Golf Psychology - Pre-shot Routine - Jack Nicklaus and Visualization

Joe Culverhouse
  • Author: Joseph Culverhouse
  • Manager - GLT Content and Communications
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Today in GLT’s golf psychology series, The Mental Game of Golf, we are going to continue examining the V of the OSVEA pre-shot routine system by taking a look at how Jack Nicklaus incorporates visualization before each shot.

GLT's free PDF Quickstart Guide of Golf's Mental Game is available here.

You don’t win 18 majors by not practicing, and especially by not practicing deliberately. At GLT Golf, we always preach the importance of making each shot replicate the conditions faced on course as closely as possible. This is includes the pre-shot routine, and as Hall of Famer Jack Nicklaus proved with his play throughout his legendary career, this definitely includes practicing visualization. But don’t take our word for it, let’s let Jack walk you through it himself.

I never hit a shot, not even in practice, without having a very sharp, in-focus picture of it in my head. First, I see the ball where I want it to finish, nice and white and sittin gup high on the bright green grass. Then, the scene quickly changes, and I see the ball going there: it’s path, trajectory, and shape, even its behavior on landing. Then, there is a sort of fade-out, and the next scene shows me making the kind of swing that will turn the previous images into reality.

We’ve written in the past about how Jack liked to “take (his) mind to the movies” before each shot, and now that you’ve heard straight from the horse’s bear’s mouth, you hopefully have a more-full understanding of what he (and we) meant.

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For the next article in our Mental Game of Golf golf psychology series, we’ll be taking a look at how you can utilize the tools and concepts of visualization even when you aren’t anywhere near the golf course when we examine Motor Imagery and how it can be incorporated into the OSVEA system.

Jack golf Visualization