Mental Keys to Jimmy Walker’s Success
Since the start of this year, Jimmy Walker has been struggling to finish top 10 in the past 19 tournaments he has played in.
This season, Jimmy walker has missed 5 cuts, including the US Open and the Open Championship only 3 weeks ago, and he didn’t play strong enough to place in the Top 10 in at least 10 other tournaments.
What changed that allowed Walker to win this past weekend’s tournament at the PGA Championship? One small tweak can lead to everything clicking. But is wasn’t easy this year…
“I feel like all year, I would take a step forward, two steps back, three steps forward, step back. I’ve been just kind of like in limbo,” Walker said. “But I felt like last week, I saw something. It felt good. We worked on a knee move. Working on my overall attitude on the golf course. … I knew it was close.”
Playing relaxed when you have a chance to win is not as easy as it looks for Tour Pros. In addition, at the PGA Championship, they had to battle rain delays and playing 36 holes on Saturday to stay on schedule…
“Sometimes things just don’t come easy,” Walker said about playing 36 holes because of a weather delay Saturday. “Sometimes pars are hard but we got that one. There’s a lot of emotion going on out there, I’m not going to lie to you. It was a battle all day long. There was nothing easy about the day, really about the week, for that matter, especially coming down the last hole.”
Looking calm on the outside and feeling calm on the inside are two different things. When Walker was asked after the final round about looking calm on the outside, he responded that one of his objectives was to stay calm, but often you can’t see what going on the inside.
“That’s great. I’m glad you guys think I — thought I looked calm,” Walker said. “That’s huge. Because that’s what I was going for. I felt confident. I felt confident in myself. I felt confident in what I was doing. Felt confident in my golf swing, my putting, my chipping. Kind of tried to wrap myself around that; that everything was feeling good, and to go with that and trust what I was doing.”
What the one mental key that helped Walker win his first major? Was it staying calm? Focusing on his mental game more? Making a small tweak with his instructor? Or a combination of these?
A big key was his ability to “trust all the stuff that I have been working on, and that’s what I tried to apply out there,” said Walker. “I know I made nine pars in a row to start, and I hit a lot of quality golf shots. Hit a lot of greens today.”
How do you trust what you’re working on? Play your bread-and-butter shot on the golf course and keep it simple!
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