Five Reasons to Improve Your Mental Game

By David BreslowDecember 14, 2006, 5:00 pm
IMPORTANT NOTE! Just in time for the holidays and upcoming New Year! Treat yourself (or someone else) to an exciting, powerful and very affordable (under $10) E-Book titled Golfs Greatest Secret. Jack, Tiger, Annika (or whomever youre a fan of) - - AND YOU, share the same secret and always have because talent and experience dont matter. Your game has always been under its influence and it always will be. Golfs Greatest Secret (when you learn what it is and how it works) will help you think, feel and play your best more consistently. For easy ordering and to learn more, please click here.
And now todays article
Did you know that the greatest piece of golf equipment you own has nothing to do with the clubs in your bag? It is the most underutilized piece of equipment we have. What is it? It is your mind.
Golf is a game that is played on a five-inch course...the distance between your ears. - - Bobby Jones
The mind remains the greatest yet most under-utilized tool in golf. All the greats who have ever played or who play now know its true.
I asked 250 golfers of all levels from pro to amateur how important they believed the mental game was and how often they formerly worked on it and:
  • 95% said the mental game is very, very important
  • 12% actually formally worked on it
    There is clearly a gap here and this gap is the reason that so many golfers tend to under perform. I then posed this question, If you never took another lesson or did anything different to improve your game, do you believe you could score better than you do right now?
  • 85% said, Yes
    This supports the theory that, when golfers truly develop their mental game and learn that there are fundamental Human Performance Laws and principles that affect everything they do; they can finally learn to get out of their own way, as so many clients wish to do. Here are 5 important reasons to consider learning how to use these powerful principles in your favor.
    1. To play UP to your potential more often
    Golfers who do choose to develop their mental games and understand and apply the consistent Performance Laws see results. Not only can they lower their scores but they feel better doing it and this breeds real confidence and trust. Unfortunately, the higher majority of golfers spend a lot of time and money on things that dont directly address the most powerful tool at their fingertips (90% of my clients tell me that quick-fix tips dont last).
    2. You Can Stop trying to fix yourself: Youre NOT broken!
    Most clients come into the FlowZone program with the idea that they are broken and somehow need to fix something about themselves. They quickly discover this simply isnt true. You are not broken and dont need to fix anything. When you work on your mental game in the proper way, you see that being broken is an illusion which only made improvement more difficult and less fun. When you learn how to put your mind, body and emotions back in sync, you will perform better.
    3. You can stop trying to attain the zone
    Many clients enter the FlowZone program with a goal of entering the zone state more often. When I hear this I tell them, The zone is not a good goal so drop it right away. Why? Because the peak zone that most people talk about shows up and leaves on its own timetable. Trying to make it happen actually moves you further away from it. If youve every tried to do that; you know exactly what I mean. By developing your mental game properly the first thing that happens is, your awareness level rises dramatically and you are able to reach a higher performance state more consistently. As a result of this and application of the Laws and Principles, you raise your performance baseline and when the peak zone shows up on top of that; you run with it.
    4. Greater Clarity
    Being clear over the golf ball has a tremendous impact on how well or how poorly you play. When you truly understand the undeniable connection between the mind, body and emotions you discover not only why its important but how to do it more often. Most clients believe they are already clear over the ball but soon discover they are not. Developing your mental game should always involve learning this process.
    5. Reduce mental, physical and emotional tension
    Tension is a golf swing killer. In fact, more poor golf shots are hit because stress and tension cause us to tighten more muscles than we need for any given shot. Mental tension (doubt, run on mind, negativity, lack of clarity) produce emotional tension (frustration, anger, fear) which then produces physical tension (grip too tight, clenched jaw, legs, arms and facial tension) which produce poor golf swings. When you reduce this tension your game improves.
    The FlowZone approach focuses on fundamental principles of Human Performance and Potential and influence you regardless of your age, gender, personality type or level of play. There are no exceptions! The e-book mentioned at the top of this article reveals the greatest secret to help you achieve more of what you want. To learn more please click here.
    Related Links:
  • David Breslow Article Archive
    Copyright 2006 All Rights Reserved. David Breslow is a national speaker, author and Performance Coach. His book, Wired To Win is available at 888.280.7715 or online by clicking here. His clients include professional athletes (PGA, LPGA, other sports) as well as Business Organizations. He brings a fresh, direct, no-nonsense revolutionary approach to Human Performance helping people make quicker and more powerful shifts in attitude, behavior, action and impact on others. His articles are read by over 400,000 people per month on The Golf Channel website and David frequently speaks to organizations of all sizes who want to create real shifts in how people, think, feel and perform every day. For more info on TeleSeminars, Coaching and Presentations; please visit: or email: or call: 847.681.1698.
  • Photo by Enrique Berardi/LAAC

    Top-ranked amateur Niemann one back at LAAC in Chile

    By Nick MentaJanuary 21, 2018, 8:44 pm

    Argentina’s Jaime Lopez Rivarola leads the Latin America Amateur Championship at 5 under par following a round of 3-under 68 Saturday in Chile.

    The former Georgia Bulldog is now 36 holes from what would be a return trip to Augusta National but his first Masters.

    "The truth is that I crossed off on my bucket list playing Augusta [National], because I happened to play there," Rivarola said. "I've played every year with my university. But playing in the Masters is a completely different thing. I have been to the Masters, and I've watched the players play during the practice rounds. But [competing would be] a completely different thing."

    He is followed on the leaderboard by the three players who competed in the playoff that decided last year’s LAAC in Panama: Joaquin Niemann (-4), Toto Gana (-4), and Alvaro Ortiz (-3).

    Click here for full-field scores from the Latin America Amateur Championship

    Chile’s Niemann is the top-ranked amateur in the world who currently holds conditional status on the Tour and is poised to begin his career as a professional, unless of course he takes the title this week. After a disappointing 74 in Round 1, Niemann was 10 shots better in Round 2, rocketing up the leaderboard with a 7-under 64.

    “Today, I had a completely different mentality, and that's usually what happens in my case," Niemann said. "When I shoot a bad round, the following day I have extra motivation. I realize and I feel that I have to play my best golf. The key to being a good golfer is to find those thoughts and to transfer them into good golf."

    Niemann’s fellow Chilean and best friend Gana is the defending champion who missed the cut at the Masters last year and is now a freshman at Lynn University. His second-round 70 was a roller coaster, complete with six birdies, three eagles and a double.

    Mexico’s Ortiz, the brother of three-time Tour winner Carlos, was 6 under for the week before three back-nine bogeys dropped him off the pace.

    Two past champions, Matias Dominguez and Paul Chaplet, sit 5 over and 7 over, respectively.

    The winner of the Latin America Amateur Championship earns an invite to this year’s Masters. He is also exempt into the The Amateur Championship, the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Open sectional qualifying, and Open Championship final qualifying.

    Getty Images

    McIlroy gets back on track

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 21, 2018, 3:10 pm

    There’s only one way to view Rory McIlroy’s performance at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship:

    He is well ahead of schedule.

    Sure, McIlroy is probably disappointed that he couldn’t chase down Ross Fisher (and then Tommy Fleetwood) on the final day at Abu Dhabi Golf Club. But against a recent backdrop of injuries and apathy, his tie for third was a resounding success. He reasserted himself, quickly, and emerged 100 percent healthy.

    “Overall, I’m happy,” he said after finishing at 18-under 270, four back of Fleetwood. “I saw some really, really positive signs. My attitude, patience and comfort level were really good all week.”

    To fully appreciate McIlroy’s auspicious 2018 debut, consider his state of disarray just four months ago. He was newly married. Nursing a rib injury. Breaking in new equipment. Testing another caddie. His only constant was change. “Mentally, I wasn’t in a great place,” he said, “and that was because of where I was physically.”

    And so he hit the reset button, taking the longest sabbatical of his career, a three-and-a-half-month break that was as much psychological as physical. He healed his body and met with a dietician, packing five pounds of muscle onto his already cut frame. He dialed in his TaylorMade equipment, shoring up a putting stroke and wedge game that was shockingly poor for a player of his caliber. Perhaps most importantly, he cleared his cluttered mind, cruising around Italy with wife Erica in a 1950s Mercedes convertible.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    After an intense buildup to his season debut, McIlroy was curious about the true state of his game, about how he’d stack up when he finally put a scorecard in his hand. It didn’t take him long to find out. 

    Playing the first two rounds alongside Dustin Johnson – the undisputed world No. 1 who was fresh off a blowout victory at Kapalua – McIlroy beat him by a shot. Despite a 103-day competitive layoff, he played bogey-free for 52 holes. And he put himself in position to win, trailing by one heading into the final round. Though Fleetwood blew away the field with a back-nine 30 to defend his title, McIlroy collected his eighth top-5 in his last nine appearances in Abu Dhabi.

    “I know it’s only three months,” he said, “but things change, and I felt like maybe I needed a couple of weeks to get back into the thought process that you need to get into for competitive golf. I got into that pretty quickly this week, so that was the most pleasing thing.”

    The sense of relief afterward was palpable. McIlroy is entering his 11th full year as a pro, and deep down he likely realizes 2018 is shaping up as his most important yet.

    The former Boy Wonder is all grown up, and his main challengers now are a freakish athlete (DJ) and a trio of players under 25 (Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm) who don’t lack for motivation or confidence. The landscape has changed significantly since McIlroy’s last major victory, in August 2014, and the only way he’ll be able to return to world No. 1 is to produce a sustained period of exceptional golf, like the rest of the game’s elite. (Based on average points, McIlroy, now ranked 11th, is closer to the bottom of the rankings, No. 1928, than to Johnson.)

    But after years of near-constant turmoil, McIlroy, 28, finally seems ready to pursue that goal again. He is planning the heaviest workload of his career – as many as 30 events, including seven more starts before the Masters – and appears refreshed and reenergized, perhaps because this year, for the first time in a while, he is playing without distractions.

    Not his relationships or his health. Not his equipment or his caddie or his off-course dealings.

    Everything in his life is lined up.

    Drama tends to follow one of the sport’s most captivating characters, but for now he can just play golf – lots and lots of golf. How liberating.

    Getty Images

    Crocker among quartet of Open qualifiers in Singapore

    By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 2:20 pm

    Former amateur standout Sean Crocker was among four players who qualified for the 147th Open via top-12 finishes this week at the Asian Tour's SMBC Singapore Open as part of the Open Qualifying Series.

    Crocker had a strong college career at USC before turning pro late last year. The 21-year-old received an invitation into this event shortly thereafter, and he made the most of his appearance with a T-6 finish to net his first career major championship berth.

    There were four spots available to those not otherwise exempt among the top 12 in Singapore, but winner Sergio Garcia and runners-up Shaun Norris and Satoshi Kodaira had already booked their tickets for Carnoustie. That meant that Thailand's Danthai Boonma and Jazz Janewattanond both qualified thanks to T-4 finishes.

    Full-field scores from the Singapore Open

    Crocker nabbed the third available qualifying spot, while the final berth went to Australia's Lucas Herbert. Herbert entered the week ranked No. 274 in the world and was the highest-ranked of the three otherwise unqualified players who ended the week in a tie for eighth.

    The next event in the Open Qualifying Series will be in Japan at the Mizuno Open in May, when four more spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs. The 147th Open will be held July 19-22 in Carnoustie, Scotland.

    Getty Images

    Got a second? Fisher a bridesmaid again

    By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 1:40 pm

    Ross Fisher is in the midst of a career resurgence - he just doesn't have the hardware to prove it.

    Fisher entered the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship with a share of the lead, and as he made the turn he appeared in position to claim his first European Tour victory since March 2014. But he slowed just as Tommy Fleetwood caught fire, and when the final putt fell Fisher ended up alone in second place, two shots behind his fellow Englishman.

    It continues a promising trend for Fisher, who at age 37 now has 14 career runner-up finishes and three in his last six starts dating back to October. He was edged by Tyrrell Hatton both at the Italian Open and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in the fall, and now has amassed nine worldwide top-10 finishes since March.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Fisher took a big step toward ending his winless drought with an eagle on the par-5 second followed by a pair of birdies, and he stood five shots clear of Fleetwood with only nine holes to go. But while Fleetwood played Nos. 10-15 in 4 under, Fisher played the same stretch in 2 over and was unable to eagle the closing hole to force a playoff.

    While Fisher remains in search of an elusive trophy, his world ranking has benefited from his recent play. The veteran was ranked outside the top 100 in the world as recently as September 2016, but his Abu Dhabi runner-up result is expected to move him inside the top 30 when the new rankings are published.