Think Box: Play Box

THINK BOX:PLAY BOX

This is the fifth and final week in a mini-series on the ‘inner game’ of golf. Only through a ‘holistic’ approach to your golf game, including working on the ‘inner game’, will you start to realise you potential and enjoy your golf more.

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To consistently play your best golf you must step up to every golf shot without fear and doubt. The method I use to help achieve this is called
‘THINK BOX – PLAY BOX’ and was developed by Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott whilst they were working with Annika Sorenstam.

It is very easy to practice – all you need is an alignment stick or a piece of string that you lay down on the floor as pictured here.

The THINK BOX is the area in which you analyse the lie of the ball, the club you will use, wind direction, the type of shot you want to play etc. It is in here you decide on your swing thought and take your practice swing.

You should verbalise to yourself your intentions for the shot, “I intend to send the ball towards the left greenside bunker and let the wind move it towards the flag in the middle of the green. It is a good, firm 5 iron for me.”

Imagine the shot you are going to hit. Take a step across the DECISION LINE and in to the PLAY BOX -when you cross this line you should quit thinking and just play! The only time there is any indecision should be when you are in
the THINK BOX.

When you cross the DECISION LINE to hit the shot, there MUST be total commitment to the shot. If you get over the ball and you are not comfortable with the decision you have made, back off, retreat to the THINK BOX and come up with a plan in which you have trust.

In the PLAY BOX you need to be efficient and not waste time; simply aim the club face, take your hold, align the body, connect to the target, and hit your shot. The longer you wait the more opportunity there is for doubt and tension to build in your mind and body. I have talked in the past about how tension is
the biggest wrecker of a golf swing!

Decide – Commit – Swing. It’s as simple as that!

Think of it as skydiving. In the THINK BOX you pack the parachute, pick the jump site and do all the other preparations. In the PLAY BOX you just jump. I recently received a telephone message from one of my pupils that simply said. “Please tell Peter – the parachute opened!”

Suggested reading…
Here are just a few of my favourite books on the mental side of the game…

Inner Game of Golf
W. Timothy Gallwey
This is my all time favourite book on the mental game and one that I would highly recommend for all my clients to read.

Golf Is Not A Game of Perfect
Dr Bob Rotella
To be honest I own all of Dr Bob’s books and I recommend every
one of them! It was difficult to choose just one but I would say this
one just edged it for me.

Every Shot Must Have A Purpose
Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott
This is where the Think Box – Play Box routine comes from. Lots of other really insightful information in this book as well as some great ways to make your practise time more effective.

Zen Golf
Joseph Parent
A really easy book to read. It is a collection of brief chapters offering the wisdom of traditional Zen stories and teachings distilled from a lifetime of
actual lessons with golfers, many of whom are PGA professionals.

Book a lesson with a PGA Golf Coach at Dunes…
If you want to unlock your potential simply book your initial 60 minute session for just £30.00 at Dunes Golf Centre. We now have 3 PGA Professionals providing lessons at Dunes so availability for lessons is 7 days a week.
Call 01346 510693 or go to www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/lessons/

CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW TO DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE COPY OF INNER GAME SECRETS

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD YOUR COPY OF INNER GAME SECRETS,

Open Champions Crowned at Dunes

Dunes Golf Centre played host to the third Mini-Major of the year as the Short Game Zone was transformed in to a mini Royal Birkdale Golf Club for the Mini Golf Open Championship.

The nine-hole layout tested golfers of all abilities in a chip n putt event spread over the same four days as the real Open event that took place between 20th and 23rd July.

Each competitor could enter as many times as they wanted right up until the cut off time of 3pm on Sunday.

With sponsorship from Callaway Golf and Dunes Golf Centre, a fantastic prize table was up for grabs in the three categories of; Men, Women and Juniors.

In the Men’s section Fred West took third place with a score of 21. In second place was Tommy-Lee Reid who also scored 21 but had a better back five than Fred.

It should also be noted that Tommy was one of only two players to take part on Thursday due to torrential rain all day so well done to him in what was, without doubt, the toughest of conditions.

Men’s Open Champion – Doug Hastie

The winning score came from one of the final rounds to be played on Sunday as Doug Hastie shot a 20, coming close to the course record of 19 set by Jackie Thoirs back in June.

Speaking of Jackie, she claimed her second major on the trot with a score of 24. Not quite the resounding victory she had in the US Open as she just held off second placed Vic Buchan thanks to a better back 5 on the countback ruling. Issie Philips took third place with a score of 25.

Junior Open Champion – Callum Milne

In the Junior section Luke Allan was looking to continue his hunt for a grand slam but this time he had to settle for second place. Eight year old Callum Milne made up for finishing second to Luke in the US Open by taking the top spot this time with a score of 23, two better than his US Open score in June. Luke carded a 24 which was one better than his previous best. In third place, Seven year old Arran Simpson shot a new personal best with a score of 27.

In total 178 rounds of golf were played over the four days and we were delighted to see so many families out there enjoying playing together.

Our mission is to grow participation in the game and we know what a wonderful sport it is for families to play together.

The Short Game Zone is a permanent fixture at the Golf Centre and is available to play all year round, 7 days a week. It costs just £2.50 for all day play and with a whole host of different games available it will entertain you and the family for hours. Club and ball hire is free of charge too!

The Mini Majors are going to be a permanent fixture at Dunes so see we look forward to seeing you at the next one: Mini PGA 10th to 13th August

Playing DO golf

Unlock your golfing potential
This is the fourth post in a mini-series on the ‘inner game’ of golf. Only through a ‘holistic’ approach to your golf game, including working on the ‘inner game’, will you start to realise you potential and enjoy your golf more.

Playing Do Golf…

A couple of weeks ago I talked about how most golfers play ‘Don’t Golf’ in that they make a statement before each shot about what they don’t want to do. Eg. “Don’t go in the water,” right before doing just that!

Get your game on TRAC

This is a routine you should apply to every shot you play…

Target – pick a shot to play, every shot must have a purpose!

Routine – practice swing rehearsal, implement/feel the key swing ingredients

Acceptance – You can deal with good/bad shots and outcomes – go on a mission! (see below)

Commitment – Play the shot you have chosen

After the shot, when the club goes back in the bag, that is closure on the shot.

It is DONE and DONE MEANS DONE!

After each shot start the TRAC process again when you get within a set distance of the ball (say 20 yards)

Did you know?

You will only play golf for about 30 minutes in a 4 hour round including all your routines. The rest of the time is simply walking, during which you should be enjoying the company, the views, the fresh air and exercise.

Interesting fact:

Your club is in contact with the ball for 0.0004 seconds per shot. So, in a round of 80 shots you have influenced the ball for a total of only 0.03 seconds!

On a Mission

Let’s break down the word mission…

Ions are atoms or molecules that are either positively or negatively charged.

To go on a mission you MISS the IONS by being neither positive nor negative and instead to get yourself in to a NEUTRAL mindset.

POSITIVE THOUGHT                                  Vs                                NEGATIVE THOUGHT

I will hit the green with this shot           Vs        I am going to put this in the pond

NEUTRAL THOUGHT – Is it possible to hit the green?

By asking if it is possible you are not saying you will, which is nearly always a lie! And you are not thinking negatively by stating what you don’t want to do.

If the answer to the “Is it possible?” questions is Yes but not likely, then you should reselect your choice of shot.

You are faced with a shot between the branches of a tree that is only 3” wide, it would be possible to send the ball through but with a very low success rate. An ‘off the wall’ positive person would still take the shot on so this is where some negativity needs to be added to create a neutral, balanced mindset.

Approaching most activities in life with a neutral mindset pays dividends. In many instances creating some negativity creates balance that allows for good decision making. An example is when my son was very young, he once ran straight across the road without looking. I had to explain to him some negative reasons as to why we need to stop, look and listen!

If you want to unlock your potential simply book your initial 60 minute session from just £20.00 at Dunes Golf Centre. We now have 3 PGA Professionals providing lessons at Dunes so availability for lessons is 7 days a week.

Call 01346 510693 or go to www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/lessons/

Victory for Kris in Scottish Young Pro’s Championship

A wind and rain battered West Lothian Golf Club played host to the Scottish Young Pro’s Championship between 27th and 29th June.

The event, formerly known as the Assistants Championship, has a rich history of previous winners that have progressed onto the European Tour; Craig Maltman, Scott Henderson, Alastair Forsyth, Craig Lee and most notably, Open Champion Paul Lawrie.

Teeing up in this event for the first time since joining the PGA, Kris Nicol of Dunes Golf Centre fired a solid opening round of 70 (-1) to finish the day in sixth place.

He followed this up with a 68 on the second day but Alastair Forsyth, having just come off the European Tour, showed his class with a 67 to open up a two-shot lead.

Round three was played in constant rain and high winds but Kris battled round to shoot the score of the day with a 69. Alastair shot a 70 to retain a one shot lead with just one round to go in what had now become a two horse race.

Kris, out in the final pairing with Alastair, started strongly with a birdie on the fourth to draw the pair level. However, he followed this up with back to back bogeys whilst Alastair completed the front nine with straight pars. With nine holes to play Kris was two shots back and he needed to find some magic in the blustery conditions. Alastair gave back on the 10th with a bogey, both players made birdies on 14 and then Kris got things level on the 16th with another birdie.

Alastair found the bunker on 17 and failed to get up and down so made a bogey whilst Kris kept his cool to finish with two solid pars, completing the back nine in two under, to secure a fantastic victory.

The win earned Kris a cheque for £1000 plus he gained an exemption for the Scottish PGA Championship that he would otherwise had to have tried to qualify for.

“I feel my game has been coming good for a while, stated Kris, I’ve worked loads on my short game with Pete (Myers) and the time spent hitting low shots in the wind definitely paid off this week. It’s good to get a win and competing against Alastair down the stretch was good fun.”

Kris is now turning his attention to qualifying for the Scottish Open, a feat that he achieved last year.

The two-round event, supported by Aberdeen Asset Management and VisitScotland, takes place on July 8 and 9 and will see four players secure spots in the £7 million Rolex Series event at neighbouring Dundonald Links the following week.

In-between preparations for the Scottish Open, Kris was straight back to work on Monday as he had an afternoon full of lessons booked in the diary.

Kris is fast building a reputation as a great teacher and is available most days for lessons at Dunes Golf Centre. He shares his knowledge of the game and puts it across in a simple, easy to understand way that is benefitting local golfers of all abilities. If you would to improve your golf then book an Initial 1 hour Lesson with Kris or PGA Coach Sam Griffiths while it is on special offer at just £20.00.
This can be booked online at http://www.dunesgolfcentre.co.uk/bookalesson/

Or via telephone on 01346 510693. Gift vouchers for all lessons are also available.