up tensions. They don’t tell you though, how you can rave like a wild beast and break 90.

Good golfing temperament falls in between taking it with a grin or shrug and throwing a fit. I believe you should blow up, at times, if it helps, but only if you can still keep your wits about you. I couldn’t beat any pro if I didn’t get my temper outbreak over with fast, then start thinking out the next shot. It’s like opening a steam valve for a moment, then shutting it. An old-timer in Scotland once said to me, “Make your game as storm proof as you can, ” by which he meant that when everything went wrong, I should be capable of producing my best shots, regardless of my frame of mind.

Which is about as easy, if you don’t work at it, as scratching your ear with your elbow

Sam Snead swing Finish

Sam Snead Beautiful Swing Finish

Emotional Awareness and Control are Keys to Consistency and Optimal Performance

by Dr. Lester Bouchard

“What separates great players from the good ones is not so much ability as brain power and emotional equilibrium.” -Arnold Palmer.

Tantamount to emotional control is emotional awareness. A player must be in touch with his/her emotions; in other words, a player must be familiar with his/her own emotional tendencies and reactions and the circumstances which invoke them.

He/she must recognize these situations when they are occurring and have a means of managing, counteracting or overcoming them. Without these abilities, a player is likely to be consumed by any one of a number of negative emotional reactions and thus devastate any chance of performing at one’s best. Players often experience negative emotional reactions prior to and at the start of competition.

They may also encounter them late in a round, when playing poorly, a moment of consequential importance is perceived, when distracted by some outside influence such as other players, playing conditions, or spectators or occasionally when playing well. Any of these situations may bring about physical and mental responses such as increases in heart rate, blood pressure, or respiratory rate, shortness of breath, clammy hands, butterflies in the stomach, muscular tension, flushing, twitching, sweating, losing self-control, feeling hot, doubt, awareness of unpleasant feelings, concerns about performance, negative self-talk or images and an inability to concentrate. Needless to say, all of this can be highly detrimental to performance.


To aid in this recognition process a player can make note of these events on a separate piece of paper or scorecard as they occur. List the different types of physical and mental reactions down the left hand column with the hole numbers across the top. Place a tick mark for each occurrence in the box of the hole in which it occurred. Make an independent column for pre-competitive reactions. Alternatively, a player can keep a post-round journal and reflect back on any negative reactions and the situations in which they occurred. This, however, may not be as accurate.

This process of merely recording the incidences alone will facilitate some attempt to control the reaction. Once you learn to recognize these situations at the time of their occurrence your own natural human tendency to self-regulate will initiate inherent mechanisms to attempt to overcome them. It’s a biologically conditioned response just like the reactions themselves. Regardless of the circumstances, it is imperative that a player stay cool, calm and collected.

A player must be thick-skinned and resilient. To enhance management, he/she can incorporate any one of a number of self-regulation and emotional control strategies; techniques such as deep concentration breathing, progressive relaxation, positive self-talk and imagery, affirmations, thought-stopping, the use of cues and triggers and modeling. The specifics of each of these techniques goes beyond the scope of this short article.

Define and Find Your Zone

by Dr. Lester Bouchard

Better Golf Solutions

“All seasoned players know, or at least have felt, that when you are playing your best, you are much the same as in a state of meditation. You are free of tension and chatter. You are concentrating on one thing. It is the ideal condition for good golf.” Harvey Penick

We have all experience moments of superior performance in one endeavor or another. This elusive high performance state has been most commonly referred to as the zone, but also the flow, peak performance, ideal performance state and other terms.

The zone is most often reached when an individual is faced with a challenging but attainable task, when confidence is high and when one has the appropriate arousal level and is immersed in the activity. In other words, when one is completely focused on achieving and his/her determination is strong and belief in success is unshakable. The ironic part of this, however, is that some individuals play best when they are relaxed, while others when they are excited, irritated or highly intense. This is one of the reasons it is so difficult to teach players to get into or close to the zone. It’s individualistic, which brings me to the point of this writing.

To increase the chances of getting into the zone or the frequency of its occurrence, a player needs to identify the characteristic of his/her own zone state. No one would argue that exceptional focus, confidence, and determination are prerequisites. Which arousal state may be optimal for each player, however, must first be determined and then they can be taught the appropriate techniques to attempt to facilitate it and the zone.

One way of determining your ideal state is to keep a journal. When you experience moments of heightened performance or exceptional rounds record details such as when and where you were, how you felt, what you were thinking, how you were acting, or what you were doing that may have contributed. How was your attitude and intensity level and what were you focused on before, during and after shots? What were your self-talk and visualizations like? You may also want to list the quantity and quality of sleep the night before as well as the meal before the round and anything in between.

The more details that you notice and record the better. After several journal entries you should start

to see some commonalities. And these patterns will act as your guide to finding the zone. If you are a player that plays best when calm then you may start to incorporate more relaxation and calming exercises during your rounds. Likewise, if you are a player that performs better when excited, irritated or intense then you may want to integrate energizing exercises. Regardless of which, regulating breathing patterns coupled with self-talk and imagery can help you reach your ideal state. The pace and content of these techniques, however, will obviously differ dramatically depending on your own zone characteristics.

Dr. Lester Bouchard is a sport psychologist who works with athletes ranging from aspiring juniors to elite professionals. Dr. Bouchard is also the author of “Better Golf Solutions: Professional techniques, strategies and methods to break your scoring barriers and maximize your potential”

What's REALLY Behind Your Behavior?

by Norman Hallett

Someone the other day commented to me that they thought Napoleon Hill, in his classic book, “Think and Grow Rich” (click to download this as a free ebook), talked in riddles. I thought they were referring to “The Secret”, but they weren’t.

This person’s confusion stemmed from the notion of the Subconscious Mind… what it is and what is does.

I understand the confusion.

Something you can’t touch, see or smell lend itself to a deeper analysis. What you CAN “see” are the results of the functioning of the subconscious mind.

In the 1930’s, Napoleon didn’t have the science we have today to try to explain the way the mind works. And even now, you have to analyze the outcomes of the workings of the mind to understand the mind.

Of all the explainations I’ve heard and read of what the subconscious mind is, I like Frank Caprio, M.D.’s take on the subject. In his book, “Healing with Self-Hypnosis” he states,

“The subconscious mind is that part of your thinking that is governed by your instincts. Behind all behavior are motivations hidden in your subconscious mind.

He goes on,

“Your subconscious mind consists of associated sense impressions and memories of all your past. It is composed of your brain, spinal cord, and a network of nerves that branch out through your entire body. These nerves extend from head to toe, and information about every move, every thought, and every emotion follows the route from brain to body.

Every single bodily activity is thus controlled. This includes your involuntary internal organs, such as those that make up your digestive, circulatory, reproductive, and respiratory system, as well as every physical motion, even the blinking of your eyes.

Every automatic habit and personal idiosyncrasy is controlled by your subconscious mind.”

(Now, here’s come something very interesting…)

“This subconscious communication goes on day and night, whether you are awake or asleep. It maintains a storage bank of memories of that includes everything that ever happened to you — every experience, relationship, word spoken — everything.

Not only are the memories of your every experience, good and bad, stored in your subconscious mind, but also therein are the memories of the emotions and the environment that accompanied the experience.

Your subconscious mind controls all functions of your body that are not under direct control of your conscious mind, and upon specific occasions, it actually takes over the powers of the conscious mind. For example, the subconscious mind can prevent the conscious mind from speaking, resulting in stammering.”

These facts are only some of the reasons I’m so fascinated with the subconscious mind and why it is the ABSOLUTE KEY to getting what you want for you and your loved ones.

Recall ANY story where someone overcame impossible odds.

ANY story.

In every case, the “base” of the miracle was belief in one’s self.

I would advise all of us to set lofty goals… Goals that will inspire us.

But what about that little voice in your head that doubts that you’ll achieve a goal that high?

That little voice is your Subconscious Mind and the great thing is that you can self-program that little voice to support your goals… no matter how seemingly-impossible.

And the way you do that is to place your mind into a light alpha brain-wave state and submit your positive suggestions directly to your subconscious mind.

Deciding to take control of what goes into your subconscious mind is the main decision you will have to make in order to start creating your wealth… wealth of money, of romance, of golf or anything!


Norman Hallett is a very successful entrepreneur, a golfer and a widely respected writer.

Together with his wife, Tisha Hallett, one of America’s premier subconscious trainers, they founded Subconscious Training Corp to offer state of the art mental training to help everyone from athletes to business executive get what they want.

STC has created programs designed specifically for golfers at the direction of golf psychologist Dr. Fran Pirozzolo. Visit: Golf Mind Software or Putting Genius Software to learn more.


Craig’s take:

The reason you want to learn about the subconscious mind (I like to call it the “unconscious mind”) is because when you create a rapport with it, an agreement with it (I say “it” but I’m really referring to a part of YOU), then you can create all sorts of magic out there on the golf course.

Your subconscious mind knows exactly how to hit every shot perfectly if you’ve done it just once. It also knows how to hit bad shots if you’ve done that. Therefore, the name of the game in golf is to be able to make that communication link and tell your subconscious mind exactly what it is that you want it to do on any given golf shot.

The more you understand how the subconscious mind works and have the intention to make that connection and then trust it to perform, the more automatic and consistent you will become.

You are you're greatest opponent!

Free golf mental tip match play after another. Let’s start with this one By MICHAEL ANTHONY

Your Greatest OpponentGolf is 90% mental

You probably have heard many times that your greatest opponent is yourself, not old man golf. The following is a brief explanation why.

Your brain or computer starts working at a very early age. Approximately six months after conception, your brain starts recording all your mother’s thoughts and actions while you are still in her womb. It continues to record everything you do and experience during your lifetime and accumulates a data base on YOU.

For simplicity sake we will refer to your brain’s data base as your TAPE. Your tape is a conceptual representation of the entire history of all your previous thoughts and actions which comprise your present performance level.

The concept of your tape is important to comprehend because your brain or computer is programmed to make similar decisions in accordance to what is in its date base or tape. Since your brain is programmed to make decisions similar to what you have done in the past, the biggest challenge you will face when trying to change your thoughts and actions to improve your golf is your tape.

Your brain will use all of your strengths and weaknesses recorded on your tape to keep you at your present level of performance or within your comfort zone. To improve your golf, you must overcome your programming to repeat what is on your tape. This may seem like a simple explanation of what you are up against, but it is crucial for you to be aware that your tape will control you unless you exercise control over it.

Fortunately, you can change your past tendencies because the most current portion of your tape has the biggest impact on your decision making process. But make no mistake, it will be a battle between your desire to change or improve and your brain’s programming to have you repeat what is on your tape. Your tape doesn’t care if it’s positive or negative, its job is to have you repeat the same thing over and over.

When you go to sleep, your brain reviews all your thoughts and actions for that day. If you do something different from your normal routine, your brain has to decide to either assimilate this new behavior or reject it so it can make spontaneous decisions once you awake. This is why the best time to give your tape new instructions is just before going to sleep and immediately upon awaking. Otherwise, you will more than likely go right back to the previous responses on your tape.

Free golf match play mental tip : By successfully putting new thoughts and actions on your tape consistently for a period of 30 days, your brain will assimilate these as new habits and they will become part of your normal tape response. Remember that you control your tape or your tape will control you. It is your choice and will be reflected in your golf score.

If you are interested in more by Michael Anthony, check out his website: Michael Anthony’s Free golf mental tip match play page I have read this book and highly recommend it to all golfers. Many an excellent mental golf tip in this book. I have also used some of this info in my quest to break 80 as I found it extremely helpful.

Creative golf shots

I hope the greens in your town are smooth, the rough short,
and the fairways wide… in your mind. Because they can be, no
matter what the consensus reality is of your partners or others.

Which brings me to today’s mental lesson. How to get creative in choosing how to play a golf shot.

Now, I know that you’ve probably played golf a long time and
maybe not. And I’m sure you know enough about the game by now
either way.

And by now, you probably are starting to see some common themes
from instructors and golf greats teachings…haven’t you?

So, along I come and start telling you all about how you don’t
have to practice to get good, and yet I still give you articles
by gurus that pretty much say you need to.

Who is right? Does anybody have to be right? You know, you can
either be right, or you can get results sometimes. Which do you

Today, I want you to learn to expand your creativity on the course and we’ll do that with a little personal story :

My 12 year old son was bugging me to go to his first NFL football game. We are diehard Minnesota Viking fans. Now, the closest NFL team to us is in Seattle, a 3-hour drive away. So, I went online and looked for tickets. I couldnt’ believe how expensive they were and told him we couldn’t afford it. Later, I felt really bad because the Vikings were coming to Seattle this year! I told him we would go down to the stadium on game day and see if we could get some tickets from someone last minute so maybe it wouldn’t be so expensive.

We had never been to the Qwest stadium area and had no idea where to go to park or anything. We followed a car with a Seahawks sticker on it into a side lot of an industrial building that wasn’t being used on Sunday. Great! Free parking.

We started walking toward the stadium and followed a line of folks that were forming. We arrived at a junction of 2 lines where there were scalpers selling tickets. They had some “standing room only” tickets which were still more expensive than I had to spend in my pocket.

We came prepared with our little cardboard sign that said “Need 2 tickets”.” And then went to stand a ways in front of the scalpers so that the crowds would see us first.

My son said he was going to do his best “poor me” routine. haha.

We weren’t there for 5 minutes when a nice couple came up to us and said they had 2 tickets. I told them how much I only had and they said they paid almost double for that but that their friends couldn’t make it. They thought about it for a moment and said o.k. as I flashed my green stuff to show em what I had.

We couldn’t believe our luck! They were great seats and we got them for face value as we at next to the couple in our Viking jerseys.

What a blast we had. The Vikings won and other Purple fans celebrated with us as I took a picture of my son on the shoulders of one of them. (Football fans are crazy I know, we were too)

What’s the point of telling you this. There was a lesson in it. I mentioned to some of my friends and family who said I was nuts to drive 3 hours there without tickets. I just told them that I knew we would get them! And I didn’t take the standard route, the norm, what everyone else does. I knew it would all work out and it did!

This was a big learning for me. I was introduced to this type of manifesting by a movie called “The Secret” a while ago. I’ve watched it about 4 times since and still keep learning from it. It has implications for golf and everything we do. Coincidence? Luck? Maybe. Did we get what we wanted? Yep, and then some. Looking back has this ever happened to you before? I bet it has. I look back on a number of events like this where I just “knew”

I think I’ll make some more things happen this way :)

Take a look at the picture of my son with the Viking fans

Vikings celebration

How can you be creative in getting your scores down? Do you always have to use your sand wedge around the greens?

Haven’t you seen Phil Mickelson hitting out of a tough spot turning his club over and hitting from the right side?

Can you run a ball all the way up the front of a green using your 3 wood or 4 iron?

Are there times when you can actually aim for the sand trap in order to play the odds and get some spin around the greens?  Start thinking differently for a change. Go to the course and play a practice fun round and see how creative you can be. Take out clubs that you normally wouldn’t use for certain shots. You will develop a much better all-around game that holds up under pressure.

Tiger says that one of his biggest strengths is his creativity.

Start thinking outside of the box for everything in the rest of your life and see if you don’t bring some of that to the course and watch your scores go down as a result. I think you will like what you see on the scorecard.


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