Abil­ity to bounce back is most im­por­tant trait

The Buffalo News - - RECREATION - By Cindy Miller Cindy Miller is a for­mer LPGA Tour Player, a cur­rent mem­ber of the Leg­ends Tour of the LPGA, and a Golf Chan­nel Academy Lead Coach. She is a Cer­ti­fied Be­hav­ior, Mo­ti­va­tion, and Judg­ment Pro­fes­sional who is sought af­ter as a speaker, coach,

How im­por­tant is the abil­ity to bounce back and re­cover from a set­back in golf? It’s only the most im­por­tant thing. Why? Be­cause we all miss shots.

The Play­ers Cham­pi­onships is this week. The first-round lead­ers — Tommy Fleet­wood and Kee­gan Bradley — played ter­ri­bly last Satur­day in Or­lando at Bay Hill. Bradley shot 75 and Fleet­wood shot 76.

Why is that a big deal? Be­cause they were co-lead­ers go­ing into that round. Fleet­wood ral­lied Sun­day to tie for third, but Bradley shot 78 and fin­ished tied for 46.

How does that hap­pen? It’s easy. You lose your feel, your tim­ing, you start think­ing about score, you get a cou­ple bad breaks or you just start swing­ing badly. How dif­fi­cult is it to bounce back? That de­pends. It de­pends on you. How re­silient are you? Do you know what causes your bad shots? Do you know how to fix them? Or, do you hear that lit­tle voice in your head say, “Here we go again. Same old thing. You al­ways mess up this hole.”

If you re­ally want to learn how to bounce back, you need to do a few things.

• Re­al­ize ev­ery­one misses shots. Get off your own back. Lighten up.

• Learn to iden­tify your ten­den­cies. What is your miss? Why does the ball go where it does? Do you know how to fix it? Let’s say you tend to hit it thin when you are un­der pres­sure. You might even skull shots into the green. Do you know why? The club isn’t get­ting to the ground. All your play­ing part­ners tell you that you are look­ing up. You know you aren’t. I would tell you that your arms are most likely lock­ing up, which are pulling you up, which is mak­ing you hit it thin. If that is the case, your miss isn’t com­ing from your golf swing. Your miss is That de­pends. How badly do you want to fix it? You see, when the pain hurts worse than the fear of what you might find, you will be will­ing to fix it. Cause/Cure. It’s as easy as that.

I have been try­ing to get good at this dif­fi­cult game for­ever.

I am one of the few who is will­ing to ad­mit my weak­nesses, seek help to fix them, and share my faults with oth­ers. Why? Be­cause I know for a fact, I am not the only one who screws up. I want my students to know I un­der­stand how they feel, I have felt the same way, and this is what I have found out.

Some­one who is in Jack­sonville at The Play­ers told me that Fleet­wood was on the putting green un­til 6:30 p.m. Thurs­day. His tee time was 8:22 a.m. Fri­day. Why in the world would he be putting so late? Bounce back. He knows his ten­den­cies. He is on a mis­sion to de­feat the demons. He knows what he needs to do to gain the clar­ity and con­fi­dence to con­tinue play­ing well.

I won­der how he will fin­ish. My guess is if he doesn’t win this week, it will be soon. Sit back and watch. I bet it won’t be long.

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