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Tips, Stories & Articles

Jan 2

Written by: ehanczaryk
1/2/2012 12:51 PM  RssIcon

Six steps to mastering the mental game of golf

Ed Hanczaryk, CPGA, CPGA Teaching Professional

I first played golf with Dr. Joe Parent  in 1976, in upstate New York. It was a 9- hole old-style course, that circled around the state mental hospital. A fitting place to begin our now 35 year exploration into the `inner’ game of golf.

Joe went on to become one of the top 10 golf-mind coaches on the PGA tour, working with Vijay Singh, David Toms, Hunter Mahan, Kristie Kerr, and others, and he authored the best- selling books  Zen Golf and Zen Putting.

I went on to become a teaching professional; my life’s work is helping people to improve their ball-striking skills. But taking the mind out of the swing is like taking the wet out of water, and our early work began to seep back into my teaching. Joe named me as the first Certified Zen Golf Instructor in 2003.

In this series of articles,  I will pass along some of the wisdom I have gained from Dr. Joe, along with my discoveries on the relationship between swing and mind.


The six steps to improving your mental game

In each successive article, I will explore one of the following:

Step 1, Focus: Paying attention to the shot at hand

Step 2, Focus: In the moment, in your body

Step 3, Panoramic Awareness: Connecting the golfer with the target

Step 4, Letting go: Leaving your worries behind

Step 5, Bringing it to the course: No matter where you go, there you are

Step 6, Winter training: Turning the off- season into a positive

I want to be clear at the beginning; I am not a psychologist, I am not a preacher, and I am not a Sensei. I am looking at the mind game through the eyes of a CPGA teaching professional.

Failing better

It took Thomas Edison 1000 attempts before he invented the light bulb. You could say he failed 999 times, but that’s not how he looked at it. Edison felt each mistake brought him one step closer to his goal.

`Try again, fail again, fail better’

Samuel Becket

Developing a strong inner game is not easy; if it were, we would all be in the zone all the time. Some people take failure personally, `I am a failure’. That attitude will stop you in your tracks. Other people, like Edison, use their mistakes, learn from them, and continually move forward. That is the attitude that will foster success.


Opposing Forces in your Swing
Sometimes it IS a game of perfect
Try harder Illusion
Illusion #1, On Stage
Golf's Illusions
Open Focus
Greatness in Golf
Six Steps to a Strong Mental Golf Game
At a Teaching Workshop: Stan Utley
At a Teachinhg Workshop: Aim Point Green Reading

The POWER TOWEL...hit it a mile

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