What is a Mental Game Really

By David BreslowMarch 13, 2009, 4:00 pm
As the weekly Mental Game Columnist for The Golf Channel and performance coach to amateurs and pros around the world, I know that most are familiar with the phrase, The Mental Game and when asked about it, they all believe its important.
The truth? Very few of them formally develop it.
The reason?
What they tell me most often is they are confused by the amount of information out there and as a result, dont know where to begin. In addition, they dont want to spend money being told to be confident and be more positive. These reasons make sense when you look at it. There is a lot of vague and repetitive information about the so called, mental game out there. Just about every article, every book and television program tells you the same thing, its important to be confident, have fun, not be so serious and be positive. All good advice, right? Well of course it is but as my clients tell me, Ive tried all that stuff already and it doesnt work!
What they really mean is that it doesnt LAST. Most of my clients report, the quick-fix tips, dont last that long. No wonder people are confused and dont know where to begin!
You see, those quick-fix tips arent wrong in fact they make a lot of sense the problem is; they are the outcomes everyone wants to experience but they are NOT THE WAY TO GET THERE. The important question is: WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO GET THERE? I can tell you this hearing them or reading them is not the best way.
Ive got a much better idea. Why not discover that there are fundamental and unbiased and undeniable laws and principles that govern your outcomes. Thats right, just like your swing results are based on very undeniable and predictable laws that will affect your outcomes your game is governed by laws too!
Try this. If I asked you to rate how much of your game is mental, using a scale from 0 to 100% ... what would you say? I polled 250 golfers ranging from professional to amateur and heres what they said: their answers ranged from 10 to 90%
What if I suggested to you that the answer is really 100%?
I can hear the anguish now. What about mechanics and managing the course? Dont worry ' its covered.
In order to get faster and longer lasting changes and results, I dont follow the traditional model with its quick-fix tips, vague concepts or hard to untangle theories. After all, dont you already know that being positive and confident is better than being negative or lacking confidence? Of course you do. Why would I tell you what you already know? Its simple, the 'Mental Game' has 3 components to it and they are:
The Mind
The Body
The Emotions
And now the proof.
Heres why I say the answer is 100%. Every time you put your hands on the golf club ALL THREE OF THESE COMPONENTS ARE IN PLAY! I dare you to find a time when this is not true. You wont. You cant because you CANNOT SEPERATE THEM. So, heres what Id like you to know. There are predictable and undeniable laws and principles that govern how your mind, body and emotions function to produce outcomes for you on the golf course (and off!).
Heres an analogy. Imagine yourself to be a world class musician (lets say a pianist). With all your talent, skill and knowledge if you play a piano that is out of tune you wont ' play great music. You could learn more, practice more and improve your skills but when you try to play an out of tune piano it wont matter it will still not play great music. The problem is that golfers are trying to play better music (meaning better golf) on an instrument that is out of tune. The instrument is you and tools that make it work are the mind, body and emotions. Put them back in tune (or in sync) and you will improve!
Now heres your choice.
You can read articles, try new tips and get the results you always get or you can learn what the laws and principles are and begin creating more of what you want instead of just getting better at coping with what you dont want. This is what most people do they ' get better at coping with what they dont want. Those who create more of what they do want tend to perform better and enjoy it more!
Oh, and heres some more interesting news about the laws. They affect everyone, everywhere and at all times. It doesnt matter what your age, gender, personality type or skill level is. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS!
Some more proof? Take the law of gravity. Do you think it functions differently for you than it does for Tiger Woods or Paula Creamer? Of course not. In fact, gravity (and all the laws) functions regardless of your opinion of it. If you dont believe me, hold a pen over your head and repeat, I dont believe in gravity three times and really mean it. Open your fingers and see what happens.
The Laws are real. Theyve always been running the show and they always will.
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  • David Breslow Article Archive
    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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    M. Jutanugarn eyeing first win with L.A. Open lead

    By Associated PressApril 21, 2018, 1:50 am

    LOS ANGELES - Moriya Jutanugarn took the lead into the weekend at the Hugel-JTBC L.A. Open in her latest bid to join younger sister Ariya as an LPGA winner.

    Moriya Jutanugarn shot a bogey-free 5-under 66 on Friday at Wilshire Country Club to get to 8-under 134 in the LPGA Tour's first event in Los Angeles since 2005. The 23-year-old from Thailand started fast with birdies on the par-5 second, par-4 third and par-3 fourth and added two more on the par-4 11th and par-5 13th.

    Ariya Jutanugarn has seven LPGA victories.

    Marina Alex was second after a 68.

    Full-field scores from the Hugel-JTBC Open

    So Yeon Ryu was 6 under after a 69, and fellow South Korean players Inbee Park(71) and Eun-Hee Ji (69). Park was the first-round leader at 66. Lexi Thompsonwas 3 under after a 71.

    Top-ranked Shanshan Feng followed her opening 74 with a 67 to get to 1 under.

    Ariya Jutanugarn (71) was even par, and Michelle Wie (70) was 1 over. Brooke Henderson, the Canadian star who won last week in Hawaii, had a 79 to miss the cut.

    Getty Images

    Johnson, Moore co-lead Valero Texas Open through 36

    By Associated PressApril 21, 2018, 1:00 am

    SAN ANTONIO - Zach Johnson was going nowhere in the Valero Texas Open when it all changed with one putt.

    He made an 8-foot par putt on the 13th hole of the opening round to stay at 2 under. He followed with a big drive, a hybrid into 12 feet and an eagle. Johnson was on his way, and he kept right on going Friday to a 7-under 65 and a share of the 36-hole lead with Ryan Moore.

    ''You just never know. That's the beauty of this game,'' Johnson said. ''I felt like I was hitting some solid shots and wasn't getting rewarded, and you've just got to stay in it. You've got to persevere, grind it out, fight for pars. You just never know.''

    Moore had three birdies over his last five holes for a 67 and joined Johnson at 9-under 135.

    They had a one-shot lead over Grayson Murray (69) and Andrew Landry (67).

    Ben Crane (66), Martin Laird (65) and David Hearn (68) were three shots behind. Billy Horschel and Keegan Bradley shot 71 and were four shots behind at 5-under 139.

    Full-field scores from the Valero Texas Open

    Valero Texas Open: Articles, photos and videos

    Sergio Garcia, who consulted Greg Norman on the design of the AT&T Oaks Course at the TPC San Antonio, had a short stay in his first time at the Texas Open since 2010. Garcia shot an even-par 72, and at one point became so frustrated he threw his driver into the shrubs.

    Garcia finished at 2-over 146 and missed the cut.

    It was the first time since 2010 that Garcia missed the cut in successive starts. That was the PGA Championship and, 10 weeks later, the Castello Masters in Spain. This time, he missed the cut in the Masters and Texas Open three weeks apart.

    Johnson, a two-time winner of the Texas Open, appeared to be headed to a short week until the key par save on the 13th hole, followed by his eagle, par and three straight birdies. He began the second round Friday with five birdies in a six-hole stretch on the back nine, a sixth birdie on the par-4 first hole, and then an eagle on the short par-4 fifth when he holed out from a greenside bunker.

    The only sour taste to his second round was a three-putt bogey from about 30 feet on his final hole. Even so, the view was much better than it was Thursday afternoon.

    Moore thought he had wasted a good birdie opportunity on the par-5 14th hole when he left his 50-foot eagle putt about 6 feet short. But he made that, and then holed a similar putt from 8 feet for birdie on the next hole and capped his good finish with a 15-foot putt on the 17th.

    ''That was a huge momentum putt there,'' Moore said of the 14th. ''It was a tough putt from down there with a lot of wind. That green is pretty exposed and ... yeah, really short and committed to that second putt really well and knocked it right in the middle.''

    The birdies on the 14th and 15th were important to Moore because he missed a pair of 10-foot birdie tries to start the back nine.

    ''So it was nice to get those and get going in the right direction on the back,'' he said.

    The cut was at 1-over 145, and because 80 players made the cut, there will be a 54-hole cut on Saturday.

    Getty Images

    Garcia tosses driver, misses Valero cut

    By Will GrayApril 21, 2018, 1:00 am

    It wasn't quite to the level of his watery meltdown earlier this month at the Masters, but Sergio Garcia still got frustrated during the second round of the Valero Texas Open - and his driver paid the price.

    Garcia had a hand in redesigning the AT&T Oaks Course along with Greg Norman several years ago, but this marked his first return to TPC San Antonio since 2010. After an opening-round 74, Garcia arrived to the tee of the short par-4 fifth hole and decided to get aggressive with driver in hand.

    When his shot sailed well left, a heated Garcia chucked the club deep into the bushes that lined the tee box:

    It took considerable effort for Garcia to find and retrieve the club amid the branches, and once he did things only got worse. He appeared to shank a chip once he got up to his ball, leading to a bogey on one of the easiest holes on a demanding track.

    Garcia closed out his round with four straight pars, and at 2 over he eventually missed the cut by a shot. It marks the first time he has missed consecutive cuts on the PGA Tour since 2003, when he sat out the weekend at the AT&T Byron Nelson, Fort Worth Invitational and Memorial Tournament in successive weeks.

    Garcia entered the week ranked No. 10 in the world, and he was the only top-20 player among the 156-man field. He missed the cut at the Masters in defense of his title after carding an octuple-bogey 13 on the 15th hole during the opening round.

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    Daly-Allen team grabs Legends of Golf lead on Day 2

    By Associated PressApril 20, 2018, 11:14 pm

    RIDGEDALE, Mo. - John Daly and Michael Allen took the second-round lead Friday in the cool and breezy Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf.

    Daly and Allen shot an 8-under 46 on the Top of the Rock par-3 course with wind gusting to 15 mph and the temperature only in the high-50s at Big Cedar Lodge. They had three birdies on the front nine in alternate-shot play and added five more on the back in better-ball play to get to 13 under.

    ''Michael and I go back to the South African days in the late 80s and playing that tour,'' Daly said. ''We've been buddies since. He's just fun to play with. We feed off each other pretty good. And if he's not comfortable guinea-pigging on one hole, I'll go first.''

    On Thursday, they opened with a 66 on the regulation Buffalo Ridge course. They will rotate to the 13-hole Mountain Top par-3 course on Saturday, and return to Top of the Rock for the final round Sunday.

    ''I went to high school in Jeff City, so it's cool to have the fans behind us,'' Daly said.

    Allen won the PGA Tour Champions team event with David Frost in 2012 and Woody Austin in 2016.

    ''I'm just here to free up John,'' Allen said. ''It was fun. Luckily, I started making good putts today. We just want to keep the good times rolling.''

    Full-field scores from the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf

    Defending champions Vijay Singh and Carlos Franco were a stroke back along with Bernhard Langer-Tom Lehman and Paul Broadhurst-Kirk Triplett. Singh and Franco had a 7-under 32 in best-ball play at Mountain Top, and Lehman-Langer and Broadhurst-Tripplet each shot 6-under 48 at Top of the Rock.

    ''Part of the issue here is all the tees are elevated, so you're up high hitting to a green that's down below and the wind is blowing, and there is more time for that wind to affect it,'' Lehman said. ''If you guess wrong on the wind, you can hit a really good shot and kind of look stupid.''

    Former UCLA teammates Scott McCarron and Brandt Jobe were two strokes back at 11 under with Steve Flesch and David Toms and the Spanish side of Jose Maria Olazabal and Miguel Angel Jimenez. McCarron-Jobe had a 47, and Jimenez-Olazabal a 48 at Top of the Rock, and Tom Flesch shot 34 at Mountain Top.

    First-round leaders Jeff Maggert and Jesper Parnevik had a 52 at Top of the Rock to fall three shots back at 10 under. Madison, Wisconsin, friends Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly also were 10 under after a 32 at Mountain Top. Jay Haas aced the 131-yard seventh hole at Mountain Top with a gap wedge. Haas and fellow 64-year-old Peter Jacobsen were 8 under after a 32.