Think like Phil

Here’s some insight in the mental game from Phil Mickelson. I also offer some of my thoughts below.

Phil: Well, when you get into the heat and pressure of a major championship, you end up always reverting back to your old habits, whether they are good or bad.

One of the things I like to do in a major is make golf more of a reactionary sport, where I look at the shot, try to see the shot and just react to it; let myself react to the shot without over thinking it or thinking about mechanics or technique or what have you.

Certainly at the British Open (2013), coming down the back nine that’s exactly what was happening. I was just trying to see the shot and create it without thinking about mechanics or whatnot, because you have so much running through your head that you want to try to simplify it as much as you can.

Cameron: There is some very good stuff in here. There’s absolutely no doubt that when you’re out playing the game that the best idea is to keep things simple and let the game flow. If this process works so well in a major for Phil, then I wonder why he’d ever what to do anything else. If it’s good enough in a big tournament, then surely it’s the right process ALL of the time.

This is sort of like (but the other way around) the regular club golfers at my club who enjoy a beer before they play and for the most part are decent and reliable golfers. But when the Club Championships (their version of a major) come around they change their approach. They get serious. They forget lunch. They spend too much time on the practice fairway. They don’t have a beer or wine.

For the most part, and I have seen this happen time and time again, they blow up and lose the plot when they want success most. It also occurs to me that a hard part of consistent success is trusting your process, no matter how simple it appears. It is often easy to chop and change, but sometimes we need to be smart enough to know when we’ve got the winning formula. And then stick with it.

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5 Comments

  • Tony Lucas

    Reply Reply April 10, 2015

    I agree with you Cam it is a philosophy he should stick to all the time
    Cheers Lukey

  • Grayden Provis

    Reply Reply April 13, 2015

    Speaking of Phil, the Masters was the tenth time he’s come second in a major. What do you think’s going on there Cam? Just unlucky or something else? It would just about be a record wouldn’t it?

    • Cameron

      Reply Reply May 3, 2015

      GP: I think it’s a bit of bad luck. From memory, he has finished second by quite a long way on at least 5 occasions. He probably was never going to win those.

      And like a lot of very good players, there’s always a lot of near misses. Good ole Jack Nicklaus finished second or third around 20 times. And Babe Ruth also is the strike out champion.

      Funny how it works out.

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