Sergio Garcia’s Winning Mindset
All golfers desire that smooth stroke that enables them to hit powerful, accurate shots. Interestingly, a fluid stroke is the result of not just physical practice but also mental factors.
When you are playing your best golf, you are in a “thought-free” zone, that is, you are swinging the club without consciously thinking about technique, judging your swing, or worrying about the results of your shots.
When you are in this type of “free” mindset, your body is relaxed and your mind is clear. An uncluttered mind allows you to focus on the task at hand and trust in your practice.
That opposite of a “free” mindset is a overactive mindset where negative thoughts and distractions swirl around your head causing tension, anxiety and over thinking.
When you are tense, your swing is uncomfortable, mechanical and forced. This type of mental clutter often causes a golfer to overthink and could potentially lead to the yips.
An intriguing example of how a golfer’s mindset affects their game is the story of Sergio Garcia.
Garcia’s story demonstrates how a cluttered mindset can lead to disastrous results in golf…
Garcia turned pro in 1999 after a stellar amateur career.
Garcia won his first European title in his sixth start as a professional and gained prominence when he battled Tiger Woods at the 1999 PGA Championship, where he eventually finished second, losing by one stroke.
From 2001-2008, Garcia won seven PGA Tournaments and six European titles.
Over the course of the next eight years (2009-2016), Garcia was only able to muster five combined PGA and European Tour victories and battled with the yips in 2012.
The biggest heart-breaker for Garcia was his poor showings in Major Championships (0-for-73).
Garcia’s mental game was slowly unraveling and his negativity played out in excuse making, complaining, blaming and pessimism.
After the 2012 Masters, Garcia said, “I’m not good enough… I don’t have the thing that I need to have to win majors.”
Garcia’s negativity made his putting so tense and mechanical that he often left putts short.
Garcia decided something had to change in 2017…
Rather than tinkering with his swing, Garcia decided to improve his mental game.
Garcia focused on being positive and having a free mindset which lead to a better swing and better results in tournaments.
After winning the Omega Dubai Desert Classic earlier in the year, Garcia achieved his biggest breakthrough… Winning the 2017 Masters Tournament, his first Major title.
Garcia won the tournament in a playoff with a birdie on first extra hole.
Garcia attributes his success this season to having a more positive mental approach to the game of golf.
GARCIA: “Probably it’s because my mentality has a changed a little bit, the way I’m thinking things.”
It is truly amazing how much you can improve your golf game by improving your mental game.
A “Free” Mindset During a Round of Golf
Remember, a “free” mindset is one where you are free to play your game without getting pulled down by irrelevant thoughts.
You want to simplify your approach to every shot by only having one swing trigger or swing cue.
Avoid focusing on the outcome and especially the negative outcome of missing a shot or three-putting, which only creates tension.
If you hit a bad shot, don’t stop to fix it in the middle of the round. Let go of analyzing what’s wrong and use what’s working!
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Golfer’s Mental Edge
What’s the big sign that your mental game is the weak link in your golf game? When you can’t play consistently as well as when you play a practice or casual round–or your range game is way better than your game on the course. If you suffer from lack of focus, low self-confidence, poor composure or other mental game obstacles on the course, you can’t reach your true potential in golf.
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