golfdoc1 5 years, 6 months ago on Hate to be Rude: This game is all mental

To being with, Jeff Rude knows enough about the game to understand that the mental aspect is only highly relevant when one has already learned how to hit the ball proficiently. As a clinical and sport psychologist who has worked with all levels of players, including Tour level, it is pretty clear that the mental part of the game just doesn't matter as much to those who are struggling to learn the fundamentals or even those who are seasoned players but not at the level of highly proficient.

Or, as Lee Trevino put it to me on the range at the Toshiba Classic a couple of years ago: "Hey Doc, If you don't have talent, having a psychologist doesn't really help, right? You've got to have talent, man."

It is when you can work with a good amateur, college player, or pro that the mental really comes into play in a significant way. So Rude is simply making a point with his "90% mental" and that point is that at the Tour level, the mental edge is often what makes the difference between just hanging on and being able to play one's best.

The reality is, it isn't possible to quantify the exact percentage of mental vs. physical--but you can definitely say that the stronger the physical game and one's level of proficiency, the more the mental aspects--such as self-talk, dealing with pressure, routines, handling bad breaks, recovering from disappointments, staying focused, etc. are going to matter. Conversely, the more one is focused on the mechanics and just trying to make good contact, the less important the mental aspects will be. But dealing with peer pressure, managing one's game on the course, and handling tension and anxiety while playing will be common to poorer and better players alike.

evgolf--you've missed the point--it is not one's physical body shape we are talking about with the term "physical" but the swinging of the golf club--one's mechanics. The shape of one's body is not all that important, except that obviously strength is
a pretty big part of being able to conquer long courses.

One more point about Steward Appleby and the emotional control. It struck me that he wasn't anywhere near as outwardly excited in his emotional reactions after he shot his 59. While part of this may have been his personality and part his focus on waiting to see if he won or would be in a play-off, part may be that this guy has overcome some very trying situations. Don't forget that he had to deal with the sudden death by accident of his young wife in 1998. That kind of thing can change your view of the world forever--and temper your emotions even after shooting a 59 and winning a golf tournament.


golfdoc1 5 years, 6 months ago on Ten reasons the Ryder Cup needs Freddie

With this logic, why not consider Tom Watson? He would attract even more TV fans to watch than Couples. If you think a 50 year old would demoralize the Europeans, what would a 60 year old do?

He's got even more Ryder Cup experience than Couples, more victories, more majors, and while Couples is a great player and very popular, Watson is a legend. Imagine young Euros getting their asses kicked by Watson, whose been around so long he isn't going to be intimidated by Ryder Cup pressure. Even if he didn't play more than a couple matches, think what kind of an ace in the hole he would be. And you wouldn't have to worry that his back is going to go out like you do with Couples. I'm just saying...


golfdoc1 5 years, 6 months ago on Heart-transplant Compton leading Greenbrier

While I would not call him an "idol," I do think Compton has shown a remarkable ability to recover from two intensive and dangerous transplant surgeries and return to competitive golf at the highest level. It is tough not to root for him to come out of nowhere and win the event, or at least, finish high enough to have a fighting chance of earning playing privileges for next year.


golfdoc1 5 years, 6 months ago on DQ’d rookie to Futures Tour: $2K not enough

"Brown said he has been contacted by attorneys who read about the incident and are willing to take his case on contingency. Brown said the firms claim to be able to win a six-figure settlement."

See, I told you so in my response to the first posting of this incident in Rude's column. The Tour ought to pay what Brown wants and be happy that the sharks will not be biting their heads off by negotiating a much larger settlement.


golfdoc1 5 years, 6 months ago on Hate to be Rude: Tiger a no-brainer for Pavin

sorry, billc, the Duramed Futures Tour officials are DQing your comment for the gratuitous over-use of CAPITALS and exclamation points!


golfdoc1 5 years, 6 months ago on ‘Mistake’ DQ costs Brown shot at win

Not only should she be compensated but this kind of screw-up is what in any other profession might lead to a threatened law suit. Because players don't want to go up against their parent organisation, they don't necessarily think legal action. But this deserves the threat of action should the Futures Tour administration not pay her a fair amount for being DQ'd. She would have no trouble finding an attorney who would take the case.


golfdoc1 5 years, 7 months ago on Hate to be Rude: Crunch time for Love

How about your real answers to the "most amazing thing you've seen in golf"?

Two candidates submitted for consideration:

Ancient history and positive>> Ben Hogan's physical recovery and golf comeback/triumph after his car crash.

Recent history and negative>> Jean Van de Velde's unbelievable blow-up on the last hold of the British Open to lose it. The worst mental mistakes a pro has EVER made when all he had to do was bogey the last hole for a big win.

What do others think--how would you answer the question?


golfdoc1 5 years, 7 months ago on Watts ready to take the lead at Army

"his daughters will get a top-notch education..." Gee, what a concept--making a decision around his kids getting the best education rather than staying with a better golf team. You mean some things are more important in life than joining the tour as young as possible and trying to make money? Hard to imagine, isn't it?


golfdoc1 5 years, 7 months ago on Thumbs up: USA | Thumbs down: Kim Kim

It's not sad because Kim won't be playing in any more amateur tournaments. It's sad and a big thumbs down because she will never get her college education.


golfdoc1 5 years, 7 months ago on Kimberly Kim to turn pro for Women’s Open

A foolish and short-sighted decision by a kid not experienced enough in life to understand the consequences. I don't care how she fares as a golfer, not completing her education will cost her for the rest of her life.