Posts tagged ‘Mental Toughness’

September 27, 2011

Good Golfers Have Good Days – Everyday

I once had a friend tell me that leaders have great days every day.  My initial reaction to his comment was pure skepticism.  How can someone have a great day every single day?  There is just no way.  People get upset about little things in their day all the time.  They get pissed off about traffic, politics, expenses, fights with family or loved ones and a plethora of other things.  This is true in life and even more out on the golf course.

How many times have you played a round with someone who gets overly frustrated by bad shots in their round?  They might throw clubs, swear or declare the game idiotic and renounce playing it ever again.  I have seen people break clubs, walk off the course and simply give up on their round before.  Since this is most common among amateur golfers and weekend warriors, I started to think more about what characteristics I see among average golfers and good golfers.

Average golfers let the little things get to them.  They are unable to move onto the next shot and fight back to salvage their round after a bad shot or a bad score on a hole.  There seems to be a point where the average golfer lets outside factors get to him more than the pros do.  Don’t get me wrong, we have all seen Tiger throw his clubs, curse and WD from tournaments.  For the most part professional golfers don’t show their negative emotions even if they are feeling them.  They are able to give off the appearance of a calm demeanor even when they hit balls in the water or double bogey holes.  They simply move on.

It is unrealistic to think that the pros don’t get pissed off and angry when they are playing poorly and a lot of their post round interviews reflect that.  They are never satisfied with their swing, putting stroke or score.  They are constantly thinking they could have done better, but they don’t show their negative emotions on the course like most amateurs do.  Why is this?  Because being able to control their emotions is a large reason they are in fact professional golfers.  It is the mark of a good golfer.  All of us could take a page out of KJ Choi’s book on golf course behavior and demeanor.  The guy doesn’t get rattled.

Think back on your past few rounds.  How many times did you blurt out a negative comment about the course or your game?  Did it help you play better?  Probably not and I include myself in this category.  The next time I go out and play I am going to set the goal to not say one single negative comment.  This doesn’t mean I won’t think it, but I simply won’t say them out loud to my playing partners.  Give it a shot and see how it helps your focus and ability to move on to the next shot.  I think you will be surprised.

September 12, 2011

Update on my Golf Trip

I just got back from my weekend golf trip to San Diego and I must say it was a successful one.  My flight was cancelled on Thursday night due to the blackouts in Southern California.  I had to get re-booked on a 6am flight that didn’t get me in to San Diego until 10:30am the next morning.  Straight from the airport I had to go pick my friend up and run home to change in order to make our 1:30 tee time.  I had time for a quick bite to eat, a rinse in the shower and to unpack my clubs before we had to take off for the course.

We made out tee time, but were only able to hit about ten balls each on the practice range.  Obviously, this wasn’t an ideal warm up situation, but hey what can you do?  What happened next was a prime example of why I love golf.  I should have been all over the course coming off not much sleep and a stressful travel day, but the exact opposite happened.  I shot my best round to date with an 83.  I had two birdies, hit 71% of the fairways and 55% of the Greens in Regulation.  It was one of those rounds where everything was effortless.  If I had made just a few more putts I would have broken 80 for the first time in my life.

I found it incredibly humorous that my best round to date came after such hectic travel day and not from a round where I felt very rested and prepared.  Maybe there is something to be said for not over thinking the game.  Maybe the reason I played my best was because I didn’t expect to or I didn’t feel pressure to.  If I played poorly it would have made sense due to all the outside factors effecting me.  In a way, all of the outside factors allowed me to let go and push all of the normal pressure I feel to the side.  I’m not 100% sure this was the case, but it kind of feels that way.

After that round, I feel as though my game is right there on the verge of being really good and I also feel as though I made a big step mentally.  I shot a 42 on my front nine with a double and triple bogey.  Neither one of those scores phased me for some reason.  Ya it was frustrating, but I just kept chugging along and made my handful of pars and threw in a birdie on the par 5 9th after hitting the green in two!  How about that for a next shot mentality?

All in all, I have never felt this good about my game and I am ready to break 80 in the next few weeks.  I know it is going to happen, I just need to get out and play as much as I can before the winter gets here in Chicago.