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!
 
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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.
  • Open Qualifying Series kicks off with Aussie Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 21, 2017, 4:24 pm

    The 147th Open is nearly eight months away, but there are still major championship berths on the line this week in Australia.

    The Open Qualifying Series kicks off this week, a global stretch of 15 event across 10 different countries that will be responsible for filling 46 spots in next year's field at Carnoustie. The Emirates Australian Open is the first event in the series, and the top three players among the top 10 who are not otherwise exempt will punch their tickets to Scotland.

    In addition to tournament qualifying opportunities, the R&A will also conduct four final qualifying events across Great Britain and Ireland on July 3, where three spots will be available at each site.

    Here's a look at the full roster of tournaments where Open berths will be awarded:

    Emirates Australian Open (Nov. 23-26): Top three players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

    Joburg Open (Dec. 7-10): Top three players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

    SMBC Singapore Open (Jan. 18-21): Top four players (not otherwise exempt) among top 12 and ties

    Mizuno Open (May 24-27): Top four players (not otherwise exempt) among top 12 and ties

    HNA Open de France (June 28-July 1): Top three players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

    The National (June 28-July 1): Top four players (not otherwise exempt) among top 12 and ties

    Dubai Duty Free Irish Open (July 5-8): Top three players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

    The Greenbrier Classic (July 5-8): Top four players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

    Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open (July 12-15): Top three players (not otherwise exempt) among top 10 and ties

    John Deere Classic (July 12-15): Top player (not otherwise exempt) among top five and ties

    Stock Watch: Lexi, Justin rose or fall this week?

    By Ryan LavnerNovember 21, 2017, 2:36 pm

    Each week on GolfChannel.com, we’ll examine which players’ stocks and trends are rising and falling in the world of golf.

    RISING

    Jon Rahm (+9%): Just imagine how good he’ll be in the next few years, when he isn’t playing all of these courses for the first time. With no weaknesses in his game, he’s poised for an even bigger 2018.

    Austin Cook (+7%): From Monday qualifiers to Q-School to close calls on the Web.com, it hasn’t been an easy road to the big leagues. Well, he would have fooled us, because it looked awfully easy as the rookie cruised to a win in just his 14th Tour start.

    Ariya (+6%): Her physical tools are as impressive as any on the LPGA, and if she can shore up her mental game – she crumbled upon reaching world No. 1 – then she’ll become the world-beater we always believed she could be.  

    Tommy Fleetwood (+4%): He ran out of gas in Dubai, but no one played better on the European Tour this year than Fleetwood, Europe’s new No. 1, who has risen from 99th to 18th in the world.   

    Lexi (+1%): She has one million reasons to be pleased with her performance this year … but golf fans are more likely to remember the six runners-up and two careless mistakes (sloppy marking at the ANA and then a yippy 2-footer in the season finale) that cost her a truly spectacular season.


    FALLING

    J-Rose (-1%): Another high finish in Dubai, but his back-nine 38, after surging into the lead, was shocking. It cost him not just the tournament title, but also the season-long race.  

    Hideki (-2%): After getting blown out at the Dunlop Phoenix, he made headlines by saying there’s a “huge gap” between he and winner Brooks Koepka. Maybe something was lost in translation, but Matsuyama being too hard on himself has been a familiar storyline the second half of the year. For his sake, here’s hoping he loosens up.

    Golf-ball showdown (-3%): Recent comments by big-name stars and Mike Davis’ latest salvo about the need for a reduced-flight ball could set up a nasty battle between golf’s governing bodies and manufacturers.

    DL3 (-4%): Boy, the 53-year-old is getting a little too good at rehab – in recent years, he has overcome a neck fusion, foot injury, broken collarbone and displaced thumb. Up next is hip-replacement surgery.

    LPGA Player of the Year (-5%): Sung Hyun Park and So Yeon Ryu tied for the LPGA’s biggest prize, with 162 points. How is there not a tiebreaker in place, whether it’s scoring average or best major performance? Talk about a buzzkill.

    Titleist's Uihlein fires back at Davis over distance

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 21, 2017, 12:59 am

    Consider Titleist CEO Wally Uihlein unmoved by Mike Davis' comments about the evolution of the golf ball – and unhappy.

    In a letter to the Wall Street Journal, the outlet which first published Davis' comments on Sunday, Uihlein took aim at the idea that golf ball distance gains are hurting the sport by providing an additional financial burden to courses.

    "Is there any evidence to support this canard … the trickle-down cost argument?” he wrote (via Golf.com). “Where is the evidence to support the argument that golf course operating costs nationwide are being escalated due to advances in equipment technology?"

    Pointing the blame elsewhere, Uihlein criticized the choices and motivations of modern architects.

    "The only people that seem to be grappling with advances in technology and physical fitness are the short-sighted golf course developers and the supporting golf course architectural community who built too many golf courses where the notion of a 'championship golf course' was brought on line primarily to sell real estate," he wrote.

    The Titleist CEO even went as far as to suggest that Tiger Woods' recent comments that "we need to do something about the golf ball" were motivated by the business interersts of Woods' ball sponsor, Bridgestone.

    "Given Bridgestone’s very small worldwide market share and paltry presence in professional golf, it would seem logical they would have a commercial motive making the case for a reduced distance golf ball," he added.

    Acushnet Holdings, Titleist's parent company, announced in September that Uihlein would be stepping down as the company's CEO at the end of this year but that he will remain on the company's board of directors.

    Class of 2011: The groups before The Group

    By Mercer BaggsNovember 20, 2017, 9:00 pm

    We’ve been grouping things since the beginning, as in The Beginning, when God said this is heaven and this is earth, and you’re fish and you’re fowl.

    God probably wasn’t concerned with marketing strategies at the time and how #beastsoftheearth would look with a hashtag, but humans have evolved into such thinking (or not evolved, depending on your thinking).

    We now have all manner of items lumped into the cute, the catchy and the kitschy. Anything that will capture our attention before the next thing quickly wrests said attention away.

    Modern focus, in a group sense in the golf world, is on the Class of 2011. This isn’t an arbitrary assembly of players based on world ranking or current form. It’s not a Big Pick A Number.

    There’s an actual tie that binds as it takes a specific distinction to be part of the club. It’s a group of 20-somethings who graduated from high school in the aforementioned year, many who have a PGA Tour card, a handful of who have PGA Tour wins, and a couple of who have major titles.

    It’s a deep and talented collective, one for which our knowledge should continue to expand as resumes grow.

    Do any “classes” in golf history compare? Well, it’s not like we’ve long been lumping successful players together based on when they completed their primary education. But there are other notable groups of players, based primarily on birthdate, relative competition and accomplishment.

    Here’s a few on both the men’s and women’s side:

    BORN IN 1912

    Birthdate Player PGA Tour wins Major wins
    Feb. 4, 1912 Byron Nelson 52 5
    May 27, 1912 Sam Snead 82 7
    Aug. 13, 1912 Ben Hogan 64 9

    Born six months within one another. Only a threesome, but a Hall of Fame trio that combined for 198 PGA Tour wins and 21 majors.


    BORN IN 1949

    Birthdate Player PGA Tour wins Major wins
    Sept. 4, 1949 Tom Watson 39 8
    Dec. 5, 1949 Lanny Wadkins 21 1
    Dec. 9, 1949 Tom Kite 19 1

    Only 96 days separate these three Hall of Fame players. Extend the reach into March of 1950 and you'll get two-time U.S. Open winner Andy North.


    BORN IN 1955

    Birthdate Player PGA Tour wins Major wins
    Jan. 30, 1955 Curtis Strange 17 2
    Jan. 30, 1955 Payne Stewart 11 3
    Feb. 10, 1955 Greg Norman 20 2

    Another trio of Hall of Fame players. Strange and Stewart were born on the same day with Norman 11 days later. Fellow PGA Tour winners born in 1955: Scott Simpson, Scott Hoch and Loren Roberts.


    WITHIN A CALENDAR YEAR, 1956-57

    Birthdate Player LPGA wins Major wins
    Feb. 22, 1956 Amy Alcott 29 5
    Oct. 14, 1956 Beth Daniel 33 1
    Oct. 27, 1956 Patty Sheehan 35 6
    Jan. 6, 1957 Nancy Lopez 48 3

    A little arbitrary here, but go with it. Four Hall of Famers on the women's side, all born within one year of each other. That's an average (!) career of 36 tour wins and nearly four majors.


    EUROPE'S BIG 5

    Birthdate Player Euro (PGA Tour) wins Major wins
    April 9, 1957 Seve Ballesteros 50 (9) 5
    July 18, 1957 Nick Faldo 30 (9) 6
    Aug. 27, 1957 Bernhard Langer 42 (3) 2
    Feb. 9, 1958 Sandy Lyle 18 (6) 2
    March 2, 1958 Ian Woosnam 29 (2) 1

    The best 'class' of players Europe has to offer. Five born within a year of one another. Five Hall of Fame members. Five who transformed and globalized European golf.


    WITHIN A CALENDAR YEAR, 1969-70

    Birthdate Player PGA Tour wins Major wins
    Sept. 12, 1969 Angel Cabrera 3 2
    Oct. 17, 1969 Ernie Els 19 4
    May 12, 1970 Jim Furyk 17 1
    May 12, 1970 Mike Weir 8 1
    June 16, 1970 Phil Mickelson 42 5

    Not a tight-knit group, but a little more global bonding in accordance to the PGA Tour's increased international reach. Add in worldwide wins – in excess of 200 combined – and this group is even more impressive.


    BORN IN 1980

    Birthdate Player PGA Tour wins Major wins
    Jan. 9, 1980 Sergio Garcia 10 1
    July 16, 1980 Adam Scott 13 1
    July 30, 1980 Justin Rose 8 1

    Could be three future Hall of Fame members here.

    Editor's note: Golf Channel's editorial research unit contributed.