When I talk to people about imagery, they normally think of some visual representation in their minds eye. They think of movies, images and pictures but there’s a little more involved than that.

Developing your Imagery skills is a prerequisite for playing good golf. It requires a form of imagination immediately before the swing and shot takes place.

There are 5 different types of imagery, and my advice would be to try and experience as many as you can before choosing a type that is most closely associated with your best swing or stroke.

Each type corresponds to our senses, Sight, hear, feel, smell and taste, and the key to developing good imagery skills is to try and use as many as we can.

We can definitely imagine the taste of champagne during a celebration, or the great smell of newly cut grass when we get to the course early in the morning. But the types of imagery that are going to help us in striking the ball better are visual, auditory and kinesthetic.

A perfect shot shape towards the target


To develop your visual imagery, start practicing – Imagining the ball’s perfect flight toward the target.

It doesn’t matter if the image isn’t perfectly clear in your mind. Remember this is your mind not reality. The images you conjure up wont be a crisp and clear as reality and for good reason. If they were, how would we be able to tell the difference!

The idea is to walk into the shot as soon as you see just the faintest visual image. The more you train your brain to go through these exercises the easier it will happen for you in the future.

I’ve heard sports psychologists describe this process as ‘charging the battery’.

Meaning, if you want these mental skills to be readily available every time you play golf, you have to integrate them into your practice time. Your smartphone will not operate if it’s not charged fully and neither will your golf brain. 

I need some new props for my next clinic!


To develop your auditory imagery, start practicing – Imagining the sound of a great struck shot.

Or, Imagine listening to the ball drop in the hole. Or, Imagine swinging the club as if it were a star wars ‘light saber’ listening to the sound it makes! Trust me, this is a great one for rhythm and tempo!


Kinesthetic imagery can be categorized by sensing feelings, movement and touch.

To develop your kinesthetic imagery –

Improve your feelings by imagining what it feels like in your body to be relaxed and calm. Perhaps concentrating on your forearms, hands and wrists being relaxed.

Improve your movement by imagining what your swing feels like with a glove under your right arm pit (If that’s what you’re working on in your swing).

The Putting wand is one of the best training aids on the market

Improve your touch by imagining the back of your left hand tapping the ball into the hole. Or imagining using a training aid such as the Putting wand.

Try first by choosing a particular type of imagery, and gradually adding others later.

By this I mean experiment on the range and on the green with some imagery practice just before you hit a shot. Choose a type of imagery that you pick up easily and make sure you start to incorporate that into your routine.

For example, you may find that you can easily see the line of the putt in your minds eye.

After engraining this into your routine through repetition, start to then add the sound of the ball dropping into the hole. Then, later add imagining the back of your left hand tapping the ball into the hole.

Obviously, the same goes for hitting a full shot. If the first thing you become competent in is visualizing the shot. Gradually practice including the sound of a good strike, and your personal swing feeling involved in making a good swing.

When you see a Pro on TV going through his or her routine they are engaging as many of these senses as possible. This helps them stay in the moment or the ‘present’.

Try conducting a brief series of trials to establish a dominant imagery technique, and evaluate how it helped to control rhythm and tempo and the overall quality of golf swing that follows.

This way you can identify which type of imagery felt most comfortable and that was associated with the best quality golf shots.

Go with this style first, then make it a habit in your routine through repetition (charge that battery). Then go through the same process for other types of imagery.

I hope this helps your game, and please leave any comments you have below.