Are You Still Coping

By David BreslowMarch 22, 2006, 5:00 pm
It seems the accepted approach to working on a mental game is to learn how to cope more effectively. Most clients enter into our work together with this mindset because it is the one most often written about and used. The way most people go about fixing their performance issues is to find more coping mechanisms.
The following is an excerpt from an upcoming book. The dialogue below takes place through Dans eyes (the client). I begin this portion with a question and Dans responses are in italics. He has just spoken about a number of his performance complaints.
{beginning of excerpt}
Are you more interested in adopting more coping strategies to deal with all these performance issues you just told me about OR do you want to create a new approach that reduces the number of times they show up?
Dead silence.
I thought the whole idea was to learn better coping strategies. I said.
Well, that would be the idea most people have but I dont believe its the optimal way to go about things. This is why Ive asked you the question. So, Im awaiting your answer.
'Well, if I had a choice I guess Id like to create something new and reduce the number of times these things happenif I had a choice.
You do have a choice. David said.
Can you tell me why you asked that question?
Sure. Heres one of the first insights Id like you to consider. There is a difference between coping and creating and many people, out of habit or training, think coping is the way to go. When you look at what the word really means youll understand why I dont focus on it. For example, the synonyms for the word cope are: to manage, to get by, to struggle with and muddle through. Is that what youre striving for?
No, definitely not!
Well, thats what coping is!
When you explain it like that it sounds pretty average.
'Learning to cope means you are keeping your chin above water and it reflects the mindset of just trying to get by. Its subtle and I want you to know you are capable of so much more than that. David said.
{end of excerpt}
I just received the following email from a client who read my earlier book Wired To Win and then took action to make an appointment. The original email is longer than what is presented here and Ive edited portions for the sake of space. He writes:
Dear David,
Everybody has hopes that with just one more key, they'll be playing like pros. On top of that almost nothing in the golf world really works for more than a few days. I don't know if you realize this but your material is the only thing that has made a lasting improvement that I can 'count' on.

More importantly look at the nature of the improvement. Numerically speaking, this process reduced my scores by about 15% from an average of 81 to an average of 70!!! Years of practicing hitting drives, years of practicing putting, years of measuring how far each swing would throw the ball what particular distance but nothing was there to tie it together until I read your material and spoke with you and most importantly; it sticks, it continues to work and there is simply nothing else in golf to compare it to.
So, I admire their (golfers in general) ability to hope because they have no way to understand the good you are out to do them, until they have it in their hands.

- - Jim Fenney
This was quite a remarkable and unexpected letter to receive. Will everyone drop 11 strokes? No. We didnt set out to drop 11 strokes from Jims game, it happened as a result of his expanded awareness and application of the principles I write about so often.
I invite you to take a look at your approach to the game. Are you busy coping with things like poor focus, lack of confidence, reactions to unfair bounces, stress, pressure and generally performing below your capabilities? Is your automatic approach to find more coping skills? Take a look and see if youre spending time coping or creating something new for yourself.
Thanks to the hundreds of folks who requested the free PDF on 7 Keys To Play Your Best Golf. This free offer will be made for the final time this week. To receive it; please go to: and click on contact us and type free pdf in the comments section.
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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 perform at the top of their game. His approach is not business as usual and creates faster shifts in how people think, feel and perform every day. David has appeared on The Golf Channel, ESPN radio and has spoken to both large and small corporations across the country. To get more information or reach David call: 847.681.1698 or email: or visit the web: To order, Wired To Win click here OR call toll free: 1.888.280.7715.
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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.


    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.

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    Mickelson starts fast, fades to 70 at La Quinta

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:07 pm

    Phil Mickelson got off to a fast start in his first competitive round of 2018 - for six holes, at least.

    The 47-year-old is making his first start since the WGC-HSBC Champions this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge, and only his third competitive appearance since the BMW Championship in September. Four birdies over his first six holes indicated that a strong opener might be in the cards, but Mickelson played his subsequent holes in 2 over.

    It added up to a 2-under 70 at La Quinta Country Club, typically the easiest of the three courses in rotation this week, and left Mickelson eight shots behind Jon Rahm.

    "It was fun to get back out and be competitive," Mickelson told reporters. "I for some reason am stuck on 70 here at La Quinta, whether I get off to a good start or a bad one, I end up shooting the same score."

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Mickelson stunted his momentum with a tee shot out of bounds on the par-4 eighth hole, but he managed to save bogey and otherwise drove the ball relatively well. Instead, he pointed to his normally reliable iron play as the culprit for his back-nine backslide on a day when more than 120 players in the 156-man field broke par.

    Mickelson will now head to the Nicklaus Tournament Course with the Stadium Course on tap for Saturday's third round. While there were several low scores Thursday at La Quinta, Mickelson remains bullish about the birdie opportunities that still lie ahead.

    "This isn't the course where I go low on," Mickelson said. "I feel more comfortable on Stadium and Nicklaus. Neither of them are nearly as tight and I tend to score a lot lower on those other two than I do here, historically."