Mental Toughness and Golf

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Strength of mind propelled Tiger Woods to dominate the golfing world!

Mental toughness is the cornerstone of golf. Arnold Palmer thinks so and I am sure if you ask any golfer they would agree! The picture above reminds me of Tiger Woods in his prime! In his early years, Tiger was almost unstoppable. Yes he had a great swing, soft touch and a deadly putting stroke, but mostly he was mentally superior to all players.

Every time he hit the links, the knew he was going to win. Obviously Tiger did not win every tournament he entered, but his record speaks for itself:

  1. Woods has won 79 official PGA Tour events, second only to Sam Snead, and six ahead of Jack Nicklaus with 73 wins.
  2. Woods has won 14 majors, second all time, behind Jack Nicklaus.
  3. Woods is 14–1 when going into the final round of a major with at least a share of the lead.
  4. Woods scoring average in 2000 is the lowest in PGA Tour history, both adjusted, 67.79, and unadjusted, 68.17.
  5. Woods has the lowest career scoring average in PGA Tour history.
  6. Woods has amassed the most career earnings of any player in PGA Tour history (even after inflation is considered).
  7. Woods is one of five players (along with Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, and Gary Player) to have won all four professional major championships in his career, known as the Career Grand Slam, and was the youngest to do so.
  8. Woods is the only player to have won all four professional major championships in a row, accomplishing the feat in the 2000–2001 seasons. This feat became known as the “Tiger Slam”.
  9. Woods set the all-time record for most consecutive cuts made, with 142. The streak started in 1998, he set the record at the 2003 Tour Championship with 114 (passing Byron Nelson’s previous record of 113 and Jack Nicklaus at 105) and extended this mark to 142 before it ended on May 13, 2005 at the EDS Byron Nelson Championship. Many consider this to be one of the most remarkable golf accomplishments of all time, given the margin by which he broke the old record and given that during the streak, the next longest streak by any other player was usually only in the 10s or 20s. It should be noted that when Byron Nelson played far fewer players made the cut in a given event.
  10. Woods has won a record 26.2% (79 out of 301) of his professional starts on the PGA Tour.
  11. Woods is the only golfer to have won the U.S. Amateur three consecutive times (1994–96). (Source Wikipedia)

In my opinion, Tiger Woods current woes are mental. I am confident that if he was a mentally strong as he was in 2000, he would continue with his winning ways. Mentally, he is one of the strongest players to ever play professional golf. I am not sure how he regains his mental toughness, but if he does, he will be a force to contend with!

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

Pareto’s Principle and Golf

In 1906, Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto created a mathematical formula to describe the unequal distribution of wealth in his country, observing that twenty percent of the people owned eighty percent of the wealth. In the late 1940s, Dr. Joseph M. Juran inaccurately attributed the 80/20 Rule to Pareto, calling it Pareto’s Principle. While it may be misnamed, Pareto’s Principle or Pareto’s Law as it is sometimes called, can be a very effective tool to help you manage effectively. (about money)

Wow, how does this interesting economic factoid influence your golf game, you may ask? Let me explain it in another way. The Pareto principle, also known as the 80–20 rule, states that, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. So basically, when working on your golf game, make sure practice time on the 20 percent that really matters.

Pareto's Law Works In Golf!

Pareto’s Law Works In Golf!

Those 20 percent produce 80 percent of your results. Identify and focus on those things. For example, I had trouble is chipping from 50 yards. I did not focus on the real issue that was common to all chips, but focused on each individual challenge. Before, I never distributed most of my weight to my front foot when chipping. I had an even distribution of weight on both feet. The result was I scooped the ball often and was short on most of my chip shots. I tried many things like changing clubs, a different ball, more hand motion, less hand motion, etc….basically I was focusing on the 80%. Once I figured out that I needed to have more weight on my front foot, all my chips improved and positive results occurred during all my chips from within 50 yards.

I believe in Pareto’s Principle. It can be applied to all areas of my life, especially my golf game. I now take a different approach to improving my golf game, I look at the larger picture to see what area of improvement will benefit the most parts of my game.

This year, I am working on my swing sequence as discussed in previous posts. The bump, chest catch up, and complete follow through will be beneficial to all my full swings….focusing on this 20 percent that will affect the 80 percent.

What is your 20% this year?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

Three Rules in Golf Everyone Should Know

The rules of golf are a reoccurring theme at The Grateful Golfer. They are important to the integrity of the game, but more importantly for those aspiring players who want to compete in tournaments. This video below by Golf Monthly is brilliant. It explains three simple rules that will save you strokes in the long run!

The three important points that resonate with me are:

  1. actually saying the words “provisional ball”;
  2. when dropping the ball, it can roll outside two club lengths as long as it goes no closer to the hole; and
  3. when taking free relief, it must be full relief.

Did you know these rules and do you apply them properly?

What caught your attention about these three important rules?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!