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.
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    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.
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    Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

    New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

    The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

    "Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

    It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

    Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

    Getty Images

    Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

    SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

    Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

    He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

    Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

    Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.

    The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

    ''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

    Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

    Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

    Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

    ''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

    Getty Images

    13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

    Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

    Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

    “An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”

    Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

    Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

    Getty Images

    McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

    It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

    Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

    Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    “I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

    Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

    “Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

    This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.