You are close to the green and thinking par or birdie. Then you chunk the ball, fail to hit it square, or hit it too thin and you are suddenly facing a bogey.
Chipping, putting and pitching can be quite frustrating, especially after a great drive and good approach shot on a par four.
Also, as most golfers know, the short game is more about mental toughness than it is about physical toughness.
Before moving into how you can use self-hypnosis and sports psychology to improve your chipping, it makes sense to review some of the mechanical keys to chipping effectively.
Most of these tips are courtesy of Jon Manos, my friend and long time PGA teaching professional.
1. Think of the chipping stroke as being very much like the putting stroke.
2. Keep your hands soft.
3. Keep your head still and quiet.
4. Keep your eyes and head right over the ball.
5. Practice landing the ball four or five feet on the green with a lob wedge, sand wedge, pitching wedge, nine iron, eight iron, seven iron, five iron and three wood. Once you get consistent at doing this, you will be able to let the appropriate club get the right amount of roll from your solid stroke.
Now, here are a few of the mental techniques you can use to improve your chipping.
While you are away from the course, the range and the practice facility, engage in some mental practice which can help you relaxation and focus.
Self-hypnosis, guided imagery, meditation, visualization and mindfulness training are all branches of the same psychological tree and you can benefit from using one of these or all of these.
Once you master one or several of these techniques, you can place yourself in this trance state when you are standing over the golf ball.
In addition, engage in what I call mental cross training by participating in sports like bowling, billiards, target shooting, foul shooting and darts. These kinds of sports require the same mental focus as does golf.
1. Take a few deep breaths before you stand behind the ball.
2. Take another deep breath and inhale relaxation, confidence and focus and exhale any anxiety, self-doubt or lack of focus.
3. Close your eyes and then open then again. Realize that your vision can improve as you relax yourself with your breathing.
4. Now, find your line and color it with your favorite color.
5. Find your landing spot and color it with the same color.
6. Allow your club to move the ball to your landing spot.
7. Do not move your head until after your ball has left the club.
Jay P. Granat, Ph.D. is a psychotherapist, author and founder of www.StayInTheZone.com. Dr. Granat has coached elite athletes from around the world from every sport. He was named one of America's Top Mental Gurus by Golf Digest Magazine. He has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and ESPN. Dr. Granat is available for individual coaching and for seminars and he can be reached at
888 580-ZONE or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To get his short game and putting program go here:
To get How To Lower Your Golf Score With Sports Psychology And Self-Hypnosis go here: