When you don’t have your “A” game working on the course, do you struggle to grind out a good score?
If you watched Phil Mickelson win the Northern Trust Open last week, you witnessed a neat lesson in how to grind out a win when not playing with your “A” game.
I think Mickelson was three over par and two shots back at one point in his final round. But mentally tough players rally when their back is against the wall. Phil birdied two of the last three holes to win by one shot. It was fun to watch.
What’s the mindset Phil used to grind out the win? He stopped trying to fix his swing and focused on the flag:
“When I wasn’t swinging well and I needed to make some birdies and make something happen, I just blocked everything out, looked at the pin and swung to it. I didn’t think about anything swing-wise, just looked at my target and swung and forgot about all the technical stuff that I had been working on,” said Mickelson.
He went on to say that you can’t perform at your peak when you are too focused on swing mechanics on the course:
“But it’s difficult to play at a high level thinking about mechanics. So those last four holes just kind of looked at the target and swung,” said Mickelson.
As you know, I talk about scoring ugly when you don’t have your “A” game. You score ugly when you learn how to play efficiently instead of perfectly or analytically.
Sometimes your swing does not feel just right or your ball flight is not be what you expect. In these times, you have to use what’s working and rely on your talent to get the job done and score.
Mickelson knew he was not hitting the ball well in the final round (compared to the first two days). He adjusted by relying on his natural talent instead of guiding the ball around the course.
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Your Golf Confidence Coach,
Dr. Patrick Cohn
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