Improve Your Game Every Day

By David BreslowJanuary 19, 2005, 5:00 pm
Do you get to play as much golf as youd like? Do you live in a cold weather climate that doesnt allow you to play golf as often as youd like? Do outside obligations prevent you from playing as much golf as youd like?
 
Wellunless youre a playing professional, lifes every day obligations may restrict the number of rounds you get to play. Even so, this does not mean your game has to suffer. You can improve your game whether youre actually hitting balls or not. Often times Im asked by clients how to improve play ON the course. My response sometimes surprises them. I tell them they can develop the key performance skills both on and OFF the course. Of course, there is no substitute for playing the game but this does not mean the key performance traits can only be developed while on the course.
 
Top performers develop their overall games off the course as much as on. By developing your all around game off the course you create a longer term process that becomes something you can transfer on to the course more easily. Developing your key skills off the course creates a feeling of confidence and builds a stronger foundation. One big trap amateur golfers slip into is trying to turn it on when they get to the course. Sometimes it works and sometimes it does not. Why rely on something so inconsistent?
 
No matter what climate you live in or what your outside obligations; you can develop your mechanical and mental skills away from the game. Here are some ideas to consider to help develop your key Performance traits:
 
1. Create Mini-Routines
Whether youre putting on the carpet in your living room or hitting balls at your local range, try to implement a mini ritual. Rituals and routines are often taken for granted. When done properly, they are designed to set you up for success. Its been my experience that the majority of golfers do not use routines that are highly effective in triggering success without realizing it. Develop a mini routine that gets you mentally, emotionally and physically ready to succeed over every shot.
 
2. Train Your Body To Relax
I believe stress and muscle tension are responsible for the majority of errors made in sports. Simply put: tight muscles translate into poor mechanics. Tight muscles reduce flexibility and fluidity of the golf swing. They also restrict the flow of energy in your body which reduces power.
 
Triggering relaxation and reduced muscle tension is something that can be done every day. By practicing yoga, breathing exercises, taichi , meditation or any other form of deep relaxation you can train the body to return to that open and relaxed state. The more you train it; the more it begins to show up on the course.
 
3. Sharpen Your Focus
Sharpening mental focus is also something that can be successfully achieved off the golf course. Golf, as in life, is a matter of controlling mental attention and this is a skill that can be strengthened every day. The deep relaxation exercises listed above are also great methods to increase focus. Real concentration becomes effortless when you practice every day. For many golfers, concentration can be work and even tiring. Pure focus is not tiring. It is something that causes you to gain energy rather than lose it.
 
Away from the course try this simple exercise: place a lit candle 2 feet away from you at eye level. Sit comfortably and gaze at the flame for 2 minutes. Your task is to completely absorb your attention on the flame. As you do this you may notice mental noise wanting your attention. No matter what distraction you hear, simply bring your attention back to the flame no matter how many times you have to do it! This is a terrific exercise that allows you to direct your own attention and at the same time, remain open and absorbed on a single object (in this case the flame).
 
The Challenge
The challenge for many golfers is NOT in knowing these things are important but in actually DOING something about them. There is one fundamental truth that remains: in order to improve your game you must DO something; take action on something and do it on a regular basis. What we do on a regular basis becomes a habit over time. Are your habits helping or hurting your game? All of these skills are developed as part of the FlowZone Golf program and when people formally develop them they tend to see results.
 
Start improving your game every day!
 
Note: The FlowZone TeleCourse dates and times are now set up. Classes are set to begin in February. You also have the option of taking the class you want either during the week or on the weekend. To receive a complete course listing, dates, times and very reasonable fees; email: David@theflowzone.net. Class sizes are limited!
 
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    Copyright 2005 David Breslow. David is the author of Wired To Win and offers a highly acclaimed FlowZone program: Your Resilience Factor: Adapt and Excel in any Environment Workshop and TeleCourse that takes performance to the next level. David has appeared on The Golf Channel, ESPN radio, etc. For more programs/services/products or sign up for a free newsletter (write newsletter in subject box). Contact: David Breslow 847.681.1698 Email: David@theflowzone.net or visit the web: www.theflowzone.net For book orders call toll free: 1.888.280.7715
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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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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 Web.com 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.

    @tommyfleetwood_1

    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.