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Golf: Lower Your Score with Mental Training

By Tom Saunders, M. D.

INLPA Pierson Review Golf

Golf: Lower Your Score with Mental Training

By Tom Saunders, M. D.

Crown House Publishing Limited, Copyright 2005

Reviewed by Judith E. Pearson, Ph.D.

Golfers at all levels of expertise and sports psychology practitioners will surely want to buy Golf: Lower Your Score with Mental Training by Tom Saunders, M.D. This book offers "scientifically tested ways to perform better at golf while actually enjoying it more." Without hype or sensational promises, but in a straightforward, no-nonsense manner, Saunders imparts the mental skills and strategies that make for an improved game.

Golf is an instructional program consisting of a self-help text and an audio CD of brief recorded exercises for relaxation, self-hypnosis, meditation, affirmations and visualization. You will see evidence of NLP and hypnosis throughout. The theoretical background of the program is based on right-brain-left-brain research showing that peak performance occurs when the right brain dominates and practiced skills become unconsciously driven. Imagery and self-hypnosis exercises in Golf teach golfers how to reprogram limiting beliefs and unwanted behaviors that get in the way of performance.

Saunders begins with the premise that good golf performance, and indeed, all sports performance depends, in part, on mental skills: the right level of "active relaxation," positive concentration, intuition, imagination, and total focus on the here and now, shutting out everything else. Drawing from his experiences in teaching self-hypnosis to his patients, his own golfing, and consultations with sports psychologists and both professional and amateur golfers, Saunders has produced a proven, easy-to-follow program to enhance anyone's golf game. The program starts with progressive muscle relaxation for "the feeling of correct balance between the activation needed to play and the relaxation necessary to perform well."

Then Saunders adds guided imagery, to keep the golfer focused on a positive result, instead of replaying past mistakes. Next, readers learn NLP methods for anchoring resourceful states such as confidence, active relaxation, self-belief, and tempo. Saunders recommends affirmations and meditation to instill a positive mental attitude and ward off memories of bad shots and the self-criticism that creates negative expectations.

In Golf, readers will find remedies for bad golfing habits and problematic reactions to errors. One remedy is the NLP Swish Pattern. His chapter on peak performance is particularly instructive. Saunders writes that playing "in the zone" involves mental skills such as self-confidence, optimism, motivation, and a positive attitude about errors. The CD allows the reader to actually experience the recommendations and exercises in the text. The relaxing background music and Saunders' gentle voice giving well-paced instructions provide enjoyable listening.

Saunders is a coach par excellence who teaches his readers how to apply NLP, visualization, positive thinking, and self-hypnosis to the game of golf. He makes a rather complex subject easy to understand and the psychological principles easy to apply. Every recommendation rests on findings from scientific research in sports psychology. In Golf: Lower Your Score with Mental Training, readers will find a highly practical and readable text and a professionally-produced CD. No serious golfer should be without this book!

To purchase Golf: Lower Your Score with Mental Training, contact:

Crown House Publishing Ltd.

Editorial/Marketing Offices

4 Berkeley St. Norwalk, CT 06850 USA

Phone: 203-852-9504

Fax: 203-852-9619


Dr. Saunders can be contacted at:

Phone: 403-240-3036

Email: 105 Sierra Morena Terrace SW

Calgary, Alberta, Canada T3H 3A2 ___________________