Perception is the process of how one interprets or analyses and takes in visual and sensory information. Perception is your way of understanding things and therefore what you are going to respond too. It may not be “the truth”, but it is “your truth”.
A study was carried out using different size golf hole shapes and golfers were asked after they had finished their round which of the black circles represented the correct size of a golf hole. The majority of golfers who played well that day selected a size bigger than a normal golf hole, whereas the majority of golfers who played poorly that day selected a size that was small than the normal golf hole size.
“I felt so good on the greens today the hole seemed as large as a bucket!” You may be fortunate enough to have had a number of golfing days on the greens like this; of course the hole hasn’t changed its size.
Generally the advice that is normally given is to make your practice more difficult so the perception of the real thing is easier. For example, you could putt towards a tee-peg or small coin on the practice putting green so theoretically making a normal hole seem the size of a bucket. However I have also found merit in the reverse of this process, for instance playing off shorter tees, (perhaps men using the ladies tees) scoring birdies becomes common so giving the perception it is the norm to do this. Another example is when hitting balls on the range use really good lies.
Of course there are merits in both methods and it is very much an individual thing which one works best, but the overall result should be to create the perception this game of golf is easy. Once you can develop this perception I guarantee you golfing enjoyment and success.
Appointments with Paul for golf lessons in Wicklow can be booked via Powerscourt Golf Club Reception: Tel (01) 204 6033 or the Golf Shop Tel (01) 204 6031. Read more about lessons from Paul Thompson by visiting the Powerscourt Golf Club Website.