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I Have Met the Enemy and It Is Me

I often ask golfers what their biggest obstacle is to playing better golf. Sometimes they list things like weather conditions, inconsistency, poor putting, poor driving, erratic approach shots, etc. Others immediately come right out with it. Im my worst enemy they proclaim!
Its as true now as it was hundreds of years ago. The toughest competitor youll ever have to play against is YOU. This is also often one of last places players want to look! Lets face it, its certainly easier to work on the physical aspect of the game isnt it? The feedback is more immediate when focusing on the physical aspect of the game. The results are right there to see; the ball went straight, to the left or to the right. There is no dispute whatsoever.
What is the first thing many golfers do after playing a sub-par round of golf? Often they will move over to the driving range to begin hitting shots and try to work it out. Some players come to the range after a round and shortly after hitting a few balls proclaim, Thats the way I wanted to hit that shot on the course. Why couldnt I do it when I needed it? While its natural to focus on the physical aspect of the golf swing immediately after a round to work out the kinks, the question is: does this help you hit those shots better when you play next time?
If youve had trouble with certain shots during the round, its important to really understand why beyond the mechanical level. Here are some ideas:
  • First, check out what was going on with you mentally and emotionally when it comes to the shots you had trouble with. Bring a small pad/notebook with you to jot down what you were really thinking and feeling about those trouble shots.

  • At the range, repeat the thoughts and feelings that work best for you so you can develop your mental/emotional habits and take those out to the course next time you play. Its one thing to work out the kinks mechanically and its another keep developing the best mental and emotional triggers that you can repeat time and again.

  • Develop Physical Relaxation - - continue to strengthen your ability to create a relaxed state over the golf ball. The range cannot mimic the actual golf course but you can provide challenges at the range by picking specific spots, ball flights, etc. Keep breathing and fostering the physical relaxation and rhythm that is so important over each golf shot.
You are the real competition on the golf course. How you overcome negativity, handle adversity and trigger ideal performance states is always up to you. Essentially, the real game is the one going on inside you.
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    Copyright 2005 David Breslow. David is the author of Wired To Win and offers the highly acclaimed FlowZone program: Your Resilience Factor: Adapt and Excel in any Environment Workshop and TeleCourse that takes performance to the next level. 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