Resilience Key at a Major


Ernie Els wants to come back after near misses at the British Open and U.S. Open this year. Tiger Woods isnt winning as much as earlier in his career and wants to return to his championship form. Phil Mickelson has also been close in the British Open and U.S. Open this year and wants to reassert himself at this years PGA Championship.
What is it they and every other golfer have in common? The need for resilience.
Resilience is the hallmark of every golfer at every level of golf. Resilience refers to the ability to take adversity and use it in your favor. It also means that you learn to become mentally, physically and emotionally resilient over time. Other words that describe this state are pliable, flexible and elastic. How resilient are you on the golf course? How well do you recover and rebound during and after adversity?
The game of golf provides us many opportunities to demonstrate resilience doesnt it? You can hit a great shot and have it take an unexpected bounce out of the fairway or into a hazard. You can strike a beautiful birdie putt only to have it crease the cup and spin out the other side. You can be so close to breaking your lowest score or even winning a major and yet one moment on the golf course keeps it away from you. The old phrase that says its not what happens to you thats importantits what you do about it thats most important is true. This statement is a reflection of our ability to be resilient.
There are things that prevent us from being resilient on the golf course. Phil Mickelson, after having so many opportunities to win a major, had to remain resilient to finally find himself in position to win the Masters. It took a great deal of resilience on his part to remain mentally and emotionally ready and willing to keep going and perform at a high level. Golfers who are not resilient may hold on to their losses and poor outings so much that it becomes a detriment to their game. Holding on usually means holding back.
Here are a few keys that can help you be more resilient on the course:
1. Stop fighting with realityand use it!
This is a challenge for many golfers. Even if you dont like the result or the situationarguing and fighting with it is a losing battleonly 100% of the time! How many times have youor have you seen someone hold on to a poor shot or poor hole? Reality is what reality is. Youre better off looking at itaccepting it and moving on. From this vantage point every situation contains the seed for a lesson that makes you better. This doesnt mean you have to like the situation; but it does mean that you are far better off using it than fighting it.
2. Widen your focus
When we become less resilient we usually narrow our focus on one event or situation making it so important that it blinds us to the whole picture. Widen your focus by keeping the bigger picture in mind. Its only one shot, one hole or one tournament and whatever is happening doesnt mean always or forever.
3. Focus on what you have 100% control over
When we focus on things we have complete control over we automatically bring our attention back to present time. What do we have complete control over? We control things like: our breathing, the way we walk the course, rhythm and pace, pre-shot routines and what we choose to direct our mental attention on. Focus on these things and the present moment becomes your reality. From here, being resilient is much easier
4. Find the funny
Humor helps resiliency. It literally alters the energy flow in your body. No matter how heavy the situation try to find the funny by finding something that makes you laugh or smile. See if you can even laugh at yourself! This helps the mind and emotions be more resilient and less rigid from tension and over seriousness
Resilience can be learned and practiced. Good luck!
Related Links:
  • 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 for sports and business. 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: or visit the web: For book orders call toll free: 1.888.280.7715