Golf is a tough game to learn and play well. To become a successful amateur or professional golfer you will need to develop your mental and physical skills in such a way that the outcome will be a consistent score average that is lower than 80 percent of the golfers you compete against most of the time.
And one of the consistent challenges that you will face as you develop your skills and confidence is the managing of your emotions along the way to a lower golf score average. Your emotional state can significantly influence the quality of your golf shots and your golf score, and also influence your future performances depending on how you manage them.
One of the daily challenges we face continually coaching elite golfers at Pro Tour Golf College everyday is managing the roller coaster of their emotional states. Practicing for many hours each week and for the most part failing to achieve your objectives is difficult for even the best to handle, but is especially true of aspiring professional golfers.
Training to play on a professional golf tour or to develop into a top level amateur is not for the faint hearted.
It requires that you develop extraordinary mental discipline and resolve which requires the understanding, management and practice of a number of key skills that underpin every performance on the golf course and practice ground.
The bottom line; becoming a tour golfer is a long term process of personal development to acquire a very high level of emotional competence.
We teach our students to realize the power behind the management of their thoughts, feelings and behaviours in order to make continuous progress. Our experience training elite golfers over many years suggests that learning physical skills is easier for them than the learning mental skills. Most of the reason for this is the focus of golf culture on technique rather than on developing the whole golfer.
At Pro Tour Golf College we believe that when you develop the whole golfer you can develop their full potential. To be so narrow minded as to think that perfecting golf swing technique will produce champion golfers is naive and ignorant of the many different elements involved in the high performance development chain.
"At Pro Tour Golf College we believe that when you develop the whole golfer you can develop their full potential."
We believe that the whole golfer is the sum of their parts and as you can see in the model above there's a lot of different parts involved in developing someone into a high performance golfer.
That's why we have developed a number of different learning and training models to help to develop the potential of our students, and the Tougher Model was developed to help our students understand and develop the skills necessary to manage their mental/emotional state in tournaments and during training sessions.
The TOUGHER Model is a series of statements that remind our students about the different elements that significantly influence elite level golf performance. We continually remind each student that their success on tour is ultimately their responsibility; that no one can do the work for them or teach them how to be passionate and motivated.
These are intrinsic values that you develop for YOUR reasons NOT someone else’s.
The TOUGHER model teaches our golfers that their ultimate success comes from within. Yes they can learn how to develop different aspects of their skills but the drive to master the skills and perform at the highest levels always comes from within.
As I said at the beginning of this blog, "golf is a tough game to learn and play well." You need to develop many different aspects of your personality to continue to improve, and your drive to continue to master your skills is always self-driven.
When you see PGA and LPGA golf stars performing on TV realise that they would score highly in every one of the following TOUGHER model statements.
How about you? How do you rate yourself in each of the following statements on a scale of 1 to 7?
1. I thrive on the pressure of competing in golf tournaments..................................................... Score ____
2. I have an optimistic attitude to the challenges of golf most of the time...................................Score ____
3. I have an unshakeable belief in my ability to learn and improve my skills and score average....Score ____
4. I'm goal focused and really good at sticking to the process to get there.................................Score ____
5. I'm a hard and consistent worker all the time.......................................................................Score ____
6. I'm emotionally flexible enough to recognise and then change my state when challenged....... Score ____
7. I am resolute in my drive to achieve my goals with a single minded focus..............................Score ____
I hope you scored really high on the questions in this simple questionnaire. The idea behind it is to make you aware of these 7 important elements that will help you to drive your performances forwards and upwards.
If you score low in any of these areas then you will need to spend some time to develop these attributes into strengths.
Next week I'll show you exactly how you can go about it with a minimum of stress.
Lawrie Montague and David Milne - Pro Tour Golf College