Mind Over Sports

Posts Tagged ‘PGA

In November, 1997, Tom Watson quit drinking and his wife, Linda, divorced him. Not long after, in 1998, Professional Golfer Denis Watson (of Zimbabwe) went through a divorce when his wife, Hilary, left him and their three infant children (Kyle, Paige and Ross) and shortly thereafter, in 1999, married Tom. She must have been madly in love with Tom to have abandoned her three small children and one would think that, right after Tom and Hilary were married, his golf game would have improved immensely. But it didn’t. It’s difficult to build any kind of relationship on other people’s unhappiness. Hilary’s feelings of guilt had to have a negative effect on Tom and his golf game.

Fast forward to 2009 when Hilary’s children are older and have joined Tom and her on their farm in Stilwell, Kansas, and Hilary was once again happy. Which, of course, positively affected Tom’s game. That same year, nearing his 60th birthday, Tom led the British Open much of the way before losing in a play-off. I don’t think it was a coincidence that when Hilary had her children back with her, Tom’s game improved.

Here’s a great example of how, when athletes are happy and their lives are in harmony, an unseen power seems to take over and propels them to a championship. Such was the case today watching James Hahn win the PGA Northern Trust Open in a playoff. Hahn drained a 25-footer on the final hole for a birdie. After things settled down, he was interviewed and first thing he mentioned was how happy he was that he and his wife were expecting a new baby girl in three weeks. In the LPGA, it’s not unusual to see a professional golfer take a break, have a baby, then return to the tour and immediately start winning. This is in line with the Psycho Self-Imagery theory that says when you’re happy and your life is in harmony you create positive events in your life, on and off the field of competition.

I’m a big believer that relationships in sports can have a positive or negative effect on performance. When the relationship is good, the results in competition are good. But when the relationship is bad, it can be devastating to performance.

That’s why I believe it’s no coincidence that Caroline Wozniacki experienced a three year drought on the tennis courts during her relationship with PGA golfer Rory McIlroy. According to USA TODAY the breakup came about after a phone call from McIlroy after the wedding invitations were printed…”At 25, he’s clearly playing better without her. At 24, she’s clearly playing better without him.” I wouldn’t be surprised if she won the U.S. Open.

By now almost everyone in the world of sports (especially golf) knows about the insensitive comment made by PGA Golfer Sergio Garcia regarding Tiger Woods and “fried chicken” and Garcia did the right thing by apologizing to him. Now it’s up to Tiger to bring closure to the situation by publicly accepting Garcia’s apology and moving on. If not, it could show up in his performance at the U.S. Open. It’s never good for an athlete to harbor bad feelings.

Here’s an interesting video you might like to see. PGA Golfer Sean Saunders interviewed me about how The psi Factor relates to golf. Click through the link below.

http://www.swsgolf.com/2012/08/week-12-link-the-psi-factor/


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