Soft Skills Winning Edge

By David BreslowSeptember 10, 2008, 4:00 pm
Have you ever heard the phrase, Soft Skills before? Sometimes it is used in sports but most of the time its a phrase used in the business world. It is commonly used by corporate training departments to describe certain types of training programs. These programs tend to focus on improving human performance rather than teach technical skills. This is why they are called soft but nothing could be further from the truth.
 
These human performance skills are things like, confidence, balancing work and life, communication skills, visioning skills, focusing in present time, handling adversity, transitioning through change and so on. These are considered soft skills yet these are the skills that sit at the heart of your ability to produce your best and do it time and again.
 
Soft Skills = Winning Edge.
 
Of course, Im aware that GolfChannel.com readers exhibit a wide range of golf talent and interests in terms of improving the way they play the game. Some of you are professionals. Some of you are amateurs who truly want to improve and are always on the lookout for ways to do that. Some of you play occasionally and just want to have a good time and others play pretty regularly yet consistently run into the same issues that hurt your game time and time again. However, no matter what the level of your skill or interest in improving your game; a simple and undeniable truth remains
 
The best opportunity to improve human performance begins from how well or how poorly you demonstrate your soft skills.
 
Corporations may lose sight of this by viewing the items I listed above as soft and therefore not place the proper importance on them. They undervalue the importance of these skills by calling them soft and the winning edge they can trigger for those who learn to demonstrate them properly. I use the word win but its not always about winning a trophy, a championship or money and fameits about being your best and feeling great that youve allowed your best to surface under any conditions. I also know many golfers who lose sight of this just like corporations do. Why? I believe its a misunderstanding of what these skills really mean to who you are and how you play the game. Its a misunderstanding of not only the impact these skills have on you and your game but also how to truly demonstrate them with greater ease.
 
People who underachieve and under perform in life or in sports tend NOT to demonstrate these soft skills at a high level. You can witness this by looking at the number of people in the world who have a certain level of natural talent or ability yet under achieve and under perform. They sabotage themselves in some fashion by using these skills poorly or negatively. Do you know anyone like this? Ill bet you do!
 
Take a look at any of the big names in either business or sports. Read autobiographies about people you look up to or admire and youll find a common thread among them. This thread has to do with the strengthening and development of the so-called soft skills in order to achieve their dream. Youll probably hear them use phrases like, hard work and determination and persistence. All of these are great skills for sure and they are also under the soft skills category. Yet, theres nothing soft about them is there? Your development of them will lead you toward the winning edge of performance. As a result you are tougher, more resilient and stronger no matter what you do or the level you do it. The success stories of such individuals are probably filled with ups and downs, highs and lows and a combination of great and not so great choices. This is the nature of any journey you undertake. No matter what your particular personal journey though, your ability to properly demonstrate vision, resiliency, focus in present time, enjoy the moment, gain energy, see the bigger picture and a full range of soft skills are what make you stronger, give you a powerful edge and allow your best performances to show up more often. The question is not whether they are important. The real question is always, whats the best way to demonstrate them? Corporations can save time, energy and money by improving these skills. Golfers can increase energy, focus, enjoyment and consistency.
 
Does that sound soft to you?
 
NOTE: For a limited time only take advantage of the only online, interactive Performance Improvement training video course of its kind. At your own pace, learn the same performance laws and insights my private clients learn for only $49.95. In addition, receive $50 in free gifts! Click here to see free video samples and to order!
 
Copyright 2007 All Rights Reserved. David Breslow is a national speaker, author and Performance Consultant. The book, Wired To Win is available at 888.280.7715. The Mental Game Video Training Course is available here. His clients include professional athletes (PGA, LPGA, other sports) as well as Business and the Private Sector. He brings a fresh, direct, no-nonsense revolutionary approach to unleashing Human Performance helping people make quicker and more powerful shifts in attitude, behavior, and action. His articles are read by over 400,000 people per month on GolfChannel.com and David frequently speaks to organizations of all sizes who want to create real shifts in how people, think, feel and perform every day. For more info on the Interactive Video Training Course, One on One consultation, E-Books and Presentations; please visit: www.theflowzone.net or email: David@theflowzone.net or call: 847.681.0247.
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Schauffele just fine being the underdog

By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 8:06 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following a breakthough season during which he won twice and collected the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Award, Xander Schauffele concedes his sophomore campaign has been less than stellar, but that could all change on Sunday at The Open.

Schauffele followed a second-round 66 with a 67 on Saturday to take a share of the 9-under-par lead with Jordan Spieth and Kevin Kisner.

Although he hasn’t won in 2018, he did finish runner-up at The Players and tied for sixth at the U.S. Open, two of the year’s toughest tests.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“Growing up, I always hit it well and played well in tough conditions,” Schauffele said. “I wasn't the guy to shoot 61. I was the guy to shoot like 70 when it was playing really hard.”

Sunday’s pairing could make things even more challenging when he’ll head out in the day’s final tee time with Spieth, the defending champion. But being the underdog in a pairing, like he was on Saturday alongside Rory McIlroy, is not a problem.

“All the guys I've talked to said, 'Live it up while you can, fly under the radar,'” he said. “Today I played in front of what you call Rory's crowd and guys were just yelling all the time, even while he's trying to putt, and he had to step off a few times. No one was yelling at me while I was putting. So I kind of enjoy just hanging back and relaxing.”

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Open odds: Spieth 7/1 to win; Tiger, Rory 14/1

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 21, 2018, 7:54 pm

Only 18 holes remain in the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie, and the man tied atop the leaderboard is the same man who captured the claret jug last year at Royal Birkdale.

So it’s little surprise that Jordan Spieth is the odds-on favorite (7/4) to win his fourth major entering Sunday’s final round.

Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner, both tied with Spieth at 9 under par, are next in line at 5/1 and 11/2 respectively. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy, both four shots behind the leaders, are listed at 14/1.

Click here for the leaderboard and take a look below at the odds, courtesy Jeff Sherman at golfodds.com.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Jordan Spieth: 7/4

Xander Schauffele: 5/1

Kevin Kisner: 11/2

Tiger Woods: 14/1

Francesco Molinari: 14/1

Rory McIlroy: 14/1

Kevin Chappell: 20/1

Tommy Fleetwood: 20/1

Alex Noren: 25/1

Zach Johnson: 30/1

Justin Rose: 30/1

Matt Kuchar: 40/1

Webb Simpson: 50/1

Adam Scott: 80/1

Tony Finau: 80/1

Charley Hoffman: 100/1

Austin Cook: 100/1

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Spieth stands on brink of Open repeat

By Rex HoggardJuly 21, 2018, 7:49 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jordan Spieth described Monday’s “ceremony” to return the claret jug to the keepers of the game’s oldest championship as anything but enjoyable.

For the last 12 months the silver chalice has been a ready reminder of what he was able to overcome and accomplish in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, a beacon of hope during a year that’s been infinitely forgettable.

By comparison, the relative pillow fight this week at Carnoustie has been a welcome distraction, a happy-go-lucky stroll through a wispy field. Unlike last year’s edition, when Spieth traveled from the depths of defeat to the heights of victory within a 30-minute window, the defending champion has made this Open seem stress-free, easy even, by comparison.

But then those who remain at Carnoustie know it’s little more than a temporary sleight of hand.

As carefree as things appeared on Saturday when 13 players, including Spieth, posted rounds of 67 or lower, as tame as Carnoustie, which stands alone as The Open’s undisputed bully, has been through 54 holes there was a foreboding tension among the rank and file as they readied for a final trip around Royal Brown & Bouncy.

“This kind of southeast or east/southeast wind we had is probably the easiest wind this golf course can have, but when it goes off the left side, which I think is forecasted, that's when you start getting more into the wind versus that kind of cross downwind,” said Spieth, who is tied for the lead with Xander Schauffele and Kevin Kisner at 9 under par after a 6-under 65. “It won't be the case tomorrow. It's going to be a meaty start, not to mention, obviously, the last few holes to finish.”

Carnoustie only gives so much and with winds predicted to gust to 25 mph there was a distinct feeling that playtime was over.

As melancholy as Spieth was about giving back the claret jug, and make no mistake, he wasn’t happy, not even his status among the leading contenders with a lap remaining was enough for him to ignore the sleeping giant.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


But then he’s come by his anxiousness honestly. Spieth has spent far too much time answering questions about an inexplicably balky putter the last few weeks and he hasn’t finished better than 21st since his “show” finish in April at the Masters.

After a refreshingly solid start to his week on Thursday imploded with a double bogey-bogey-par-bogey finish he appeared closer to an early ride home on Friday than he did another victory lap, but he slowly clawed his way back into the conversation as only he can with one clutch putt after the next.

“I'm playing golf for me now. I've kind of got a cleared mind. I've made a lot of progress over the year that's been kind of an off year, a building year,” said Spieth, who is bogey-free over his last 36 holes. “And I've got an opportunity to make it a very memorable one with a round, but it's not necessary for me to prove anything for any reason.”

But if an awakened Carnoustie has Spieth’s attention, the collection of would-be champions assembled around and behind him adds another layer of intrigue.

Kisner, Spieth’s housemate this week on Angus coast, has led or shared the lead after each round this week and hasn’t shown any signs of fading like he did at last year’s PGA Championship, when he started the final round with a one-stroke lead only to close with a 74 to tie for seventh place.

“I haven't played it in that much wind. So I think it's going to be a true test, and we'll get to see really who's hitting it the best and playing the best tomorrow,” said Kisner, who added a 68 to his total on Day 3.

There’s no shortage of potential party crashers, from Justin Rose at 4 under after a round-of-the-week 64 to 2015 champion Zach Johnson, who also made himself at home with Spieth and Kisner in the annual Open frat house and is at 5 under.

Rory McIlroy, who is four years removed from winning his last major championship, looked like a player poised to get off the Grand Slam schneid for much of the day, moving to 7 under with a birdie at the 15th hole, but he played the last three holes in 2 over par and is tied with Johnson at 5 under par. 

And then there’s Tiger Woods. For three magical hours the three-time Open champion played like he’d never drifted into the dark competitive hole that’s defined his last few years. Like he’d never been sidelined by an endless collection of injuries and eventually sought relief under the surgeon’s knife.

As quietly as Woods can do anything, he turned in 3 under par for the day and added two more birdies at Nos. 10 and 11. His birdie putt at the 14th hole lifted him temporarily into a share of the lead at 6 under par.

“We knew there were going to be 10, 12 guys with a chance to win on Sunday, and it's turning out to be that,” said Woods, who is four strokes off the lead. “I didn't want to be too far back if the guys got to 10 [under] today. Five [shots back] is certainly doable, and especially if we get the forecast tomorrow.”

Woods held his round of 66 together with a gritty par save at the 18th hole after hitting what he said was his only clunker of the day off the final tee.

Even that episode seemed like foreshadowing.

The 18th hole has rough, bunkers, out of bounds and a burn named Barry that weaves its way through the hole like a drunken soccer fan. It’s the Grand Slam of hazardous living and appears certain to play a leading role in Sunday’s outcome.

Perhaps none of the leading men will go full Jean Van de Velde, the star-crossed Frenchman who could still be standing in that burn if not for a rising tide back at the 1999 championship, but if the 499 yards of dusty turf is an uninvited guest, it’s a guest nonetheless.

It may not create the same joyless feelings that he had when he returned the claret jug, but given the hole’s history and Spieth’s penchant for late-inning histrionics (see Open Championship, 2017), the 18th hole is certain to produce more than a few uncomfortable moments.

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Wandering photographer costs McIlroy on 16

By Ryan LavnerJuly 21, 2018, 7:44 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Rory McIlroy bogeyed two of his last four holes Saturday to fall four shots off the lead at The Open.

One of those mistakes might not have entirely been his fault.

McIlroy missed a short putt on the par-3 16th after a photographer was “in a world all his own,” wandering around near the green, taking photos of the crowd and not paying attention to the action on the green.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


“It’s fine,” McIlroy said after a third-round 70 put him at 5-under 208, four shots off the lead. “It’s one of those things that happens. There’s a lot of people out there, and it is what it is. It’s probably my fault, but I just didn’t regroup well after it happened.”

McIlroy also bogeyed the home hole, after driving into a fairway bunker, sending his second shot right of the green and failing to get up and down.

“I putted well,” he said. “I holed out when I needed to. I just need to make the birdies and try to limit the damage tomorrow.”