Golf Visualization: How to develop it

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We've all been told by the great golf pros that we must visualize our shots before we actually swing through the ball. Jack Nicklaus was famous for his extraordinary visualization skills. He would say that he never made a shot without first visualizing everything about the shot first in his imagination. He would create movies of the flight of the golf ball and have zooms in and out like a camera. He would even play the movie backward from his target or the hole back to where it left his club face!

I've heard this many times: "But I just can't visualize." My answer? Yes you can, even you. For some, it comes very natural. For others, you just have to work up to it some before you get good at it for the golf course. Either way, it's something you've got to do if you want to get to the next level in your game. And if you're already doing it, then getting better at it will only help you that much more.

So here's what you want to do:

Develop your visualization skills by starting off using things that are very easy. For instance. If you are doing this while lying in bed, you can visualize something that is in the room that you are in, like say a simple picture. Explore from your memory exactly what it's like in detail. Zoom in, zoom out, pretend you are taking it on and off the wall etc etc.

Next, go to something outside the room. Like how about your car? Where is it parked right now? What does it look like in detail? Can you "see" yourself opening up the door and sitting in the seat and turning the key and driving out? Practice with things you know very well and have the intention of focusing on these things.

Work your way up from things like that to then going to wherever your golf clubs are stored in your home. Visualize just going over to the bag and grabbing one club. Take it out of the bag and start swinging it inside your own home. Keep everything as familiar as possible so that you are mostly using sites and pictures of things you are used to seeing every day. It should be a lot easier to focus on this process when you use familiarity of surroundings as your backdrop.

Swing the club inside your home with the idea of working on that part of your golf swing that you know you need the most help with. Graduate from swinging inside your home to eventually doing this process outside in the grass. At some point, you'll be able to "see" yourself down at your golf course.

Bottom line, start slow and simple with developing visualization. Everybody has this ability. You may tend more toward being "audio" or a "feel" type of person. If that's the case, add those elements into your "visualization" sessions first before asking your mind to come up with visions.

The more you do this, the easier it will become and your scores will show it. Greens and Fairways, Craig

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