Out of the Bunker: Remember to visualize success
By Hans Kersting, Golf Professional
Friday, February 9th, 2018

Golf is a mental game. Anybody who has played the game can recognize that.

It messes with our minds, and occasionally fools us into believing we’ve got it figured out. At that very moment, something happens that quickly reminds us that we don’t have golf figured out.

It’s a complicated game.

One thing that isn’t complicated about golf, however, is the importance of a solid pre-shot routine. As I was watching Jason Day recently win the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, I came to the realization that he has perhaps the most perfect pre-shot routine in golf.

Day uses visualization to prepare for his shot.

He doesn’t just occasionally do this, he does it before every shot he takes.

It’s awesome to watch.

“One reason I appreciate the visualization in (Jason) Day’s pre-shot routine is because it helps him to focus on the positive, rather than the negative.”

I have noticed Jason visualizing his shots since the day he became a credible PGA star. He stands behind his ball, staring at his intended target. Before approaching his shot, however, he closes his eyes and pauses for a few seconds.

He is visualizing the shot he wants to hit, and he doesn’t approach his ball until he sees a positive result. This is a great lesson for each of us to learn.

One reason I appreciate the visualization in Day’s pre-shot routine is because it helps him to focus on the positive, rather than the negative. Golf course architects are trained to create illusions in our minds. Bunkers, water hazards and undulating greens are designed into a golf course to mess with our minds.

You’ve probably heard the saying that “if you are worried about hitting your ball into a hazard, then you will likely hit the ball into the hazard.”

This is true.

However, the practice of visualization is a great way to convince your mind to focus on a positive, rather than a negative outcome.

There are many pre-shot routines that can be just as productive as the visualization that Day practices.

Choose a routine that works for you.

If that routine happens to be visualization, spend some time studying Day. He has perfected this routine, and it’s a great opportunity to learn from the best.

About the author

Hans Kersting

Hans Kersting, Golf Professional

Out of the Bunker: Remember to visualize success

Golf is a mental game. Anybody who has played the game can recognize that.

It messes with our minds, and occasionally fools us into believing we’ve got it figured out. At that very moment, something happens that quickly reminds us that we don’t have golf figured out.

It’s a complicated game.

One thing that isn’t complicated about golf, however, is the importance of a solid pre-shot routine. As I was watching Jason Day recently win the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, I came to the realization that he has perhaps the most perfect pre-shot routine in golf.

Day uses visualization to prepare for his shot.

He doesn’t just occasionally do this, he does it before every shot he takes.

It’s awesome to watch.

“One reason I appreciate the visualization in (Jason) Day’s pre-shot routine is because it helps him to focus on the positive, rather than the negative.”

I have noticed Jason visualizing his shots since the day he became a credible PGA star. He stands behind his ball, staring at his intended target. Before approaching his shot, however, he closes his eyes and pauses for a few seconds.

He is visualizing the shot he wants to hit, and he doesn’t approach his ball until he sees a positive result. This is a great lesson for each of us to learn.

One reason I appreciate the visualization in Day’s pre-shot routine is because it helps him to focus on the positive, rather than the negative. Golf course architects are trained to create illusions in our minds. Bunkers, water hazards and undulating greens are designed into a golf course to mess with our minds.

You’ve probably heard the saying that “if you are worried about hitting your ball into a hazard, then you will likely hit the ball into the hazard.”

This is true.

However, the practice of visualization is a great way to convince your mind to focus on a positive, rather than a negative outcome.

There are many pre-shot routines that can be just as productive as the visualization that Day practices.

Choose a routine that works for you.

If that routine happens to be visualization, spend some time studying Day. He has perfected this routine, and it’s a great opportunity to learn from the best.