Golf Psychology: Tony Finau – Winning!

There was an interesting article on BBC Sport the other day about American golfer Tony Finau. It was highlighting the fact that since his win at the Puerto Rico Open in 2016, Finau has finished inside the top ten of PGA events, thirty times! That’s an amazing statistic. Such consistency. A player who knows his own game. The article however, went on to question why the Salt Lake City pro had failed to convert those top ten’s into tournament wins. Could he be trying too hard. Thinking you have to play perfect golf to win? That 8/10 isn’t good enough. […]

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Golf Psychology: Shane Lowry – Calmness!

And so Shane Lowry is crowned Champion Golfer for 2019. The only threat to his commanding position at the top of the overnight leaderboard appeared to be himself. Would memories of his lost four shot lead at the US Open come back to haunt him? Would the lure of holding the Claret Jug aloft inveigle his thought process? The answer was No on both counts. By the closing holes, Lowry was experiencing the super-natural calm, that is the preserve of those who know that all is in place for success. A lot of that calmness emanated from the presence of […]

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Golf Psychology: Rory McIlroy – Expectations!

It’s day one of the Open Championship at Royal Portrush. And Rory McIlroy is on the tee. This isn’t just any old Open for Rory. It’s the homecoming. The first Open in his beloved Northern Ireland since 1951. Most of the pre-tournament publicity seems to be built around him. But with all that in mind, you’d expect this multiple Major winner to take it all in his stride. Ride the wave of expectation and channel it all into his focus and belief. But it couldn’t have started any worse for Rory. His opening tee shot find itself out of bounds. […]

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Golf Psychology: Justin Rose – Innocence!

He came to prominence at the 1998 Open. His fourth place finish as an amateur, alerting the golfing world to his emerging talent. Nineteen years later, Justin Rose returns to Royal Birkdale, Still without an Open title to his name. Ahead of the event, Justin is talking about the innocence he had in 1998. And his desire for a return to that same feeling this week. It’s an interesting observation. When you join the games professional ranks, the freedom you have as an amateur, can be negated by all the pressures playing the game for money brings. The need to […]

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Golf Psychology: Rory McIlroy – Motivation!

It’s the par five fifteenth at Hazeltine National Golf Club, Minnesota. Ryder Cup day one. Rory Mcilroy has just drained an eagle putt to defeat Dustin Johnson and Matt Kuchar. He bows in mock theatrical fashion to the corwd. Then delivers a mighty fist pump, to let everyone know what the win means to him. It has echoes of Ian Poulter at Medina four years ago. A one-man demonstration of will and courage in adversity. Of course at Medina the European team had the late Severiano Ballesteros’s memory to play for.  Here at Hazeltine, there appears to be no external […]

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Golf Psychology: Phil Mickleson – Harmony!

His first two rounds complete, and Phil Mickleson leads this years Open. In years past, there would be an element of uncertainty about Phil’s ability to maintain his leaderboard position. A feeling that he would find a way to sabotage his opportunity somewhere out on the course. But this Troon Open feels different. Reducing risk off the tee, by using a two iron to maximise control, has given him a sense of certainty in his game. In other words, he is pretty certain where his ball is going to go most of the time. When a player has that level […]

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Golf Psychology: Charlie Hull -The Dream State!

It’s possibly the highest golfing mental attainment. That is the ability to detach yourself completely from your outcomes. It’s the Zen Of Golf. A dream-state of mind that means you are simply tuned into the purity of striking the golf ball. Letting everything else take care of itself. Some golfers may go through their whole career and experience this on -course nirvana only once. For young English golfer Charlie Hull this state appears to be the norm. In a recent interview Charlie talked about a shot she hit at the Rancho Mirage ANA Inspiration, where she finished an impressive runner-up […]

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Golf Psychology: Jordan Speith – The Water!

It’s Sunday at the Augusta National. And defending Masters champion Jordan Speith is in dominant mood. A run of four birdies has left him seven under par after nine. Despite a couple of subsequent dropped shots, by the time he reaches the par-three ‘Golden Bell’ twelfth, he looks likely to retain the green jacket. His tee shot off twelve goes directly into Raes Creek, that protects the narrow green, It’s ok. It’s a recoverable situation for a mentally strong player like Speith. Then he betrays his clouded mindset by striking his penalty-shot wedge straight back into the water. He still […]

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Golf Psychology: Rory McIlroy – The Post-Shot Routine

In a few weeks time the world of golf heads to Augusta for the first classic of the season. And world number three Rory McIlroy will be looking to secure his first green jacket. At the moment, McIlroy is a little short of the consistency necessary to win the games top prizes. Moments of magic are interspersed with doses of mediocrity.  And he has some interesting things to say on the subject of his game. After a final round seven-under 65, at The Arnold Palmer Invitational, that left him still eleven shots of Jason Day, McIlroy said, “I’ve really beaten myself […]

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Golf Psychology: Sung Kang – Sixty!

It’s the Monterey Country Club. California. The Pebble Beach Pro-Am. And South Korea’s Sung Kang has just created a little bit of local history. A course record sixty has given him a share of the clubhouse lead at the halfway stage. That’s nine birdies and an eagle from the world’s number three hundred and six! Lots of players have rounds that begin in spectacular fashion. Runs of early birdies can feel good. Exhilarating even. But they can also make you feel uncomfortable. Players can get freaked out by sequences of birdies. It doesn’t feel normal. It can throw you. Like you […]

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