Apr 18, 2024

A Practice Plan for the Busy Golfer with In the Zone Secrets, Bo Watson and Shannon Shuskey

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Are you a busy golfer struggling to find time to improve your game? Do you feel like you're stuck in a rut, unable to break through to the next level? Well, fear not! In this episode of T-Time with Tori, we've got you covered with a practice plan that will help you unlock your full potential on the course.

Tori is joined by special guests Bo Watson and Shannon Shuskey, authors of the groundbreaking book "In The Zone Secrets." Together, they dive deep into the world of mental imagery, custom triggers, and the power of the mind-body connection in golf.

The Birth of "In The Zone Secrets"

Bo Watson's journey to writing the book began with a personal struggle. Despite his best efforts to improve his game through studying swing techniques and devouring mental game books, he hit a wall. It wasn't until he met Shannon Shuskey that everything changed.

Shannon, a former speed skating coach with an impressive track record of 142 national champions, 8 world champions, and 2 Olympic medals, had a secret weapon: he could get his athletes to trick their bodies into the zone. Bo was skeptical at first, but after trying Shannon's exercises, he saw immediate results.

"Six of the eight rounds I shoot under par. I go from a handicap index, what it used to be, which was a 2.4. And I went to a plus 1.7 all within about six months. And I did that with zero fiscal practice." - Bo Watson

The Power of Mental Imagery

One of the key concepts in "In The Zone Secrets" is the use of kinaesthetics mental imagery. By engaging all five senses and visualizing the perfect shot, you can actually improve your swing by up to 50% faster.





See the dimples on the golf ball


Hear the wind rustling through the trees


Feel the grip of the club in your hands


Smell the freshly cut grass


Taste the air around you

But it's not just about the senses. You also need to add in limb movement and emotion, what Shannon calls the "CPR" (Consistent, Passionate Reaction). By channeling the intensity of a bullseye or the calm aggression of a sniper, you can make your mental reps come alive.

Caveman Golf: Playing, Not Swinging

Another key concept in the book is the idea of "caveman golf." Instead of getting bogged down in swing thoughts and technique, the goal is to simplify the game and trust your athleticism.

By focusing on the target and letting your body naturally compensate, you can actually tighten your dispersion pattern and get the most out of your current skill level.

A Weekly Practice Plan

So what does a practice plan for the busy golfer look like? Here's a sample weekly schedule:

Monday: Driver (straight fairways, dog leg left/right, big fairways, tight fairways)

Tuesday: Long irons/hybrids

Wednesday: Worst case scenarios (bunkers, trees, short-sided shots)

Thursday: Chipping and up-and-downs

Friday: Putting (clockwise around the hole, straight putts, uphill/downhill, undulations)

Saturday/Sunday: Play rounds and fix shots

The key is to do at least 50 mental reps per session, focusing on quality over quantity. And don't forget to journal your progress and fix any negative shots after each round.

Overcoming Tournament Anxiety

One of the most common struggles for golfers is tournament anxiety. But as Bo and Shannon explain, nervousness and excitement are actually very similar physiological responses.

"Every time that you feel like you're getting nervous, we want you to say to yourself, 'I'm excited." - Bo Watson

By re-framing anxiety as excitement and visualizing success under pressure, you can actually turn your nerves into a competitive advantage.

Measuring Progress with the Vividness Test

One of the unique features of "In The Zone Secrets" is the vividness test, which allows you to measure your visualization skills over time. By taking the test before and after implementing the techniques in the book, you can actually see tangible progress in your mental game.


The Mental Gym

Another valuable resource in the book is the "mental gym" download, which provides guidelines and scenarios for customizing your own mental imagery practice.

"Let's take all the guesswork out of it and get it dialed in with what we're doing with our mental imagery and then our guidelines on how to do it." - Shannon Shuskey

By treating mental practice with the same structure and purpose as physical practice, you can avoid "junk miles" and see real results on the course.

Success Stories

Throughout the episode, Bo and Shannon share inspiring success stories of golfers who have transformed their games using the techniques in "In The Zone Secrets." From a college golfer who made a swing change in a third of the usual time to a 14-index player who shot her best round of the year under pressure, the proof is in the pudding.

"Two months go by, his coach is like, 'What have you been doing?' And he's like, 'What do you mean?' And he's like, 'This is now holding up under pressure like you made this change like in a very fast time like this is the fastest I've ever seen it with all my other students." - Bo Watson

The Importance of a Pre-Shot Routine

One of the most important aspects of playing in the zone is having a consistent pre-shot routine.

For Bo, this includes a waggle and a final look at the target with a "channeled focus" and a "calm aggression."

"Every time I'm setting up to a shot before I'm actually about to take the club back, I'm doing a waggle. But the next step to this is when I'm actually looking at my target, the very last look in my routine is with a channeled focus on my target like a bullseye in red." - Bo Watson

By incorporating mental imagery and a custom trigger into your pre-shot routine, you can train your mind and body to perform under pressure.

Playing in the Present

Another key to playing in the zone is staying in the present moment. Instead of worrying about the outcome of the shot or the score, the goal is to focus on the process and trust your instincts.

By using mental imagery to prepare for different scenarios and re-framing negative thoughts, you can stay focused and confident on the course.

The Mind-Body Connection

At the end of the day, golf is a game that requires both mental and physical skill. But as Bo and Shannon argue, the mental side is often neglected in favor of technical instruction.

By incorporating mental imagery and a structured practice plan, you can tap into the power of the mind-body connection and unlock your full potential on the course.


If you're a busy golfer looking to take your game to the next level, "In The Zone Secrets" is a must-read. With practical tips, inspiring success stories, and a revolutionary approach to mental training, Bo Watson and Shannon Shuskey have created a handbook for peak performance on the course.

So what are you waiting for? Grab a copy of the book, start your mental gym, and get ready to play the best golf of your life. As Bo puts it:

"Now you're playing golf instead of swing golf."



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In The Zone Secrets

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