By PGTAA member Dr. Patrick Cohn

What three mental components contribute most to playing your best golf?

Quite simply, the three most impactful to peak play are focus, focus and focus!

Bad shots, meltdowns, slumps and under performance are caused by a lack of focus or a misplaced focus.

If you cannot stay on task and regroup, you will not be able to play on with a calm mind.

A golfer who completed our Golf Mental Game Survey asked a common question:

"When I make a bad shot, how do I put it behind me fully and make a good shot next?"

Hitting a bad shot is not the problem. Have you ever played a round of golf without hitting a bad shot? No! Have you ever watched another golfer play a mistake-free round? No! Bad shots are part of the game.

Somehow, bad shots can stick around in your head for several holes or even the entire round. You can see images of yourself unraveling even before it happens.

You can feel the anxiety build. Your heart is pounding out of your chest. Already, you have several distractions competing for your attention. When you are focused on negative images, you cannot focus on setting up your next shot.

When you are focused on the feeling of anxiety, you cannot immerse yourself in the current shot. When you are focused on the last shot, you cannot focus on how you want to hit the current shot.

Putting the shot fully behind you requires you to focus forward. In other words, what do I need to do, how will I do it and when will I do it?

Focusing was the mental edge that Bryson DeChambeau needed to earn his first Master's tournament victory at the 2020 US Open.

Towards the end of his first round, DeChambeau displayed a moment of frustration exclaiming, "These greens suck. They're so bad."

So how did DeChambeau go from frustrated and tied for 14th place after Round One to carding a 3-under 67 and winning his first major championship? The difference lies in DeChambeau's ability to focus or, more specifically, refocus.

DeCHAMBEAU: "On 9 was when I first thought, 'OK, this could be a reality.' I made that long eagle putt and shocked myself making it, too. I thought to myself I could do it, and then immediately after I said, 'Nope, you gotta focus on each and every hole.' I just kept telling myself 'Nope, we've got three more holes, we've got four more holes, we've got five more holes.' Whatever it was, I just had to keep focused, make sure I was executing every shot the best I possibly could."

As you can see, your focus is a choice. To be in charge of your mental game, you must make a conscious choice to focus on your strategy, preshot routine or something that keeps you grounded in the present.

If get off task, you're responsible for refocusing attention to what matters: the current shot.

How to Refocus After a Poor Shot:

Start be being more aware of your triggers or mistakes that get your upset during the round.

What's the expectation you have about that bad shot? "I should never three putt from 20'." Replace with: "Even the best golfers three putt. I'm still a good putter."

Let go of the expectation that leads to your emotional turmoil. Remind yourself: "That shot is over. Let's get back on track. Focus."

Take control of your reaction to mistakes. You have the ability to choose how you respond to mistakes. Make the right choice!
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PGTAA’S WORLDWIDE

The PGTAA’s Worldwide Presence

The PGTAA is the single largest golf teaching organization in the world.

“Accredited, Accepted & Recognized Worldwide”©

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Okinawa, Japan 2003 – Sonny Gibbs (left)

The PGTAA continues to mature into the world’s best teaching program and its acceptance worldwide is evidenced by the superior quality of its Master Teaching Professionals around the globe.

The PGTAA Newsletter, published quarterly, offers ideas and input from around the world that broadens your perspectives, exposes you to teaching methodologies incorporated in different cultures and sharpens your professional skills.

Listed below alphabetically are all the PGTAA worldwide divisions’ professionals ready to improve your golf skills. Please feel free to contact them for further details about the PGTAA, how to become a Master Teaching Professional or to take lessons.

pg_imageAustralian Division
Paul Kang
Aust1ATpgtaa.com

pg_image Brazil Division
Juan Malaret
Braz1ATpgtaa.com

pg_image Chinese Division
William Kao
China1ATpgtaa.com

pg_image French Division
Benoit Green
France1ATpgtaa.com

pg_image Great Britain Division
Damian Donnelly
uk1ATpgtaa.com

pg_image India Divisio
M & A Singh
India1ATpgtaa.com

pg_image Israeli Division
Michael Rosenberg
Israel@pgtaa.com

pg_image Jamaica Division
Jason Lopez
Jamaica@pgtaa.com

pg_image Mexican Division
Sergio Poo Gomez
Mexico1ATpgtaa.com

pg_image New Zealand Division
Robert McDonald
NZ1ATpgtaa.com

pg_image Puerto Rico Division
Michael Haney
PuertoR1ATpgtaa.com

pg_image South African Division
Lionel Wearne
lionelwearneATgmail.com

pg_image Swiss Division
Brigitte Cappelletti
Swiss1ATpgtaa.com

pg_image Thailand Division
Keeratika Waugh
Thai1ATpgtaa.com

pg_image Czech Division
Veronika Patočková
vercapatockova@seznam.cz

pg_imageAustrian Division
Karl Schuhbeck
AusATpgtaa.com

pg_imageArgentine Division
Patricio Lopez
Arg1ATpgtaa.com

pg_image Canadian Division
Gerard Coons
Canada1ATpgtaa.com

pg_image Dutch Division
Johan Schwemmer
Dutch1ATpgtaa.com

pg_image German Division
Johannes Horcher
Germany1ATpgtaa.com

pg_image Hong Kong Division
Benny To Lam
hkong1ATpgtaa.com

pg_image Irish Division
Dermot Dalton
Irish1ATpgtaa.com

pg_image Japanese Division
Sonny Gibbs
Japan@pgtaa.com

pg_image Malaysia Division
Chris Kwan
Malay1ATpgtaa.com

pg_image Middle East Division
Marty Cowal
Me1ATpgtaa.com

pg_image Portuguese Division
Noel Mitchell
Portugal1ATpgtaa.com

pg_image Scottish Division
Tom McCaffery
Scot1ATpgtaa.com

pg_image Spanish Division
Christian Pulz
spain1ATpgtaa.com

pg_image Singapore Division
Bruce McGrath
Sing1ATpgtaa.com

pg_image USA Division
Brandon Conway
admissionsATpgtaa.com

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