Your Harshest Critic

By David BreslowNovember 10, 2004, 5:00 pm
Human beings criticize themselves more than any other species on the planet. Did you ever notice that animals dont criticize themselves for doing something wrong? When a dog chews up the newspaper do you think it feels badly or walks around criticizing itself for two weeks afterwards? I doubt it. We, however, might not only criticize ourselves for doing things we think are wrong or bad but we also have the capacity to criticize ourselves over a long period of time! Nobody abuses us like we abuse ourselves and this can be especially true on the golf course.
 
Arthur Ashe, a great Tennis champion once said:
 
You are never playing an opponent, you are playing yourself, your own high standards and when you reach your limits; that is real joy!
 
Your own high standards can be both a curse and a blessing depending on how your respond to them and how your develop yourself to meet your high standards. Unfortunately, many golfers use their high personal standards as a springboard to allow the voice of the inner critic to surface again and again. The critic within us sits in waiting for any opportunity to lash out and attack. It lurks underneath looking for situations that trigger you to harshly judge yourself and belittle yourself.
 
Harsh self-criticism is the ultimate set-up for failure and a sure fire way to suffer on the golf course. In my opinion, it is the highest representation of a lack of self-respect. Think about this for a moment. Would you lash out at someone else the way you judge and criticize yourself? When I pose this question to clients they generally respond with No Way!. Nobody else would accept such an attack so why do we? Your self-criticism has the same effect on you as it does if you criticized others in the same way. It creates tension, anxiety and disapproval. Harsh self criticism creates a strong force of negative energy and disharmony within the mind, body and emotions. The negative effects of self-criticism are:
 
  • Lack of self-trust
  • Lack of self-respect
  • Lack of confidence
     
    We display our self-criticism using phrases like:
     
  • Im not good enough
  • I cant believe I keep missing this shot
  • I never shoot a good score
  • Im a failure
  • Im just not good enough. Period!
     
    How often does your critic show up? Is your critic harsh or is it supportive?
     
    Here are a few things to remember when your critic appears:
     
  • The critic is only a PART of you; not all of you
     
    When the critic shows up it tends to overwhelm everything else. However, the reality is that the critic is only one small part of you. Put the critic in its place!
     
  • Substitute the word I with the word That
     
    When the critic shows up it tends to get very personal. Get rid of the word I and replace it with that. For example; instead of Im no good change it to that was no good. Try saying both statements right now. Notice the difference in your body between the two statements?
     
  • Embrace your critic!
     
    Criticism in and of itself is not bad, Its only when it becomes harsh and poisonously personal that it negatively affects you. Back off and let the critic help you learn something about yourself. What do you need to develop, improve or change? Call your local golf pro and consider developing your all around mental game as well. The critic is telling you something!
     
    To your best golf!
     
    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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  • David Breslow Article Archive
     
    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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    Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

    By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

    Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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    Rahm (62) fires career low round

    By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

    The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

    Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

    What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

    Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

    Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

    Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

    Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

    Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

    Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

    Getty Images

    Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

    Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

    "Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

    Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos


    Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

    "That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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    Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

    By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

    There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

    Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

    Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

    Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

    @tommyfleetwood_1

    A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

    The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

    It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.