Whether playing golf with your buddies or in events – notice if you have a tendency or habit surrounding your game that is not producing the results you want.
• Do you count your score as you play, always falling short of your goal?
• Does your round include 16 or 17 great holes and 1 or 2 disasters?
• Does your golf dictate your attitude and personality for the rest of the day (and maybe even into the next)?
• Do you hear the same stories rolling around in your head from the time you tee off until you finish your round (Here we go again, I’m terrible, Why am I playing this game?….).
If any of these tendencies sound familiar, or you have a similar story the repeats around your golf, you are not alone. The big question I often hear is, how do I break the habit?
You have a choice around your approach to the game of golf. If you are having great success and you are enjoying yourself, don’t change a thing! If you are frustrated and want to change the approach, then make that choice. GIVE UP YOUR UNSUCCESSFUL APPROACH TO YOUR GOLF.
This takes bravery. You must accept that there is no guarantee the new approach you will use will work. Be open to any outcome, knowing that a new approach MAY open new levels of success. If this is too challenging at first, start with simple changes. Drive a different route to your golf course, after every shot only say something positive, if you look at trouble and get nervous – only look at the fairway or the green, if you count your score as you play…don’t do it the entire round, etc… A simple change can create a transformation that spirals into big breakthroughs. It can take time, or happen quickly…so be prepared and patient.
When you hear those same stories starting up in your head, stop yourself and talk differently. Thoughts are something you create and can control. Breaking the habit can be challenging, but the rewards will be noticeable.
In September 2010, I won the Montana Open for the first time. I had finished 2nd a record five times before that, and had nine Top 5 finishes as well. I chose to approach the tournament differently this year. I was always the underdog, always the guy who played well, but one player edged me out by some way each year. The 2010 Montana Open appeared to be going down that road again, as my closest competitor eagled the par 4 15th hole by holing out from 168 yards, then birdying two of the final three holes to force a playoff. My past approach was to mumble to myself about how lucky somebody was, or “Here we go again” would bounce around in my head. This year I just smiled and honestly congratulated my competitor on his great shots and play. On the second playoff hole, I made a birdie and won the event. In order for that to happen, I had to be brave and try something different. The new approach paid off.