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What’s your state of mind about your game?

I was having lunch yesterday at our club with my husband, my golf coach, Mario Bevilacqua, and a young player Mario coaches who is on the Canadian Tour, Nathan Maas.

We were watching the Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua.  Justin Thomas lost a two-shot lead with three holes to play in that tournament.  He had to play the par-5 18th hole four times and always seemed to be scrambling to avoid elimination in the three-man playoff which he won.

”I botched it up pretty badly,” Thomas told reporters afterward.  During the round and playoff he had no such thoughts, however. He is one the pros who says he is committed to and uses positive self-talk during play.

At lunch we had started talking about the mindset of touring pros when playing, which then reminded me of Vision 54.  (18 birdies on a par 72 course would result in a score of 54.)  The mental coaching programs Pia Nelson and Lynn Marriott have (visit are based on their Vision54 books.  If you haven’t read them, the best of the series I think is Be a Player.  Arguably this is the best not-about-swing-mechanics book you will ever read that will improve your game and make it much more enjoyable to play.  It reinforces everything they teach at their schools, one of which I attended several years ago in Scottsdale.

This all reminded me of my round today and last weekend.  My head hasn’t been in the right space.  Like so many of the students who visit Vision54, I am frustrated with my game right now—I need to read the chapter in Be a Player entitled “Variability: Welcome to the game of golf.”   I also need to remember that they write that many players—successful executives, business owners and athletes–come to their schools and programs ready to quit they are so frustrated.

There is a lot we can learn from what Justin Thomas showed us winning at Kapalua.  To paraphrase Pia and Lynn: “Most golfers who want to improve work painstakingly on their swings, not realizing it’s often their mental state on the golf course that needs work—not their technique.”

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