Did you ever suspect your best golf ever ever could be unlocked in an instant? You might be surprised! Join us for a “Quick 9” interview with the “Golf Hypnotist” Andrew Fogg and find out more.
1. Andrew, tell us a little about yourself, your background and what led you to become THE “golf hypnotist”?
Well, I’m 62 years old and live about 25 miles South West of London, near Windsor. I took up golf 45 years ago at the age of 17, got down to 4 handicap in my first year, played off 2 handicap for most of my 20’s and 30’s, competing regularly in regional and national amateur events in the UK. Despite a recent 5-year break from golf due to arthritis, I’m still playing to a single figure handicap.
I started looking at the mental side of my own golf about 15 years ago and after extensive training in NLP and clinical hypnotherapy, I’ve been working as The Golf Hypnotist for more than 5 years.
2. How can hypnosis help the average golfer?
I believe that the use of hypnosis can help any golfer to play to the limits of their golfing ability and beyond. That’s a bold statement, but when you think about it, if the average golfer adds up the best individual scores they’ve ever had on each hole of their home course, they would be scoring way under their handicap. They must have the skill needed to score that well somewhere deep inside and with hypnosis, they can learn to unleash that unconscious ability they already possess.
3. In your opinion, can one improve their golf game by focusing more on the mental side of the game rather than the physical (swing, mechanics, fitness, etc.)?
Obviously it helps to master the physical side of the game of golf as much as you can, but without making the most of the mental side of the game, you may struggle to consistently score to the best of your ability.
If I’d known that back in my 20’s, I may have unleashed the professional golfer within and played beyond the limits of my physical golfing abilities.
4. Is hypnosis something you need to practice continually?
I encourage all my clients to use hypnosis regularly, especially the night or morning before an important game of golf. Many of my clients find the free “Your Own Virtual Caddy” track especially good for this regular use. If you are using one of my programs, I might initially suggest listening to one particular track once a day for several weeks and then move on to another track. Later you may decide to listen to your favorite track or tracks as and when you feel the need.
I also encourage many of my clients to learn s simple self-hypnosis or relaxation technique to use whenever they want to feel relaxed, confident and resourceful. Many of my clients, especially tournament professionals, include an abbreviated form of one of these techniques in their pre-shot routine. Maybe you’ve noticed the “Tiger blink” before every shot. Unfortunately, someone else taught him that.
5. Is visualizing your shots part of your golf hypnosis programs and does it really help to visualize your golf shots before you swing?
The use of the imagination, including visualization, is a key element in all my golf hypnosis programs and in my face-to-face work with clients. I prefer the word imagination as this includes the use of all our senses, sound, taste, smell and the kinaesthetic, not just the visual. Although all of our experiences and memories are stored using these five senses, people have individual preferences.
If you ask different people to describe a walk on the beach, they will often describe it differently, even though they all had the same experience. Some may talk mainly about the things they saw, like the blue sea and the white sand. Others may focus on the sounds of the waves and the calling of the seagulls. And some will talk about the warmth of the sun, the feel of the sand under their feet or the wind in their hair. Some may even focus on the taste of the salty air or the smell of the seaweed.
When I work directly with a client, I can usually work out their preferred senses from the way they describe their experiences. That way, I can tailor my communication to their preferred way of experiencing the world. With my pre-recorded golf hypnosis programs, I try to express myself in all five senses in order to make sure I connect with the listener.
And yes, it really does help to “visualize” your golf shots before you swing, or rather to imagine them in the way that works best for you.
6. You are quite an accomplished golfer. How has hypnosis helped you personally in your golf game?
I wouldn’t call myself an accomplished golfer, but more of an unfulfilled one. Now, if I’d worked with a Golf Hypnotist back in my early 20’s, when I was a promising 2 handicap amateur, then I could have become very accomplished! Having said that, now I’m back playing after a 5 year break and in my 60’s, hypnosis is really helping me to start scoring way beyond my physical capabilities and I’m enjoying my golf much more.
7. What do you wish you knew earlier in your golf game in terms of the mental game that you now know?
I think it would have to be about knowing how to score well even when I’m playing badly. Another way of saying that is to “Make the Most of Your Game”, especially the game that you’ve brought to the golf course today. Not surprisingly, that’s the title of one of the hypnosis tracks in my “Winning Golf” program.
What’s frustrating is that I should have learned this back in my 20’s when I played with a then unknown future major champion. I was paired with a complete stranger in the Hertfordshire Stag at Moor Park, the premier open amateur competition in the county.
I struck the ball much better than he did on every shot and he commented on it, but when we added up the scores at the end of each round, I was a couple of shots over par and he was 3 or 4 shots under par! He made the most of a bad day on the course and I made the worst of what should have been a good day. Nick Faldo, my mystery playing partner, turned professional a couple of months later – the rest is history, as they say.
8. What recent new and exciting things have you discovered in terms of golf hypnosis, the mind and golf?
Some people say that there’s nothing new in the world of golf. And much of golf psychology is about observing what other people already do naturally. You didn’t hear much about golf psychologists back in the 60’s, but I still find myself quoting Jack Nicklaus an awful lot when I work with clients. He just seemed to apply good golf psychology technique instinctively.
Most of my own “discoveries” come from my one-on-one work with clients. That’s probably because I trust my own instinct and generally create an approach that fits the client rather than fitting the client to the approach. That also involves listening to and tapping into my clients’ instinctive wisdom as well.
A good recent example came from a young client who’s on a golfing scholarship in the US. When I asked him what he’d learned from a couple of days in the gallery at a European Tour event, I expected him to tell me all about the magnificence of Rory McIlroy’s ball striking or something similar.
Instead, he delighted me by telling me how, with the best players, he couldn’t tell from their faces whether they had just hit a good shot or a bad one. I’ve been using that story with a lot of my recent clients.
9. What are some of the programs you have, Andrew, and what would you recommend as a good intro product for our readers?
The answer very much depends on what the reader is looking for. If they’re looking to fix specific golfing problems, then we have golf hypnosis programs like, “Overcome the Yips”, “Anger Management for Better Golf”, “Overcome the Shanks” and “Confident Golf – Free From Fear”.
If the requirement is to improve and develop specific skills, then there are programs like, “Own the Putting Green”, “Winning Golf”, “Golf in the Playing Zone” and “Visualisation Skills for Golf”.
For the golfer who’s looking to make the most of the skills they already have or to learn from the skills of their golfing idols, then I’d strongly recommend having a look at my innovative programs for “Better Golf with Less Practice” and “Learn Better Golf with Your Golfing Heroes”.
Finally, if you’re just looking for a good product to get started with hypnosis for golf, then I suggest downloading my free 25-minute “Your Own Virtual Caddy” golf hypnosis recording.
Just sign up to my free Golf Hypnotist Ezine and you’ll get an email with details of how to download the recording and a free chapter from my book, “The Secrets of Hypnotic Golf”. There’s a sign-up form in the right hand column of my website at golf-hypnotist.com.