A Mental Game Challenge

By David BreslowNovember 17, 2004, 5:00 pm
How long have you been looking to improve your game? How long, if at all have you looked to improve your mental game? You might be surprised to know that the majority of golfers, as well as other athletes, spend very little time developing this aspect of their game. Even though most athletes admit its importantthey still dont devote that much time to it.
One of my missions is to help players realize that what is often called the mental game is much more than psychology or clinical rhetoric. Its actually a whole body process. I invite you to consider that the mental game really has four major elements to it and is a function of how you DIRECT energy in:
1. The Mind
2. The Emotions
3. The Body
4. The Spirit
Spirit as used here deals with the very core energy of a golfer. It relates to your ability to be confident, persistent, resilient, have complete trust and faith in yourself and your game (whatever level that is right now!) as well as take risks and be courageous with yourself. When the spirit is high it shows and when its broken it shows as well. You see the spirit of a golfer as you watch Tiger Woods stalking his way down the fairway when hes really focused and charged up. You can also see when a golfers spirit is low. Their body language changes, the head may be down and the pace of the walk may be slow or sluggish. These are just some indicators of a low spirit level.
Because these four elements make up your mental game you can see that they are in play every time you put your hands on the golf club! Isnt this true? Can you imagine a time when any one of these elements is NOT involved? They dont stand alone either. They are all connected and when you improve one, you improve the others. What we call your mental game is actually influencing your performance 100% of the time.
Top performers in any arena of life are effectively using all four of these elements to achieve success. Some people do it more naturally than others but the impact is just as influential whether you do it more naturally or not. Either way; your performance is under the direct influence of how well OR how poorly you utilize them. There are no short cuts and there is no getting around the real and tangible effect on you and your performance. So, now the question is: what do you do about them?
Although most athletes admit the mental game is important: there is still a resistance to developing it. Here are some of the most common reasons athletes express:
Developing my mental game means therapy
This is a major misconception. The word mental is often linked up with the word therapy and many people think that performance development means going through therapy. The FlowZone approach moves you forward utilizing mind/body/performance principles that influence you and everyone else. Blending the principles with strategies and tools allows you to become your own resource for change and consistent play
Its confusing and vague
Clinical and psychological language can be vague and confusing at times. Lets face it; your performance will not improve just because you have more information, data or insights. They may be interesting but more information does not translate into improved performance. Vague instructions to relax or focus better dont often trigger real change either. When you identify the root cause factors and mind/body/performance principles affecting your performance both positively and negatively you are then personally responsible for utilizing the strategies to get what you want.
Ill just keep looking for more tips
Tips are great but they are more often short term rather than long term solutions. In my experience with clients, the average time a tip lasts before it seems to go away is about two weeks. When this happens, players search for more tips hoping the next one will provide the answer. Once you have a solid foundation in the four elements of the mental game, tips can then act as reminders and trigger the FlowZone state. A new tip placed on top of an old attitude or belief usually is no match for the old attitude or belief and that is why tips dont often last very long for many people.
What are you willing to do to break through all 4 elements of your game?
Are you willing to develop your mind, body, emotions and spirit to play the kind of golf you know you are capable of? Isnt this what causes the most frustration for us: the realization that we can play better and yet dont? Ninety percent of the clients I see come into the process knowing that they can play better yet there is an obstacle in their path. Do you know this about your game as well?
Here are some questions for your consideration to take the Mental Game Challenge:
  • What do you have to do to improve the 4 Key elements of your game?

  • Are you willing to close the gap between what you know and what you do?

  • Has your performance improved to your satisfaction up to this point?

  • Whats held you back from committing to formally developing this part of your game?

  • Who can help you fulfill this challenge? (golf pro, performance coach, etc.)
Take the Mental Game challenge and help realize your true capabilities!
Note: Please contact David directly via email (David@theflowzone.net) to learn more about the Executive Golf program for committed golfers, the FlowZone At Work corporate program and the Performance Based Program designed for personal coaching with David ON THE GOLF COURSE!
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    Copyright 2004 David Breslow. David is the author of Wired To Win and offers a highly acclaimed Perform In The FlowZone' program no matter where you live or play. 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). Also, review the new series of Performance Training Manuals available online! Contact: David Breslow at 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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    Hadwin returns to site of last year's 59

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 11:04 pm

    Adam Hadwin had a career season last year, one that included shooting a 59 and winning a PGA Tour event. But those two achievements didn't occur in the same week.

    While Hadwin's breakthrough victory came at the Valspar Championship in March, it was at the CareerBuilder Challenge in January when he first made headlines with a third-round 59 at La Quinta Country Club. Hadwin took a lead into the final round as a result, but he ultimately couldn't keep pace with Hudson Swafford.

    He went on to earn a spot at the Tour Championship, and Hadwin made his first career Presidents Cup appearance in October. Now the Canadian returns to Palm Springs, eager to improve on last year's result and hoping to earn a spot in the final group for a third straight year after a T-6 finish in 2016.

    "A lot of good memories here in the desert," Hadwin told reporters. "I feel very comfortable here, very at home. Lots of Canadians, so it's always fun to play well in front of those crowds and hopefully looking forward to another good week."

    Hadwin's 59 last year was somewhat overshadowed, both by the fact that he didn't win the event and that it came just one week after Justin Thomas shot a 59 en route to victory at the Sony Open. But he's still among an exclusive club of just eight players to have broken 60 in competition on Tour and he's eager to get another crack at La Quinta on Saturday.

    "If I'm in the same position on 18, I'm gunning for 58 this year," Hadwin said, "not playing safe for 59."

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    Rahm: If I thought like Phil, I could not hit a shot

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 10:39 pm

    When it comes to Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson, there are plenty of common bonds. Both starred at Arizona State, both are now repped by the same agency and Rahm's former college coach and agent, Tim Mickelson, now serves full-time as his brother's caddie.

    Those commonalities mean the two men have played plenty of practice rounds together, but the roads quickly diverge when it comes to on-course behavior. Rahm is quick, fiery and decisive; Mickelson is one of the most analytical players on Tour. And as Rahm told reporters Wednesday at the CareerBuilder Challenge, those differences won't end anytime soon.

    "I don't need much. 'OK, it's like 120 (yards), this shot, right," Rahm said. "And then you have Phil, it's like, 'Oh, this shot, the moisture, this going on, this is like one mile an hour wind sideways, it's going to affect it one yard. This green is soft, this trajectory. They're thinking, and I'm like, 'I'm lost.' I'm like, 'God if I do that thought process, I could not hit a golf shot.'"

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    The tactics may be more simplified, but Rahm can't argue with the results. While Mickelson is in the midst of a winless drought that is approaching five years, Rahm won three times around the world last year and will defend a PGA Tour title for the first time next week at Torrey Pines.

    Both men are in the field this week in Palm Springs, where Mickelson will make his 2018 debut with what Rahm fully expects to be another dose of high-level analytics for the five-time major winner with his brother on the bag.

    "It's funny, he gets to the green and then it's the same thing. He's very detail-oriented," Rahm said of Mickelson. "I'm there listening and I'm like, 'Man, I hope we're never paired together for anything because I can't think like this. I would not be able to play golf like that. But for me to listen to all that is really fun."

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    DJ changes tune on golf ball distance debate

    By Will GrayJanuary 17, 2018, 9:16 pm

    World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is already one of the longest hitters in golf, so he's not looking for any changes to be made to golf ball technology - despite comments from him that hinted at just such a notion two months ago.

    Johnson is in the Middle East this week for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, and he told BBC Sport Wednesday that he wouldn't be in favor of making changes to the golf ball in order to remedy some of the eye-popping distances players are hitting the ball with ever-increasing frequency.

    "It's not like we are dominating golf courses," Johnson said. "When was the last time you saw someone make the game too easy? I don't really understand what all the debate is about because it doesn't matter how far it goes; it is about getting it in the hole."

    Johnson's rhetorical question might be answered simply by looking back at his performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions earlier this month, an eight-shot romp that featured a tee shot on the 433-yard 12th hole that bounded down a slope to within inches of the hole.

    Johnson appeared much more willing to consider a reduced-distance ball option at the Hero World Challenge in November, when he sat next to tournament host Tiger Woods and supported Woods' notion that the ball should be addressed.

    "I don't mind seeing every other professional sport, they play with one ball. All the pros play with the same ball," Johnson said. "In baseball, the guys that are bigger and stronger, they can hit a baseball a lot further than the smaller guys. ... 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."

    Speaking Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, Johnson stood by the notion that regardless of whether the rules change or stay the same, he plans to have a leg up on the competition.

    "If the ball is limited then it is going to limit everyone," he said. "I'm still going to hit it that much further than I guess the average Tour player."

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    LPGA lists April date for new LA event

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 17, 2018, 8:18 pm

    The LPGA’s return to Los Angeles will come with the new Hugel-JTBC Open being played at Wilshire Country Club April 19-22, the tour announced Wednesday.

    When the LPGA originally released its schedule, it listed the Los Angeles event with the site to be announced at a later date.

    The Hugel-JTBC Open will feature a 144-player field and a $1.5 million purse. It expands the tour’s West Coast swing, which will now be made up of four events in California in March and April.

    The LPGA last played in Los Angeles in 2005. Wilshire Country Club hosted The Office Depot in 2001, with Annika Sorenstam winning there.