10 Most Common Performance Issues

By David BreslowJuly 12, 2006, 4:00 pm
Editor's note: This is part 1 of a two part article on the top 10 most common performance issues.
 
I receive many emails and phone calls from golfers who are unhappy with some aspect (or many aspects!) of their performance. Ive compiled a list of the top 10 most common performance issues I hear from golfers from all over the world. This list is in no particular order of frequency or importance as everyones issues are important to them and one is no more crucial than another. If it creates an obstacle for you; its important! Ive broken the 10 performance issues into two sections. Part 1 will focus on 5 issues with the remaining 5 appearing in part 2 next week. Here they are:
 
No. 1 -- I Wish I could be more confident
 
The search for confidence may be one of the most common themes I hear from golfers at all levels. If your confidence is based solely on your results you have set yourself up to walk a tightrope. This means you will feel confident when things go well and lack confidence when things dont go well. Doesnt sound like much fun does it?
 
Suggestion: When you focus on things you cannot control like, score, ranking, what others are saying about you, conditions, etc. you can automatically trigger feelings of doubt, fear and inconsistent play. Confidence arises when we focus on things we do have control over such as breathing, your routines, your rhythm and your body language. Check it out for yourself. Identify what you focus on while on the course and see if its something you have control over or not.
 
No. 2 -- I want to take my range game to the course
 
Heres a newsflash. The range IS different than the course! Its supposed to be. The range is a place to either work on something in your golf swing or to regain rhythm, feel and tempo of your golf swing. What you want to take to the course is the rhythm, tempo and feel you produced on the range. You can also use the range as a practice golf course by imagining you are playing out specific holes and choosing your shots accordingly. Everything you do at the range can help build confidence but make no mistake about it; the range is NOT the golf course.
 
Suggestion: Acknowledge that the course is not the range. Focus on things such as repeating the rhythm, tempo and feel when you approach the first tee.
 
No. 3 -- Im very hard on myself
 
Many golfers experience this challenge on the golf course. For those who are hard on themselves, Ive found it is the result of an underlying unreasonable set of beliefs or expectations. Being hard on yourself usually translates into poor self-talk and the production of negative emotions. Both of these will create poor play if allowed to continue. When I ask players why they play the game they often give me the by the book response, to have fun and play my best. Then I ask, Well, why arent you doing that then? The truth is; they are not having that experience because they are being driven by another expectation.
 
Suggestion: If you are very hard on yourself; take an honest look at your expectations. You may discover that some of them are very unreasonable (to be perfect, never make an error, etc.) This holds true whether you are a low or high handicapper.
 
No. 4 -- I cant seem to get to the next level
 
Everybody hits a plateau at some point in their game. This is quite normal. You may hit several plateaus throughout your playing days. Thats why I advise my clients to view golf as a journey rather than a destination. Instead of trying to get to some specific place, remember that you are moving on a continuum that does not have any real destination. Thats the beauty of the game and if you maintain that mindset you can keep an open mind and see the bigger picture more easily.
 
Suggestion: When you hit a plateau; sit down and identify what it is you need to break through. Is it something mental or physical? Do you need to make a fine adjustment in your golf swing that can gain you the extra advantage you need? Do you need to use your mind and emotions in a more effective way to help you break the current comfort zone so you can allow your full talents to emerge?
 
No. 5 -- I know a mental game is important and mine could be better!
 
This is my personal favorite. If I had a nickel for every time I heard this one; Id have a lot of nickels! 95% of the people I polled, at all levels, agree that their mental game is important and could be better! So, now the question is; what do you do about it? I receive many emails from players who get into detailed descriptions of their problems that can be 4 or 5 paragraphs long. At the end they write, can you give some advice? or help! A list of surface tips usually will not fill the bill (just relax more; you need to be more confident in that situation). If you read my last article The Most Important Performance Principle, I used the metaphor of a home with foundation problems. Rather than fix the foundation, some people apply more paint on the house to make it look good while the foundation is still causing it to weaken.
 
When it comes to achieving the changes you seek there is only 1 important question. Is what youre doing getting you the results you believe you should have? If it is, keep on doing it. If its not, consider a change in approach. I can tell you this; the player you want to be resides within you already. There is no substitute for doing the inner work to release him or her.
 
Suggestion: Take an honest look at yourself and your game. Identify what youre actually doing to be successful and also identify whether its working for you or not. There is no magic pill for this. Its either a benefit or its not. If youre experiencing the same or similar complaints then something is not working. Try another approach!
 
To Your Best Golf!
 
Related Links:
  • David Breslow Article Archive
     
    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.
  • Getty Images

    Lexi looks to shine as LPGA season begins next week

    By Randall MellJanuary 17, 2018, 6:06 pm

    Lexi Thompson may be No. 4 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings, but in so many ways she became the new face of the women’s game last year.

    That makes her the headliner in a fairly star-studded season opener at the Pure Silk Bahamas Classic next week.

    Three of the top four players in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings are scheduled to tee it up on Paradise Island, including world No. 1 Shanshan Feng and co-Rolex Player of the Year So Yeon Ryu.

    From the heartache at year’s start with the controversial loss at the ANA Inspiration, through the angst in the middle of the year with her mother’s cancer diagnosis, to the stunning disappointment at year’s end, Thompson emerged as the story of the year because of all she achieved in spite of those ordeals.

    Next week’s event will mark the first time Thompson tees it up in an LPGA tournament since her season ended in stunning fashion last November with a missed 2-foot putt that cost her a chance to win the CME Group Tour Championship and the Rolex Player of the Year Award, and become the world No. 1.

    She still walked away with the CME Globe’s $1 million jackpot and the Vare Trophy for the season’s low scoring average.

    She also walked away sounding determined to show she will bounce back from that last disappointment the same way she bounced back from her gut-wrenching loss at the year’s first major, the ANA, where a four-shot Sunday penalty cost her a chance to win her second major.

    “Just going through what I have this whole year, and seeing how strong I am, and how I got through it all and still won two tournaments, got six seconds ... it didn’t stop me,” Thompson said leaving the CME Group Tour Championship. “This won’t either.”

    Thompson was named the Golf Writers Association of America’s Player of the Year in a vote of GWAA membership. Ryu and Sung Hyun Park won the tour’s points-based Rolex Player of the Year Award.

    With those two victories and six second-place finishes, three of those coming after playoff losses, Thompson was close to fashioning a spectacular year in 2017, to dominating the tour.

    The new season opens with Thompson the center of attention again. Consistently one of the tour’s best ball strikers and longest hitters, she enjoyed her best year on tour last season by making dramatic improvements in her wedge play, short game and, most notably, her putting.

    She doesn’t have a swing coach. She fashioned a better all-around game on her own, or under the watchful eye of her father, Scott. All the work she put in showed up in her winning the Vare Trophy.

    The Pure Silk Bahamas Classic will also feature defending champion Brittany Lincicome, as well as Ariya Jutanugarn, Stacy Lewis, Michelle Wie, Brooke Henderson, I.K. Kim, Danielle Kang and Charley Hull.

    Getty Images

    One & Done: 2018 CareerBuilder Challenge

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 5:55 pm

    Beginning in 2018, Golf Channel is offering a "One & Done" fantasy game alternative. Choose a golfer and add the salary they earn at the event to your season-long total - but know that once chosen, a player cannot be used again for the rest of the year.

    Log on to www.playfantasygolf.com to start your own league and make picks for this week's event.

    Here are some players to consider for One & Done picks this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, where Hudson Swafford returns as the defending champion:

    Zach Johnson. The two-time major champ has missed the cut here three years in a row. So why include him in One & Done consideration? Because the three years before that (2012-14) included three top-25s highlighted by a third-place finish, and his T-14 at the Sony Open last week was his fifth straight top-25 dating back to September.

    Bud Cauley. Cauley has yet to win on Tour, but that could very well change this year - even this week. Cauley ended up only two shots behind Swafford last year and tied for 14th the year prior, as four of his five career appearances have netted at least a top-40 finish. He opened the new season with a T-7 in Napa and closed out the fall with a T-8 at Sea Island.

    Adam Hadwin. Swafford left last year with the trophy, but it looked for much of the weekend like it would be Hadwin's tournament as he finished second despite shooting a 59 in the third round. Hadwin was also T-6 at this event in 2016 and now with a win under his belt last March he returns with some unfinished business.

    Charles Howell III. If you didn't use him last week at the Sony Open, this could be another good spot for the veteran who has four top-15 finishes over the last seven years at this event, highlighted by a playoff loss in 2013. His T-32 finish last week in Honolulu, while not spectacular, did include four sub-70 scores.

    David Lingmerth. Lingmerth was in that 2013 playoff with Howell (eventually won by Brian Gay), and he also lost here in overtimei to Jason Dufner in 2016. The Swede also cracked the top 25 here in 2015 and is making his first start since his wife, Megan, gave birth to the couple's first child in December. Beware the sleep-deprived golfer.

    Getty Images

    DJ: Kapalua win means nothing for Abu Dhabi

    By Associated PressJanuary 17, 2018, 2:55 pm

    ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates – Dustin Johnson's recent victory in Hawaii doesn't mean much when it comes to this week's tournament.

    The top-ranked American will play at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship for the second straight year. But this time he is coming off a victory at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, which he won by eight shots.

    ''That was two weeks ago. So it really doesn't matter what I did there,'' said Johnson, who finished runner-up to Tommy Fleetwood in Abu Dhabi last year. ''This is a completely new week and everybody starts at even par and so I've got to start over again.''

    In 2017, the long-hitting Johnson put himself in contention despite only making one eagle and no birdies on the four par-5s over the first three rounds.

    ''The par 5s here, they are not real easy because they are fairly long, but dependent on the wind, I can reach them if I hit good tee balls,'' the 2016 U.S. Open champion said. ''Obviously, I'd like to play them a little better this year.''

    The tournament will see the return of Paul Casey as a full member of the European Tour after being away for three years.

    ''It's really cool to be back. What do they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder? Quite cheesy, but no, really, really cool,'' said the 40-year-old Englishman, who is now ranked 14th in the world. ''When I was back at the Open Championship at Birkdale, just the reception there, playing in front of a home crowd, I knew this is something I just miss.''

    The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship starts Thursday and also features former No. 1 Rory McIlroy, who is making a comeback after more than three months off.

    Getty Images

    Kuchar joins European Tour as affiliate member

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 2:52 pm

    Months after he nearly captured the claret jug, Matt Kuchar has made plans to play a bit more golf in Europe in 2018.

    Kuchar is in the field this week at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told reporters in advance of the opening round that he has opted to join the European Tour as an affiliate member:

    As an affiliate member, Kuchar will not have a required minimum number of starts to make. It's the same membership status claimed last year by Kevin Na and Jon Rahm, the latter of whom then became a full member and won two European Tour events in 2017.

    Kuchar made six European Tour starts last year, including his runner-up performance at The Open. He finished T-4 at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open in his lone European Tour start that wasn't co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour.