01 Dec How Hypnotherapy Saved My Golf Game and Improved My Life
I have been a keen golfer for many years and, whilst I have no aspirations to win The Masters, I do enjoy playing well.
For several years I was playing consistently well. I had a reasonable handicap (19) that I was happy with. And then things started going wrong…
I had an operation to remove a lump on my neck and, from that moment on, the driving part of my game (the most satisfying part) deserted me. Whether the problem was physiological, psychological or just coincidence I’ll never know, but my body felt and seemed to work differently. I could still use my irons fairly well, but my driving was hopeless.
I sought the help of a golf professional who helped to the extent that I could hit the driver reasonably well – but only on the range. The minute I set foot on the tee area of a golf course holding a driver, my brain turned to ‘mush’ and I literally didn’t know what to do. My attempts at driving were embarrassingly bad.
The golf pro said that whilst he was happy to keep taking money off me, he believed the problem was in my head and advised me to see a sports psychologist. Sports psychology must be a very good business, because the man I was referred to was never available to take a call and never responded to my messages.
A friend then suggested hypnotherapy, which I knew nothing about. But, by now I was desperate and prepared to try anything. So I made an appointment with someone I found on the internet.
The hypnotherapist asked me what I wanted to achieve. I said I wanted to smash the ball miles down the fairway. He replied that he couldn’t help me do that because a) he wasn’t a golf coach and b) he didn’t know if I was any good. This wasn’t what I wanted to hear.
He then asked me why I played golf. I thought ‘what a stupid question’ but responded that I played golf because I used to enjoy it.
‘But do you enjoy playing golf now?’ he continued.
‘No’ I replied ‘I hate it’
The hypnotherapist suggested that we should work on getting me to enjoy playing golf again as this was a very achievable goal. I was a bit dubious, but thought ‘I’m here now, why not?’
We talked for a while and then (I think) we did some hypnosis. As far I as was concerned nothing special happened and I didn’t feel like I’d been hypnotised. I went away wondering if I’d wasted my money.
But, over the next few weeks I realised that I was travelling to the golf course not with a sense of dread, but actually looking forward to a few hours in a nice place in the company of friends. I found myself really enjoying the overall experience and not really thinking about shots or scores.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a competitive person and I always try my best, but somehow it didn’t seem as important any more.
And then a strange thing happened. My fellow players announced that we needed to renegotiate my handicap. When I asked why, they pointed out that I had been driving and scoring consistently well for several weeks and it was unfair of me to benefit from a higher handicap than them.
It was only then that it dawned on me that my driving and overall play had, gradually but steadily, been improving.
How had this happened without me even realising it? Maybe there was something to hypnotherapy after all. My curiosity was aroused and I needed to know more about hypnotherapy.
Brett Hindson BA (Hons) D.Hyp PDCBHyp MBSCH
Brett who trained at the London College of Clinical Hypnosis, is a cognitive hypnotherapist and a member of both the British Society of Clinical Hypnosis and the British Institute of Hypnotherapy.
Hypnotherapy clinics in Ewell Surrey and South West London