Golf Psychology: Ricky Fowler – The Water!

It’s The Phoenix Open, Arizona. America’s Ricky Fowler is in a two-man play-off with Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama. It’s the fourth extra hole. The 317 yard par four 17th. And the American is aiming to avoid past Scottsdale mistakes. On eight previous occasions he has found water on the seventeenth. Unfortunately, history repeats itself. Fowler is in the hazard again. and Matsuyama wins the play-off and his second PGA tour event. Fowler’s family have been in the galleries. Including his father and grandfather. They have never seen Ricky win. In his post round media centre interviews, Fowler breaks down in tears at […]

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Golf Psychology: Sergio Garcia – The Mystery of Putting!

It’s the start of the European Tour season. Spaniard Sergio Garcia starting promisingly with a seventh place finish in the Qatar Masters. Garcia, as always, strong from tee to green. But an average of 31.5 putts per round. And by the final round, more experiments with his putting grip. Abandoning the claw technique of recent seasons, to go back to a more traditional method. Change of putter. Change of grip. It all seems logical to a player seeking excellence. Seeking his first Major at the age of thirty-six. But after so many changes. maybe the answer lies elsewhere. Lies in […]

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Golf Psychology: Rory McIlroy – Lessons From Augusta!

Seeing your game unravel in front of millions of people. That’s not something you dream of as a top sports professional. But it has its upside. If you know how to learn! In 2011, Rory McIlroy went into the final round of the Masters with a commanding four shot lead. He was nailed on for his first Major. Then at Amen Corner, his game fell apart. His final round 80 was a powerful lesson at the University Of Golf. Since then Rory has won four Majors. And he cites his Masters meltdown as the turning point. When your game collapses […]

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Golf Psychology: Tiger Woods – The Comeback?

He was bulletproof. A giant of the game. King of the golfing world. Immune from weakness. Striking fear into the hearts of his opponents with his mental strength. Tiger Woods was a true trailblazer. He set the tone for others to follow. He changed how players physically and mentally prepared for tournaments. But that was then. Tiger’s game is currently no longer good enough to compete on the professional tour. Is it over for good for Tiger Woods or is the great American comeback around the corner? When you have been as good as Tiger was, the greatest challenge is […]

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Golf Psychology: Rory McIlroy – Unconscious!

‘Brain Dead’. ‘Unconscious’. It’s Rory McIlroy explaining away his eight over par, victory limiting opening round at Muirfield today. Coming into The Open, most golfers are usually very well-prepared. They see the tournament as the peak of their golfing year, and want to leave nothing to chance. So, they may spend time with a golf psychologist, working through a range of game dynamics that they could face and how they will deal with them. They will make sure their pre and post shot routines are in good order. They will check that they are seeing their targets clearly and committing […]

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Golf Psychology: Rory McIlroy – Pressure!

It’s not been the best of times for Rory McIlroy, since he signed his mega-bucks deal with Nike. The form which caused the sportswear giant to bring him into their superstar fold, has temporarily deserted the Irishman. Prompting many to question, whether his sudden course walk-off in Florida, is a sign of a golfer struggling to handle the intense demands upon him. Well it wouldn’t be a surprise if the pressure to deliver for his corporate sponsor, was affecting the way Rory plays. When you are being paid the sort of money he is, and positioned as a Brand Ambassador, […]

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Golf Psychology: Ian Poulter – Failure Is Not An Option!

It’s Ryder Cup Saturday. Europe are heading for what looked likes certain defeat in the Chicago heat. Then up steps Ian Poulter. Not since Stuart Pearce in Euro 96, has an Englishman showed such courage and defiance in sporting adversity. Poulter refused to accept the inevitable. Defeat for him, was not an option. He had already declared to his captain Jose Maria Olazabal, that he would return to base with a point. By confidently declaring his intentions, Poulter left himself with no options. He had to win. And thus under this personal pressure, he drew on all his ability, experience, […]

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Golf Psychology: Darren Clarke – Unconscious Putting

So Darren Clarke, supported by two sports psychologists, Bob Rotella and Mike Finnigan, is 2011 Open Champion. Mike Finnigan was working with the Ulsterman on his attitude and motivation. Rotella on the critical details of golf performance. More specifically, Rotella was helping Clarke on his putting. Or Unconscious Putting as the golf psychologist described it. As Darren putted beautifully under pressure on Day Four, the strategy was very successful. But what is Unconscious Putting? And more importantly, how do you do it? Well the key to Unconscious Putting, is having a clear picture of the image or outcome that you […]

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Golf Psychology: Graham McDowell – Major Expectations!

It’s day two of the Open Championship, and one of the pre-tournament favourites, Graham McDowell has missed the cut. ‘I was a bit of a mental case out there’, was the Irishman’s description of his 36 hole performance. He also went on the say that ‘I need to care a bit less about the game right now’. Fascinating comments from such a keen and dedicated mental student of the game. But what does Graham mean exactly, by caring less about the game. It suggests that he has lost both his feel and perhaps his love of golf. It’s just no […]

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Golf Psychology: Rory McIlroy – Expectations!

It’s the day before the Open Championship. And, in the absence of Tiger Woods, all the expectations are on the US Open Champion, Rory McIlroy. For many players, this level of expectation would almost certainly result in under-performance. But not McIlroy. This is a player who exudes self-belief. A player who, whilst leading the US Open, wasn’t just content with winning. But wanted to smash Tigers winning-margin record. Expectations are such, that many will be looking to Rory to repeat his briliance at Congressional. A top player thrives on these kind of expectations. Loves the fact that the eyes of […]

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