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"The Inner Game of Golf" by Timothy Gallwey

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i remember reading that a long time ago...

interesting theories, and i tend to agree with the philosophy of "get your brain out of the way, and let your body do it's thing"...

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One of his theories is saying something to yourself during your swing to keep Self1 at bay during your swing.

Self1  talks to you during the swing saying things like.

Don't bend your left arm.

You hit it in the lake the last time on this hole.

You know you have a hard time with these 3 foot putts.

Shift your weight.

Don't move your head.

You never do good on this hole.

Self2 know how to swing. And it is impossible to be thinking of nothing at any time much less during

your swing. I had heard from so other source to sing a song to yourself during your swing. That

will keep all the thoughts out and the swing that is within you will be free at last.

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I have had this book for some time and really only aware of it through tennis. I was walking through a secondhand bookstore and came across the inner game of tennis which I believe is the better book. Tim Galley started out playing lots of tennis as a junior and coached it later in life and that really comes across in that book. I would suggest reading both that and the inner game of golf together. There's a really good section in the book on putting and not too disimilar from Rotella's mental game ideas. I also like the idea of letting your interest settle on a specific body part when practicing things like chipping or pitching. Allowing the brain to focus and the body learns those cues. The self 1 and self 2 is a very enlightening concept but does describe how to take ourselves out of the equation and let the machine learn. The more we know and allow the body to do it's job and immerse itself in the learning process and detach our ego then we learn faster and with less frustration. It does work the more you trust that process.

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Read it about two weeks ago.

Agree with my self 1 getting in the way, if I could put certain thoughts away, distract self 1, still learning the process.

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Unfortunately, I borrowed this book from a friend when I read it, so I no longer have it as a reference.  I wanted to write a brief summary of the book anyways, because it provided me with an actionable playing strategy that I still use to this day.

The author of this book is actually a tennis instructor who has studied ways to implement mental strategies not only in tennis, but in the workplace, and other sports.  His application to the game of golf is wonderful in my perspective, and could be a huge help to anyone who suffers from “don’t hit it in the lake,” or any timid thoughts during the swing.  If you want to learn more about his teachings, Gallwey talks about it on his website here.

I loved this book because it kept everything so simple, eliminating the confusion and doubt that comes from many mental game books.  I highly recommend it!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brakkus View Post

I have had this book for some time and really only aware of it through tennis. I was walking through a secondhand bookstore and came across the inner game of tennis which I believe is the better book.
Tim Galley started out playing lots of tennis as a junior and coached it later in life and that really comes across in that book. I would suggest reading both that and the inner game of golf together.
There's a really good section in the book on putting and not too disimilar from Rotella's mental game ideas. I also like the idea of letting your interest settle on a specific body part when practicing things like chipping or pitching. Allowing the brain to focus and the body learns those cues.
The self 1 and self 2 is a very enlightening concept but does describe how to take ourselves out of the equation and let the machine learn. The more we know and allow the body to do it's job and immerse itself in the learning process and detach our ego then we learn faster and with less frustration. It does work the more you trust that process.

I too read the tennis version years ago and liked it.

If you remember the show Scientific American Frontiers on PBS, he did a story on this, "Quiet Eyes". It is based on the same premise as Gallwey's book. Excellent show.

http://www.pbs.org/saf/1206/segments/1206-1.htm

Quote:

In "A Quiet Eye," Joan Vickers of the University of Calgary uses a helmet outfitted with cameras and mirrors to track where athletes look as they play. Donning the elaborate headgear, Alan picks up a putter to see if there's a difference in where a rank amateur looks while putting as compared to a professional golfer.

Vickers has found that almost all novice golfers follow the ball with their eyes after they hit it--and Alan's no exception. By comparison, David Lindsay has been taught by Vickers to use his eyes the way the experts do. He looks steadily at the intended target for a second or two, looks back at the ball and lets his gaze rest there before and even after the stroke--what Vickers calls a "quiet eye."

Will this technique help Alan? On his previous tries, Alan never hit better than three putts in six tries. Using the quiet eye gaze, he improves to four in six.

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I too read the tennis version years ago and liked it.

If you remember the show Scientific American Frontiers on PBS, he did a story on this, "Quiet Eyes". It is based on the same premise as Gallwey's book. Excellent show.

http://www.pbs.org/saf/1206/segments/1206-1.htm

Interesting I will have to check that out. He talks about the tennis book in the golf book. He had to find a replacement for the tennis bounce-hit method of focusing attention and keep the thinking mind out of the way of our natural swing and natural learning process. He came up with back-hit-stop or da-da-da-da. This is just like what I was doing but I was singing a song to myself as I swing.

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i like his idea about putting your conscious mind to work so that you can hit the ball subconsciously. i used his back-hit  or 1-2-3 technique for many years and i thought it was very effective. i started out this year doing the same thing  but abandoned it early on. i pretty much grip it and rip it now and my swing seems more fluid.i think i was tensing up more looking for that impact point.

i still use some of the putting stuff mainly looking for a small blade of grass in the cup. aim small and your misses will be small.

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i like his idea about putting your conscious mind to work so that you can hit the ball subconsciously. i used his back-hit  or 1-2-3 technique for many years and i thought it was very effective. i started out this year doing the same thing  but abandoned it early on. i pretty much grip it and rip it now and my swing seems more fluid.i think i was tensing up more looking for that impact point.

i still use some of the putting stuff mainly looking for a small blade of grass in the cup. aim small and your misses will be small.

Yes I did not like the back-hit or any of his ideas about saying things in time with points in the swing. That is why I like the song better because it is rhythmic and smooth.

And you can pick a song that matches your tempo.

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Here is an interesting video on "Quiet Eyes" putting. The person who studied this said amateurs eyes are too erratic back and forth between ball and hole

and what they are focusing on during the putting stroke. Pros slowly look at the hole and then the ball and then focus their gaze with the ball, putter, and hands

in view and keep that gaze until after the ball is struck.

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The original pbs special, which aired back in the 80s, was even more detailed with the quiet eyes concept. They showed that the fixed gaze on the ball was such that the greater the pupil stillness while looking at the ball the greater the success rate, and this pertained to all shots from the driver to the putter. They used ams and pros and found that even at the pro level there was pupil movement. The very best ball strikers had very little eye movement. At the pro level this quiet eye movement separated the top pros from the rest of the field. The best could fix their eyes on a dimple and keep that focus through impact. They also showed how this could be trained. Of course beta blockers became the easiest way to accomplish this and they ended up being listed as a phd.

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I read this book and now I'm 1/4 way through "Inner Skiing". One thing to think about is not to use the inner game techniques as "gimmicks". They are meant to be used the same way you would use a lesson from a teaching pro. You have to practice the inner game techniques the same way you practice your physical swing. I've found that committing to the Inner Game is as hard as committing to an adjustment of the physical swing. You may go back a little to go forward.

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