Five Reasons to Improve Your Mental Game

By David BreslowDecember 14, 2006, 5:00 pm
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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.
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    Monty grabs lead entering final round in season-opener

    By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 4:00 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Colin Montgomerie shot a second straight 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 54-year-old Scot, a six-time winner on the over-50 tour, didn't miss a fairway on Friday and made five birdies on the back nine to reach 14 under at Hualalai.

    Montgomerie has made 17 birdies through 36 holes and said he will have to continue cashing in on his opportunities.

    ''We know that I've got to score something similar to what I've done – 66, 67, something like that, at least,'' Montgomerie said. ''You know the competition out here is so strong that if you do play away from the pins, you'll get run over. It's tough, but hey, it's great.''

    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

    First-round co-leaders Gene Sauers and Jerry Kelly each shot 68 and were 12 under.

    ''I hit the ball really well. You know, all the putts that dropped yesterday didn't drop today,'' Kelly said. ''I was just short and burning edges. It was good putting again. They just didn't go in.''

    David Toms was three shots back after a 66. Woody Austin, Mark Calcavecchia and Doug Garwood each shot 67 and were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was six shots back after a 67.

    The limited-field tournament on Hawaii's Big Island includes last season's winners, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    ''We've enjoyed ourselves thoroughly here,'' Montgomerie said. ''It's just a dramatic spot, isn't it? If you don't like this, well, I'm sorry, take a good look in the mirror, you know?''

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    The missing link: Advice from successful tour pros

    By Phil BlackmarJanuary 20, 2018, 1:24 am

    Today’s topic is significant in that it underscores the direction golf is headed, a direction that has me a little concerned.

    Now, more than ever, it has become the norm for PGA Tour players to put together a team to assist in all aspects of their career. These teams can typically include the player’s swing coach, mental coach, manager, workout specialist, dietician, physical therapist, short-game guru, doctor, accountant, nanny and wife. Though it often concerns me the player may be missing out when others are making decisions for them, that is not the topic.

    I want to talk about what most players seem to be inexplicably leaving off their teams.

    One of the things that separates great players from the rest of the pack – other than talent – is the great player’s ability to routinely stay comfortable and play with focus and clarity in all situations. Though innate to many, this skill is trainable and can be learned. Don’t get too excited, the details of such a plan are too long and more suited for a book than the short confines of this article.

    So, if that aspect of the game is so important, where is the representative on the player’s team who has stood on the 18th tee with everything on the line? Where is the representative on the team who has experienced, over and over, what the player will be experiencing? In other words, where is the successful former tour player on the team?

    You look to tennis and many players have such a person on their team. These teacher/mentors include the likes of Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and Brad Gilbert. Why is it not the norm in golf?

    Sure, a few players have sought out the advice of Jack Nicklaus, but he’s not part of a team. The teaching ranks also include some former players like Butch Harmon and a few others. But how many teams include a player who has contended in a major, let alone won one or more?

    I’m not here to argue the value and knowledge of all the other coaches who make up a player’s team. But how can the value of a successful tour professional be overlooked? If I’m going to ask someone what I should do in various situations on the course, I would prefer to include the experienced knowledge of players who have been there themselves.

    This leads me to the second part of today’s message. Is there a need for the professional players to mix with professional teachers to deliver the best and most comprehensive teaching philosophy to average players? I feel there is.

    Most lessons are concerned with changing the student’s swing. Often, this is done with little regard for how it feels to the student because the teacher believes the information is correct and more important than the “feels” of the student. “Stick with it until it’s comfortable” is often the message. This directive methodology was put on Twitter for public consumption a short time back:

    On the other hand, the professional player is an expert at making a score and understands the intangible side of the game. The intangible side says: “Mechanics cannot stand alone in making a good player.” The intangible side understands “people feel things differently”; ask Jim Furyk to swing like Dustin Johnson, or vice versa. This means something that looks good to us may not feel right to someone else.

    The intangible side lets us know that mechanics and feels must walk together in order for the player to succeed. From Ben Hogan’s book:

    “What I have learned I have learned by laborious trial and error, watching a good player do something that looked right to me, stumbling across something that felt right to me, experimenting with that something to see if it helped or hindered, adopting it if it helped, refining it sometimes, discarding it if it didn’t help, sometimes discarding it later if it proved undependable in competition, experimenting continually with new ideas and old ideas and all manner of variations until I arrived at a set of fundamentals that appeared to me to be right because they accomplished a very definite purpose, a set of fundamentals which proved to me they were right because they stood up and produced under all kinds of pressure.”

    Hogan beautifully described the learning process that could develop the swings of great players like DJ, Furyk, Lee Trevino, Jordan Spieth, Nicklaus, etc.

    Bob Toski is still teaching. Steve Elkington is helping to bring us the insight of Jackie Burke. Hal Sutton has a beautiful teaching facility outside of Houston. And so on. Just like mechanics and feels, it’s not either-or – the best message comes from both teachers and players.

    Lately, it seems the scale has swung more to one side; let us not forget the value of insights brought to us by the players who have best mastered the game.

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    Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

    Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

    Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

    In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

    Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

    After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

    Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

    Getty Images

    Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

    Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

    “I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

    Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

    The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.