Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Achieving Mental Toughness in Golf: Tips to Improve Your Game

Do you ever wonder why your head sometimes gets in the way of your game? Often times, even the most advanced golfers struggle to maintain a consistent golf swing or miss an easy putt. Maybe it’s even difficult to concentrate for a full 18 holes of golf.

If any of these roadblocks sound familiar, then it's likely you would benefit from some proven mental golf tips to strengthen your golf game.

The good news is, mental toughness is not unreachable. It takes a bit of patience, some practice and self awareness to play at a higher level than you currently are at.

As an instructor, I have had the privilege to play alongside and teach some great golfers over the years; however, I’ve noticed a commonality that for many, the mental approach to the game is where they struggle most. I see it time and time again. A golfer starts out his round with a string of pars only to double or triple bogey the middle nine holes and ruin his score.

That one bad shot starts to get into his or her head and he or she begins trying to fix their swing to compensate. This is where the problem lies. Instead of trying to overcompensate for the bad shot, a golfer must learn how to avoid the frustration that can infiltrate his mind during a difficult round of golf.

First, I suggest lowering the bar a little bit. The game is about accepting the result of your shot and working on it to improve. Setting the bar of expectations too high can only cause pressure to build and frustrations to take over when you do underperform. Rather than obsessing on the score, focus more on the process.

Inevitably even a professional golfer will have a bad game. This is where a “go-to shot” can come in handy. This is a shot that you can rely on to get you desirable accuracy and distance. For some, the go-to shot might be a 5-iron they can play and for others, maybe it’s an 8-iron. Whatever you choose, this shot will help build your confidence when you get off track.

A bad shot can easily distract you and get inside your head. While you move on to the next hole, talk about something other than the last round to help you stay relaxed and focused. Don’t over analyze holes you have already played or shots you wish you could do over. Talking about something unrelated will help keep your mind occupied and keep you grounded until you are ready to take your next shot. The key here is distraction.

Visualize yourself playing each hole well as you walk around the course. Imagine what it feels like to hit the ball off the tee and getting it close to the green. This mental activity feeds your subconscious and can actually condition you to succeed while playing.

Learning the mental side of golf and working with a personal coach to customize a plan are both powerful ways to help improve your game.

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

About Me

Oakville’s Zachary Creed (Zack Creed) has played and worked at some of the best golf courses in the United States. As a seasonal employee over the course of 10 years, he has spent time with some of the best courses in Florida specifically, including The Polo Club in Boca Raton, Jupiter Hills, and Old Palm Golf.

While studying Professional Golf Management (PGM) and recreation management at The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), Zack Creed was named 2009 Player of the Year. He improved his skills during PGA internships at La Costa Resort (Carlsbad, CA), Grayhawk Golf Club (Scottsdale, AZ), N.J. National Golf Club (Somerset, NJ) and Crooked Stick Golf Club (Carmel, IN).

Zack worked as an Assistant Golf Professional at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel from 2009 to 2012. A highlight of his tenure there was serving as a Tournament Liaison for the U.S. Senior Open Championship in 2011 and for the 2012 BMW Fedex playoffs. He also worked at The Hawthorns Golf & Country Club in Fishers, IN, from 2012 to 2013, assuming the duties and responsibilities of the Director/Head Pro for four months.

Zack qualified for and played in the 2012 and 2013 Indiana Open tournaments. The following year, in 2014, Zack was a finalist for Indiana Professional of the Year while working as co-first assistant professional at Highland Golf & Country Club in Indianapolis from 2014-15.

Branching out from the playing and teaching sides of golf, Zack Creed moved on to selling and marketing new golf products to the U.S. market with Midas Event Supply (MES) in Ontario, California, from 2015-2017, where he served as a trade show representative to Club Managers. He was also in charge of evaluating the MES expansion into the Canadian market.

Zack Creed has also volunteered at numerous PGA tournaments throughout his career, including four times at Par For The Cure, which raises funds for breast cancer research. He also enjoyed organizing an Advanced Junior Golf Program for aspiring professionals, and college and high school standouts. A major perk of that position at Crooked Stick involved playing rounds with celebrities, sports stars and politicians.