I wrote a blog post last year after I played the U.S. Open qualifier at Lake Jovita, it was my first competitive round in over two years and the post was titled Why Playing Competitive Golf Makes Me A Better Coach. I firmly believe it as I've played a few more competitive rounds since then. I've always prided myself on being a coach from the players perspective looking at it from the players eyes what the player feels what the player sees and when you play in competition and you play in tournament golf it really helps you relate and remember that this game is not perfect, there are lots of challenges emotionally and mentally to play this game at a very high-level and compete with the worlds best. It reminds me when I compete what the best players are focused on and what they work their tails off to do.
As we play competitive golf keep in mind a couple of key thoughts and key goals when you play your next round. The best players in the world spend a lot of energy in getting themselves as relaxed as possible, actually better said in the zone that allows them to be creative to use their imaginations, trust their instincts and make good decisions in the heat of the moment.
Look at golf as an opportunity to challenge yourself. The more competitive golf you can play, the more you put yourself in uncomfortable situations the better you will perform in those situations going forward. Growth happens when we stop doing what makes us comfortable.
I played the Florida Open qualifier July 1. I hadn't prepared much but wanted to challenge myself to do the things I preach to my players. I found a way to shoot even par on the back nine for a 76. Somehow it made it into a playoff. It was such a fun experience. I felt my adrenaline rushing and experienced things I hadn't in a while. Even though I didn't get the spot and am 2nd alternate, I can't wait for the next time to be in that spot. I will continue to focus on the things I can control. I will take some deep breaths, use my imagination to feel and picture the shot I want to hit and use the rest of my energy to make a trusted and free golf swing. If we can do these things on every shot, we will be successful every time we play regardless of the outcome.
Play the game...enjoy the walk!