Without Mental Golf, Even the Greatest Athletes Get Tight

Jordan gets tight

Without Mental Golf, Even the Greatest Athletes Get Tight

Without mental golf, even the greatest athletes get tight. How do I know that? Well, do you remember the 2009 US Open Challenge with Ben Roethlisberger, Michael Jordan, Justin Timberlake, and (contest winner) Larry Geibelhausen? Although Michael Jordan is oft said to be one of the world’s greatest athletes, from his performance that day you wouldn’t know it… Jordan teed up to the first hole and hooked it WAY out left. He then followed up with a triple bogey for the hole. And a double bogey on the next. What was holding back one of the world’s finest from playing his best? It wasn’t his club, or his swing – but it was like he admitted: “I was so tight, it was amazing. I could not get loose to save my life.” And that’s the strangest thing… Because if Michael can get loose on the basketball court, then why can’t he handle it on the golf course?

What was it that made Michael get so tight? It was his lack of confidence. Or as he described it:

“On the basketball court, I never think about ‘what if’. But on the golf course, you find yourself thinking – ‘What if you hit it into the rough over there? Can you get it out?’”

Still… Michael IS confident when it comes to basketball. He doesn’t think: “what will happen if I miss this free throw?” He just plays his best. What’s so different for him when it comes to golf? Michael’s confidence is as glistening as anything. I have no doubt that as soon as he picks up a basketball, he’s already getting in the zone. But when it comes to golf, he doesn’t seem to have that same type of control over his mind. It’s because when he steps out onto the golf course, he’s lacking confidence.

And one very powerful way that confidence becomes real is from doing – from practice. It doesn’t come from just sitting around. Michael doesn’t practice his golf game anywhere close to as much as he’s practiced for basketball! So of course he’s going to be more confident when he’s playing basketball. It’s like three time LPGA Champion, Annika Sorenstam says: “A lot of amateurs get a little more stressed out in certain situations [than professionals do. We don’t get as stressed out] because we put in so much more practice time”. Simply put: if you practice, you have confidence. Then you can withstand pressure. The way it works is that when you SEE that you’re succeeding in your golf game – at that point – your mental game (your confidence) gets stronger.

I’ve shared this story before, but it deserves to be shared again at this time…

Three time Masters champion, Gary Player, was once at Greensboro, and he was practicing 18-inch putts on a practice green. He had 100 balls with him and he was putting one after another right into the hole. “What are you practicing for?” someone asked, “Obviously you never miss them”. “That’s right,” Gary agreed, “But I’ll tell you what. The greatest thing for putting is confidence, and the greatest thing for confidence is watching that ball go into the hole. I stand here until my confidence is high. The subconscious is watching that ball go into the hole.”

So now you know that without mental golf, even the greatest athletes get tight. Why? Because they’re lacking confidence. Confidence is such a crucial part of building your mental game. And your mental game is crucial to building your overall golf game. What are YOU doing to build yours? Start right now by checking out Golfersmind right here: http://www.golfersmind.com/mental-golf/



  1. I note the question is right/left arm .For a right-hander its got to be right arm .why??The left arm don’t relaly bend as much as the right arm throughout the swing.At the impact area1) Your left elbow is already straight so there’s little power you can add to it2) Your right elbow is still bent and must be straighten to hit the ball. .

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