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30-Second Golf Swing: How to Train Your Brain to Improve Your Game

30-Second Golf Swing: How to Train Your Brain to Improve Your Game

by T.j. Tomasi, Kathryn Maloney

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It takes less than two seconds to swing a golf club, but it's the 28 seconds leading up to that swing that can make or break a shot. Now, In The 30-Second Golf Swing, one of golf's leading instructors shows you how to harness the power of your mind and "run your brain to run your game".

For the first time ever, here is a techniques book that successfully


It takes less than two seconds to swing a golf club, but it's the 28 seconds leading up to that swing that can make or break a shot. Now, In The 30-Second Golf Swing, one of golf's leading instructors shows you how to harness the power of your mind and "run your brain to run your game".

For the first time ever, here is a techniques book that successfully integrates the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of playing golf This essential guide proves that great golf is far more than the quality of your golf swing, and provides a systematic approach to playing your best golf in the "GO lane."

About the Authors:
T.J. Tomasi, Ph.D., a PGA professional instructor, is one of Golf Magazine's top 100 Teachers, author of Universal Press Syndicate's Insider Golf, and numerous golf instruction books. He lives in Palm Beach Gardens, FL.

Kathryn Maloney is an instruction editor for Golf Magazine and a golf instructor. She lives in southern Florida.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
5.26(w) x 8.16(h) x 0.59(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Training Your Brain

Champions control their game by funneling their golf experience through a process that I call the 30-Second Swing, which brings sequence and order to their golf game. You have the same type of filter available to you. You can exercise this control over both your external and internal flow of experience, a control that will allow you to take a big step up on the performance curve. It might not make you a champion at the highest levelthere is the matter of talent-but adopting the 30-Second Swing will train your brain to run your game so that you can play to your talent level.

The 30-second time frame is only an approximation; each player has to refine the pattern and customize it to his or her personality. But the insights and techniques, once mastered, will enable you to play to your potential. You'll be a champion in your own fight with your brain trained to play golf instead of golf swing.

It's a relatively harmless par-5 with a green you can miss 40 yards to the right and still be okay, yet our spotlight player pulls his second shot way left into the jailhouse woods. Or how about the huge green big enough to hold a 747? From 80 yards away, this same player buries a ball in the lip of the bunker.

These aren't snapshots from a Saturday morning best ball or local club championship. They're mistakes made by Greg Norman, at the time one of the world's best golfers. The first mistake occurred on the 8th hole of the 1996 Masters, the initial step en route to one of the most astonishing collapses in modern golf competition. The second mistake took place several years earlier on his way toerasing another substantial lead on the back nine of the Tournament Players Championship.

Scott Hoch, no stranger to a breakdown now and then, commented on Norman's disintegration over the last eleven holes at the '96 Masters. "You get on a train like that and it's hard to get off. I didn't expect it. He's proven himself to be mentally tough."

Famous Come-From-Ahead Losses

Norman is not the first to have been playing at a gallop and suddenly thrown a shoe. Arnold Palmer lost the 1966 U.S. Open in a playoff after leading Billy Casper by seven shots with eight holes to play. Ed Snead lost the 1979 Masters after leading by five with eighteen holes to play. Six-time PGA Tour Player of the Year Tom Watson, ahead after three rounds, shot 80 to lose the 1978 PGA Championship. And back in 1919, unknown Mike Brady shot an 80 to lose the U.S. Open after holding the fifty-four-hole lead.

So what happens when the wheels fall off ? How does a golfer beat the course into submission with a 63 on Thursday and limp home with a 78 on Sunday? Whatever it is, it must be powerful stuff -- much more powerful than just the swing. What, exactly, does a golfer lose control of?

I suggest it's the mental side that goes first, followed shortly thereafter by the swing itself. But since the physical swing is so visually apparent, we blame it for the collapse, rather than the thought patterns hidden from our view. The problem with attaching so much importance to the swing is that it leads to a vicious cycle that can last the rest of your golfing life. Most golfers labor under the basic misconception that swing mechanics are the only things that are important in sending the ball to target -- if only you could get that right, you could be a player.

Using this logic, a good shot means you made a good swing; a bad shot means you made a bad swing. Therefore, when you hit bad shots, you're not ready to play golf until you fix the bad swing, so it's off to the range. This destructive reasoning traps you in a break-it-fix-it-break-it-fix-it cycle. Since you think your swing is always the culprit, swing mechanics so consume your focus, there is no time or energy left to play the target game called golf. On the course you may appear to be playing golf, but you're really playing "break it, fix it." As golf professional and mental game guru Chuck Hogan has pointed out, many golfers unwittingly spend their entire lives in this remedial loop.

Train Your Brain to Run Your Game

Training your brain to run your game is the central theme of this book. Champions can't control what is happening to them, but they can control how they respond to what is happening to them. Their thought process is of the highest quality because they have trained their brain as diligently as they have trained their swing. You can call it knowing how to win, mental toughness, golf smarts, paying your dues, or simply experience, but whatever you call it, a trained brain is the sine qua non of a champion.

Of course, not every golfer has the combination of trained brain and trained swing working for them. There are three possible combinations:

1. An untrained swing combined with a trained brain produces tenacious players who get the most out of their swing. These golfers have much potential because once they improve their swing mechanics (a relatively easy feat), they will have a trained brain to run the show.

2. The majority of amateurs suffer double jeopardy: neither their swing nor their brains are well trained for golf. In addition to training their brain, they need the help of an expert teacher and some time on the range.

3. The third combination is a player with a sound golf swing and an untrained golf brain. When this player's swing goes, the game goes with it. These are fragile players, especially when it comes to sustained performance....

The 30-Second Golf Swing. Copyright © by T.J. Tomasi. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Dr. T.J. Tomasi, one of GOLF Magazine's Top 100 Teachers, is a peak-performance coach whose program for course management and mental strategy is the focus of this book. Dr. Tomasi is a Class-A PGA Teaching Professional. He holds a Ph.D. in education and has published eleven books. His articles appear regularly in publications such as GOLF Magazine, Golf Tips, and Senior Golfer Magazine. Tomasi's syndicated golf page, Insider Golf, is featured in more than a hundred newspapers and on a myriad of Web sites every week. Tomasi also cohosts CNN's golf instruction segments, which appear on airport television monitors and in-flight videos for a number of worldwide airlines, as well as CNN TV on Sunday mornings.

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