10 Most Common Performance Issues - Part 2

By David BreslowJuly 19, 2006, 4:00 pm
Editor's note: This is part 2 of an article on the top 10 most common performance issues. Click here to read part 1.
In my last article I identified 5 of the top 10 performance issues most often presented by clients. Remember, these are not in any order of importance or frequency. Each golfer is different and whats an important issue to one may not be important to another. Here are the next five:
No. 6 -- 'I Focus too much on my score or worry about the next shot/hole
Golfers who focus heavily on their scores often find themselves experiencing greater tension and anxiety. The same goes for those who worry about upcoming shots or holes. Of course, its only a problem if it causes you to be more anxious and uptight; which it does for many golfers.
Suggestion: When you find yourself focusing on your score or worrying about an upcoming shot or hole simply direct your attention to something you have complete control over. The fact is; you do not have complete control over your score or over anything in the future so why waste your mental energy on it? Its a very ineffective use of your energy. The only shot you can hit is the one in front of you and the way to perform your best over that shot is to focus on process thoughts (things you can control right here and now) NOT outcome thoughts like score.
No. 7 -- I focus a lot on mechanics
Mechanics, mechanics, mechanics. The golf world is inundated with the mechanics of the golf swing. Its everywhere! Look in magazines, on television and just about anywhere else and youll find the focus to be on striking the golf ball better and further. Imagine a 3-legged stool that has one leg 5 times longer than the other two. Would you sit on that stool? You cant because it is always out of balance. Your mind, emotions and body are your performance legs and when you focus on one leg more than the others you are also out of balance. The golfers I know who are obsessed with mechanics generally hold themselves back from performing their best due to extra tension over the ball because their mind is too active.
Suggestion: Focus on feel more than mechanics. When in address position the ideal state for most golfers is to have a quieter mind. Analyzing your way through the golf swing creates a swing that is not loose and powerful. Focus on mechanics between shots not at address position.
No. 8 -- I want to avoid the bogey train
Many golfers write me about their experience on the golf course when things start to go wrong and they keep on going wrong. They describe this as the bogey train and they want to get off that train as soon as possible. The bogey train occurs when a golfer seems to cruising along and then shoots bogey on a hole, then shoots bogey on the next hole and before they know it several holes have gone by where theyve shot bogey after bogey (or worse!). For most, this is far more of a mental issue than it is a mechanical or physical one.
Suggestion: You dont have to stay on the train if you dont want to. You can get off the Bogey train when you are able to see each shot as a completely separate entity. Each shot has its own beginning, middle and end. The train occurs when we continually carry over one shot to the next and this happens ONLY in our minds. Clear the mind and the bogey train has no chance to keep running on the tracks.
No. 9 -- 'I want to be more consistent!
This is another common request. Most golfers would like to perform at a higher level and do so with greater consistency. Remember, you are no different than the 3-legged stool I discussed earlier. If all 3 legs are working together you will be more consistent and when they are not you are out of balance and inconsistency is an automatic byproduct. It is that simple!
Strategy: Consistency is a product of consistent thoughts, feelings and actions. Do you know what these are for you? Inconsistency is also a byproduct of this formula when it is negatively used. Poor thinking, negative feelings and inconsistent actions will result in inconsistent play. Once again, this has more to do with your mind and emotions than your mechanics. They lead the way to your actions. Your underlying thoughts, beliefs and attitudes will reveal themselves on the golf course more than your words will.
No. 10 -- My results dont seem to match the time/effort I put into the game
95% of the golfers Ive polled report that their results do NOT match the time/effort theyve put into their game. Why would that be? If this is the case with you it is important to take an honest look at what you are doing and how you are doing it. The first Performance Principle I review with clients is: The more honest you are with yourself; the quicker you get what you want. Its amazing to me how often people will complain that their results dont match their effort/time and yet continue to do the same things theyve always done. Somehow they are surprised when their results are the same too!
Suggestion: Changes can come your way when you are willing to be honest with yourself about what you are doing and the way youre doing it. If youre going to do the same thing you cannot be surprised when your results are the same. Are you willing to see that some of what you are doing is not working? If so, you can begin to see that you may need to do something different. Do you only work on your mechanics? Do you talk about improving the other 2 legs of your stool but dont take action on it? If you take action on it; is it the most effective action? Take an honest self-evaluation. This can be a difficult thing to do for some but I can tell you from experience that if you do it; you can clear away what is not working and begin doing what does.
If you have any questions please feel free to email David at David@theflowzone.net.
To Your Best Golf!
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    Copyright 2006 All Rights Reserved. David Breslow is a Speaker/Author/Performance Coach who works with Athletes (PGA/LPGA) and businesses to help people move past limiting patterns to perform up to their potential. His approach is not business as usual and creates faster shifts in how people think, feel and perform every day. David appears on The Golf Channel, ESPN radio and speaks to both large and small corporations across the country. For more information or reach David call: 847.681.1698 or email: David@theflowzone.net or visit the web: www.theflowzone.net. To order, Wired To Win click here OR call toll free: 1.888.280.7715.
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    Kelly beats Monty with two-shot swing on final hole

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 3:21 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Jerry Kelly made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole, Colin Montgomerie missed a 6-footer for par and Kelly turned a one-shot deficit into a victory Saturday in the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    After Kelly drove it well right into lava rocks on the par-4 16th, leading to bogey and giving Montgomerie the lead, Montgomerie made a mistake with his tee shot on the last, finding a fairway bunker. Montgomerie's approach went over the green and after Kelly converted his birdie, the 54-year-old Scot jammed his par putt well past the hole.

    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

    It was the third win on the over-50 tour for the 51-year-old Kelly, who finished tied for 14th last week at the PGA Tour's Sony Open in Honolulu. That gave him confidence as he hopped over to the Big Island for his tournament debut at Hualalai. The limited-field event includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Kelly closed with a 6-under 66 for a three-day total of 18-under 198. Montgomerie shot 69. David Toms shot 67 and finished two shots back, and Miguel Angel Jimenez was another stroke behind after a 66.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, closed with a 70 to finish at 10 under.

    Getty Images

    Rahm manages frustration, two back at CareerBuilder

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 1:21 am

    Jon Rahm managed the winds and his frustrations Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge to give himself a chance to win his fourth worldwide title in the last year.

    Rahm’s 2-under-par 70 on the PGA West Stadium Course left him two shots off the lead going into the final round.

    “I wasn’t really dealing with the wind that much,” Rahm said of his frustrations. “I was dealing with not being as fluid as I was the last two days.”

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    The world’s No. 3 ranked player opened with a 62 at La Quinta Country Club on Thursday and followed it up with a 67 on Friday at PGA West. He made six birdies and four bogeys on the Stadium Course on Saturday.

    “The first day, everything was outstanding,” Rahm said. “Yesterday, my driver was a little shaky but my irons shots were perfect. Today, my driver was shaky and my irons shots were shaky. On a course like this, it’s punishing, but luckily on the holes where I found the fairway I was able to make birdies.”

    Rahm is projected to move to No. 2 in the world rankings with a finish of sixth or better on Sunday.

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    Cook leads by one entering final round at CareerBuilder

    By Associated PressJanuary 21, 2018, 12:51 am

    LA QUINTA, Calif. – Austin Cook hit a hybrid into the fairway bunker on the par-4 18th on a breezy Saturday afternoon at La Quinta Country Club, then chunked a wedge and raced a chip 20 feet past the hole.

    Kip Henley, the longtime PGA Tour caddie who guided Cook to a breakthrough victory at Sea Island in November, stepped in to give the 26-year-old former Arkansas star a quick pep talk.

    ''Kip said, 'Let's finish this like we did on the first day at the Nicklaus Course.' We made a big par putt on 18 there and he said, 'Let's just do the same thing. Let's get this line right and if you get the line right it's going in.'''

    It did, giving Cook an 8-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the CareerBuilder Challenge going into the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West. Fellow former Razorback Andrew Landry and Martin Piller were tied for second, and Jon Rahm and Scott Piercy were a another stroke back after a tricky day in wind that didn't get close to the predicted gusts of 40 mph.

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    ''I know that I wouldn't have wanted to play the Stadium today,'' Cook said. ''I think we got a great draw with the courses that we got to play on the days that we got to play them.''

    Cook played the final six holes on the front nine in 6 under with an eagle and four birdies.

    ''Starting on my fourth hole, I was able to make a birdie and kind of get the ball rolling and it never really stopped rolling,'' Cook said. ''Kip and I were doing really good at seeing the line on the greens.''

    After a bogey on 10, he birdied 11, 12 and 15 and parred the final three to get to 19-under 197.

    ''I think that tonight the nerves, the butterflies, all that will kind of be a little less,'' Cook said. ''I've been in the situation before and I was able to finish the job on Sunday. I think it would be a little different if I didn't play like I did on Sunday at Sea Island.''

    He's making his first start in the event.

    ''I came in from Hawaii on Monday, so I only had two days to prepare for three courses,'' Cook said.

    Landry, the second-round leader, had a 70 at the Stadium. Piller, the husband of LPGA tour player Gerina Piller, shot a 67 at La Quinta. Winless on the PGA Tour, they will join Cook in the final threesome.

    ''Piller's a good guy and we have played a lot together and same with Cookie,'' said Landry, the only player without a bogey after 54 holes. ''Hope the Hogs are going to come out on top.''

    Rahm had a 70 at the Stadium to reach 17 under. The third-ranked Rahm beat up the par 5s again, but had four bogeys – three on par 3s. He has played the 12 par 5s in 13 under with an eagle and 11 birdies.

    ''A little bit of a survival day,'' Rahm said.

    The wind was more of a factor on the more exposed and tighter Stadium Course.

    ''The course is firming up,'' Rahm said. ''I know if we have similar wind to today, if we shoot something under par, you'll be way up there contesting it over the last few holes.''

    Piercy had a 66 at the Stadium.

    ''I controlled my ball really well today,'' he said.

    Adam Hadwin had a 67 at La Quinta a year after shooting a third-round 59 on the course. The Canadian was 16 under along with Grayson Murray and Brandon Harkins. Murray had a 67 on the Nicklaus Course, and Harkins shot 68 at the Stadium.

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut in his first tournament of the year for the second time in his career, shooting a 74 on the Stadium to finish at 4 under – four strokes from a Sunday tee time. The 47-year-old Hall of Famer was playing for the first time since late October. He also missed the cut in the Phoenix Open in his 2009 opener.

    Charlie Reiter, the Palm Desert High School senior playing on the first sponsor exemption the event has given to an amateur, also missed the cut. He had three early straight double bogeys in a 77 on the Stadium that left him 1 over.

    John Daly had an 80 at La Quinta. He opened with a triple bogey and had six bogeys – four in a row to start his second nine - and only one birdie. The 51-year-old Daly opened with a 69 on the Nicklaus layout and had a 71 on Friday at the Stadium.

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    Phil misses CareerBuilder cut for first time in 24 years

    By Randall MellJanuary 21, 2018, 12:48 am

    Phil Mickelson missed the cut Saturday at the CareerBuilder Challenge. It’s a rare occurrence in his Hall of Fame career.

    He has played the event 15 times, going back to when it was known as the Bob Hope Classic. He has won it twice.

    How rare is his missing the cut there?

    The last time he did so, there was no such thing as a DVD, Wi-Fi, iPods, Xbox, DVR capability or YouTube.

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    The PGA Tour’s Jon Rahm didn’t exist, either.

    The last time Mickelson missed a cut in this event was 1994, nine months before Rahm was born.

    Mickelson struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the heavy winds Saturday on the PGA West Stadium Course, missing the 54-hole cut by four shots. He hit just four of 14 fairways, just nine of 18 greens. He took a double bogey at the 15th after requiring two shots to escape the steep-walled bunker on the left side of the green.

    Mickelson won’t have to wait long to try to get back in the hunt. He’s scheduled to play the Farmers Insurance Open next week at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif.