Last week I saw an advertisement for Seeitgolf, a mental-training aid that consists of a 15-minute film in which PGA Tour pro Aaron Baddeley rolls in eight different putts of varying length and break. The putts track along, shot from different camera angles. The concept behind Seeitgolf is that if you can see success–i.e., see the ball falling in the hole, then you have the best chance to execute success. The science lies in brain function: right hemisphere vs. left hemisphere. The left side of the brain deals with mechanics and logic, while the right side performs creative processes and is more associated with the senses.
In golf, we use our left hemisphere during the pre-shot routine (when we’re deciding what it is we are trying to do), but during our actual set-up and swing we should have a perfect balance between both sides. In fact, Dr. Debbie Crews, sports psychologist at Arizona State University, conducted a research study that reported golfers who use too much of their left hemisphere during their swing tend to choke. The same study concluded that when both hemispheres perform harmoniously, the state of mind is “optimal for performance.” Furthermore, she found that this video in particular helped her test subjects make more putts because it helped create a better balance.
I had the opportunity to speak to Dr. Crews, so I asked her what it was about this particular aid that makes it unique from the rest. She claimed that because there is no voice instruction, little of Baddeley’s actual stroke and minimal music, the film is very right-brain-friendly. There are very few mental aids for golf and even fewer that strictly target the right hemisphere, she added. Dr. Crews also performed research using the film and saw stark performance differences between those who watched it and those who merely practiced.
The film can be purchased on the website or as an application for iPhone and iPad from the iTunes store. The app also includes an instructional audio by short game wizard Stan Utley and a do-it-yourself function that allows you to take certain putts and angles from the original film and reorder them to your own music. The music aspect is important to Seeitgolf because it excites the right side of the brain and creates an association with the images of Baddeley draining putts.
The success of this aid seems reasonable. How can people expect to make a putt if they can’t even picture the putt falling? Almost all of the great golfers have stressed the importance of seeing and trusting the shot before you hit it.
I feel there is no better image to login to memory than that of Baddeley’s smooth putt dropping into the cup in slow motion. The repetition of the video forces the viewer to look at any putt and not only visualize it but expect it to go in. This aid will be appreciated by players at any level and is undoubtedly a revolutionary step for sports science. For more information check out their website: seeitgolf.com.