Tom’s Bonus Tip:
Pressure and Focus
For the sake of simplicity, all advice on swings and drills is provided from a right handed perspective; lefties …. well, you know what to do!
Chris also mentioned to me that he felt a little more nervous that normal because his sponsors walked every hole with him and took several PR photos.
I played on a much smaller mini tour about ten years ago, and I can relate to the nervousness he must have experienced.
Actually, I take that back – because I wasn’t in a position where my future livelihood depended on my performance, in front of sponsors that control my destiny to a degree.
Tournament golf at the professional level is something that most people never experience. Take the pressure of a 5 footer to win your $20 Nassau and multiply it by about 10,000 and you might get the feeling.
Having said all of that, for anyone that has aspirations to play at the professional level, you have to have a coping mechanism or you will succumb to the pressure.
Here’s How To Cope
Recognize that there will be pressure and embrace it. Pressure or not, it’s special to have the ability and the opportunity to be playing at that level, so try to enjoy it.
Between shots, de-pressurize your brain by enjoying your surroundings. Enjoy the walk – until you are about twenty yards from your ball, then switch on the focus switch. At that point, until you have executed your shot, it’s all business. After the shot, you flip off the focus switch and repeat the process.
The exception is on the green, where it’s all focus until you’ve holed out.
Switching the focus switch on and off should be practiced as diligently as you practice your swing method. During the day, when circumstances permit, stop what you are doing and focus on something intently for 60 seconds. This can be a visual focus, like looking intently at an object, noticing every minute detail about. It can also be strictly mental, when you think deeply and intently about anything that pops into your mind.
This might seem a little crazy, but you absolutely will notice your powers of concentration getting stronger if you do this three times per day. Deliberately practicing focus and concentration will help you tune out outside distractions, which is of utmost importance for playing high level tournament golf.
It will also help you hole that 5 footer to win your $20 Nassau!
Love your practice, enjoy your golf,