Straight Mental Game Talk

By David BreslowOctober 11, 2006, 4:00 pm
Based on emails and questions I receive I wanted to offer some straight answers about the myths concerning the mental game and the FlowZone program. I hope they address some of your questions or concerns!
Mental Game Myth #1
A mental game is part of my game and I know its important.

As I teach it, your mental game is not just part of your game, it IS your game and it influences you 100% of the time whether you ever work on it or not. The parts that make up the mental game are your mind, body, emotions and spirit and everybody has them! I call them the 4 Quads and they influence your performance every time you put your hands on the golf club. Try to separate them and you cannot. The 4 Quads are either in sync (you will perform better) or they are out of sync and you can under perform. In fact, they function via a set of very precise and predictable cause and effect Laws responsible for the outcomes you get. This holds true for outcomes both on and off the golf course.
Mental Game Myth #2
Its only for those who have real problems or struggle.

This is not true. Many people seek to improve themselves and attempt many different ways to achieve that. Unfortunately, some get caught up in the word psychology and the connotations surrounding it. The FlowZone approach is not therapy or psychology and since its based on cause and effect Laws that affect everyone, everyone can benefit, from pro to 35 handicap. Its been my experience that people hesitate to take action in this area because they:
  1. Had a poor experience in the past with an approach that didnt help

  2. Keep trying the same approach even with sporadic results

  3. Think that playing or practicing will straighten things out
In the FlowZone approach, you discover that these Laws have always been producing outcomes for you and it is easy to see how they always will. You begin to use them to release your talents more easily. This results in greater relaxation, focus, clarity, resiliency, enjoyment and trust. You experience the flow more often.
Question #1: It sounds a bit vague. What is a Law?
Actually, a law is something quite precise and predictable. I define a law as something that is true for everyone, everywhere and at all times. You are under the influence of cause and effect laws all the time. Here are three examples. Your golf swing is completely guided by the laws of physics. The angle of your club face on impact will predictably cause the ball to react a certain way. When you plant a corn seed in the ground, natural law goes to work to predictably grow corn and nothing else. You are completely under the influence of the law of gravity every day of your life. People easily understand these Laws but fail to realize that THEIR PERFORMANCE is under the same powerful influence of certain Laws as well, (and so is yours!). The incredible reality of these Laws is undeniable and most importantly, they function regardless of your belief, opinion or attitude about them. You can disagree, resist, deny and not even acknowledge them but they will produce outcomes regardless! Can you imagine trying to disagree with gravity? Do you think your opinion has any effect on it? This is what makes the approach and dialogue revolutionary and why I often say the Laws and insights completely remove opinion and theory from the equation.
Question #2: Ive tried so many of them. Why dont tips seem to last?
For most people, using tips is like trying to put out a fire by spraying the top of the flame. Its the difference between treating the symptom rather than finding the cause and curing it. 95% of my clients use tips and discover they dont last very long. Im NOT against tips. In fact, I use them regularly but I want to make people aware that tips are generally not solution based, they are temporary answers. Relying on them as a solution can keep you from seeing how the laws are playing out and how you are causing the things youre trying to cope with in the first place! This becomes a symptomatic approach rather than a curative one.
Because you have a set of beliefs and perceptions already within you, they take over even when you try to implement a new tip. When the old tapes (sabotaging beliefs) are triggered by some event such as a poor shot, negative experience, feeling pressure, your own expectations not being met, perfectionism, etc. old bad habits quickly reassert themselves. At this point, the tip seems to disappear as it is overwhelmed by the negativity of the old habit. The real question is: Are you more interested in treating the symptoms of this process (however you do that) or discovering the source and curing it (the Laws)?
Question #3: But Im looking to be more confident, focus better, reduce stress and negative thinking, etc. Do you help improve these things?

Of course! The key traits people spend so much time struggling to achieve are the ultimate goal; however, clients achieve them in an easier and different way. Because it is based on undeniable Laws that produce results, the conversation and insights are very different from the usual dialogue. A traditional approach focuses on the well known traits like, confidence, focus, self-talk, handling adversity, emotional flexibility, good decision-making, enjoyment, optimism, present time focus, etc. The traits are all great and I dont know anyone who questions them, the real question is: HOW do you demonstrate them more easily? This is the biggest complaint my clients offer, the books tell me about the traits but not how to achieve them. Ive discovered the best and most consistent way is to go directly to the source. The Human Potential and Performance Laws already exist and to avoid them is to avoid the source (you can try to avoid the laws of physics or gravity but they function anyway!). What makes this revolutionary is that you can achieve the traits mentioned above, at a very high level simply by applying the Laws more effectively! This comes as a very pleasant surprise to clients because they finally put an end to their struggle and frustration trying to achieve them in other ways. In addition, clients are not asked to believe anything I say or the findings of research studies or someone elses claims or experience. The proof these Laws exist is already in their personal experience. Thats all they need.
I hope this was your best summer of golf yet!
Please continue to send your questions and comments. To see testimonials that reflects the impact of this approach please visit the sport testimonals page, and to learn more about the FlowZone program visit the sports coaching performance page.
Related Links:
  • David Breslow Article Archive
    Copyright 2006 All Rights Reserved. David Breslow is a Speaker/Author/Performance Coach who works with Athletes (PGA/LPGA) and businesses to help people move past limiting patterns to perform up to their potential. His approach is not business as usual and creates faster shifts in how people think, feel and perform every day. David appears on The Golf Channel, ESPN radio and speaks to both large and small corporations across the country. For more information or reach David call: 847.681.1698 or email: or visit the web: To order, Wired To Win click here OR call toll free: 1.888.280.7715.
  • Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

    In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

    "It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’

    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

    Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

    “Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

    “That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

    Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

    The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

    Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

    Lexi Thompson:

    Baking time!!

    A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

    David Feherty:

    Jack Nicklaus:

    GC Tiger Tracker:

    Steve Stricker:

    Golf Channel:

    Frank Nobilo:

    Ian Poulter:

    Tyrone Van Aswegen:

    Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.

    Tributes pour in for legendary caddie Sheridan

    By Randall MellNovember 23, 2017, 2:54 pm

    Tributes are pouring in as golf celebrates the life of Greg Sheridan after receiving news of his passing.

    Sheridan, a long-time LPGA caddie who worked for some of the game’s all-time greats, including Kathy Whitworth and Beth Daniel, died Wednesday in Indian Rocks Beach, Fla., at 63. He was diagnosed in July 2016 with brain and lung cancer.

    Sheridan worked the last dozen years or so with Natalie Gulbis, who expressed her grief in an Instagram post on Wednesday:

    “Greg…I miss you so much already and it hasn’t even been a day. 15+ seasons traveling the world you carried me & my bag through the highs and lows of golf and life. You were so much more than my teammate on the course…Thank you.”

    Sheridan was on Whitworth’s bag for the last of her LPGA-record 88 titles.

    “When I first came on tour, I would try to find out how many times Greg won,” Gulbis told Golfweek. “It’s a crazy number, like 50.”

    Matthew Galloway, a caddie and friend to Sheridan, summed up Sheridan’s impressive reach after caddying with him one year at the LPGA Founders Cup, where the game’s pioneers are honored.

    “Best Greg story,” Galloway tweeted on Thanksgiving morning, “coming up 18 at PHX all the founders were in their chairs. Greg goes, `Yep, caddied for her, her and her.’ Legend.”

    In a first-person column for Golf Magazine last year, Gulbis focused on Sheridan while writing about the special bond between players and caddies. She wrote that she won the “looper lottery” when she first hired Sheridan in ’04.

    “Greg and I have traveled the world, and today he is like family,” Gulbis wrote. “Sometimes, he’s a psychologist. Last year, my mom got sick and it was a distraction, but he was great. When I used to have boyfriend issues and breakup issues, he was my confidant. In a world where caddies sometimes spill secrets, Greg has kept a respectful silence, and I can’t thank him enough for that. He’s an extension of me.”

    Four months after Gulbis wrote the column, Sheridan was diagnosed with cancer.

    “The LPGA family is saddened to hear of the loss of long-time tour caddie, Greg Sheridan,” the LPGA tweeted. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and players he walked with down the fairways. #RIP.”

    Dean Herden was among the legion of caddies saddened by the news.

    “Greg was a great guy who I respected a lot and taught me some great things over the years,” Herden texted to

    Here are some of heartfelt messages that are rolling across Twitter:

    Retired LPGA great Annika Sorenstam:

    LPGA commissioner Mike Whan in a retweet of Gulbis:

    Golf Channel reporter and former tour player Jerry Foltz:

    Christina Kim:

    LPGA caddie Shaun Clews:

    LPGA caddie Jonny Scott:

    LPGA caddie Kevin Casas:

    LPGA pro Jennie Lee: