Athletes who experience a phenomenal performance typically describe the experience as being in the ZONE, like an observer watching their own performance. The athlete continues to explain how they are like spectators during their performance. Even high handicap golfers describe that particular golf shot, where it was almost like someone else made the shot because it was without effort. The golfer can’t even explain what happened or how it occurred.

This type of situation, where the golfer played beyond their normal capabilities, can only be described as if another person appeared out of nowhere and made a great golf shot for them. There’s a song that describes this situation perfectly in three lines of Steely Dan’s Song, Deacon Blues, in the opening line- This is the day of the expanding man. The second and fifth lines of the second stanza- I play just what I feel, and They got a name for the winners in the World. Three key words in the Deacon Blues song that bears highlighting- Expanding, Feel, and Name. There’s only one word that embodies these three key words- ESPY. The word ESPY can be used to help an athlete focus on developing a ZONE- like performance-

  • E= Extra
  • S= Sensory
  • P= Performance
  • Y= Yield

There are several sports radio shows that have the term ZONE as part of the title of their radio or TV show to reinforce this ZONE-like performance. I enjoy listening to a number of these shows during the week on my iPhone, using iHeartRadio and reading various sports articles. One article in particular that I read took the reader inside the mind of the athlete.

This particular interview described the highly-contested duel between the pitcher/batter. This interview was conducted with Wade Boggs by sportswriter Tom Jones who writes for the Saint Petersburg Times. This article was published on July 31, 2005. Wade Boggs’ career started with the Boston Red Sox and ended with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Another reason that I like Wade Boggs is because we are the same age. Boggs was born in June of 1958 and I was born in July.

In the interview with Wade Boggs, Boggs described how he could actually see the blue dot of the Major League Baseball emblem as the ball approached the plate. Wade credited his 20–12 vision with picking up the ball so quickly. Wade also stated in this interview that he rarely, if ever, swung at a pitch that wasn’t in the strike zone, regardless what the umpire called. He stated in the interview that he never challenged the call by the umpire. This is important to mention in this article, because the mental control of one’s emotions. I call it the 23–3015 Rule. This Rule states that Quietness and Confidence are your Strength. Emotions will destroy this strength.

But there is another facet to Wade Boggs’ ability to detect the blue dot on a Major League baseball traveling at a rate of 132 feet-per-second (90 mph). It deals with the ability of the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind has no concept of the time. In other words, the subconscious mind has a quicker response time than our conscious mind. If the subconscious mind is engaged in the athlete’s performance, the athlete can responds quicker than what the athlete’s conscious mind can. This is the reason why the subconscious mind perceives motion at a slower pace. Our physical sight is vital, but our mind’s eye is critical to an athlete’s performance.

Once the batter steps into the batter’s box, it’s almost like the batter is stepping into another dimension or character that perceives reality differently. Our mind can actually experience a situation called time warping, where perception of time is momentarily suspended. Batters can actually train their mind to detect the ball’s projected path to a point in the future.

The batter is able to engage their subconsciousness by switching on their auto-pilot, while momentarily disengaging their consciousness. This was a technique discussed on The Golf Fix with Michael Breed, who featured the sports psychologist, Dr. Nick Molinaro. Dr. Molinaro used the phrase Shift attention by being aware, not distracted. What this is describing is the golfer’s ability to transfix on the subconscious to execute the golf shot and eliminate the distractions of their conscious mind. This allows the golfer to use the ESPY technique to maximum the results with the minimum effort.

Low-handicap and professional golfers alike can EXPAND their mind to that of a spectator and let someone like Jack Nicklaus or Arnold Palmer, in their subconscious mind, take the golf shot. The golfer FEELS that there is little to no effort being exerted, because someone else, NAME, is performing the golf shot. This is due to the fact that the subconscious mind takes command and control of the golfer’s performance. The subconscious mind is process-oriented, faster, stronger, and inherently responds better than the conscious mind. The subconscious mind is relying on muscle memory rather than swing thoughts. The conscious mind only needs to think FEEL and not think HOW.

One method to engage the subconscious mind is for the golfer to step into the batter’s box mentality, where the mind only feels the waggle and focuses on the ball. The golfer has no thought process, like Eddie Merrins describes in his video series called Swing the Handle, not the Club. The golfer is executing the golf swing with instinctive elements, is on auto-pilot, based on muscle memory.

A great example of establishing this type of FEELING, of a golfer stepping into the batter’s box, is like a person stepping into a high performance sports car, like the Porsche 918 spyder, after work. With all the mental stresses and distractions left behind, the driver FEELS the handling ability and power of the Porsche. This is what is called ExtraSensory Performance (E-S-P) Yield.

Another condition similar to E-S-P is called Driving Hypnosis. A driver on a very familiar stretch of road doesn’t remember driving along certain parts of the road. What occurs is that the driver’s conscious mind is shifted from driving to other events, while the subconscious mind takes over most, if not all of the driving tasks. While this is unsafe for driving a vehicle down the highway, it works great for driving a golf ball down the fairway. In other words, the golfer’s conscious mind doesn’t get in the way of making the golf shot.

So here is the six-million-dollar question that every athlete and especially every golfer wants to know the answer to. How do I develop and maintain the ESPY ZONE-like mentality? This also answers the next question as well. What causes the golfer to play great one day, or on the front nine, and the very next day, or on the back nine, play like they have never held a club before?

Here are three factors that must be in play for the golfer to use E-S-P: (A) The task and conditions must be familiar, both normal and routine; (B) A high level of relaxation, confidence, and muscle memory must be present; © The main factor, the conscious and subconscious minds are focused on two different tasks at the same time. This describes Driving Hypnosis, as described by Dr. Nick Molinaro’s statement of Shifting attention, being aware, not distracted.

One condition the golfer must eliminate from the golf game is the condition called PAS (Paralysis Analysis Syndrome), or thinking too much. The golfer’s goal is relying on muscle memory, or feel. This won’t be developed overnight. One reason is because the subconscious mind is treating the golf swing like a self-preservation skill. The subconscious mind must be convinced that the skill is reliable before it can accept and use the skill. Because the subconscious mind is thinking, your life depends on a reliable skill.

Think about how you learn to drive a vehicle. If you were like me, I learned to drive on my grandfather’s Jeep, with a three-speed manual transmission. It took time for me to develop the feel for the coordination between shifting, clutching, braking, and accelerating. You don’t learn this overnight, but once a routine is familiar and normal it becomes comfortable, relaxed, and muscle memory. Now when I drive my Jeep, I don’t even think about shifting, but just enjoy the ride!

This is the process I used to develop The ESPY Golf Swing technique, based on routine, using some simple elements. Relaxation and confidence are a function of muscle memory. And, a process of shifting attention from the conscious mind to the subconscious mind will allow the golfer to use muscle memory, while eliminating distractions.

For your copy of my book, The ESPY Golf Swing Coach go to my website

By: The QATSPY Golf Approach

Charles W. Boatright

Author of “The ESPY Golf Swing Coach”


The ESPY Golf Swing Coach:

Paperback $15.75

E-Book $8.99

Hardbacks, signed if desired, are also available

Purchase a copy of The ESPY Golf Swing Coach on my website,

You may also purchase my book from one of the following retailers:

Lulu Publishing:

Barnes &

Check out my full library of QATSPY GOLF BLOGS @

Facebook — The QATSPY Golf Approach

Twitter — @cwboatright

Google+ — ESPY Golf Swing Coach

YouTube — ESPY Golf Swing Coach

Once you learn WHY, you don’t forget HOW!

YouTube Videos: (Cam & cam-over elements) (Figuring your proper swing plane) (Developing muscle memory)

You can make a difference for yourself and your kids by placing a golf club and a copy of my book into their hands. You will never look back, only forward. You should not miss this opportunity for yourself and/or your kids.

A Recommendation for your Golf Game:

I would like to recommend a wonderful radio program that I regularly listen to on my I-Heart Radio app on KARN 102.9 FM, out of Little Rock, AR. They air a golf show called “Arkansas Fairways and Greens,” at 7:00am CST on Saturday mornings. It is hosted by Bob Steel and Jay Fox. Bob occasionally has on his show a guest named Shawn Humphries, a Professional Golf Instructor from Dallas, TX. One thing that Mr. Humphries stresses is the mental part of golf, not focusing on the results but the process.

Until next time — Be Synced, Tee-to-Green, with The ESPY Golf Swing!