Getting What You Want Part 1

By David BreslowDecember 18, 2008, 5:00 pm
The next three weeks will be very important. Please take a few moments to read, and truly reflect, on the message below and continue to do so in the next three weeks. Today is part one of a three-part series on how to get what you want, why its difficult to change and what to do about it. This is all about improvement both on and off the golf course. This will be followed by a special announcement of a new subscription program that is both affordable and loaded with video and informational content available only to you, the subscriber.
We are nearing the close of yet another year. It is also, historically, a time when we reassess ourselves and even make new resolutions for the upcoming new year. However, we also realize that New Years resolutions often disappear within hours, days or weeks of their original well-intended claim. In these next three weeks I want to address the subject of personal change and improvement, beginning with insight and exercise I share with every private client. This is designed to alert you to why getting what you want seems to be such a slippery slope for so many of us and why it often doesnt work or doesnt last. We try many different avenues to help develop and improve ourselves and I sincerely congratulate anyone who does this for as I tell my clients, 'Developing yourself might be the most challenging work you do but it is also the most rewarding work you do because it impacts everything you do.'
Many people claim they want to better themselves in some fashion whether its improve their level of play, change a personal habit or even remove it and enhance a skill or make an important decision that can impact their lives dramatically. However, many of us are really skilled at thinking about or talking about taking action, but something magical happens between talking, thinking and the actually doing. We just dont do it.
The purpose of the following exercise is to reveal to you why there is a challenge getting from where we are to where we want to be. Of course, the obvious explanations are things like procrastination, fear and self-doubt; these are too obvious and the reasons that often are used as an excuse but I believe there is something lurking behind those reasons that is even more valuable. It explains why so many of us think were taking the right avenue but in fact, are making it more difficult and end up going around in circles.
Im going to ask you to perform a simple exercise called,The Circle Exercise. You can print this page or use your own sheet of paper to make it your own.
To explain it from a realistic perspective, Im going to use a real client named, John. John is like many golfers who practice a decent amount, take lessons, plays as much as he can and yet still feels he doesnt perform up to his capabilities.
Heres how it works.
First, draw two separate circles on the page, each wide enough in which to write.
In circle #1 write down your current attitudes, beliefs, mindsets, doubts, fears, worries, negativity or even positive or negative habits that you have. I call this list your CURRENT CONDITIONS and when a client contacts me these are usually the things they arent happy with or might do well but want to improve. These might also be the things we spend a lot of time and money on trying to change or improve as well. Here are some of the items John placed in circle #1

Then I asked John to use Circle #2---to make a list of the conditions hed like to see and experience. This circle is your ideal wish list. John wrote things like:
Circle #2

Heres the real purpose of this exercise. First, its to reveal to you that what you want is not part of your current Conditions. Its something separate, and therefore, it is not effective to use circle #1 to get the conditions listed in circle #2. Yet, this is what so many of us try to do and it simply doesnt work very well. Circle #1 reflects Johns current conditions, some of which help his game and some of which hurt his game. Circle #2 reflects the things John would like to see and experience and what he knows will help him not only play better but help him personally as well.
Heres where the challenge lies. The challenge many people have is that when they want to change or improve something, they tend to try and use the conditions (elements) in circle #1 by either trying to fix them or learn to cope with them better. If youve read any of my past articles you know Im not a big fan of teaching people to become better copers. Why? Look at the synonyms of the word cope and youll see why. The thesaurus states: to muddle through, to deal with, to survive, to manage and to get by.
For most people this doesnt work because they are trying to use the material in circle #1 to reach the outcomes in circle #2 and you can clearly see THEY ARE TWO DIFFERENT CIRCLES! Einstein said it best, In order to generate something new, you cant use the same mind that caused the problems in the first place. Yey, this is what so many of us try to do and this is why we encounter stumbling blocks and obstacles. The truth is, however, that many of the conditions in circle #1 are already not working for us so how can we rely on them to get us what we want? We cant. If youll indulge me using this analogy: 'Its like trying to shovel snow with your hands when the better tool such as a shovel is 50 feet away in the garage.' We can keep trying to figure out how to get better at snow removal with our hands but doing so wont get us any closer to what we really want (using better tools to get rid of the snow like a shovel!).
Try the circle exercise for yourself and see if it makes sense to you that what you want (circle #2) is completely separate from your current conditions (circle #1) and that using the conditions in circle #1 will rarely get you what you want in circle #2.
Part two is next week! See you then!
To Your Best Golf!
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    David Breslow is a National Speaker, Author and Performance Consultant. His book, Wired To Win is available at 888.280.7715. David works with clients all over the world via telephone so it doesnt matter where you live, work or play! His clients include professional athletes (PGA, LPGA and other sports), juniors and all amateurs. He also works with Businesses of all sizes. He brings a fresh, direct, no-nonsense revolutionary approach to Human Performance, helping people make quicker and more powerful shifts in attitude, behavior and action. David is the weekly Mental Game Columnist for The Golf Channel where his articles are read by over 4000,000 people. For more info please visit:, email: or call: 847.681.0247
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    McIlroy (65) one back in Abu Dhabi through 54

    By Randall MellJanuary 20, 2018, 1:09 pm

    Rory McIlroy moved into position to send a powerful message in his first start of the new year at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Closing out with back-to-back birdies Saturday, McIlroy posted a 7-under-par 65, leaving him poised to announce his return to golf in spectacular fashion after a winless year in 2017.

    McIlroy heads into Sunday just a single shot behind the leaders, Thomas Pieters (67) and Ross Fisher (65), who are at 17-under overall at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.

    Making his first start after taking three-and-a-half months off to regroup from an injury-riddled year, McIlroy is looking sharp in his bid to win for the first time in 16 months. He chipped in for birdie from 50 feet at the 17th on Saturday and two-putted from 60 feet for another birdie to finish his round.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    McIlroy took 50 holes before making a bogey in Abu Dhabi. He pushed his tee shot into a greenside bunker at the 15th, where he left a delicate play in the bunker, then barely blasted his third out before holing a 15-footer for bogey.

    McIlroy notably opened the tournament playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, who started the new year winning the PGA Tour’s Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii in an eight-shot rout just two weeks ago. McIlroy was grouped in the first two rounds with Johnson and Tommy Fleetwood, the European Tour’s Player of the Year last season. McIlroy sits ahead of both of them going into the final round, with Johnson (68) tied for 12th, four shots back, and Fleetwood (67) tied for fourth, two shots back.

    Those first two rounds left McIlroy feeling good about his off season work.

    “That proves I’m back to full fitness and 100 percent health,” he said going into Saturday. “DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now and of, if not the best, drivers of the golf ball, and to be up there with him over the first two days proves to me I’m doing the right things and gives me confidence.”

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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.