|It's the 18th
hole at the U.S. Open and you're tied for the lead. Do you
go for the birdie and win the tournament outright or do
you shoot for par and hope that your competitor makes
bogey? Or do you shoot for par and force a play off? What
do you do under all the pressure of the United States
Just about every player on the tour believes in themself. They mentally block out swing mechanics when the pressure is on. The decisions made are based on brains, brains, brains and guts. They are architects of golf course management and they visualize extremely well. They focus every ounce of energy on getting the golf ball in the hole. They are focused like a laser beam.
It does take a lot of positive thinking to be able to play on the tour. Mental clarity is a must. You have to be very strong-minded to block out all of the things that do not pertain to your success in winning a golf tournament.
Along with positive thinking is a positive attitude. Whether you win or lose, whether you make birdie or double bogey your attitude must remain positive. But how do you deal with the pressure? Do you follow your heart or do you use your brains? Sometimes you just need to go for it! Just unleash the power!
When I played on the Canadian Tour, Moe Norman followed us around to every tournament. I remember him telling the players that he could not understand how some of us could get so down on ourselves. When we questioned what he meant by that he said, "you have a choice of how you want to think. When I hit the golf ball, no matter if I hit it good or bad, all that I think about is happiness!"
Moe Norman was focused on a positive attitude while playing golf no matter what the outcome of his shots were. The cool thing about Moe was that he had a one tract mind and did what he thought was right. He got the golf ball in the fairway. He was not looking for some one or something to give him the answer. He knew that the answer was inside himself and he believed it! Moe knows! A lot of the tour players are just like us, they are searching for the answer. They think that some guru is going to come around and give them the answer. (Instructors can help you.) But the ones who win golf tournaments know that they did it themselves.
Yes it is true that we all need a little push and shove to get us going but the bottom line is that we must practice by ourselves to make it happen. There is an unbelievable amount of power in work ethics. Most golfers are afraid to unleash the power because of the price they have to pay. The fact of hitting a million golf balls, to be the best, still remains.
For example, Nick Faldo had David Ledbetter help him get his golf game in a frame of mind that did allow him to win major golf events. David Ledbetter helped Nick Faldo gain the confidence both in his swing and mainly in his mind. So now David Ledbetter can host golf schools that will make you play like Nick Faldo?
Wait a minute, Nick Faldo did it on his own with the help of David Ledbetter. David Ledbetter did not give Nick Faldo a special remedy to cure all things. Nick Faldo had to work his butt off to apply the right techniques that he believed would win golf tournaments. David Ledbetter did coach Nick Faldo and he does have the right information to make you a better golfer but you will have to pay a price-$$$.
Deal with your golf game by practicing more than you think you should and you will find the right way. You will be able to feel that power source within you. You will find ways to deal with the pressure. And your golf game will get better.
It is true that we all have other obligations to attend to and we do not always have the time and patience to take care of the business at hand. That is what is so unique about a tour player. The tour players travel, take care of family, meet with the press and most of them have the courtesy to acknowledge the participation of the fans. With all of that to deal with, you might wonder how they maintain a flexible and positive attitude. Remember that the tour players are human. They are just like us and they are in a business to entertain the fans and make money to support their families. They too have to find ways to deal with the pressures so that they can take on more responsibilities. It takes a combination of brains, heart, guts and luck to perform successfully.
How many thoughts about the golf swing do you think Tiger Woods has on his mind when he hits the golf ball! I would say maybe one. What do you think Tiger Woods is thinking when he hits the golf ball? Getting the golf ball in the hole! His swing is probably more solid than mine and yours but, the same will hold true when playing a round of golf. Try to get the golf ball in the hole! Keep things simple! Having just one key swing thought will help you achieve your objective.
Chances are that Tiger Woods tries to keep it simple when the pressure is on by thinking of one mechanical swing thought. But he has to make sure that he selects the right golf club and he must make the right golf course management decision.
We know that his heart is into it. And we know that he has the guts to shoot for the pin. But let us add one more factor into the equation. As Clint Eastwood would say, Do you feel lucky?
Coming down the fairway in the U.S. Open and tied for the lead the tour player handles the pressure by putting all of their decisions together at the right time. A combination of brains, heart, guts and luck!
IN THE ZONE and VISUALIZATION
Under the section of Dave's top ten golf tips, I have written in Tip No. 2, the ideas of being in the zone. What I'm saying when I talk about "in the zone", is that there is nothing on your mind except for getting that golf ball in the hole. I know from experience that when you're in the zone you will not even remember the players that played in your group, nor will you remember most of the shots during that round. Time goes very slowly. It seems like it takes forever (because time is suspened)! But you don't care because you're just like a child and you don't have a worry in the world.
When you are focused on one thing for an extremely long period of time, you are unleashing the power. The zone is simple, but not always easy to achieve. All you have to do is focus on one thing at a time, not ten different things at once. Clear the mental static!
Clear your mind for a while. Escape for four hours. (Chances are that when you are done with that round of golf, all of your responsibilities will still be there)! Successful tour players are able to mentally focus on the moment and block out the thoughts that would distract them. After all this is said and done, and you're competing with other players or other golfers and you are all equipped to the best of your ability, both mentally and physically, the bottom line is who can get the golf ball in the hole in the least amount of strokes.
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