Cause and Effect

By David BreslowOctober 6, 2005, 4:00 pm
The way to get the most out of the elements that make up the mental game is to realize they function via very precise and predictable cause and effect laws. You may be wondering, What is a law and what does this have to do with me playing better golf? The answer is: everything! The term law is used to refer to a:
Universal principle that describes the fundamental nature of something, the universal properties and relationship between things.
Dont let the term universal principle throw you off because these laws are very precise, predictable and logical. The Performance Principles are called laws because they reflect the fundamental cause and effect nature of the relationship between the mind, body, emotions and your performance. Being aware of them is important in helping you perform up to your true talents. For each effect or outcome; there is a cause and youll discover it begins with you.
Look at it this way...the golf swing is a function of a cause and effect process as well. When the face of the golf club is not square it affects the flight of the ball. When the club moves toward the ball on an inside line or outside line this affects impact angle on the ball as well. We understand cause and effect when it comes to the golf swing but we dont stop to think that there are mental cause and effect principles influencing us just as precisely. To clarify even further what I mean by law lets look at a practical natural law you are influenced by every day. Its called gravity.
Most people agree gravity is a natural law. What goes up comes down. Since gravity is a natural law, it operates the same in New York as it does in California or anywhere else. It also operates the same for Tiger Woods or Annika Sorenstam as it does for you. This is precisely why its called a law, because it functions the same everywhere and in all situations. Heres the key: gravity operates completely independent of your opinion of it. You can disagree with it, resist it, deny it and even think it operates in some places and not others. The truth is the law of gravity exists no matter what you think or believe. Toss a pen in the air and it will fall to the ground as a result of cause (throwing the pen) and effect (falling down). It doesnt fall because you want it to or because you hope it will. It falls because the law of gravity exists. It just is and arguing with it, denying it or ignoring it doesnt change it at all. The key question is:
Are you using these laws to help you perform your best?
Most clients enter the FlowZone program thinking they will receive a lot of tips and strategies along with the usual breathe and think positive advice. Of course, we utilize strategies and tips but ONLY AFTER the principles and laws are covered. The standard procedure is usually to identify an issue and then apply some tips to hopefully overcome them. Unfortunately, this quick strategy approach completely ignores the cause and effect relationship of the mind, body and emotions and when the quick fix tips dont work it leaves the golfer to wonder why does this keep happening to me? When something doesnt work, its usually followed by another search for a tip that hopefully does work! The quick-fix approach also removes you from responsibility for what you create. When you cut yourself time and time again; band-aids only cover up the cuts; they dont prevent you from getting cut again do they? This is what the quick-fix does. It covers things up without addressing the root cause factors that create them in the first place. You dont have to take my word for it. The proof of this cause and effect relationship is all around you.
Lets look at a very common experience people have at the golf course. Lets say youre at the driving range preparing for a round of golf. Youre striking the ball beautifully feeling calm and comfortable as you go through your warm-up. Then, you move to the first tee and for some reason you dont feel as comfortable and take a swing that is less than ideal for you. Its a different golf swing than the one you took at the range! It lacks confidence, rhythm and relaxation (has this ever happened to you?). Why? Do you think this is just an accident? Its no accident. If I was using the quick-fix approach Id suggest that you try to be more positive when you approach the tee next time (something Ive never asked a client to do in 20 years!) but that does not help you clearly see the internal cause and effect process thats creating the negative experience in the first place. Both your experiences, at the range and the first tee, are triggered by the same cause and effect relationship and YOU caused it! It was not the circumstance, the weather, your playing partners or the change from driving range to first tee that caused the problem. It was your mind.
When you truly understand the incredible power of the mind and how it triggers emotions and actions to literally create your experience at any moment, you see that it all begins from within. Your thoughts at the range were very different from your thoughts approaching the first tee and as a result; you had two completely different experiences (we cover this in more detail later). While others wonder why the first tee continues to cause their poor golf swing, you will know that the first tee has nothing to do with it. This shift in awareness sets you free to play your best.
NOTE: If you are interested in presentations for your team, club or organization (business or sports) let us know. David is setting his presentation/workshop/travel schedule for the next 4 months. All presentations include specific insights and strategies to create shifts in how people perform. Also, the deadline for the 3 session intro offer ends Oct. 31 2005. Contact to receive further information on the above.
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    Copyright 2005 David Breslow. David is the author of Wired To Win and offers the highly acclaimed Wired To Win programs for athletes and business professionals to help them perform at the top of their game!. His unique approach helps people make quantum leap shifts! 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). Contact: David Breslow 847.681.1698 Email: or visit the web: For book orders call toll free: 1.888.280.7715.
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    Four players vying for DJ's No. 1 ranking at Open

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 18, 2018, 8:41 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Four players have an opportunity to overtake Dustin Johnson for world No. 1 this week.

    According to Golf Channel world-rankings guru Alan Robinson, Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm each can grab the top spot in the world ranking.

    Thomas’ path is the easiest. He would return to No. 1 with either a win and Johnson finishing worse than solo third, or even a solo runner-up finish as long as Johnson finishes worse than 49th.

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Twenty years after his auspicious performance in The Open, Rose can get to No. 1 for the first time with a victory and Johnson finishing worse than a two-way tie for third.

    Kopeka can rise to No. 1 if he wins consecutive majors, assuming that his good friend posts worse than a three-way tie for third.

    And Rahm can claim the top spot with a win this week, a Johnson missed cut and a Thomas finish of worse than solo second.   

    Johnson’s 15-month reign as world No. 1 ended after The Players. He wasn’t behind Thomas for long, however: After a tie for eighth at the Memorial, Johnson blew away the field in Memphis and then finished third at the U.S. Open to solidify his position at the top.

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    Punch shot: Predictions for the 147th Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 18, 2018, 4:00 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – In advance of the 147th Open Championship, writers sound off on burning questions as players ready for a fast and firm test at Carnoustie. Here’s what our writers think about myriad topics:

    The Monday morning headline will be …

    REX HOGGARD: “Survival.” This one is easy. It always is at Carnoustie, which is widely considered The Open’s most demanding major championship test. Monday’s headline will be that the champion - pick a champion, any one will do - “survived” another dramatic Open. You don’t dominate Carnoustie; you endure.

    RYAN LAVNER: “DJ Bashes Way to Victory at Carnoustie.” If somehow a two-win season could be disappointing, it has been for DJ. He’s first in scoring average, birdie average, par-4 scoring, par-5 scoring, strokes gained: tee to green and proximity from the rough. Those last two stats are the most important, especially here at Carnoustie, with these dry conditions. The game’s preeminent long-and-straight driver, there’s a better-than-decent chance he rolls.

    MERCER BAGGS: “Rahm Tough: Spaniard charges to Open victory.” Jon Rahm will claim him maiden major title this week by powering his way through the winds and fescue at Carnoustie.

    JAY COFFIN: “Thomas wins second major, ascends to world No. 1 again.” Shortly after The Open last year, Thomas rolled through the end of the PGA Tour season. This is the time of year he likes best. Despite a poor Open record the last two years, he’s not remotely concerned. He’s a tad miffed he didn’t win in France two weeks ago and comes to Carnoustie refreshed, with a gameplan, and ready to pounce.

    Who or what will be the biggest surprise?

    HOGGARD: Style of play. Given Carnoustie’s reputation as a brute, the surprise will be how the champion arrives at his lofty perch. Unlike previous editions at Carnoustie, this week’s dry conditions will promote more aggressive play off the tee and the winner will defy the norm and power his way to victory.

    LAVNER: Tiger Woods. This is Woods’ best chance to win a major this year, and here’s believing he contends. His greatest strengths are his iron game and scrambling, and both aspects will be tested to the extreme at Carnoustie, helping separate him from some of the pretenders. With even a little cooperation from his putter, he should be in the mix.

    BAGGS: Padraig Harrington. He had a good opening round last week at the Scottish Open and has some good vibes being the 2007 Open champion at Carnoustie. He won’t contend for four rounds, but a few days in the mix would be a nice surprise.

    COFFIN: Alex Noren. Perhaps someone ranked 11th in the world shouldn’t be a surprise, but with so much focus on some of the bigger, household names, don’t be surprised when Noren is in contention on Sunday. He hasn’t finished worse than 25th since early May and won two weeks ago in France. He also tied for sixth place last year at Royal Birkdale.

    Who or what will be the biggest disappointment?

    HOGGARD: Jordan Spieth. Although he was brilliant on his way to victory last year at Royal Birkdale, Spieth is not the same player for this week’s championship, the byproduct of a balky putter that has eroded his confidence. Spieth said giving back the claret jug this week was hard, but his finish will be even tougher.

    LAVNER: Weather. This might sound a little sadistic, but one of the unique joys of covering this tournament is to watch the best in the world battle conditions they face only once a year – the bone-chilling cold, the sideways rain, the howling wind. It doesn’t appear as though that’ll happen this year. With only a few hours of light rain expected, and no crazy winds in the forecast, the biggest challenge for these stars will be judging the bounces on the hard, baked-out turf.

    BAGGS: Jordan Spieth. The defending champion is still trying to find his winning form and Carnoustie doesn’t seem the place to do that. As much as he says he loves playing in strong winds, there should be enough danger around here to frustrate Spieth into a missed cut.

    COFFIN: Rory McIlroy. I hope I’m wrong on this, because the game is better when Rory is in contention at majors. Putting always has been his issue and seemingly always will be. While there isn’t as much of a premium placed on putting this week because of slower greens, he may still have to hit it close. Super close.

    What will be the winning score?

    HOGGARD: 10 under. The last two Opens played at Carnoustie were won with 7-under and 6-over totals, but this week’s conditions will favor more aggressive play and lower scores. Expect to see plenty of birdies, but the great equalizer will come on Sunday when wind gusts are forecast to reach 25 mph.

    LAVNER: 15 under. An Open at Carnoustie has never produced a winner lower than 9 under (Tom Watson in 1975), but never have the conditions been this susceptible to low scores. Sure, the fairway bunkers are still a one-shot penalty, but today’s big hitters can fly them. The thin, wispy rough isn’t much of a deterrent. And the wind isn’t expected to really whip until the final day.

    BAGGS: 12 under. We aren’t going to see the same kind of weather we have previously witnessed at Carnoustie, and that’s a shame. Any players who catch relatively benign conditions should be able to go low, as long as they can properly navigate the fairway rollout.

    COFFIN: 14 under. Walked into a local golf shop in the town of Carnoustie wearing a Golf Channel logo and the man behind the counter said, “It’ll take 14 under to win this week.” Well, he’s been here for years and seen Carnoustie host The Open twice before. He knows more about it than I do, so I’ll stick with his number.

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    Watch: Na plays backwards flop and practices lefty

    By Grill Room TeamJuly 18, 2018, 3:16 pm

    Fresh off his victory at The Greenbrier, Kevin Na is taking a quite-literally-backwards approach to his Open prep.

    Caddie Kenny Harms has been sharing videos of Na's early work at Carnoustie.

    This one shows Na standing in a bunker and playing a flop shot over his own head (as opposed to someone else's):

    While it's unlikely he'll have a need for that exact shot this week, it's far more likely a player may have to think about turning his club over and playing from the wrong side of the ball, like so:

    Na has made 4 of 6 cuts at The Open and will look to improve on his best career finish, currently a T-22 in 2016 at Royal Troon.

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    McIlroy growing 'comfortable' on Open courses

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 18, 2018, 1:45 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – For a player who once complained about the vagaries of links golf, Rory McIlroy enters this Open with a dazzling record in the sport’s oldest championship.

    Though he missed the 2015 event because of an ankle injury, McIlroy has now posted three consecutive top-5 finishes in the year’s third major.

    “It’s surprising a little bit that my best form in major championships has been this tournament,” he said Wednesday, “but at the same time I’ve grown up these courses, and I’m comfortable on them. I think going to courses on The Open rota that I’ve played quite a lot. I think that helps. You have a comfort level with the golf course, and you’ve built up enough experience to know where to hit and where not to hit it.”

    Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    McIlroy still regrets what happened in 2015, when he “did something slightly silly” and injured his ankle while playing soccer a few weeks before the event. That came a year after he triumphed at Royal Liverpool.

    “Since 2010, I couldn’t wait to play The Open at St. Andrews,” he said. “I thought that was one of my best chances to win a major.”

    He tied for 42nd at Carnoustie in 2007, earning low-amateur honors.