Play BetterNow

By David BreslowAugust 17, 2005, 4:00 pm
Almost every golfer Ive ever worked with has been on a perpetual search for anything that will help them perform better. Organizations in business spend a lot of money on training classes designed to help employees improve as well. The important question is: Where is this money going and are people actually changing as a result? I also find an interesting trend with both the golfer and the businessperson who seek to improve themselves. The trend is something I call: Im working on it.
On the surface it looks great. We all want to improve and one of the ways we go about it is by working on our game. We read books, take lessons, go to training programs, etc. The problem I encounter though is that most people sadly report that they arent really changing that much and its frustrating. People get so caught up in working on their game they actually spend more time doing just that; working on it rather than changing it! I believe the emphasis is in the wrong place; for the golfer and the business organization. The approach they take may give people more things to do (tips/strategies, etc.) but doesnt address real change. There is a saying that goes: 'Surfaced approaches tend to yield surfaced results.'
Amanda and I began working together last year. She is an 11 handicap and in our first phone session I asked her how long she had been working on her game. At least ten years,' she said. When I asked how she was working on her game she answered, I take lessons, I practice at the range and I read some books on sports psychology. Great,' I replied. So, in the ten years, how much would you say your performance has improved/changed? Amanda curled her lips, scrunched her face and said, WellI knocked a couple of shots off my handicap but I still dont play as well as I know I can. What can you do better? I asked. I still let bad shots bother me too long and I focus on the score a lot and I feel a lot of pressure to play well. Ive been working on all that stuff for quite a while now, she said proudly.
Amandas situation is very common - - underperforming in relation to her actual capabilities. I know youve been working on your game for quite some time but I will tell you that it doesnt take 10 years to get what you want, I said to her. What do you mean? she asked in surprise. Well, besides working on developing a better golf swing with your teacher, you say youve been working on your impatience, frustration, perfectionism, etc. for some time. What Im suggesting to you is that it doesnt take 10 years to see the improvements you want in that area. In fact, you could start seeing changes in just a few weeks. Amanda was quite surprised by this statement and of course wanted to know how.
I told her thats what the FlowZone program she just entered is designed to help her do. Then I asked: What part of your game would you say you work on the most? She said, I spend a lot of time on my swing, like most people I guess.' 'Well, let me ask you this. A stool stands solid and strong when it has all 3 legs to rely on, right? Yes, she replied. When you take away one of the legs or even shorten it a bit what have you got? Something very shaky to rely on, she said sheepishly. Exactly! And thats how a lot of players sabotage their performance without even realizing it.
Amanda spent so much time (money and energy) thinking she was actually working on her game when she was really doing a bunch of things that werent getting her where she wanted to be. In addition, she was working more on one leg of her game creating a major imbalance. She tried tip after tip only to discover it didnt last very long. As long as she was trying something, she felt she was at least working on her game. When she took an honest look, she realized she was fooling herself by finding enough ways to work on her game even though she wasnt seeing consistent change in performance on the course.
What about you?
Here are 3 questions that can help you be clearer about your game:
What are you actually doing to help yourself play better golf?
(i.e. buying new clubs, taking lessons, reading books, looking for tips, etc.)
What is the actual effect of these things on your game?
(Scoring, enjoyment level, consistency, playing to potential, etc.)
How, specifically, has your game really changed in the last 6 months, 1 year or 2 years?
Ive asked these questions to many players and businesspeople over the years and most often the answers are very revealing. Here is the big challenge:
While people believe they are working on their games, they discover they are not actually making real change the way theyd like to. They also discover they spend more time/money/energy working on their game but not on themselves! In other words; they severely shorten or ignore one of the legs that can bring them back to a strong balance and allow themselves to perform their best!
Lets face it; its far easier to focus on the physical aspect or search for the quick-fix tip before taking a look at any of the internal reasons that are really influencing performance. This is true in the business world as well. Remember, its all connected whether you believe it or not! There are 3 legs on the stool and if you dont use them all; you may underperform. Surfaced approaches yield surfaced results. Take a close look: no matter what club a player has in their hand or no matter how many lessons they take, players who dont utilize all 3 legs (the mind, body and emotions) EFFECTIVELY; are not using all their resources to perform. Are new clubs, lessons and practice importantsure they are and yet most golfers inherently know that theres more to their performance than that!
Do you know someone who seems to have the physical tools yet somehow manages to underperform? The proof is all around. You can play better NOW and turn Im working on it into Im doing it!
We are pleased to extend this end of season offer to all Golf Channel viewers! You can now register for one-on-one Performance Coaching; keep the discount rate and now for only 3 sessions (rather than the normal 6 session minimum). All you need is a telephone. Its easy, cost-effective and fun! Weve taken the time and cost factor out of the equation for you! Simply email: and type intro offer in the subject line and well send you all the information you need to get started.

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  • David Breslow Article Archive
    Copyright 2005 David Breslow. David is the author of Wired To Win and offers the highly acclaimed FlowZone and Resilience Factor programs for athletes of all levels and business professionals to help them adapt and excel in any conditions. 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: or visit the web: For book orders call toll free: 1.888.280.7715.
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    Vegas helicopters in to Carnoustie, without clubs

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 9:33 am

    Jhonattan Vegas did some range work, putted a little and strolled to the first tee for his 5:31 a.m. ET start in the 147th Open Championship.

    Everything before that, however, was far from routine.

    Vegas' visa to travel to Scotland expired and the process to renew it got delayed - and it looked like his overseas' flight might suffer the same fate. Vegas, upon getting his visa updated, traveled from Houston, Texas to Toronto, Canada to Glasgow, Scotland, and then took a helicopter to Carnoustie.

    He arrived in time on Thursday morning, but his clubs did not. Mizuno put together some irons for him and TaylorMade got him his preferred metal woods. He hit the clubs for the first time on the range, less than 90 minutes before his start.

    "I'm going to go out there and play with freedom," Vegas told Golf Channel's Todd Lewis.

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    How to watch The Open on TV and online

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 5:40 am

    You want to watch the 147th Open? Here’s how you can do it.

    Golf Channel and NBC Sports will be televising 182 hours of overall programming from the men's third major of the year at Carnoustie

    In addition to the traditional coverage, the two networks will showcase three live alternate feeds: marquee groups, featured holes (our new 3-hole channel) and spotlight action. You can also watch replays of full-day coverage, Thursday-Sunday, in the Golf Channel app, NBC Sports apps, and on  

    Here’s the weekly TV schedule, with live stream links in parentheses. You can view all the action on the Golf Channel mobile, as well. Alternate coverage is noted in italics:

    (All times Eastern; GC=Golf Channel; NBC=NBC Sports; or check the GLE app)

    Monday, July 16

    GC: 7-9AM: Morning Drive (

    GC: 9-11AM: Live From The Open (

    GC: 7-9PM: Live From The Open (

    Tuesday, July 17

    GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (

    Wednesday, July 18

    GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (

    Thursday, July 19

    GC: Midnight-1:30AM: Midnight Drive (

    GC: Day 1: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 1: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 1: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM ( Day 1: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (

    GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (

    Friday, July 20

    GC: Day 2: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 2: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM ( Day 2: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM ( Day 2: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (

    GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (

    Saturday, July 21

    GC: Day 3: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (

    NBC: Rd. 3: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-3PM ( Day 3: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-3PM (

    GC: Live From The Open: 3-4PM (

    Sunday, July 22

    GC: Day 4: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (

    NBC: Rd. 4: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-2:30PM ( Day 4: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-2:30PM ( Day 4: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-2PM ( Day 4: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-2PM (

    GC: Live From The Open: 2:30-4PM (

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    The Open 101: A guide to the year's third major

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 5:30 am

    Take a look at some answers to frequently asked questions about The Open:

    What's all this "The Open" stuff? I thought it was the British Open.

    What you call it has historically depended on where you were. If you were in the U.S., you called it the British Open, just as Europeans refer to the PGA Championship as the U.S. PGA. Outside the U.S. it generally has been referred to as The Open Championship. The preferred name of the organizers is The Open.

    How old is it?

    It's the oldest golf championship, dating back to 1860.

    Where is it played?

    There is a rotation – or "rota" – of courses used. Currently there are 10: Royal Birkdale, Royal St. George's, Royal Liverpool and Royal Lytham and St. Annes, all in England; Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland and St. Andrews, Carnoustie, Royal Troon, Turnberry and Muirfield, all in Scotland. Muirfield was removed from the rota in 2016 when members voted against allowing female members, but when the vote was reversed in 2017 it was allowed back in.

    Where will it be played this year?

    At Carnoustie, which is located on the south-eastern shore of Scotland.

    Who has won The Open on that course?

    Going back to the first time Carnoustie hosted, in 1931, winners there have been Tommy Armour, Henry Cotton (1937), Ben Hogan (1953), Gary Player (1968), Tom Watson (1975), Paul Lawrie (1999), Padraig Harrington (2007).

    Wasn't that the year Hogan nearly won the Slam?

    Yep. He had won the Masters and U.S. Open that season, then traveled to Carnoustie and won that as well. It was the only time he ever played The Open. He was unable to play the PGA Championship that season because the dates conflicted with those of The Open.

    Jean Van de Velde's name should be on that list, right?

    This is true. He had a three-shot lead on the final hole in 1999 and made triple bogey. He lost in a playoff to Lawrie, which also included Justin Leonard.

    Who has won this event the most?

    Harry Vardon, who was from the Channel Island of Jersey, won a record six times between 1896 and 1914. Australian Peter Thomson, American Watson, Scot James Braid and Englishman J.H. Taylor each won five times.

    What about the Morrises?

    Tom Sr. won four times between 1861 and 1867. His son, Tom Jr., also won four times, between 1868 and 1872.

    Have players from any particular country dominated?

    In the early days, Scots won the first 29 Opens – not a shocker since they were all played at one of three Scottish courses, Prestwick, St. Andrews and Musselburgh. In the current era, going back to 1999 (we'll explain why that year in a minute), the scoreboard is United States, nine wins; South Africa, three wins; Ireland, two wins; Northern Ireland, two wins; and Sweden, one win. The only Scot to win in that period was Lawrie, who took advantage of one of the biggest collapses in golf history.

    Who is this year's defending champion?

    That would be American Jordan Spieth, who survived an adventerous final round to defeat Matt Kuchar by three strokes and earn the third leg of the career Grand Slam.

    What is the trophy called?

    The claret jug. It's official name is the Golf Champion Trophy, but you rarely hear that used. The claret jug replaced the original Challenge Belt in 1872. The winner of the claret jug gets to keep it for a year, then must return it (each winner gets a replica to keep).

    Which Opens have been the most memorable?

    Well, there was Palmer in 1961and '62; Van de Velde's collapse in 1999; Hogan's win in 1953; Tiger Woods' eight-shot domination of the 2000 Open at St. Andrews; Watson almost winning at age 59 in 2009; Doug Sanders missing what would have been a winning 3-foot putt at St. Andrews in 1970; Tony Jacklin becoming the first Briton to win the championship in 18 years; and, of course, the Duel in the Sun at Turnberry in 1977, in which Watson and Jack Nicklaus dueled head-to-head over the final 36 holes, Watson winning by shooting 65-65 to Nicklaus' 65-66.

    When I watch this tournament on TV, I hear lots of unfamiliar terms, like "gorse" and "whin" and "burn." What do these terms mean?

    Gorse is a prickly shrub, which sometimes is referred to as whin. Heather is also a shrub. What the scots call a burn, would also be considered a creek or stream.