A mental approach to better golf

Since I spoke about Tiger yesterday and his swing issues, I decided to talk about what makes him great if it isn’t his swing. I can speak from experience as I was weak on this issue and it is one of the reasons I didn’t make the Tour.

IMO, Tiger’s long game is over rated. He is one of the best clutch putters of all time and one of the greatest recovery artists of all time.

His other great ability is to play every shot in a vacuum. During his dominant periods, even during his periods playing poorly, he was the best I have seen at hitting each shot as well as he could. Whether it’s a 6 footer for double, or a wedge to the 72nd green with a 14 shot lead, he hits every shot as if it’s the only one he is going to hit that day.

The better you get at that, the fewer brain cramps you will have. It has a two fold affect. It gets you focused on that 6 footer for double, so you don’t make triple…and it teaches you to place equally high importance on every shot, so it actually takes the pressure off the ones that you would normally feel pressure on.

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10 Comments

  1. Wally

    I started playing golf in 1981 at the age of 37. My three playing partners were scratch golfers who regularly shot below par. We used to play nine holes before going to work on Saturday. What I didn’t realize was that I was part of a bet that one of my friends made that he could teach anyone to play golf. That first season I would play using only a five iron and a putter. I had played a lot of minature golf with my kids so I was a pretty good putter. By summers end I was shooting 45 or better for nine holes with a five iron and putter. After they let me know about the bet at the end of the season we all had a good laugh. We played together for another five years until we got transferred to different places. Golf can be a lot of fun, if you let it. What I didn’t tell them I would spend hours on the range with that five iron. For me golf was love at first try. Tiger needs to fall in love golf again, think about the shots, not the score.

    Reply
  2. s.

    Here’s confirmation from Geoff Ogilvy’s GC “Playing Lesson.”

    They were discussing being a hot-head, and Ogilvy said that Tiger gets as mad as anyone after a bad shot. But it never affects his next shot.

    Reply
  3. Mike from Canada

    Monte,

    I 100% agree that Tiger’s long game is overrated. I never understood why everyone focused on it. His short game and just knack for making the big putt when he had to was what set him apart.

    I used to ask that question, “a putt to save my life… who would I ask to hit the putt?”. The answer used to be Tiger. He would will it in the hole. ………. Now that I think about the question again, I don’t know who the answer is now. A 10 ft putt to save your life, you can’t putt yourself and it has to be a tour pro. Who would it be? Anyone?

    Mike

    Reply
    • Westy

      Graeme McDowell. At least I’ll know he won’t choke under pressure.

      Reply
      • Mike from Canada

        AH! I just thought of who I would pick…. Aaron Baddley. I love how he doesn’t pause over the ball.

        Reply
  4. rojoass

    Guess I’m dead. Can’t think of anyone.

    Reply
  5. Wally

    I believe that about one after his divorce is final, Tiger will be playing better than ever. Anyone who has gone through a divorce settlement knows what I mean.

    Reply
    • James

      Amen

      Reply
  6. Patrick

    I think Tiger has had an episode in his life concerning his divorce, that made him realise there are more important things in life than playing golf.

    I don.t think he will ever get back to how he was before his divorce.Great golfers have one thing in common….they possess a cocoon type concentration..and.that’s what Tiger has lost.

    Reply

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