Armchair Golf Pro: Baddeley, Riviera, and Imagination

7 Responses

  1. Ken Foody says:

    Hey E! Enjoyed your post, the first one I’ve read actually. You write very well! The thing I find most interesting about Baddley and would LOVE to ask him sometime is that he’s actually been doing the eye closing visualization pre-shot routine for years. At least the last 5 years he’s been doing it. The difference is that over the last few he’s gone away from the Stack & Tilt technique he adopted and started struggling with and went back to his old coach and his old swing. I’d love to ask him about the mental struggles he had still trying to visualize every shot when his swing was in such a state of disarray and he was hitting it so inconsistently. My guess is that we’d find that it helped him make the transition faster. As we’re seeing with Tiger, it’s one thing to make the physical change, but a whole other thing to have the peace and inner confidence to trust it under the most intense pressure you can feel at your level. It’s why I love to study, talk about and write about the Mental side of the game. Talk soon – Ken

  2. Dave Maloney says:

    I began to take golf somewhat seriously at age 45. I was a baseball player prior to that (amateur). I loved to hit. Really loved it! Sometime in my teens I began to take batting practice in my head every night when I closed my eyes. I saw all the pitches, all the locations and “felt” myself seeing them, starting on them, making contact and following through. I did this every single night. Hence, when I got to the ball park nothing that guy could throw would/could be new to me or too tough. I couldn’t wait to get in the box because I had taken thousands of BP swings in my head since the last game. I couldn’t be surprised or fooled. I felt that I owned the field and the pitcher. I was ready and eager.

    Did I take this to golf? No, because I’m a dummy! I will now!

    • Eric Jones, MA, PGA says:

      Hi Dave- great comments on how you used to take batting practice in your head to both visualize and get the feel. The cool thing is that you already have the skills, so now the goal is to apply them to your golf game. Please keep us posted on what you learn. I bet other golfers would benefit from your feedback. See you down the fairway! Eric

  3. Wade Gaddy says:

    Great post and analysis. Can’t wait to try eye closing to help visualize.

    • Eric Jones, MA, PGA says:

      Hi Wade! Thanks for the note. Please keep us posted on what you learn and experience. I bet other golfers will be interested to read about your experience. Eric

  4. Tom says:

    Great Post Eric.

    Another key thing about Baddeley’s routine – especially evident with his putting – is that once he gets the image in his mind, he doesn’t waste time executing the shot. If you wait too long over the ball after you’ve “seen” the shot you want to hit, it only allows extra, unwanted thoughts a chance to creep in.
    Take your time visualizing and feeling the kind of swing you want in the practice swing, but then just step up and hit it…
    With Aaron’s putting, he stands behind the ball, picks his spot and visualizes as he makes his practice strokes, then steps up, one look at the hole and bam. I’ve adopted that routine in my game and it’s helped me a lot.


    • Eric Jones, MA, PGA says:

      Hi Tom, thanks for the note. Always appreciate your comments and insights. I also noticed Baddeley’s “step in and hit” routine. It’s great, and I wish more golfers would adopt it. Make all your decisions first, then step in and execute. Your comments about how unwanted thought creep in if you stay over the ball are all too true! I would have written about that as well, because I think it would benefit almost everybody. But I try to limit my posts to just one topic, or they would get too long. However, feedback from observant golfers like you can help to point out other lessons that will benefit everybody. Thanks, and keep ’em coming! Eric