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A change in attitude can improve your game - Here's how!

A change in attitude can improve your game – Here’s how!

A change in attitude can improve your game – Here’s how!
Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!
Top putting instructors Stan Utley and Mike Shannon know that unless a player believes he/she is a good putter, they will never become one. Belief has to come first, before ability. This article by Tom Stickney II for Golfwrx reminded me of one of the greatest lessons I learned on the golf course.  

A Life-Changing Story.

I played a practice round at Kensington Golf Club in Johannesburg, South Africa, before the 1968 South African Masters, with Gary Player. The greens that year were far from perfect, and as we played along, I was complaining about the condition of the greens.  “You know Mel, I am the best putter in the world on bad greens.  I feel I am so good on these rough surfaces that I have a distinct advantage over the rest of the field.  I think I can win this tournament!”  He went on to win by a large margin.  
The following week we played at Mowbray Golf Club in Cape Town, South Africa, and the greens were fast and smooth.  I saw Gary just before the first round, and I asked him what he thought of these fast greens.  “Mel, I’m the best putter in the world on fast greens.  I feel I am so good that I have a distinct advantage over the rest of the field, and I have a good chance of winning!”
What I learned from those two encounters is that whatever the situation, if you believe that you are good, you will do well.  Thanks, Gary, for a great lesson not only in golf but in life itself!  So remember, you cannot change the situation. You can only change your attitude towards the situation.  Attitude can improve your game!
Enjoy the article!
A change in attitude can improve your game - Here's how!

Your mind controls your golfing destiny, so stop segmenting your abilities

A change in attitude can improve your game – Here’s how!

Many golfers intrinsically understand that their attitude controls their destiny on the course, and can make or break them when their score counts, but it was interesting how insistent Utley and Shannon were that golfers must believe they are good putters regardless of their daily outcome. They reminded me of something in my own game that I’d like to discuss with you, and hopefully it will help you become a better putter in the process.

When discussing the belief system of the brain and body, I think back to a book I read when I was trying to play golf for a living called Psychocybernetics by Dr. Maxwell Maltz. He was a plastic surgeon who said the way you see yourself influences your actions and shapes your entire future.

Let me paraphrase a passage in his book that hit home with me.

A patient walked into his office with what she perceived to be a crooked nose, and that made her very insecure about her looks. Measuring the amount of the misalignment, Dr. Maltz noticed that it was hardly noticeable to the human eye, but in the mind of the patient it was huge. He went on to explain to the patient that what she wanted him to alter wasn’t worth the time and money, so he initially refused to do the surgery.

The patient was persistent, however, and he complied. What Maltz noticed over the course of her recovery was that her entire perception of herself changed, and she began to feel better about herself. He found that over time that her life began to improve; she was more successful in her personal life, and married a handsome husband years later.


Her perception of herself was better, and thus she became more open to allowing things to happen within her life. He concluded that a her perception of herself determined her path of your life, and more broadly, if you see yourself as beautiful you act beautiful, and so on.

Now, I am not suggesting that you can just think yourself into being a great golfer if you have terrible mechanics; however, I will say that if you took Brad Faxon or Brian Gay’s attitude regarding putting and put it into the brains of most PGA Tour players’ brain they would become instantly better with no mechanical change whatsoever.

Obviously, you need some type of mechanical competency in order for this to work, but after that I believe it is all about attitude and what you as the player allow yourself to come to believe as true. Let me give you a personal example that supports my thoughts.

To read  Tom Stickney II’s personal examples of how he changed his perception of himself, go here!

Source:  Tom Stickney II  Golfwrx

Pictures: Tom Stickney II  Golfwrx   Celestine Chua

Thanks for reading – A change in attitude can improve your game – Here’s how!

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