July 29th, 2013 was an amazing day for me on the golf course. The last shot of that round is alive and well in my memory.
That day I was playing well and hitting the ball farther than ever in the Pro-Scratch Golf league event at Papago Golf Course in Phoenix, AZ. I had made 4 birdies and 3 bogeys in the first 13 holes, and I just knew that I could finish with flurry of birdies. On numbers 14, 15 and 16, I made putts for birdie from inside 5 feet. Then on number 18, I faced a 15 yard bunker shot for birdie: I hit into the sand and the ball came out just right. It landed perfectly where I had planned, spun a little right, and rolled right into the cup!
This was an amazing experience for two reasons: First, it was only the second time in my life to hole out a bunker shot on the 18th hole of a competitive round. And second, it turned out to be my last healthy shot before my shoulder injury.
The next day I was demonstrating a swing while giving a lesson and I injured my shoulder. Although it’s now been over 3 months waiting on the injury to heal, I have been able to visualize that last pain-free perfect shot over and over in my mind. From my past experience, I know that being able to clearly visualize a perfect shot is just as important as real practice to my subconscious mind.
I know the injury will heal soon and, thanks in part to my visualization exercises, I will be playing again better than ever!