Play BetterNow

By David BreslowAugust 17, 2005, 4:00 pm
Almost every golfer Ive ever worked with has been on a perpetual search for anything that will help them perform better. Organizations in business spend a lot of money on training classes designed to help employees improve as well. The important question is: Where is this money going and are people actually changing as a result? I also find an interesting trend with both the golfer and the businessperson who seek to improve themselves. The trend is something I call: Im working on it.
On the surface it looks great. We all want to improve and one of the ways we go about it is by working on our game. We read books, take lessons, go to training programs, etc. The problem I encounter though is that most people sadly report that they arent really changing that much and its frustrating. People get so caught up in working on their game they actually spend more time doing just that; working on it rather than changing it! I believe the emphasis is in the wrong place; for the golfer and the business organization. The approach they take may give people more things to do (tips/strategies, etc.) but doesnt address real change. There is a saying that goes: 'Surfaced approaches tend to yield surfaced results.'
Amanda and I began working together last year. She is an 11 handicap and in our first phone session I asked her how long she had been working on her game. At least ten years,' she said. When I asked how she was working on her game she answered, I take lessons, I practice at the range and I read some books on sports psychology. Great,' I replied. So, in the ten years, how much would you say your performance has improved/changed? Amanda curled her lips, scrunched her face and said, WellI knocked a couple of shots off my handicap but I still dont play as well as I know I can. What can you do better? I asked. I still let bad shots bother me too long and I focus on the score a lot and I feel a lot of pressure to play well. Ive been working on all that stuff for quite a while now, she said proudly.
Amandas situation is very common - - underperforming in relation to her actual capabilities. I know youve been working on your game for quite some time but I will tell you that it doesnt take 10 years to get what you want, I said to her. What do you mean? she asked in surprise. Well, besides working on developing a better golf swing with your teacher, you say youve been working on your impatience, frustration, perfectionism, etc. for some time. What Im suggesting to you is that it doesnt take 10 years to see the improvements you want in that area. In fact, you could start seeing changes in just a few weeks. Amanda was quite surprised by this statement and of course wanted to know how.
I told her thats what the FlowZone program she just entered is designed to help her do. Then I asked: What part of your game would you say you work on the most? She said, I spend a lot of time on my swing, like most people I guess.' 'Well, let me ask you this. A stool stands solid and strong when it has all 3 legs to rely on, right? Yes, she replied. When you take away one of the legs or even shorten it a bit what have you got? Something very shaky to rely on, she said sheepishly. Exactly! And thats how a lot of players sabotage their performance without even realizing it.
Amanda spent so much time (money and energy) thinking she was actually working on her game when she was really doing a bunch of things that werent getting her where she wanted to be. In addition, she was working more on one leg of her game creating a major imbalance. She tried tip after tip only to discover it didnt last very long. As long as she was trying something, she felt she was at least working on her game. When she took an honest look, she realized she was fooling herself by finding enough ways to work on her game even though she wasnt seeing consistent change in performance on the course.
What about you?
Here are 3 questions that can help you be clearer about your game:
What are you actually doing to help yourself play better golf?
(i.e. buying new clubs, taking lessons, reading books, looking for tips, etc.)
What is the actual effect of these things on your game?
(Scoring, enjoyment level, consistency, playing to potential, etc.)
How, specifically, has your game really changed in the last 6 months, 1 year or 2 years?
Ive asked these questions to many players and businesspeople over the years and most often the answers are very revealing. Here is the big challenge:
While people believe they are working on their games, they discover they are not actually making real change the way theyd like to. They also discover they spend more time/money/energy working on their game but not on themselves! In other words; they severely shorten or ignore one of the legs that can bring them back to a strong balance and allow themselves to perform their best!
Lets face it; its far easier to focus on the physical aspect or search for the quick-fix tip before taking a look at any of the internal reasons that are really influencing performance. This is true in the business world as well. Remember, its all connected whether you believe it or not! There are 3 legs on the stool and if you dont use them all; you may underperform. Surfaced approaches yield surfaced results. Take a close look: no matter what club a player has in their hand or no matter how many lessons they take, players who dont utilize all 3 legs (the mind, body and emotions) EFFECTIVELY; are not using all their resources to perform. Are new clubs, lessons and practice importantsure they are and yet most golfers inherently know that theres more to their performance than that!
Do you know someone who seems to have the physical tools yet somehow manages to underperform? The proof is all around. You can play better NOW and turn Im working on it into Im doing it!
We are pleased to extend this end of season offer to all Golf Channel viewers! You can now register for one-on-one Performance Coaching; keep the discount rate and now for only 3 sessions (rather than the normal 6 session minimum). All you need is a telephone. Its easy, cost-effective and fun! Weve taken the time and cost factor out of the equation for you! Simply email: and type intro offer in the subject line and well send you all the information you need to get started.

Related Links:
  • David Breslow Article Archive
    Copyright 2005 David Breslow. David is the author of Wired To Win and offers the highly acclaimed FlowZone and Resilience Factor programs for athletes of all levels and business professionals to help them adapt and excel in any conditions. His unique approach is designed to affect real change from a root cause perspective helping people break ineffective patterns. 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: or visit the web: For book orders call toll free: 1.888.280.7715.
  • Getty Images

    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."

    Getty Images

    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.'"

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    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."

    Getty Images

    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."

    Getty Images

    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.