So who is using hypnosis to improve your golf performance, besides Tiger Woods and perhaps Phil Mickelson? Well, taking first things first, it’s hard to be sure who is using hypnosis because most of the people who do it don’t want to make it clear. Why that? Well, first of all, they want to maintain the competitive advantage that golf hypnosis gives them. Second, while it is becoming acceptable for an elite golfer to admit that he uses a mental coach, his marketing people are still wary of saying he uses golf psychology or, worse, hypnosis, that’s all for the “new it was”. You just have to look at the comments of Angel Cabrera, a real man, after winning the Masters, “Now I don’t have a sports psychologist and I don’t smoke.”
If a golfer does not tell you that he is using hypnosis, what are the signs to look for to know that he is doing it? Well, let’s take Tiger Woods as our first example. I have not heard him say he uses hypnosis or read anything to confirm that he has admitted it. However, just watch the series of controlled, methodical blinks you make just before you take each shot. If that’s not a hypnotic trigger or anchor, I’d better return my hypnotherapy diploma and NLP certificates. It is clear to me that you are using that trigger to go into self hypnosis once you have decided which shot you are going to take. Self-hypnosis silences your conscious self-talk and leaves your golf programming unconscious to hit the shot.
Now Tiger must have learned this from Jay Brunza, his mental coach since he was 13 years old. From what I have read, Dr. Brunza followed up his Ph.D. in Psychology with a long career as a psychologist in the US Navy, period as a stress-fighting psychologist, before working as a sports psychologist. This short excerpt from Golf Digest, in December 2002, seems to confirm that Tiger’s training included hypnosis.
“Woods’s ability to produce peak performance by ‘being willing to get into the zone’ is unprecedented. And at age 13, Tiger began mental training with Dr. Jay Brunza, a family friend and psychologist. Among the techniques Brunza used were subliminal tapes and hypnosis. “The first time Jay hypnotized Tiger, he made him stretch his arm and said he couldn’t move,” Earl said. [Tiger’s father] He says. I tried, but couldn’t bring it down. [Tiger says hypnosis is] ‘inherent in what I do now.’
Thinking of all of this, I just wish other top-tier golfers would admit that they use hypnosis to improve their golf, so I wouldn’t have to keep talking about Tiger Woods.
Come on Phil Mickelson, you are obviously using self-hypnosis; You couldn’t keep smiling through adversity like that without hypnosis, now you can. Why not sit back, relax a little more, and tell us everything. Now!