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,


p.s. This just came in from one of my 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

  • George Papworth says:

    Tiger has had it

  • Joe Martell says:

    I feel sad for Tiger, he made some bad choices and is paying the price for it and though he has apologized for his mistakes it still weighs heavy on him, not having his family. So yes he is not mentally ready for golf and his injuries don’t help his game much either but I believe he should quit playing until he is ready physically, spiritually and mentally. Once he truly feels better within himself golf will be fun once again and his game will improve, forgive yourself Tiger and will be well.

    • Craig says:

      Joe, I think that your advice could be right! Thanks for comment.

  • John Howald says:

    Thanks for the e-mail. I have the problem over and over – Seems to help to listen to the recordings – but I fall back again and again.

    I am amazed at the Tiger Woods saga. It is hard for me to believe, but obvious when seeing – that the mental part of the game is more important than the physical..

    • Craig says:

      John, Not sure what “problem” you are referring to. I think that the mental and physical game importance flows back and forth and is different for every golfer. Both need attention. For me at my level of play, it’s 90% mental.

  • James Morris says:

    Thanks so much. I really enjoy your emails. This article was super. It was me.

    • Craig says:

      James, thanks for comment. Glad you liked it.

  • Dion says:

    Tiger Woods. he is definitely interesting subject matter for different people. he’s gained the wrath of the general women’s population. the Tiger haters take their chance to kick a man when he down. why don’t people just leave the guy alone. he is not the first man in the world to cheat on his wife or spouse. and really the number of women doesn’t make it any worse, cause one infidelty is one too many. how bout we concentrate on his golf game. golf is a mental game, is it to hard to imagine that after what he’s gone through of course he’s not playing well? no one is saying what the real issue people have with him. it must be because he’s a black professional golfer and probably the best athlete of our century. cause i don’t hear anyone bad mouthing or complaining about other golfers who aren’t playing well. Tiger shot +10 and missed the cut, but who else missed the cut? Graeme McDowell shot +12. Darren Clarke who won 2 weeks ago, shot +14! Anthony Kim,Martin Kaymer, Justin Rose,Jason Day,Aaron Baddeley,Thomas Bjorn,Ernie Els,Dustin Johnson,Vijay Singh,and a bunch of other big names all missed the cut. but Tiger Woods gets singled out of the bunch for not playing well. you win some, you lose some, even Tiger can’t win every tournament. Tiger’s worst rounds are still better than any of our best rounds. how bout we stop judging him and just let him play golf and continue to bring in the ratings that the networks desperately lust and long for whether he plays great or not!

    • Craig says:

      Thanks for commenting!
      I take a little offense about your comment that Tiger is being judged “because he’s a black professional golfer”
      Those other golfers are not given as much attention as Tiger because they have not won as many majors and tournaments as he has. They have not dominated
      the sport for as long as he has. They have not had such an impact on the world as he has. I guarantee you that if Tiger was a white man and everything else was the same, he would be getting the same attention he is now.

      The fact is, the networks still pay attention to him because people are fascinated with him because of what he has accomplished. We look up to sports pros and his current problems are a tragedy. We, as humans, like stories and Tiger has a very interesting one and we will all still continue to follow him as long as he keeps playing.

      His story has been very useful here for teaching many golfers helpful concepts so I honor him for that.

  • Sandi says:

    I have no interest in whether or not TW makes it back on tour or not as a success. I find myself to be unable to even look at him anymore, and I was a big fan. I am truly enjoying all the new guys on tour and am truly sick of the media trying to keep us viewers focased on what is happening with TW…many, many of US JUST DO NOT CARE.

    • Craig says:

      Hi Sandi, I hear you. I only write about him occasionally because he makes good subject matter for teaching.

  • Rick says:

    Having gone through a treatment facility for a drinking problem I understand how an addiction program works. Tiger has been knocked down to a low point where he has never been before. It takes a long time to rebuild your self esteem. Some never do. For these reasons I believe we will never see the Tiger of old but, if he rebuilds himself as the program allows, lookout for the new Tiger. I just hope the news comintators can stop making a fool of themselves. IT IS NOT THE TIGER WOODS SHOW. It’s a golf tournament.

    • Craig says:

      Rick, good points. You have to remember about the commentators…they are there to stir up trouble….just like I did by bringing up this subject. It creates responses. It’s better to have negative responses than none at all when talking about the media. Everybody has an opinion and that’s all it is…opinion. The TV shows focus on Tiger because that gets response. Oh well!

  • Leon says:

    oops, meant to say “would NOT disclose”

  • Leon says:

    I am surprised to being saying this in a public place, but … after the first 4 months of TW’s meltdown and scandal being all over the headlines, I got tired of it and kinda soured on him and pro golf on TV. This season, it’s been nice to see the other younger guys stepping up in his absence from page 1 of the leaderboards. I probably would not fret if TW had another injury, or had more surgery to try to prevent future injuries, had a complication while on the table or in post-op, had to take a major medical exemption, lost his Tour card and had to go through Q-school. Likely scenario? Probably not, but not impossible. Yes, he’s a phenomenal golf talent. But where is his father now as a mental toughness coach, jingling his pocket change during Tiger’s preshot routine or stroke? Will Tida do it for her son now that Earl is gone? Will he let her? Has she tried? Who knows, and TW surely would disclose anything THAT personal to anyone with whom he shares no DNA. Maybe a hypnotic blast back to that past is necessary for him to regain his former performance levels. I’ll not hold my breath waiting for him.

    • Craig says:

      Hi Leon,
      Thanks for writing. You make some very good points there. I like the idea about a hypnotic blast to the past best!

  • Jose Trevino Sr. says:

    He will return and play well again!

    Do not underestimate his will and determination.


    • Craig says:

      I hope you are correct and he comes back. As of now, I am just parroting an observation that he isn’t mentally tough. He certainly could get that back. I’m a big believer that anyone can change anything they want about themselves. He certainly has the resources and the smarts to do it.

  • George Dalton says:

    Good Article, as usual. And, sadly, I have to agree with you about Tiger’s problems. Having never been challenged its difficult to re-align yourself to get back in the winning zone. I don’t know if Tiger has that in him. I suspect he may have gone as far as he is going to go in golf. And if he can’t right the ship, then he might as well retire and play golf with his friends for a $20 nassau. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

    • Craig says:

      Thanks George. Tiger’s story is an interesting one and it’s filled with lessons for us to learn from….and so it continues

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