Stop Trying To Control Everything

By David BreslowJanuary 11, 2006, 5:00 pm
Giving up control is a very difficult thing to do isnt it? Many of my clients dont realize they are trying to control things so much on (and off) the golf course that they actually wind up getting in their own way. They point the finger at some other reason like a poor set up, the course conditions, poor golf swing, clubs, etc. They are focused on so many other reasons they dont realize how much they try to control not only the golf swing but where the ball goes as well.
 
Try this little exercise. Open your dominant hand and place a small amount of water in the palm. Now make a fist with that hand and try to control the water without spilling it. Its virtually impossible to do. When you make a fist the water will spill as it leaks out of your palm. Now repeat this except now keep your palm open and relaxed. You could move around the room and by relaxing your hand you actually gain more control over the water without spilling it.
 
This is an example of what happens to us when we try to over control and when we dont. When try to over control we leak power, control and consistency. When we are able to let go of the control we gain power, control and consistency. Here are some examples of how over controlling affects performance followed by a tip to turn it around in your favor. When we over control we:
 
  • Tighten more muscles than we need to hit the shot
     
    When we try to over control the golf swing we tighten our legs, arms, shoulders, hands and facial muscles. This tension causes lack of fluidity and power. Think back to a time when you really wanted to crush a shot. What happened? Chances are you lost power; not gained it and chances are you also lost distance and accuracy as well. Over controlling the golf swing translates into more tension than needed to hit the golf ball.
     
    Tip: Make a conscious effort to focus on the legs, arms, hands, shoulders and facial muscles before you take a practice swing. Let them drop and slip into a more relaxed position. The more relaxed you are the more powerful you are.
     
  • Tend to worry about future results
     
    When we try to control outcomes the tendency is to not only focus on outcomes too much but to also worry about them as well. In this case our mental energy becomes dispersed causing us to be focused on results more than what we actually DO have control over (i.e. breathing, proper routines, proper club/shot selection)
     
    Tip: Focus on what you DO have control over (and its NOT the results of your shots!). The more you do this the more you trigger feelings of calm and confidence.
     
  • Reduce enjoyment of the game
     
    The players I know who try to over control things on the golf course (and off!) tend to report their enjoyment level is lower than theyd like it to be. Think about it. If youre too focused on controlling everything then your enjoyment level has no choice but to move up and down with your results. This is a very tenuous position to be in and can reduce your ability to enjoy yourself no matter what is happening.
     
    Tip: Make enjoyment a large priority for yourself. One key to do this is to allow yourself to enjoy the gameperiod! Try to reduce the little rules that say Ill enjoy myself when I do (fill in the blank). When we have such rules we are basing our enjoyment levels on whether certain outcomes happen or not. Make it a priority and enjoy yourself no matter what!
     
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  • David Breslow Article Archive
     
    Copyright 2006 David Breslow is a Speaker/Facilitator/Performance Coach who works with Athletes (PGA/LPGA) and businesses to help people perform at the top of their game. His approach is not business as usual and creates faster shifts in how people think, feel and perform every day. David has appeared on The Golf Channel, ESPN radio and has spoken to corporations across the country. To reach David call: 847.681.1698 or email: David@theflowzone.net or visit the web: www.theflowzone.net.
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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.'"


    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."

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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.