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I am always looking for ways to assist golfers to play better golf. Given the adage that 'golf is 90% mental', a lot of my searching has been focused on the psychology of playing great (enjoyable) golf.

Over twenty years ago I was given a relaxation cassette from a friend. One of those ones where you lie down and have someone talk you through a relaxation process with calming music in the background. Once you're deeply relaxed your thoughts are directed towards reaching your goals and aspirations.

There are lot of different roads I have taken over the years to improve my own golf, a percentage of which I must say have come to a dead end out in the bush somewhere. In contrast, taking the time to relax and direct my thoughts towards my goals has been one of the most useful practices I have stumbled across.


Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) takes the relaxation process to the next level by programming triggers that enable you to enter your ideal performance state.

In 2010 I was at St Andrews to see Louis Oosthuizen win the Open Championship in a run-away performance. The big story that followed Louis's spectacular victory was the 'RED DOT' on his glove.

Louis and his sports psychologist Karl Morris had used a form of NLP to help Louis enter his ideal performance state.

Karl's website -

Prior to the tournament, Karl started by getting Louis to remember the best round he had played that year. After Louis had vividly recalled his best performance Karl asked him to describe the feeling. Louis settled on one word to describe his feeling:


Karl followed by asking Louis 'If concentration had a colour, what would that colour be?' I'm sure you can guess his answer - RED.

Louis marked a 'RED DOT' on his glove; looking at the 'RED DOT' at the start of his pre-shot routine triggered his ideal performance state.

Many PGA and LPGA Tour Professionals use NLP to trigger their ideal performance state. Next time you get the chance to watch a PGA or LPGA event see if you can identify what triggers are being used.

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