Vying for Dominance in My Golf Game

Being ‘the best golfer they can be’ is something that most amateurs strive for; they may deny it to protect their ego, however playing their best all the time is always the goal. Being the best is admirable, but being dominant is something different. We have all encountered that athlete that seems to effortlessly excel at their sport and golf is no different. These players seem to have that something special that most of us are missing, yet continue to strive to attain.

To dominate in golf takes many attributes including confidence.

Unlike Tiger Woods, whose dominance was unmatched for 10+ years, many amateurs have sparks of greatness for a short period of time. You know, the times when everything is in sync and you can do nothing wrong. During those periods, you dominate all aspects of your game and those you are playing with.

I remember back in 2009 when I won a 54 hole golf tournament by 14 strokes. It was by far the most dominant I ever was during a tournament. Shooting 75, 72, 78 over 3 days on the par 71 course lead me to victory. To put it into perspective, I played the same course in a 3 day tournament this year and with that score I would have also won the tournament.

During my run of low scores, everything worked. I only made two mistakes over the 3 days and their was nothing the course could throw at me that I could not easily handle. I was dominant and it did have a negative affect on the other players. No matter how many good shots they made, I responded in kind. I was dominant!

I often think back to those rounds and a benchmark for being dominant during my current rounds. I can say that I have played that well over many rounds from time to time, however I am not completely dominant they way I expect…..most of the time. I am not sure how to duplicate my mastery of my game more often, but it something I continue to work on. I do know that the mechanics of my swing has something to do with it, but to be truly dominant, I think I need to focus on my mental game.

By watching players like Tiger Woods andΒ  Phil Mickelson, who have proven they can dominate professional golf over the long run, it is their mental strength that catches my attention. They show complete confidence in every shot and as a result, crush their opponents. Additionally, they are relentless! The want to dominate, know they can dominate, and as a result, dominate! It is amazing to watch and is a key trait to learn if I want to dominate with my game on the golf course.

I realize my ramblings are a bit scattered today, but I think I am on to something. I will continue to investigate how I can dominate with my golf game and hopefully, over the off-season, I can figure out a way ahead.

Any thoughts?

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

Written by Jim Burton from The Grateful Golfer blog.

8 thoughts on “Vying for Dominance in My Golf Game

  1. Hi Jim! After reading this post today and seeing some of your most recent comments about a question you asked about the off-season..I need to know: What was the question you’re looking for honest answers about?!!!

    I’ve always wanted to know more about how you practice. I love your posts about your play, your tournaments, your friendships and your travels…but what about your “process”?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rick,

      Great question. Basically, I like it when people respond with their views. I do not find it helpful when everyone agrees with each other. I try to pose many questions to find the views of others, from there I look analyse what they say and see if their view has merit to my game. If it does, I will research possible solutions and give them a try. This year I found that I could not fix my driver, so I am planning to take a few lessons next year. This is a result of input from readers about my swing (that everyone says is great, but I realize I am casting more than I thought).

      So after that long answer, I like everyone to tell me their views from their perspective. It is the only real way to expand my knowledge and learn.

      Hope this answers your question.



  2. I would say that dominating is only as satisfying as the quality of your competitions game in comparison to your own. You can be killing a bad player while having a bad day yourself and that brings no satisfaction at all. We aren’t playing at elite levels or against elite players. When you can dominate a better player that is playing a great game, then you have something to feel good about.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I think I must have been tired when I wrote that. After reading it again I came off a bit of an ass on the subject. Sorry, it wasn’t intentional. I like the way Brian put it much better.

        Dominating in golf though as an amateur means taking a US Amateur title to me. And that’s out of my league. And dominating my friends isn’t all that tough. Only one of them has a handicap within 5 of me. And he cheats by doing a lift, clean, and place on every shot. Lol. (something I suggested to the guys to give them more confidence and a extra handicap on me since they don’t get to play as often)

        So rather than think dominance, I still prefer those times when I get to play someone really good. Someone better than I am to press me into trying to keep up. I learn something then. Even if it’s only humility. I don’t really care about dominating, I just want to be able to compete.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Kevin

        It is all good. I understood tje intemt of you last statement. Dominating in golf is relative to your competition. It definitely can be situational. I feel tje same way. I do think that a player can dominate in relation ro their own game, but that takes a broader and more philosophical view of golf.



  3. Jim, as single-digit amateurs, we can strive for domination but probably settle for playing “in the zone” on occasion. At our level, the key is to enter that zone as often as possible. How? Your guess is as good as mine πŸ™‚ Domination is a relative concept and is largely dependent on the level of your competition. In all honesty, was your 14-shot win more about mastery of your game or a field not competing at your level? To dominate, you need complete confidence in your rock solid mechanics, 100% clear thinking, and a field that can’t touch you. I have never had that and probably never will. Tiger “dominated” when he won the 2000 US Open by 15 shots, as he was awesome and the competition couldn’t even approach even-par. Many years back, I shot 209 over three days and won my club championship by a shot. Dominance? Hardly, even though it was the greatest stretch of golf I have ever played. If the field had finished 10 shots behind me could I have considered that dominance? Maybe. So it’s a relative concept. Truthfully, I was just in the zone for a while. How to get in the zone more often is the key!

    Great topic. Thanks,


    Liked by 1 person

    • Brian

      Great points. I guess the terminology is important. I understand your zone vs dominance view and have to agree. Dominance is really a rare thing, where as being in the zone is more attainable. Thanks for your sage words, as always they help me see a different perspective.


      Liked by 1 person

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