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Are you aware of the flaws that are sabotaging your game?  

Are you aware of the flaws are sabotaging your game?

Are you aware of the flaws that are sabotaging your game?  

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 golfchats.com 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!

How many times during a round do you hit a shot that is just so bad that you’re dumbfounded as to where that came from?  Well, you are not alone.  Even the top professionals sometimes have a “brain fart.”  However, they have sports psychologists that work with them on a regular basis to make sure that it does not happen too often.  John Haime of Golfwrx gives us a few ways to improve our own game.

 

Melinda Harrison.

I was inspired to write this article by a quote I come across from a friend of mine, Melinda Harrison, a former Olympic swimmer who specializes in helping athletes transition from the world of sport to their next great venture.

“If you do not see the wave coming, it can smack you down and pull you under leaving you feeling tossed around, upside down, gasping for breath and picking out sand from areas you never knew existed,” she wrote.          

I knew this feeling well in my golf game. I was tossed around often. In fact, these waves were blind spots that eventually derailed a golf career that had promise. I found myself metaphorically picking sand from areas I never knew existed (far too many times), and I wasn’t understanding how it happened.

What are the blind spots in your game? Those waves you don’t see coming that leave you tossed around and falling short of your capabilities.

Right now is a great time of the year to roll up your sleeves and reflect on what happened during the year — and what you might do in 2017 to get more enjoyment and make some positive strides in your game. How was your golf year? Happy with it? Wanting more?

In a reflection exercise, I highly recommend you consider your own blind spots, and what might be unconsciously holding you back from moving forward and getting more out of your game.

Blind spots damage performance

Working with world-class performers every day, I can assure you that understanding blind spots is important in performance. Almost every performer I have worked with has them, and I expect you do, too. Part of my job is to help these world-class performers identify their blind spots, making sure they have a clear view of what’s beneath their awareness and might therefore be holding them back.

Let’s highlight the idea of blind spots by using my own professional golf career as an example. This may help you start thinking about your own blind spots and get the wheels turning. I had a few tendencies that were constantly beneath my awareness that kept me on the treadmill and not striding forward on a steady, consistent career path.

A few examples:

To see the examples of what to look for in your mental game, go here!

Source: John Haime   Golfwrx

Pictures: Susan   Golfwrx

Thanks for reading Are you aware of the flaws that are sabotaging your game?  

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The Skill of Body Language - How it can make you a Winner!

The Skill of Body Language – How it can make you a Winner!

The Skill of Body Language – How it can make you a Winner!

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 golfchats.com 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!

My father had a very keen eye for body language.  He could tell from a fairway away whether I was playing good or bad.  He tried to teach me how to walk with my head high and chest out no matter how I was playing.  The example he used was the great Bobby Locke, winner of 4 British Open Championships.  “When Bobby comes walking up the 18th fairway, you don’t know whether he just shot 60, 70 or 80.”  I didn’t implement this in my early career and only now, as a seasoned teaching professional, working with many golfers of all levels, have I learned just how important body language is.  So you can see why this article caught my attention.  Read this.  It will improve your golf game!  Thanks so much to  writing for Golf Digest for this interesting and game-changing article!

EDITOR’S NOTE: Amy Cuddy, Ph.D., is a social psychologist and associate professor at Harvard Business School. Her 2012 TED Talk, “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are,” has been viewed 34 million times. Published in December 2015, her best-selling book Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges analyzes how posture affects performance.Assistant Editor Keely Levins interviewed Cuddy on her theories and how they apply to golf.

Q: Your TED Talk and your book focus on power posing. What do we need to know?

People tend to think body language is about communicating with others, not with the self. Body language is really about what your body is saying to you, not what you’re saying to other people. When you use your body to respond to situations, especially stressful situations, in a powerful way, it becomes self-reinforcing. I deal with this a lot in business settings, but elite athletes know it’s true. Sport-psychology studies show that posture influences a person’s performance.

What does it look like to respond powerfully?

Power is about taking up space. The ultimate power pose is what gymnasts do right before their routines, when their arms and heads go up. That pose is the universal sign of power and pride and victory. I’m not saying you should be doing that on the golf course. Anything that takes up space will work. When you’re just standing, make sure you have your feet set wide apart and your hands on your hips. When someone else is hitting, don’t hunch over. Take up space.

The Skill of Body Language – How it can make you a Winner!

It’s the same when you’re walking between shots. You can be powerful then, too. Expansive movement is as important as expansive posture. So take long strides when you walk, swing your arms. You want to move boldly and put some vertical bounce in your step. Carry yourself with your shoulders back and down instead of slumping or pinning your arms down.

No matter what shot you’ve just hit, try to keep yourself from tensing up. Remember to breathe deeply and slowly. This is a time for you to be secretly doing golfer yoga. You’ll be preparing to perform while everyone else is thinking about the last shot—or the next shot—or just talking.

The Skill of Body Language - How it can make you a Winner!
Photo by Getty Images

How does that work to make you ready to play your best?

We know that standing and moving with some purpose makes you feel powerful. Study after study shows that. And when you feel powerful, all of a sudden you see challenges not as threats but as opportunities. You’re much more likely to want to compete. Your executive function is better, so you can think more clearly. Your working memory is better. You’re not second-guessing yourself so much. You’re more able to be present and to focus on what’s in front of you instead of what you fear might be happening.

It’s easy to get frustrated after a bad shot. What happens when you let yourself slip into a non-powerful pose?

There aren’t many people who are going to play golf and not feel a little competitive. It’s almost impossible to do it recreationally and not want to do it well. But you’re not going to play well if you’re focused on winning. You want to do it well? Fine. The first thing you have to do is stop focusing on getting the best score. When you focus on winning or score, your body goes into a fight-or-flight mode. You’re feeling threatened, and when you feel threatened, your nervous system is no longer about performance. It’s now about getting you out of that situation. That completely undermines your ability to play well.

The Skill of Body Language – How it can make you a Winner!

When you’re in this threatened state and feeling powerless, your heart rate can go through the roof, which is the last thing you want. Your cognition takes a nose dive. You lose your ability to focus on a goal. You lose creativity, your view of optimism, your self-confidence, and you’re less likely to take risks. These are all things that you need in a round of golf, and you’ve just lost them. You even lose the ability to see objects from a perspective other than your own. Say your shot has ended up behind some trees. If that makes you feel threatened or anxious, you’re not able to see alternative perspectives. You’re less likely to hit a good shot when there are obstacles, because you don’t have the creativity or perspective necessary to do it.

The Skill of Body Language - How it can make you a Winner!

It’d be impossible to play well with all of those negative things going on. How do you pull out of that spiral?

You need to be sturdy, strong and super calm. There are two categories of things that will get you there. One is your body posture, which we’ve just talked about. Anything where you start to curl into a ball, even if it’s subtle, is the worst thing you can do. Whenever you have any small failure, stop yourself from collapsing, because collapsing will only make you feel worse.

Two is your mind-set. You need to focus on little nudges as goals instead of score-based goals. Something where you get lots of tries, like I’m going to make sure I finish my swing today.

Focusing on score does not make you a better golfer. Focusing on the movement itself, in that exact moment, that’s what can make you a better golfer. You’re going to gradually get better, but it’s noAmyt a perfect linear relationship. You’ll have some ups and downs as you go, and that’s OK. The funny thing is, if you focus on those little nudges, the pieces start to come together, and you have a cognitive memory and a muscle memory of doing it well. Ultimately, it will be easier to get to that thing you wanted, which was shooting a low score or winning.

To read the other 5 important aspects of body language, go here!

Source:    Golf Digest

Pictures: Getty Images

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How to stay in the Zone - It can be done if you know how.

How to stay in the Zone – It can be done if you know how.

How to stay in the Zone – It can be done if you know 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 golfchats.com 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!

How to stay in the Zone – It can be done if you know how.

I use what is called a “Clear Key” in my teaching.  This simple mechanism helps my students understand that in order to play at their maximum potential on the course, they have to allow the body to perform without any conscious thought.  You have to learn motor skills as a beginner to be able to perform the golf swing in a technically correct manner. But there comes a time when you need to allow the body to perform what it already knows, without conscious thought.  Thinking swing mechanics while you play hinders that process.  Adam Young of Golfwrx explains in a little more detail about how you can teach yourself to be a better player by getting out of your own way!

Most golfers work week in, week out on their swing techniques. They search for the perfect mechanics in the hope that, one day, things will fall into place and they will never miss a fairway again.

If you haven’t noticed already, this can’t and won’t happen. There are simply too many variables at play creating optimal performance — and one of the most overlooked areas is where you place your attention.

Example time

To understand this, I will use a relatable example. Imagine you are playing a round of golf, and you are going along pretty well. You are not really thinking of much, and the majority of shots are pretty decent. Then, out of the blue, you hit a stinker.

“YOU BENT YOUR LEFT ARM,” SHOUTS YOUR PLAYING PARTNER.

He’s a slightly lower-handicapper than you, so his expertise is obviously warranted (sarcasm). For the next few shots, you become highly aware of your left arm, and your game goes completely down the pan. What happened exactly? Your focus of attention changed.

Loci

While there are many subcategories of these, I will discuss five different types of attention that we could have. Each type of attention has been studied (motor learning science), and has been shown to have variable effects on both learning and performance.

Internal: An internal focus is one that deals with body parts.

  • Turn shoulders
  • Keep head still
  • Shift weight
  • Swing my hands to X

While the vast majority of studies show that these types of focus tend to decrease coordination, performance (and slow down learning), they can be of value when we desire a more direct technical change. So, at the right times, these can help to further our techniques — even if it is at the cost of our ability to coordinate movement fluidly.

Focusing on the body movement is more of an internal focus.
Focusing on the body movement is more of an internal focus.

External Process: 

The next type of focus is one that is outside of our body, but one which deals with the process of creating a good shot, or a task focus. More what to do thanhow to do it.

  • Making a divot in the right place
  • Striking the center of the club face
  • Creating a desired swing path/face angle

These focuses tend to be better at coordinating movement to a singular goal, which can dramatically improve shot performance. If a player is suffering from poor distance control, for example, an increased awareness/focus of ground strike quality can create dramatic improvements in results.

Just like focusing on picking up a glass of water (the task) as opposed to the hand/arm movement required), we can also focus on tasks such as divot position etc.
Just like focusing on picking up a glass of water (the task) as opposed to the hand/arm movement required, we can also focus on tasks such as divot position, etc.

These focuses tend to be better for handicap golfers and, in my experience, increase long-term skill development. In fact, world-renowned researcher Gabriel Wulf had this to say:

“Over the past 15 years, research on focus of attention has consistently demonstrated that an external focus (i.e., on the movement effect) enhances motor performance and learning relative to an internal focus (i.e., on body movements)”

To read the rest of the article on staying in the Zone, go here!

Source:  Adam Young   Golfwrx

Pictures: Golfwrx  pittaya

Thanks for reading How to stay in the Zone – It can be done if you know how.

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To change bad habits - this is what you need to do!

To change bad habits – this is what you need to do!

To change bad habits – this is what you need to do!
 
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 golfchats.com 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!
 
Most golfers know how hard it is to break old habits.  That’s not to say it is not possible.  As an instructor for over 50 years I  have delved deep into how the body learns, how the body retains that knowledge and how the body performs when asked to do so under extreme pressure.  My findings are fascinating and reveal the surprising power of the subconscious mind.  Learn to tap into that part of your brain, which controls motor skills, and you will understand how to break poor habits and replace them with good ones.   Thanks to Trillium Rose of Golfwrx for this interesting article on the essentials of breaking a habit.

3 Essentials to Breaking A Habit

To change bad habits – this is what you need to do!

You’re reading this article because you play golf and have spent various periods of time working on a shot or a part of the swing that you want to improve. You remember when somewhere along the road you hit a rough patch where you weren’t playing as well, and your ball flight was unpredictable. It’s happened to you, it’s happened to me, it’s happened to Tiger Woods.

And to fix the problem, you’ve gone back to the range to figure out what’s going wrong. Maybe you checked out this website for tips, or taken a lesson. And somewhere during that period you figured out the solution and then said, “Eureka! I’ve solved it! Now all I have to do is repeat this over and over until it sticks.”

Kind of. I know what you’re thinking, “How could that be wrong? Why would repeating the new move be the wrong thing to do if it’s what my swing is missing?” And I understand why you may think this way. Nearly everyone thinks this way and because of this, golfers don’t improve as well or as a quickly as they could be. If you create a habit through repetition, why wouldn’t repetition be the solution to change it?

But how we overcome bad habits isn’t as simple as just repeating the motion in the way we want it to be.

The complete answer is complicated and through a lot of scientific evidence over the past 50 years, we know that simply repeating a movement over and over isn’t the full story. But in sticking with the topic here, let’s look solely at what you need to know if you’re trying to break a habit. A critical element to include in your quest to break a pesky habit is to create a new one that is stronger than the existing one.

Officially, there isn’t really such a thing as “breaking a habit,” because a memory of what you learned doesn’t just go away. You can only create a new one that is stronger than the old one. And the old ones are typically stronger than the new ones. This makes sense if you think about how much easier it is for golfers who learn the game as a kid.

They have great habits that they don’t have to think about anymore. But if you have a bad habit from when you were a kid that you’d like to change in your mid-40s, then it will take some time. How do you create a new habit to take over the old one? Here are three keys to your success:

To see those 3 keys to success is, go here!

Source: Trillium Rose  Golfwrx
Pictures: Celestine Chua
 
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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 golfchats.com 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 was playing 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 start of 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.

Why?

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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Is part of your game missing - What about Post Round Routine?

Is part of your game missing – What about Post Round Routine?

Is part of your game missing – What about Post Round Routine?

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 golfchats.com 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!

Do you ever sit down after a round of golf and do a careful review of your round to see which parts of your game you can improve?  

And I’m not talking only about the physical aspects of your game like ball-striking, chipping or putting but how you performed other important facets of the game that can help you become a better player.  David MacKenzie of Golf State of Mind walks you through the 19 questions you should be asking yourself as part of your post-round routine that will certainly help your game in the future!

Is part of your game missing - What about Post Round Routine?

Do you examine your game after the round?

Post-round review questions

In golf, we need to celebrate success but use failure to get better.

After a round, the big questions we need to ask ourselves are:

“What did I do well and what do I attribute to that success?”

We need to maintain these things during practice.

“What did I not do well and how do I improve that?”

Let’s try to notice the things that might be causing these things.

What we need to do is find patterns in our play – if it was a great round, what specifically in your mental process and your mood was contributing to that? Did you really stick to your pre-shot routine? Was it that you had a swing cue that worked? Did you have Was it a particular thoughts in between shots? Was it an attitude that you had before the round? Was it focusing on your breathing? If you can identify it, let’s repeat it in the future!

If it was a bad round, what was it in the process or your mood that could have caused it? Is it a lack of patience? Was there tension in your swing? Is it a failure to accept the bad shots? Did you have high expectations? By being aware of the things you are doing and feeling when you’re playing poorly can help you avoid them in future rounds.

Your mental game scorecard

There are several key indicators to look out for. I like to call this a Mental Game Scorecard. I’ve included a link to a pdf version at the end of this section, so you can print off and fill out of you would like. Here are my top questions I like my students to ask themselves after every round.

How good was my routine?

For me, this is the best way to judge your performance during a round. To make sure the focus is always on the process instead of outcome (things you can control vs things you can’t), I have my students play a game whereby they can measure whether how well they stuck to their routine.

To see the 19 questions you should ask yourself after your round, go here!

Source: David MacKenzie   Golf State of Mind

Pictures: Eric Havir   David Fulmer

Thanks for reading Is part of your game missing – What about Post Round Routine?

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A Great Short Game leads to Strong Mental Toughness!

A Great Short Game leads to Strong Mental Toughness!

 
A Great Short Game leads to Strong Mental Toughness!
 
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 golfchats.com 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!
 
David MacKenzie is one of the leading game enhancement teachers in the world with top PGA and LPGA players as clients.  As David says, you must have a great short game to develop mental toughness.  Here David provides 4 terrific short game drills to improve your feel, build your confidence, and gain that mental toughness you’ve only seen on TV!
 
A Great Short Game leads to Strong Mental Toughness!

Victor Dubuisson – Golden Hands (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

 

4 Awesome Short Game Practice Drills

Try these drills (used by Tour players) to start honing your short game and making more up and downs this season.

1. One club, Two distances

In order to become a genius from 100 yards and in (the scoring zone), you need to develop your feel.

. A great way to practice feel is to hit the same club several distances (you can try this with your long game too). With this drill the aim is to make it instinctive how far the pin is away from you (from within 100 yards), something you’ll need to do to get to low single figures.

  1. Start at 125 yards and hit one ball to the target
  2. Then move to 115 and use the same club to hit to that same target
  3. Continue to move to 105 and change to whatever club you hit from this distance
  4. Then Move to to 95 and hit the same club as you did from 105
  5. Move to 85 and hit whatever club you would from this distance
  6. Finish by hitting your 85 yard club from the 75 yard position.

So…you’ll have played from 6 distances and used your 3 wedges twice each, to 2 different distances.

Some players choke down on the club and change their ball position for distance control and others use swing length and tempo. Experiment with both and see what works for you. You can also repeat this drill and create more distances by using 5 yard increments.

2. Real Short Game Practice

One of the first things I talk to amateurs about when I take on a new student is how they practice. More often than not, a fundamental change is necessary. I try to instill the “practice as you play” philosophy. What this means is that you simulate the golf course as much as you can.

One great short game drill is to take 20 balls and drop them around the practice green from different lies and positions. For each shot, you go through your routine just as you would on the golf course and imagine you are playing in a competition on whatever golf course you normally play (or perhaps where your next competition may be). If the ball comes to rest outside of gimme range (2ft), go through your pre-putt routine, just as you would on the course or in a competition and try to hole the putt.

When you’ve made the up and down, move onto the next ball until you’ve holed all 20. This exercise might take 40-50 minutes to perform, but it makes practice very meaningful.

What this does is:

  • Practice your routine – getting your process the same and focusing on it should be consistent no matter what the shot or situation
  • Work on your imagination and visualization
  • Simulate pressure while you practice
  • Makes practice fun, playing from different lies and trying different shots
  • Gives every shot a purpose, instead of being just another practice ball

To see the other 2 great Short Game Practice Drills, go here!

Source: David MacKenzie  Golf State of Mind

Pictures: Getty Images.

Thanks for reading A Great Short Game leads to Strong Mental Toughness!

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Learn to play "No Fear Golf" with David MacKenzie!

Learn to play “No Fear Golf” with David MacKenzie!

Learn to play “No Fear Golf” with David MacKenzie!

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 golfchats.com 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!

David MacKenzie is one of the leading Sports Performance Mental Trainers in the world.  

He owns Golf State of Mind and I have featured him several times in my posts because I believe he is extremely knowledgeable of his craft, and we can all learn from him.  Overcoming fear on the course is something that even the great players struggle with.  Just take a look at the short putt Dustin Johnson missed during the US Open at Chambers Bay last summer.  Think the fear of failure caught up with him at the wrong time?  Let David help you play no fear golf by managing your fear and thus becoming a better player!

Learn to play "No Fear Golf" with David MacKenzie!

You’ve had butterflies before your first tee shot, you’ve felt it.

And you’ve had trouble sleeping before an important round, you’ve felt it.

If you’ve ever started panicking during your warm-up because you think you’ve lost your swing, you’ve felt it.

Have you’ve ever “choked”, and felt it.

What is it? I’m talking about FEAR. Something that affects nearly every golfer that plays the game.

But what exactly is FEAR and why does it exist?

This article is going to take a look into the origin of fear, what the effects are, and how you can harness it to play your best golf.

To read the entire article on how to overcome fear on the course, go here!

Source: Golf State of Mind   David MacKenzie

Pictures: Bart Everson

Thanks for reading Learn to play “No Fear Golf” with David MacKenzie!

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10 Things you must know to succeed in golf - Love #8!

10 Things you must know to succeed in golf – Love #8!

10 Things you must know to succeed in golf – Love #8!

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 golfchats.com 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!

  is a leading sports psychologist with several players on the PGA Tour.  These players face tough mental stress day in and day out.  Gio is there to guide them through the process and make them better players.  Follow these 10 proven steps that Gio shares with  of Golf Digest and you will also know what it takes to succeed in golf!

10 Things you must know to succeed in golf - Love #8!

Gio Valiante.

1.

See the positive in a setback.

For Matt Kuchar, the 2009 BMW Championship was a crushing experience. We thought a top-5 finish would get him into the Tour Championship in Atlanta — a “home game” because he lives nearby. When he finished with a 75, he was very disappointed. But he asked himself, What can I learn from this? Matt thought he played too conservatively on Sunday, so he resolved to have a more aggressive mind-set. Three weeks later, he shot a final-round 69 at Turning Stone and won. The positives are always there if you make the effort to find them.

2.

Allow success to find you.

Coming into the Barclays this past August, Matt had nine top 10s on the year but no wins. The tendency here is to press. But we agreed that rather than make any changes, he just needed to keep getting in position. Players often get impatient and make a swing change or shift in strategy, when all they need is perseverance. That’s what Matt had, and he got his win that week.

3.

Don’t think golf owes you.

Camilo Villegas  missed a three-footer to win his semifinal match against Paul Casey in the Accenture Match Play in February. He went on to lose in sudden death. Camilo’s reaction was interesting: “I made a lot of putts this past week. Even great putters miss putts sometimes.”

A week later he flew to his home country of Colombia to support the first Nationwide Tour event played there. Camilo returned for the Honda Classic with a feeling of gratitude for all that he has in life. He had a bounce in his step and a free stroke with the putter. Putting the best he had in a long time. Camilo had 28 putts on Sunday and won by five. The lesson: We are entitled to nothing in golf. Playing the game, with appreciation and in good health — those are gifts. That realization can have a major effect on you.

4.

The game sends messages.

In 2009, Stuart Appleby finished 137th on the money list. His swing was good; more than anything, he seemed unmotivated. I thought the game was telling him he needed to rediscover his passion. We talked about it, and he responded, working very hard. Last August he wound up an 11-week run by shooting 59 to win at The Greenbrier. How did he celebrate? By playing five of the next six weeks. The game speaks to us, tells us why we’re underperforming. Listen up.

5.

Play with a fearless edge.

The Sunday before the Barclays in 2009, it looked like Heath Slocum was going to miss out on the FedEx Cup playoffs. When he just squeaked in, he felt like it was all a bonus and decided to play without fear. Mind you, he didn’t play reckless, but gone was any feeling of restraint. That freedom produced great results and a one-shot win over Tiger Woods.

To see the other 5 mental keys to becoming a winner, go here!

Source:       Golf Digest

Pictures:    Bart Everson

Thanks for reading 10 Things you must know to succeed in golf – Love #8!

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Can being aware of your body language improve your golf?

Can being aware of your body language improve your golf?

Can being aware of your body language improve your golf?
 
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 golfchats.com 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!

Do you notice that confident people have confident body language?  

Look at the quarterback on a football field.  He demands attention!  Look at Pele or Messi on a football field, they know they are good.  And I remember someone saying of Jack Nicklaus “He knows he can beat you.  You know he can beat you.  And he knows that you know that he can beat you!”  THAT is confidence.
 
But can you project that confidence even if you don’t have it?  Absolutely.  Particularly in the animal kingdom, smaller animals will show some sort of bravado in front of a larger animal to hopefully scare that animal away.  So the next time you get out of your car at the club, right from that moment, start posing as if you were Jordan Spieth arriving, looking around and saying “I wonder who’s going to be second today?”  Watch the video below with Social Psychologist Amy Cuddy and see just how important this subject is, not only for your golf but for your entire life!
 
Thanks to David MacKenzie of GolfStateofMind.com for this interesting and game-changing article!
 

How To Improve Your Golf Game in 2 Mins Per Day

If you watch anyone at the top of their field, whether it be sports, business or politics, you’ll notice they have very strong body language. And it’s probably more intentional than you think…

Can being aware of your body language improve your golf?

Why does body language matter?Amy Cuddy, Social psychologist and researcher at Harvard Business School gave a Ted Talk about “How Body Language Shapes Who You Are” and it’s been the most viewed Ted Talk (over 8 million views) on YouTube. I’ve included a link to it at the end of the article.

Cuddy explains that our body language not only affects how people see us, but it also affects how our mindsperceive us.

Studies (at Harvard) have shown that your posture affects your hormone levels, which can have a direct affect on your mood. When we’re stressed and anxious, we have more of a hormone called Cortisol in our bodies and when we’re feeling confident and assertive, we have higher levels of Testosterone.

To read the rest of this interesting article go here!

Source: GolfStateofMind.com     David MacKenzie

Video: TED

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