The Hidden Mind Game at the Masters


As professional golf continues its full swing this season we approach the much anticipated Masters tournament in Augusta, Georgia. This season, many of the top players are playing some great golf and once again, the name Tiger Woods comes to the forefront of this major event; and why not?
Here is a quote from an Associated Press article titled 'Big Five All Major Contenders'. The author writes, Majors are the toughest to win, but they're also the easiest to win,' Nicklaus said in a recent interview at his Bear's Club. 'If a guy can get his act together, he mentally can have a leg up. That's why Tiger has got a leg up on the guys every time he plays, because he's now got the background and the history that he knows how to win them. And that's the leg I had up.
Hmmm. Does the phrase, Get his act together sound familiar? This was addressed in my article last week titled, Harmonizing Your Game. When your act is together you are in-synch, mentally, physically and emotionally. A leg up is what all the greats seem to possess during their career. On the mens professional tennis tour John McEnroe had it and Roger Federer currently has it. Jack had it on the PGA tour and Tiger Woods has it now. The leg up Jack refers to is a mental advantage created by past success. Not only is it based on past success but its an attitude that can make opponents wilt. It can affect the way competitors approach and play the game whether they admit it or not. It can force them to play outside their comfort zone and go for shots they might not normally play. The real impact is in the mind of another player.
Think about this for a moment. Players may falter down the stretch or make uncharacteristic errors because of the effect this powerful mental state can have. The difference is; players like Tiger, Jack, John and Roger step into competition with a tremendous inner feeling of confidence and success based on experience while others may not. Some talk the good talk but there is no substitute for experience because it builds confidence from an unshakable place deep within. Even so, can anyone come out and play great golf over four days at the Masters and win the event? Of course. This can happen when a player is able to separate the past from the present.
The sports world has many examples of teams that have created their own history in the face of odds that would suggest they didnt have a chance. If they would have believed history they might not have raised the level of their game. Golfers can help themselves by remembering they cant play against history. They cant play against someone elses win last week or last year. The game is being played now and the player who is able to recognize this is the player who will be able to play his best golf without being influenced by history. To indicate how much the mind influences performance here is another quote from the same Associated Press article. Colin Montgomerie says: 'This winning majors business is difficult today, because Tiger takes two of them, so that leaves two for everyone else. If you give one to Phil, Ernie, Vijay and Retief, that only leaves one, doesn't it? So there's only one left every year. Well, it's difficult now, isn't it?'
Seems like logical thinking when you look at the past records but look at the inherent message within. Basically, the message is, two tournaments are already being won by Tiger and one is already won by someone else. This does not leave a lot of room for optimism does it? Players can argue that facts are facts and I wouldnt dispute the past. Wins are wins, however I would ask golfers to question the assumption that the past automatically means TODAY will be the same. Especially if the past is used to negatively influence the way you play the game. Playing great golf in a major is plenty challenging enough without trying to play against history as well. Playing your best golf is challenging enough without playing against history too. Tiger has a track record of success in the major moments and its well deserved. Hes earned that through history and experience and this is why the mental edge is so powerful. Who will win the hidden mind game at this years Masters?
This week I am offering 2 free prizes. The FIRST is a free 30 minute phone coaching session for two (2) winners. Each will receive a 30 minute mental game coaching session. The SECOND is a free pdf titled 7 Optimal Performance Questions! In order to be eligible for both please visit,
click on 'free stuff' for more info, then click on the 'contact us' link and write 'free session' in the comment box. You will receive the PDF and you will be eligible to win the coaching session! Winners will be announced in next weeks article!
Last weeks winner of the book, Wired to WinThe Mental Keys To Play Your Best Golf is: Mr. Mark Buckley! Thank you all for entering the contest!
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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 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 both large and small corporations across the country. To get 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.