The benefits of imagery and sinking putts…

I have come across a research paper in the Journal of Sports and Exercise Psychology; Smith & Holmes 2003.

In this paper they assigned forty experienced golfers to one of four groups.  

A “written script” group received a personalised, response – proposition laden script.

Participants in the audio and video groups either listened to an audiotape or watched an internal perspective videotape of themselves putting.  

Control participants read golf magazines.


Each participant did a 15-ball putting task twice a week for 6 weeks and also did their imagery or reading daily during this period.  Before this study there was no differences between any of the golfers, however after 6 weeks the video and audio groups performed significantly better than the written script or control groups.


This indicates that visual imagery can help you perform better than reading written notes.  So visually rehearse successful imagined or real putts regularly and it should help your game!!

Martin et al (1999) the Sports Psychologist, estimated that more than 200 studies have been published indicating that imagery of a specific sports skill can improve physical performance of that skill.


What is imagery ?

For the purpose of this article – imagery can be a mental-rehearsal of a perfect putting stroke, imagining the ball travel down the exact line required to sink a putt.  It has a positive outcome and is relaxing.  The positive image can be used immediately before each shot.  The literature suggests that you ‘close your eyes’ and imagine a clear and vivid image as possible of the ball from the point when it leaves the club face, rolling away from you along the desired line, at the desired speed, towards the hole and dropping right in the centre of the hole.

(N.B. they did studies on negative imagery and guess what.) The putting results were worse!)  Avoid negative imagery.


In conclusion an essential pre-putt routine of green reading and positive putt sinking imagery can give you confidence and a better chance of making putts.


Stay tuned for more positive thinking tips on the blog…⛳️ http://www.fairwaybirdies.com

  1. Christine Cookes July 3, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    Very helpful posts, I am enjoying the read. Keep it up. Chris


  2. Christine Cookes July 3, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    Very helpful posts, I am enjoying the read. Keep it up!!


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