Lockdown Feb 2021 Newsletter
Looking out from my kitchen today it feels as if I am inside a snow globe. For those of you who do not remember this mainly Christmas ornament, when you shook it, you were treated to a snowy scene and back in the day this passed for entertainment!
I have to say I am very glad TV viewing has moved on and I have been watching the rise and rise of World Number 1, Dustin Johnson. Since August when he won the Northern Trust event by an eyebrow raising 11 shots and became World Number 1 (for the 6th time btw) he has moved into another gear. I will not bore you with all the stats (all though I do love them!) but back in August he had a slender lead over Jon Rahm, that lead is now 10 times greater. The other thing I found fascinating is he is as far ahead of the 5th ranked player, Tyrell Hatten, as Tyrell is in front of the 162nd player. Suffice to say he is leading the betting for who will win The Masters.
Of course, of all great players strengths is how they control that all important 6 inches between their ears on and off the golf course. To help us with that, my wife Jennie and I were really pleased to host a lockdown workshop with top performance coach Karl Morris. He gave us some excellent ideas to fill our minds productively for the 90% of the golf that is not golf! Karl has worked with many Pro’s over the years from World No. 1s like Justin Rose and Lee Westwood to Major winners Oosthuizen and Clarke along with many players looking to improve their standing in the game. Laurie Canter is a recent case in point having visited the Qualifying School seven times, and never placed better than 150th on the Order of Merit, he did some sessions with Karl and he now finds himself in the top 20 on the European Tour.
Karl talked about the science of gratitude and certainly all of us will have bucket loads of that once we return to play, we just need to keep them full during the rest of 2021. He also talked about our attention and making sure you asked quality questions, so when facing a shot, we could ask ourselves “What does a good shot look like here?” which helps us to keep in the moment and at the task in hand. I also like that idea once we have played the stroke, in the subsequent 10 steps acknowledge the good, bad, or indifferent nature of it and move on. If it is a short shot 10 seconds will suffice.
I mentioned one of my favourite players Tyrell Hatton and has been known to have a few struggles with his temperament, however his recent rise up the rankings suggest he is getting on top of them. Recently the European Tour posted this fun video on the subject with a few of the likely suspects in the controlling rage department. Tyrell along with Henrik Stenson and Matt Wallace took part and good to know they can send themselves up which is another skill which I think we can all benefit from. Enjoy the YouTube Here.
In my next Newsletter (aka something for me to do!) I am going to have a chat with Hannah Burke and her plans for this season on the LET and how an Elite Performer is doing their best to keep sharp in lockdown, whilst waiting for the tournaments to begin.
The big thing now is that even if we could play, the courses would be shut and at best the end of February would be when they would be anywhere near playable. For now, enjoy your walks and studies, my studies tend to be Netflix based, have some swings in the garden as the snow clears and being grateful, we are one day closer to a glorious golfing Spring.
Stay Safe and Stay Sane
Fellow of the PGA