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IMGCA Article - The Mental Game of Golf


Preshot Visualization Routine

Wade Pearse

Preshot Visualization Routine is an essential component to making a good swing. Not integrating a visualization process into your preshot routine leaves your mind unfocused and open to many lapses of attention. Not what you want before making your swing.

What do you do while you prepare to shoot? Does your preshot routine include some form of visualization? Or do you simply walk right into your setup and swing away? For the sake of our discussion let's assume you have some form of a preshot routine.

Let's explore how to add an effective visualization process into your preshot routine.

Prior to every shot your preshot routine sets the stage for you to make your best swing. The consistency of it is key. When you have a simple visualization strategy to center and focus your mind you will play far better golf.

The visualization component is done at the beginning of your routine. Virtually every top player uses their mind properly in their preshot routine and starts the entire process with some form of visualization.

The first part of your preshot visualization routine will be to stand behind the ball, looking toward your target. Your target might be the center of the fairway, the right half of the green or the left edge of the cup. Be clear on your outcome/target before stepping into the physical aspect of your pre-shot routine.

Literally "see" the ball flight or pace of the putt as it enters the hole. When teeing off with driver I encourage all of my clients to be as focused here as you would when putting. This narrowing of attention taps your subconscious mind and provides it with clear instructions of what you want to accomplish.

Stand behind your ball and look at your ball momentarily. Then trace an imaginary ball flight from the ball, as if you had just hit it, through the sky. Watch it travel on your desired trajectory right to your target. This only takes a couple seconds yet these are critical seconds!

Now add one more element to the process. Feel what you are seeing. I expanded on this in the last issue of the mental game mastery ezine. (learn more below) True and effective visualization involves feeling with your mind's eye, not simply seeing. If you are only using visualization as a method of seeing your shot you are leaving half your cards on the table!

Once you have completed this simple process you can now naturally continue the rest of your preshot routine. Step into address and finish it as usual.

There are countless studies that demonstrate the effectiveness of strategically applied visualization. By channeling your mind toward inner game processes and beginning your preshot routine this way, your mind/body relationship is positively influenced.

With practice your swing will begin to mirror what you are seeing in your mind's eye. There are several other elements you can include into your preshot visualization routine these will get you started in the right direction and "keep you on target."

Wade Pearse is a Peak Performance Coach who spent 7 years applying the most advanced mental game strategies in golf with his clients and in his own game with phenomenal results. Visit his website. It is filled with mental game resources you can use in your game right away. He has a mental game ezine and a daily blog you can subscribe to

Wade Pearse
Keeping you on target!
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Golf Mental Game

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