The PGA Tour is back! So far this year no one with the lead on Sunday morning has won. We saw Kyle Stanley make a triple bogie on the 72ndto tie, lose in a playoff and win the next week. Phil routed Tiger at Pebble Beach. At the Northern Trust Open Bill Haas posted -7 with Phil and Keegan Bradley on 18 at -6. Kostis asked Haas what his mindset was, Haas replied “I expect them both to make birdie 18 and we will go to a playoff.” Phil makes a bomb and Keegan pours it in on top of him for some great 72nd hole heroics. Because Bill Haas was mentally prepared for them to make those putts he prevailed in the playoff.
I’d like to start my instructional column on how you think and give you a couple of ways to create confidence. First you need to allow yourself to be great. I watch so many high handicap players hit a shot that’s a little off and complain. Its important to find something good about your shots, if you hit a bad shot visualize the shot you wanted to hit and get on with your round. Do not associate a negative feeling with any shot! You are in charge of creating your own confidence so create it. Repeat after me “I am a great putter!” “I can hit this shot!” “I am the best chipper of the ball in the world!” believe it, why not.
Here’s an exercise to help create confidence. Get a $1 note pad that fits in your golf bag. After every round write down the 5 best shots you hit in as much detail as possible. It’ll look like this; #3 at UMD I hit rescue at the tall pine tree by the green and the ball never left the tree. The Taylor Made Penta #1 went 24 yards like a bullet. It was sunny, 65 degrees, Friday at 12:20 and I was with Mark, Dan and Jeff.
You don’t have to be good to be confident, confidence is in your own head, create it!
Chris Oleson, PGA teaches at UMD and Paint Branch GC. He is TPI, K-vest and putting zone certified, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org