July 31 2012
By Travis Fulton, Director of Instruction, PGA TOUR Academy
It’s always great to get that first win on the PGA TOUR, as Scott Piercy did last year at the Reno-Tahoe Open, but there is something even more special about validating it as he did this past week at the RBC Canadian Open. Piercy is a player that is certainly not afraid to take it low. In both wins, he set the course record. Like all PGA TOUR players, Piercy just continues to play his game when the numbers go deep into the red. No panic or protection -- he simply continues to play great golf.
It seems we all have that moment or threshold where the nerves start to kick in because of how well you might be playing. I can remember when I started to shoot around par and how nervous I would get when I was 1 under with a few holes to play. Time and time again, I would play with the mindset of not to make mistakes rather than trying to just play my game, and make things happen coming home just as did I going out.
Regardless your level of play, this moment is present for most all of us. It’s a good problem to have, because it means you are playing well and are demonstrating a skill set that is trying to break through to the next level. The next time you reach this moment during a round, here are a three things to think about to help you break through:
1. Embrace the moment. Rather than worrying about screwing up and ruining your good round, keep going forward and playing the type of game you have up to that point. The old adage holds true: "One shot at a time."
2. Mental scorecard. Give yourself one point if you are committed to each shot, and two points for those you didn’t. In the end, add up both your “actual score” and “mental score” and if done properly, they should be the same. This is a great way to hold yourself accountable to your mental thoughts on the golf course especially when you have the good round going.
3. You can do it. I often tell my students if you are good enough up to that point, then you are good enough at the moment and to the end. Believe in yourself, and allow yourself to take it lower.
Travis Fulton is the Director of Instruction at the TOUR Academies at TPC Sawgrass and the World Golf Village. For more information on the TOUR Academy, click here.