The Golf Performance Center Ridgefield, CT


Over the years we have seen many golfers from all over the world come and go, some become the best in the world, others just pop up, play well for a while, and seem to disappear in plain sight.  Now, a lot of this is the media picking up on the “hot” player or story for the week or weeks they are playing great.  To be honest, it is great to see golfers who emerge from obscurity and take over the golf world for moments.  It makes it seem that it is possible for anyone to “make” it.  Besides, names like Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Annika Sorenstam, Betsy King, Phil Mickelson or Tiger Woods, how many golfers do people really remember.  I know that many junior golfers couldn’t name more than 20 of the best golfers in the world and many adult golfers would likely go blank before knowing the 10 names in the golf ranks.  I am not saying this is bad, it is just how we think, here today, gone tomorrow.  The ebb and flow of life. 

This week we have a new crop of young players on the PGA Tour making their professional debut in the RBC Canadian Open.  Guys who recently graduated from the PGA Tour U, the top 20 amateurs in college get exemptions into the Korn Ferry Tour but also for the very top of the class receive exemptions into some of the PGA Tour events that are not deemed majors or next level events.  These guys are coming into playing at the highest level full of confidence from their college experiences, maybe they won the NCAA individual championship or the team championship, but make no mistake, they are full of confidence.  Often jumping onto the leader boards of events for a couple of days and occasionally finishing in the Top 10.  But what happens when they begin to realize that playing college golf and professional golf is a big difference.  Their golf skills do not match the challenge of playing at the highest level.  It depends, some guys will realize learning to play on the PGA Tour requires a mind shift, playing at the highest level is different and requires different demands of their golf skills, while others may not have the mindset to accept or realize this. Unfortunately, the pressure or the resistance to understand how to change their games causes them to lose confidence and can ultimately leave them drifting into obscurity.  

Mindset do not underestimate how this can and will play a significant role in your development to be the best player you can be.  It can determine how your confidence can be reduced to depression quickly.  How can you help avoid this?  Spend time thinking about what your goals are, understanding how challenging golf is,  what obstacles will get in the way, these may not be tangible, how will you deal with the change in demands of your skill sets.  As much as golf is a game of physical skills it is a mental chess game.  What moves can you make, when can you make them and how can I make them while reducing as much damage as possible.  

A way to help avoid the big swings in confidence is always knowing where your skills are, golf skills and mental skills.  What effects them, as a junior golfer, how much does your growth affect your skill acquisition, how much can it affect your tournament performances, how can you deal with this.  Having the mindset that you are always learning and improving versus I am fixed or that you should be at some arbitrary point of development because someone else is better or perceived to be better because they may have a better score than you on a given day.  You can avoid the big swings in confidence by knowing where your skills are, by going through a Player Development Assessment, learn what your Player Development Index is, this will help you understand where your skills are at any given time.  Knowing this helps give you confidence, knowing that your skills are improving, can help make your tournament results about how you are learning, or another way to say it, your mindset is about how you are growing or improving versus, my game sucks.  

The names I mentioned earlier in this article all have a growth mindset, they all looked at their journey in golf as one of, how do I get better today, to become the golfer and person I want to be tomorrow.  Once you can accept that you are developing, and can measure your improvement, it is less likely that your confidence is knocked off course too severely that you can not recover and move on to your greatness.

Enjoy your Journey!

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