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 Sound Advice For Golfers 
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Post Sound Advice For Golfers
Sound Advice For Golfers
by: Steven Latham

Like most golfers, I enjoy watching golf on television. Its great to be able to learn from the best players in the world. An even better way to learn more from those players is to watch the golf tournaments with the sound on mute!

Without getting academic on you, in the past decade, neuroscience has recently discovered and have been learning more about human structures called 'mirror neurons'. A mirror neuron is a premotor neuron which fires both when an animal acts and when the animal observes the same action performed by another. Thus, the neuron "mirrors" the behavior of another animal, as though the observer were itself acting.

In sports, there has been anecdotal evidence amongst sporting champions that modelling and what we now know to be called mirror neurons have played a significant part in those athletes learning their craft. Below is one example as explained by golfing legend Jack Nicklaus:

"As with Snead, watching Hogan's swing sort of stuck with me, and I played like Hogan, or thought I did, for most of that summer, trying to take my left side and keep it ahead of my right and never let it catch up. To me, Hogan looked like he played that way, and I tried to imitate that, kids do those kinds of things. He was always an inspiration to me every time I watched him hit golf balls. I never got tired of watching Hogan play or even just practice"

It is also well known that the father of Tiger Woods, Earl Woods, began Tiger's tutelage of the golf swing by sitting him in a high chair as a young child, allowing him to observe Earl hitting golf balls. There is further evidence on the professional tour of modelling and the use of mirror neurons from noticeable similarities between the techniques of great players. The synergy of Adam Scott and Tiger Woods' golf swing is one example.

Observe players from the same college or same area as juniors, and you will see similarities in their techniques, suggesting the use of modelling and mirror neurons.

To use this knowledge effectively, complete the following exercise:

Watch a replay or live showing of a major golf tournament, and as I mentioned, place the sound on mute. (This will take away some otherwise distracting commentary and crowd noise). Commentary can be entertaining, but is not useful for the purposes of this exercise.

Take a moment to allow yourself to come up with what it is that you would like to model, or observe from a particular player during the golf showing. For example, it might be the rhythm of their golf swing or their technique when putting. State what it is softly to yourself, and then spend 5 minutes observing that player in the following ways:

Watch them as though you were a spectator on the course, or even their caddy, and pay closer attention to what it is you want to learn from them. Following that pretend as though you were actually stepping inside their shoes and playing golf as they are. Pay particular attention to how their technique feels to them. As mentioned earlier in this article, you are capable of doing this!

To get your FREE copy of Chapter 1 of my Golf Psychology Drill Book, visit

About The Author
Steven has played golf at a high standard, playing American collegiate golf on scholarship and also winning various junior and open age amateur events.

He has a University degree as a Psychology major, holds the Graduate Certificate in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and is continuing with over 8 years study so far in applying human performance psychology to golf.

Steven's work has appeared in various media including Smarter Golf Podcasts, The Golfer, FHM, and JNJGF Backspin magazines, and is the current Golf Psychology contributor to Golf Australia magazine.
The author invites you to visit:

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Wed Feb 16, 2011 12:57 pm
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