Visualizing Your Best Shots

By David BreslowAugust 7, 2003, 4:00 pm
How often do you imagine your best shots on the golf course? The power of your imagination cannot be overestimated. Jack Nicklaus is legendary for his use of imagery prior to every shot. Tiger Woods often talks about seeing the shot before he hits it. What are you doing with your mental pictures when you stand behind the ball?
Imagery is a very powerful connecting rod between your mind, emotions, body and actual outcomes! If youre not using it, youre not using all of your tools to be successful. Imagery is part of your performance game plan and should not be left unused.
Steven Spielberg is a great director. Why? Much of it is because he has the vision in mind of how his movie is going to look. He uses his imagination to create the outcomes he wants on the screen. You have the same ability. You are the director of the movie you make on the golf course and the best part is that you are the star of this movie! . Are you making the movie you want to see? Its time for you to direct your own movie and one of ways to do that is to set the images exactly as you would like them to be.
The images you create make an imprint on your subconscious mind, nervous system and muscular system. The image actually becomes imbedded there and your body will begin to respond to those images. We all have this natural imprinting power available to us. Not only does it imprint, but also it has the power to activate outcomes in line with it. Have you ever imagined something and had it turn out exactly like that? This is the power of visualization at work!
Heres how to put visualization to work for you:
1. Practice it at the range.
Each time you hit a ball, stand behind it and visualize the following:
a. The ball flight
b. The landing area
2. Practice it at home.
Use imagery to see yourself striking the ball well by doing the following:
a. See yourself relaxed and comfortable over the ball
b. See yourself taking a smooth and comfortable swing
c. See yourself with a full follow through
3. On the course.
Use imagery on the course to see the shots you want. As part of your pre-shot preparation:
a. Visualize the shape, type, landing area of each shot
b. See yourself comfortable and relaxed over the ball
c. See the picture as CLEARLY as possible
d. Add the feeling to the visualization for greater impact (see AND feel the positive image youve created)
Imagery has been proven to affect the way you perform. The body doesnt know the difference between an actual event or an imagined event. Just imagining it will create a physiological reaction to take place inside you matching the picture youve created. Imagine hitting a great shot and you trigger great feelings and excitement. Imagine being confident and you will begin to feel confident. Imagine putting the ball in the water and you create negative feelings and tightness in your muscles. Imagine nothing and you are at the mercy of your default images which may be negative. This is how powerful imagery is; your body literally does not know the difference and it will react to the images you plant into it.
Your handicap is not a factor. Low handicaps and high handicaps benefit from imagery equally. The best players in the world do it all the time. It is effective for all levels of play! If youre not using it right nowgive it a try and consciously direct your movie on the course. If you are using it; build on your images, make them bigger, brighter and clearer.
Visualize your best shots and dont be surprised if those shots start showing up more often!
Copyright 2004 David Breslow. David is the author of Wired To Win and offers a highly acclaimed Perform In The FlowZone' program for sports and business. David has appeared on The Golf Channel, ESPN radio, etc. For more programs/services/products or sign up for a free newsletter (write newsletter in subject box). Also, review the new series of Performance Training Manuals available online! Contact: David Breslow at 847.681.1698 Email: or visit the web: For book orders call toll free: 1.888.280.7715
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Watch: 13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, part of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward the back-right hole location, about 25 feet away, closer than both Fleetwood and Johnson.

“An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”

Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back after the opening round. He tied for second here a year ago.

Johnson is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

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McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson.

Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

“I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

“Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

This was his first competitive round in four months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014. 

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Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

"A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

"If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

"I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"

CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

"It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."