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The Mental Game in Two Words - Page 3

post #37 of 58

My one word: BELIEVE

 

I remember watching a PGA broadcast a while ago, where they mentioned how Vijay Singh had been putting really well.   They referred to the fact that he had adopted a method of saying to himself, "I'm one of the best putters in the world."  I remember thinking how powerful that was.  True?  At the time, it seemed so, but historically, Vijay was erratic.  I comes down to, what is the alternative, "I'm marginal"?

 

I adopted it to my putting in this way: when you read a putt, there's really only two things you can say, "I've read this right, I've got the speed, it's going in," or "something's off, it's going to miss."  The first won't always be true, of course, but if you thought the second, why bother?  The bottom line is, if you're going to bother, then you must BELIEVE the first.

 

I find this easier to do on putts because you're not worried about push cuts, smother hooks or water hazards on putts, it's just rolling a ball.  That strikes me as more achievable on an given shot.  My swing has been in an overhaul period, but I can tell you that, when I believe on those shots, good things happen, too.

 

So, I'd say the one word is BELIEVE.

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post #38 of 58
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben View Post

Enjoy Pressure? Why create, thrive on or focus on something that has a negative connotation?

 

How about "Stay Positive" for the two words?


Because some people don't give a rat's ass about staying positive. Some people want to do negative things - to the opponent.

 

If "staying positive" is how you "enjoy pressure" more power to you. Others, however, "enjoy pressure" by hitting a great shot that demoralizes their opponent.

 

I've never met someone who routinely has success who doesn't enjoy the pressure, and enjoy the moment. Tiger's talked about how it's like a drug, and Spencer Levin demonstrated someone not enjoying the pressure. If things are going sideways, good luck "staying positive." You'll quickly ask yourself "how can I stay positive? I've just blown a six-shot lead?" and then start calling yourself an idiot or something.

post #39 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben View Post

Enjoy Pressure? Why create, thrive on or focus on something that has a negative connotation?

 

How about "Stay Positive" for the two words? With a positive attitude on the golf course any situation can become a good situation. Prime example, Bill Haas in his play off hole today at The Riviera. He took a "difficult" situation and turned it into the right play. Which, as we know, won him the golf tournament.

 

My two words, stay positive.



and aren't you on tour, of some kind? I like yours better, but I have a harder time with it.

post #40 of 58



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 


Because some people don't give a rat's ass about staying positive. Some people want to do negative things - to the opponent.

 

If "staying positive" is how you "enjoy pressure" more power to you. Others, however, "enjoy pressure" by hitting a great shot that demoralizes their opponent.

 

I've never met someone who routinely has success who doesn't enjoy the pressure, and enjoy the moment. Tiger's talked about how it's like a drug, and Spencer Levin demonstrated someone not enjoying the pressure. If things are going sideways, good luck "staying positive." You'll quickly ask yourself "how can I stay positive? I've just blown a six-shot lead?" and then start calling yourself an idiot or something.


I'm not saying my way is the only way, but rather another way. This is a discussion forum and I was bringing to the discussion another point of view. Some people don't care about staying positive, some people, myself included, do care. And although I haven't acheived the level of success of Tiger Woods, my game has advanced leaps and bounds by reading about keeping a positive state of mind on the golf course.

 

You say Spencer Levin wasn't enjoying the pressure, I say maybe he wasn't focused on the shots at hand in a positive manner. Maybe he was trying to stay positive, or maybe he was trying to enjoy the pressure. That's only something he knows, not something you nor I can say matter of fact that he was or was not doing.

 

Both of our systems can work, its when the golfer abandons their chosen system that their game "goes sideways." Its the result of bad play, not the means of bad bad.

post #41 of 58
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben View Post

I'm not saying my way is the only way, but rather another way.


Nor am I! :)

 

You asked questions, and I answered them from my perspective. Some people will like my way, some yours, and many more will find other ways that work best for them.

 

Either way, I think we'll have both succeeded at making people think about it.

 

post #42 of 58

I like the idea of both but prefer Enjoy Pressure for the simple fact it allows the player to be competitive even when they are not playing their best golf. It is incredibly hard to Stay Positive when you are ducking hooking every drive, hitting every iron shot fat and three-putting every green. The human mind is a delicate thing and difficult to trick into believing something that is not true.

post #43 of 58

Have Fun

 

 

For some, it may be enjoying pressure -- making that putt for birdie to win a match, a tournament, or being the last one up in a scramble for birdie. Or it may be getting out there and not caring about a score, but enjoying the game. 

 

But everyone can Have Fun in their own way.

post #44 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Desmond View Post

Have Fun

 

 

For some, it may be enjoying pressure -- making that putt for birdie to win a match, a tournament, or being the last one up in a scramble for birdie. Or it may be getting out there and not caring about a score, but enjoying the game. 

 

But everyone can Have Fun in their own way.



I have played some of the best golf of my life in some pretty competitve situations with the only real thought being, "just be someone that they'll enjoy playing a round of golf with".   So yes, Have Fun is a good thought.

 

post #45 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by iacas View Post

 


Nor am I! :)

 

You asked questions, and I answered them from my perspective. Some people will like my way, some yours, and many more will find other ways that work best for them.

 

Either way, I think we'll have both succeeded at making people think about it.

 



For sure. c2_beer.gif

 

It just seemed as though you were discounting my theory with your opening sentence to my original reply. Anyway, to good golf!

post #46 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by saevel25 View Post

i have to agree with, that you can trick yourself into being confident. I was standing over a putt, ones i usually miss. Then i just grinned and said to myself, im going to make this putt. I put it dead smack center, perfect putt. 

 

It just takes practice, actually i would say its takes getting use to. 



 

I agree :) Practice really helps.

post #47 of 58

I've always enjoyed pressure in work aspects of my life.  In court, or when giving a presentation or leading a seminar, I never (okay very rarely) get stumped.  It always amazes me that in every case, an issue will come up that I hadn't even considered:  I'll be put on the spot, on the record, in a room filled with people, and with the outcome on the line, and I'll come up with something intelligent to say that keeps things from coming terribly off track.  I guess that is "enjoying pressure."

 

On the golf course, it's a different story.  Sometimes I'll pull off a brilliant shot just when I need to, and other times I'll hit the worst shot of my life. And it should be easier in golf--you can take as much time as you need to visualize, consider responses, and rehearse the swing that you need to make.

post #48 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arte View Post

Pressure is a self inflicted wound...

You are worried about something that has not happened

Stay in the present 

Stay in the present. For me, that is the single biggest factor in playing my best golf.

A putt on 18 to win the last two ends of a Nassau? I live for that. Gotta get one in the short grass on a tough hole? Ditto. If I'm thinking about an outcome (if I get it in the short grass, I'll probably make par), though, my chances of accomplishing the goal at hand will be diminished. Maybe that's just my weak brain, but that's how it is for me.
post #49 of 58

the golf channel had some on demand stuff like playing lessons from pros and they had one recently with colin montgomerie.

 

i never really liked him because of the way he comes off, but in the program they brought up his sheer dominance in the ryder cup. when he was lining up a putt he talked about the one he had to sink to win the ryder cup 2004. he said he wasn't nervous because he knew he was going to make it.

 

some more snippits from the "lesson" with montgomerie.

 

- you have 10 pre shot thoughts, if 1 of them is negative back off the ball and start again. don't let yourself get too many thoughts in because a negative one will sneak in if you get too cerebral.

 

- play your game. he said he has a fade and he plays with it because it works 95% of the time, so why try to adjust your natural shot?

 

- when you take your practice swing, take it at 100% and watch your ball flight as you it

 

- when you hit the ball, hit it with full confidence. he said that he would rather hit a bad shot that he had 100% confidence in than a good shot that he didn't feel confident in.

 

anyway, good thread and good topic.

post #50 of 58
I think it was bobby jones who, before starting a round, said "I know that today I'm going to have 4 or 5 bad shots."

I tell this to myself and if one of those shots come, I keep my temper and play on. Has helped tremendously.
post #51 of 58

To me, there is no mental game.  It seems more like the causal arrow goes: quality of play >> mental state, not the other way around.  To provide an extreme example, if I could play as well as Tiger Woods, I would have the utmost confidence in my ability because I knew I could play below par even on a "bad" day.

post #52 of 58

Focused indifference

Focus and try your very best to hit a good shot, but if you mess up.. who cares?  It's going to happen, know that before you play.  Even the best in the world hit shots they don't like.  You could do everything right, hit the perfect putt, and an ant walked in front of your ball and knocked it off line.  You just can't care about little mistakes, they will happen.  Remain focused, but indifferent to the results.

... That's what I think at least :)

post #53 of 58
I say this a lot to myself -"its alright.". And the phrase that turned my game around was "Take your medicine."

I say "it's alright" because that keeps me creative about my next shot. If I short-side an approach shot into a bunch of weeds and I find it, I then say its alright, at which point I think of my best escape. Or if I'm in the woods, I use that phrase to start thinking of openings in the trees. Point is, it may not always be alright, but as long as I stay creative and visualize my shots, I stay sharp and I don't make stupid mistakes.

"Take your medicine" refers to the moment when I realized that the hero shot was almost always going to make a loser out of me, and that a possible bogey save I'd better than a definite triple bogey.

Definitely a mind game.
post #54 of 58

Rather than disagree with anyone who has played the game many more years than I have (and are much more successful), I'll simply say that I hope to learn how to get to the point where staying positive will help when things are going poorly.

 

I agree that I play my worse golf when I'm pissed at myself and questioning why I even try - that kind of negativity is a killer. But I've gone into a round feeling like I have a good chance for a decent round. I'll even blow off the first few bad holes and tell myself that the round will get better. But sometimes the positive attitude doesn't help. It could be a matter of expectations exceeding skill level.

 

However, there have also been times where I just KNOW my game is on - I can feel it. So it kind of begs the question, does confidence build success or the other way around?

 

Staying even-keeled seems to work best for me. Don't get down after a few bad shots in a row (it's only a game). And when things are going well, enjoy the moment but not to the point where I think it's automatic and I forget to focus on the next shot.

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