If I could only

By David BreslowFebruary 7, 2007, 5:00 pm
NOTE: Join us for a FREE FlowZone Golf TeleSeminar on Thursday Feb. 15th at 3pm Eastern. Click here for details and easy registration.
 
And todays article
 
Ive spoken with many PGA Teaching Professionals over the years and the most common phrase I hear from them when talking about their students is, If I could only get my students to (fill in the blank).
 
As a former Tennis Pro (over 15 years) I understand the frustration that occurs when watching a student try too hard to get something right. Through trial and error I discovered that my students learned more quickly when their minds, bodies and emotions were in a relaxed state instead of the pressure that comes with trying too hard to be perfect. Now, as a Performance Coach I teach my clients that TENSION is the number 1 cause for poor play because mental, emotional and physical tension reduces power, rhythm and flow.
 
People take golf lessons because they want to get better (okmost people!) and when you are tense and uptight your improvement rate slows dramatically. Ive witnessed golf swings filled with tension magically improve as students begin to relax their mind, body and emotions before trying to implement what they learn. When they try too hard they usually create more and more tension in their golf swing causing stress for both the student and the teacher!
 
Here are two suggestions that can help alleviate stress in your golf swing:
 
1. Focus on relaxation first
 
I realize when people pay for a lesson they want to hit as many balls as they can. However, Ive discovered that if people will take 3 minutes to slow down their minds from the days concerns and relax their bodies, they can benefit greatly from the rest of the lesson (this goes for the teacher as well). As a Performance Coach, I work with players on the course and at the driving range as well. We always take the first 5 minutes (at least) to bring the mind, body and emotions back into sync before my clients ever put their hands on the golf club and it positively affects everything we/they do from that point forward.
 
2. The Tension Rater Exercise
 
This is a real awareness grabber that I use when working with a player at the range. Here is the drill: hit 10 balls and rate only your tension level between 1 (very relaxed) and 10 (uptight) after each shot. Heres how it works: you hit a shot and immediately come up with a number from 1 to 10 without editing or trying to figure out the best answer. Most students will begin rating their results (I liked that shot or I didnt like that shot) but you are only to focus on your tension level. The benefits are twofold. First, you gain awareness of your tension levels and secondly you create a mental reference point. For example, you will begin to recognize what a 3 or 9 feels like and the mind will start to create a reference point with that number and that feeling; making it easier to duplicate in the future.
 
To Your Best Golf!
 
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: www.theflowzone.net or email: David@theflowzone.net or call: 847.681.1698.
  • Getty Images

    Koepka (wrist) likely out until the Masters

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 9:08 pm

    Defending U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka is expected to miss at least the next two months because of a torn tendon in his left wrist.

    Koepka, who suffered a partially torn Extensor Carpi Ulnaris (ECU), is hoping to return in time for the Masters.

    In a statement released by his management company, Koepka said that doctors are unsure when the injury occurred but that he first felt discomfort at the Hero World Challenge, where he finished last in the 18-man event. Playing through pain, he also finished last at the Tournament of Champions, after which he underwent a second MRI that revealed the tear.

    Koepka is expected to miss the next 8-12 weeks.

    “I am frustrated that I will now not be able to play my intended schedule,” Koepka said. “But I am confident in my doctors and in the treatment they have prescribed, and I look forward to teeing it up at the Masters. … I look forward to a quick and successful recovery.”

    Prior to the injury, Koepka won the Dunlop Phoenix and cracked the top 10 in the world ranking. 

    Getty Images

    Cut Line: Color Rory unafraid of the Ryder Cup

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 19, 2018, 7:09 pm

    In this week’s edition, Rory McIlroy gets things rolling with some early Ryder Cup banter, Dustin Johnson changes his tune on a possible golf ball roll-back, and the PGA Tour rolls ahead with integrity training.


    Made Cut

    Paris or bust. Rory McIlroy, who made his 2018 debut this week on the European Tour, can be one of the game’s most affable athletes. He can also be pointed, particularly when discussing the Ryder Cup.

    Asked this week in Abu Dhabi about the U.S. team, which won the last Ryder Cup and appears to be rejuvenated by a collection of new players, McIlroy didn’t disappoint.

    “If you look at Hazeltine and how they set the course up – big, wide fairways, no rough, pins in the middle of greens – it wasn’t set up for the way the Europeans like to play,” McIlroy said. “I think Paris will be a completely different kettle of fish, so different.”

    McIlroy has come by his confidence honestly, having won three of the four Ryder Cups he’s played, so it’s understandable if he doesn't feel like an underdog heaidng to Paris.

    “The Americans have obviously been buoyant about their chances, but it’s never as easy as that,” he said. “The Ryder Cup is always close. It always comes down to a few key moments, and it will be no different in Paris. I think we’ll have a great team and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

    September can’t get here quick enough.

    Mr. Spieth goes to Ponte Vedra Beach. The Tour announced this year’s player advisory council, the 16-member group that works with the circuit’s policy board to govern.

    There were no real surprises to the PAC, but news that Jordan Spieth had been selected to run for council chair is interesting. Spieth, who is running against Billy Hurley III and would ascend to the policy board next year if he wins the election, served on the PAC last year and would make a fine addition to the policy board, but it is somewhat out of character for a marquee player.

    In recent years, top players like Spieth have largely avoided the distractions that come with the PAC and policy board. Of course, we’ve also learned in recent years that Spieth is not your typical superstar.


    Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

    On second thought. In December at the Hero World Challenge, Dustin Johnson was asked about a possible golf ball roll-back, which has become an increasingly popular notion in recent years.

    “I don't mind seeing every other professional sport. They play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball,” he said in the Bahamas. “I think there should be some kind of an advantage for guys who work on hitting it far and getting that speed that's needed, so having a ball, like the same ball that everyone plays, there's going to be, you're going to have more of an advantage.”

    The world No. 1 appeared to dial back that take this week in Abu Dhabi, telling BBC Sport, “It's not like we are dominating golf courses. When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy?”

    Maybe it didn’t feel that way, but DJ’s eight-stroke romp two weeks ago at the Sentry Tournament of Champions certainly looked pretty easy.

    Long odds. I had a chance to watch the Tour’s 15-minute integrity training video that players have been required view and came away with a mixture of confusion and concern.

    The majority of the video, which includes a Q&A element, focuses on how to avoid match fixing. Although the circuit has made it clear there is no indication of current match fixing, it’s obviously something to keep an eye on.

    The other element that’s worth pointing out is that although the Tour may be taking the new program seriously, some players are not.

    “My agent watched [the training video] for me,” said one Tour pro last week at the Sony Open.


    Missed Cut

    Groundhog Day. To be fair, no one expected Patton Kizzire and James Hahn to need six playoff holes to decide last week’s Sony Open, but the episode does show why variety is the spice of life.

    After finishing 72 holes tied at 17 under, Kizzire and Hahn played the 18th hole again and again and again and again. In total, the duo played the par-5 closing hole at Waialae Country Club five times (including in regulation play) on Sunday.

    It’s worth noting that the playoff finally ended with Kizzire’s par at the sixth extra hole, which was the par-3 17th. Waialae’s 18th is a fine golf hole, but in this case familiarity really did breed contempt.

    Tweet of the week:

    It was a common theme last Saturday on Oahu after an island-wide text alert was issued warning of an inbound ballistic missile and advising citizens to “seek immediate shelter.”

    The alert turned out to be a mistake, someone pushed the wrong button during a shift change, but for many, like Peterson, it was a serious lesson in perspective.

    Getty Images

    Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

    While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

    “I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

    Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

    <
    Getty Images

    DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

    Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

    “I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

    Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

    “Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

    Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

    “It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.”