Playing Soft The Key to Playing Your Best

By David BreslowFebruary 11, 2009, 5:00 pm
I want to be mentally tougher. This is a comment often made by my clients as a request by them in the hopes of improving their game. While it may sound it like it makes sense, the opposite is true. The phrase, Mentally Tough is a misnomer, especially in the experience many of my clients have in trying to do it.
 
Id like to address the notion of soft versus tough ' or hard ' when it comes to helping yourself be your best and perform your best. This notion has little to do with your handicap or your current level of play from weekend amateur to experienced professional. It applies to everyone.
 
When you see the word soft what do you think? The majority tend to link the words or phrases such as, weak, giving in or not trying to the word soft. Yet, I invite you to rethink your assessment if you think these same words or phrases or anything similar to them.
 
Think about it. Great performances in any sport or even in life occur as a result of the individual doing soft rather than hard.
 
High-level golf is played by people who understand that a powerful, accurate and consistent golf swing is really a result of softening the mind, body and emotions, so that the body can release the power from within. Because they demonstrate soft vs. hard, great baseball players appear to run, jump and field with ease and fluidity. Dancers are the perfect demonstration of soft as they jump and move with grace and power while performing very intricate and difficult movements with speed and precision. Pick any great performance in the world of sports or arts and entertainment and you will see that they are released because of the notion of soft.
 
Soft is a reflection of yielding, surrendering ' and ALLOWING, so that you are not trying hard mentally, physically or emotionally.
 
When people hear the word tough or hard they equate it with strength and power as in building muscle through lifting weights. While tough might sound good, because of the way it is perceived, it is not the way to tap into your highest level of play.
 
Here is what I mean. The notion of hard is often perceived in a way that causes people to:
 
  • Over think and over try

  • Sabotage themselves

  • Trigger more stress

  • Lose power

  • Lose consistency

  • Reduce enjoyment

  •  
    Want more proof?
     
    Think back to a when you tried to kill the ball. What happened? If youre like most of us you tightened your body, tightened your mind and tightened your emotions to get ready for the BIG BLAST. Then what? Did you get the result you wanted? Most will say, No. In fact, we get just the opposite result, dont we? Sure, we lose power, accuracy and consistency. This is the perfect demonstration of hard (trying too hard, tightening up too much, trying to use force, etc.) rather than soft (surrendering, allowing the power to release itself, etc.).
     
    To experience soft versus hard takes practice but it can be achieved by everyone.
     
    It is the first step in mastering yourself and your game. It is the link between trying to play good/great golf and actually playing good and great golf.
     
    At least you can begin with this. I invite you to rethink your own personal definition of hard and soft to realize that soft really means pliant, flexible and resilient and power. The human body simply performs its best when in that state.
     
    To Your Best Golf.
     
    To learn more, visit www.theflowzone.net

     
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    David Breslow is a National Speaker, Author and Performance Consultant. His book, Wired To Win is available at 888.280.7715. David works with clients all over the world via telephone so it doesnt matter where you live, work or play! His clients include professional athletes (PGA, LPGA and other sports), juniors and all amateurs. He also works with Businesses of all sizes. He brings a fresh, direct, no-nonsense revolutionary approach to Human Performance, helping people make quicker and more powerful shifts in attitude, behavior and action. David is the weekly Mental Game Columnist for Golf Channel where his articles are read by over 4000,000 people. For more info please visit: www.theflowzone.net, email: daviddavid@theflowzone.net or call: 847.681.0247
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    Ko part of 5-way tie for Mediheal lead

    By Associated PressApril 27, 2018, 3:20 am

    DALY CITY, Calif. - Lydia Ko was back on top at Lake Merced.

    Ko shot a 4-under 68 on a chilly Thursday morning at the LPGA Mediheal Championship for a share of the first-round lead. Jessica Korda, Caroline Hedwall, In-Kyung Kim and Su Oh joined Ko atop the leaderboard in the LPGA's return to Lake Merced after a year away.

    ''This is a golf course where you need to drive the ball well and putt well,'' said Ko, the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic winner at the course in 2014 and 2015.

    Ko eagled the par-5 fifth and had four birdies and a bogey. The New Zealander has 14 LPGA wins, the last in July 2016.

    ''It's nice to come back to a place where you feel super-welcomed,'' Ko said. ''It just brings back a lot of great memories. ... My family and friends are here this week, so I'm hoping that I'm going to continue the solid play.''

    She turned 21 on Tuesday.

    ''I don't think I feel a huge difference, but I know turning 21 is a huge thing in the U.S.,'' Ko said, ''So, I'm legal and I can do some fun things now.''

    Korda, playing alongside Kim a group ahead of Ko, also eagled the fifth and had four birdies and a bogey. Korda won in Thailand in February in her return from reconstructive jaw surgery.


    Full-field scores from the LPGA Mediheal Championship


    ''The score says one thing and my hands say another,'' Korda said. ''It was really cold out there today, so it was good that I stuck to kind of my process. ... Actually, this is still some of the nicer conditions that we've played in compared to the past. I'll take the cold as long as there's no rain.''

    Hedwall and Kim each had five birdies and a bogey.

    ''I just love the city. It's really nice,'' said Hedwall, from Sweden. ''It's sort of a European-style city with all the shopping going on downtown and stuff. I love it here. I even like this weather, suits me really well, too.''

    Oh had a bogey-free round. The Australian was the only one of the five players tied for the lead to play in the afternoon.

    ''It was cold and pretty windy out there and, because it's got a lot of elevation, it kind of swirls in the middle like in the low areas, so it was tough,'' Oh said. ''I hit the ball really solid today. Then the ones I missed, I made really good up-and-downs.''

    Lexi Thompson, Sei Young Kim, Charley Hull and Celine Herbin shot 69.

    ''This course is very challenging, especially when the wind picks up,'' the third-ranked Thompson said. ''It's chilly, so it's a little longer of a course. Some of the par 5s are reachable, so you try to take advantage of that, but pars were good and just take the birdie chances as you can get them.''

    Moriya Jutanugarn, the winner Sunday in Los Angeles for her first LPGA title, had a 71 playing with former Stanford student Michelle Wie and ANA Inspiration winner Pernilla Lindberg. Wie had a 74, and Lindberg shot 79. Ariya Jutanugarn matched her sister with a 71, playing in the group with Ko.

    Top-ranked Inbee Park matched playing partner Brooke Henderson with a 72. The third member of the afternoon group, second-ranked Shanshan Feng, shot 73.

    Juli Inkster shot 72. The 57-year-old Hall of Famer grew up in Santz Cruz, starred at San Jose State and lives in Los Altos. She won the last of her 31 LPGA titles in 2006.

    Stacy Lewis had a 74 after announcing that she is pregnant with a due date of Nov. 3. She plans to play through the Marathon Classic in July and return for a full season next year.

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    Glover, Reavie share Zurich lead with Chinese pair

    By Associated PressApril 27, 2018, 3:04 am

    AVONDALE, La. - Chez Reavie had quite a few good moments at TPC Louisiana on Thursday. So did teammate Lucas Glover.

    In best-ball format, the most important thing was those moments came on different holes.

    Reavie and Glover teamed to shoot a 12-under 60 for a share of the Zurich Classic lead with China's Zhang Xinjun and Dou Zecheng.

    ''Chez started well and I picked it up in the middle of the back nine,'' Glover said. ''He closed it off and then we both played really well on the front. Just kind of ham and egged it, I guess, as they would say.''

    Reavie and Glover each had six birdies in the best-ball format, pushing through soggy weather early in the round before conditions cleared at TPC Louisiana. Six teams are two shots back in a tie for third after shooting 62.

    ''We were just rolling,'' Reavie said. ''I think we're comfortable. We like to laugh and have a good time when we're playing golf, and it definitely helps.''

    Zhang and Dou birdied four of their final five holes. Dou made a 31-foot putt on No. 9 to cap the impressive rally and jump into the lead with Reavie and Glover.


    Full-field scores from the Zurich Classic of New Orleans

    Zurich Classic of New Orleans: Articles, photos and videos


    Tony Finau-Daniel Summerhays, Chris Paisley-Tommy Fleetwood, J.J. Henry-Tom Hoge, Michael Kim-Andrew Putnam, Kevin Kisner-Scott Brown and Troy Merritt-Brendon de Jonge shot 62. Jason Day and Ryan Ruffels shot 64.

    It's the first time since last year's Tour Championship that the reigning champs of all four majors have been in the same field. None of them were among the leaders after the first round.

    Masters champion Patrick Reed and Patrick Cantlay had a 65, and British Open winner Jordan Spieth and Ryan Palmer were at 66.

    ''I didn't feel like there was really any rust,'' Reed said. ''I felt like I hit the ball all right today. I felt I hit some good quality putts. A couple of them went in, a couple of them didn't.''

    This is the second year that two-player teams have competed at the Zurich Classic. The unusual tournament features best-ball play in the first and third rounds and alternate shot in the second and final rounds.

    U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka and Marc Turnesa shot a 67. PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas and Bud Cauley shot a 70.

    There are 80 teams in the tournament and the top 35, along with ties, will make the cut after Friday's second round.

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    Lewis says she's expecting first child in November

    By Randall MellApril 27, 2018, 2:18 am

    Stacy Lewis is pregnant.

    The 12-time LPGA winner confirmed after Thursday’s first round of the Mediheal Championship that she and her husband, University of Houston women’s golf coach Gerrod Chadwell, are expecting their first child on Nov. 3.

    Lewis learned she was pregnant after returning home to Houston in late February following her withdrawal from the HSBC Women’s World Championship with a strained oblique muscle.

    “We're obviously really excited,” Lewis said. “It wasn't nice I was hurt, but it was nice that I was home when I found out with [Gerrod]. We're just really excited to start a family.”

    Lewis is the third big-name LPGA player preparing this year to become a mother for the first time. Suzann Pettersen announced last month that she’s pregnant, due in the fall. Gerina Piller is due any day.


    Full-field scores from the LPGA Mediheal Championship


    Piller’s husband, PGA Tour pro Martin Piller, withdrew from the Zurich Classic on Thursday to be with her. Piller and Lewis have been U.S. Solheim Cup partners the last two times the event has been played.

    “It's going to be fun raising kids together,” Lewis said. “Hopefully, they're best friends and they hang out. But just excited about the next few months and what it's going to bring.”

    Lewis, a former Rolex world No. 1 and two-time major championship winner, plans to play through the middle of July, with the Marathon Classic her last event of the year. She will be looking to return for the start of the 2019 season. The LPGA’s maternity leave policy allows her to come back next year with her status intact.

    “This year, the golf might not be great, but I've got better things coming in my life than a golf score.” Lewis said. “I plan on coming back and traveling on the road with the baby, and we'll figure it out as we go.”

    Getty Images

    Coach scores in NFL Draft and on golf course

    By Grill Room TeamApril 27, 2018, 1:47 am

    To say that Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio had a good day Thursday would be an understatement. Not only did his team snag one of the top defensive players in the NFL Draft - Georgia outside linebacker Roquan Smith, who the Bears took with the eighth pick of the first round - but earlier in the day Fangio, 59, made a hole-in-one, sinking a 9-iron shot from 125 yards at The Club at Strawberry Creek in Kenosha, Wis.

    Perhaps the ace isn't so surprising, though. In late May 2017, Fangio made another hole-in-one, according to a tweet from the Bears. The only information supplied on that one was the distance - 116 yards.