Do Less to Achieve More

By David BreslowJuly 20, 2005, 4:00 pm
The game of golf just as the game of life is loaded with paradox. One of the most commonly acknowledged yet most often ignored is the paradox that says:
 
Less Is More

Gerald became a client several months ago. He was very excited to enter into The FlowZone Program and like many others, entered into it with some expectations about what he would get. I asked him what his expectation of the process was and he replied: Well, Im excited because by all accounts your approach is going to be different from other things Ive read or tried and Im really hoping to get a lot of information. The trap; strike one. I then replied, Youre pretty analytical on the golf course and youve mentioned that your mind tends to run-on and sometimes you have a hard time quieting your mind, is that right? Yes, Gerald answered. I know its my mind that gets in the way and I know I hesitated quite a lot before I finally called you so I finally want to absorb as much information as I can! The trap; strike two. I then replied, Gerald, what if I told you the last thing you need is more information? Dead silence. I waited for a moment and Gerald finally spoke. What do you mean? How can I improve if I dont have more information? Strike three.
 
Heres the deal Gerald. Most golfing clients enter into the FlowZone Process thinking they need more information. In my experience, more information does NOT necessarily equate to better performance. Dont get me wrong, Im not suggesting that information is unnecessary but the desire for more information is a trap for most people and they dont even realize it. A trap? Gerald asked. Yes, its a trap for the golfer who already over analyzes his or her game, thinks too much on the golf course and whose mind is truly the cause of his or her under performing. Think about it, Gerald, your mind is already overworking and its focusing on all sorts of things that interfere with you playing your best golf, would you agree? Sure! he said. Okay, if this is the case, do you really believe that by me dumping MORE information into your system that this will help your game or hurt your game? Gee, I never thought of it that way before but now that you put it that way, I guess more information is probably the last thing I need to gunk up my system any more than it already is! Gerald is starting to get the idea.
 
To further make my point I asked Gerald, Have you ever experienced the zone? Oh yeah, it was great. What was that like for you? Well, I remember playing really well and it seemed like I wasnt working as hard as I usually do. Things seemed to happen more easily. This is a very common answer to that question. Then I asked, When you were in the zone, were you thinking more or thinking less? Oh, way less he replied. Were trying harder or trying less hard? Once again his answer was Less hard. Were you handling adversity better or worse? Way better Gerald answered. What I wanted Gerald to begin to notice is that when he performed his best, it wasnt because he was doing more; it was because he was doing less.
 
The trap that many golfers fall into is in thinking they need to have more information in order to play their best. Gerald had his own proof that he performed much better when he allowed himself to actually do less and the result was; he achieved more. This is the paradox. Most people understand this paradox intellectually but have a very difficult time putting it into practical application. Like Gerald, instead of doing less to get more people wind up doing MORE to get more.
 
Here are two examples of how we do MORE to get more:
 
1. Tightening up our muscles in anticipation of trying to get more distance.
 
Tightening up your body results in LESS power not more! Its another one of the mental traps that players slip into without realizing it. If you dont believe it; all you have to do is think back to a time when you really wanted to nail this one. What happened? Chances are you had less power.
 
2. Speeding up rather than slow down
 
This is another of the traps we slip into. When we get pumped up or frustrated and want to play better we think that speeding up is going to help. Most of the time it does not. Its another demonstration of the doing MORE to try and get more out of our game. When we slow down we are actually able to get more out of ourselves and our game. Its another example of doing less to get more.
 
These are easy traps to fall into. The FlowZone approach, as Gerald quickly learned is really one of subtraction rather than addition. Most clients do not need more information or more clutter to add to their already cluttered mind/body/performance relationship. They just think they do because thats their frame of reference when they think about how to improve themselves. How many times have you thought I could really play better if I would just get out of my own way!? Ive heard countless golfers (and other athletes/business people) say those words and yet bypass the real message being given when they say them! Those words make perfect sense. Listen to what youre actually saying! Your best performances WILL resurface when you DO get out of your own way. This is exactly what happens when we experience the zone state. Adding large amounts of information is not usually the way to get out of your way. It often just gives you more things to think about causing you to be more cluttered; not less.
 
Your best performances are sitting inside you waiting for you to remove the clutter; LET IT OUT!
 
NOTE: Thank you for all those who requested info on the discount offer. The demand was more than the current schedule could accommodate but we will honor the offer as the schedule opens up to those who wanted to take action and register! If our office can be of any help for any programs; please let us know.
 
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    Copyright 2005 David Breslow. David is the author of Wired To Win and offers the highly acclaimed FlowZone programs for athletes of all levels and business professionals. His unique approach is designed to affect real change from a root cause perspective helping people break ineffective patterns. 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: David@theflowzone.net or visit the web: www.theflowzone.net. For book orders call toll free: 1.888.280.7715.
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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.  

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    Height of irony: Phil putts in front of 'rules' sign

    By Grill Room TeamJuly 18, 2018, 1:36 pm

    A picture is worth 1,000 words and potentially two strokes for playing a moving ball under Rule 14-5 but not Rule 1-2.

    Phil Mickelson has been having some fun during his Open prep at Carnoustie hitting flop shots over human beings, but the irony of this photo below is too obvious to go over anyone's head.

    Mickelson also tried tapping down fescue two weeks ago at The Greenbrier, incurring another two-shot penalty.

    And so we're left to wonder about what Phil asked himself back at Shinnecock Hills: "The real question is, ‘What am I going to do next?’”

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    Rory looking for that carefree inner-child

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 18, 2018, 1:28 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eleven years later, Rory McIlroy cringes at the photo: the yellow sweater with the deep V-neck, the chubby cheeks and the messy mop that curled under his cap.

    “You live and you learn,” he said Wednesday, offering a wry smile.

    The last time McIlroy played at a Carnoustie Open, in 2007, he earned the Silver Medal as the low amateur. He tied for 42nd, but the final result had mattered little. Grateful just to have a spot in the field, courtesy of his European Amateur title, he bounced along the fairways, soaking up every moment, and lingered behind the 18th green as one of his local heroes, Padraig Harrington, battled one of his favorite players, Sergio Garcia. Waiting for the trophy presentation, he passed the time playing with Padraig’s young son, Paddy. On Wednesday, McIlroy spotted Paddy, now 15, walking around Carnoustie with his three-time-major-winning father.

    “He’s massive now – he towers over me,” he said. “It’s so funny thinking back on that day.”

    But it’s also instructive. If there’s a lesson to be learned from ’07, it’s how carefree McIlroy approached and played that week. He was reminded again of that untroubled attitude while playing a practice round here with 23-year-old Jon Rahm, who stepped onto each tee, unsheathed his driver and bombed away with little regard for the wind or the bounce or the fescue. McIlroy smiled, because he remembers a time, not too long ago, that he’d attack a course with similar reckless abandon.


    Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “I just think, as you get older, you get a little more cautious in life,” said McIlroy, 29. “I think it’s only natural. There’s something nice about being young and being oblivious to some stuff. The more I can get into that mindset, the better I’ll play golf.”

    And so on the eve of this Open, as he approaches the four-year anniversary of his last major title, McIlroy finds himself searching for a way to channel that happy-go-lucky 18-year-old who was about to take the world by storm, to tap into the easygoing excellence that once defined his dominance.

    It’s been a year since he first hinted at what he’s been missing. Last year’s Open at Royal Birkdale was the final event of his long run with caddie J.P. Fitzgerald. The chief reason for the split, he said, had nothing to do with some of the questionable on-course decisions, but rather a desire to take ownership of him game, to be freed up alongside one of his best friends, Harry Diamond.

    That partnership has produced only one victory so far, and over the past few months, McIlroy has at times looked unsettled between the ropes. It’s difficult to compute, how someone with seemingly so much – a résumé with four majors, a robust bank account, a beautiful wife – can also appear disinterested and unmotivated.

    “I think sometimes I need to get back to that attitude where I play carefree and just happy to be here,” he said. “A golf tournament is where I feel the most comfortable. It’s where I feel like I can 100 percent be myself and express myself. Sometimes the pressure that’s put on the top guys to perform at such a level every week, it starts to weigh on you a little bit. The more I can be like that kid, the better.”

    It’s a decidedly different landscape from when the erstwhile Boy Wonder last won a major, in summer 2014. Jordan Spieth had won just a single Tour event, not three majors. Dustin Johnson wasn’t world No. 1 but merely a tantalizing tease, a long-hitting, fast-living physical freak who was just beginning a six-month break to address "personal challenges." Two-time U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka hadn’t even started playing in the States.  

    McIlroy’s greatest asset, both then and now, was his driving – he put on clinics at Congressional and Kiawah, Hoylake and Valhalla. He was a mainstay at or near the top of the strokes gained: tee to green rankings, but over the past few years, because of better technology, fitness and coaching, the gap between him and the rest of the field has shrunk.

    “I think at this stage players have caught up,” Harrington said. “There’s many players who drive the ball comparable and have certainly eaten into that advantage. Rory is well on pace to get into double digits with majors, but it has got harder. There’s no doubt there’s more players out there who are capable of having a big week and a big game for a major. It makes it tough.”

    It’s not as though McIlroy hasn’t had opportunities to add to his major haul; they’ve just been less frequent and against stronger competition. In the 13 majors since he last won, he’s either finished in the top 10 or missed the cut in 11 of them. This year, he played in the final group at the Masters, and was on the verge of completing the career Grand Slam, before a soul-crushing 74 on the last day. His U.S. Open bid was over after nine holes, after an opening 80 and a missed cut during which he declined to speak to reporters after both frustrating rounds.

    “I’m trying,” he said Wednesday. “I’m trying my best every time I tee it up, and it just hasn’t happened.”

    A year after saying that majors are the only events that will define the rest of his career, he recently shrugged off the doom and gloom surrounding his Grand Slam drought: “It doesn’t keep me up at night, thinking, If I never won another major, I can’t live with myself.”

    Eleven years ago, McIlroy never would have troubled himself with such trivial questions about his legacy. But perhaps a return to Carnoustie, to where his major career started, is just what he needs to unlock his greatness once again.

     

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    Own history, grow the game with Open memorabilia auction

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 18, 2018, 1:00 pm

    Get a piece of history and help grow the game, that's what The Open is offering with its memorabilia auction.

    The official Open Memorabilia site features unique Open assets from famous venues and Champion Golfers of the Year. All net proceeds received by The R&A from this project will be invested to support the game for future generations, including encouraging women’s, junior and family golf, on the promotion and progression of the sport in emerging golf nations and on coaching and development.

    Items for auction include limited edition prints of Champion Golfers of the Year, signed championship pin flags and limited edition historical program covers. Memorable scorecard reproductions and caddie bibs are also available to bid for on the website, with all items featuring branded, serialized holograms for authenticity.

    Click here to own your piece of history and to get more information on the auction.