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The Tour Report
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December 18 2013

10:04 AM

Mental Game: Think positive

PNC Father-Son Challenge

Stewart Cink and son Connor won the PNC Father-Son Challenge on Sunday.

By Dr. Gregg Steinberg, Special to PGATOUR.COM

The PNC Father-Son challenge is always a fun and entertaining event during the end of the season. We get to see how the children have emulated the mannerisms and swings of their famous fathers. If you look closer, you will see that many of the sons and daughters even smile like their fathers.
   
This year we got see a real underdog team win the championship, Stewart and Conner Cink. They were underdogs, not because of the famous father, but the son had only played 10 times this year and, according to his father, is a 10-handicap.
   
But what impressed me more than their win was the unconditional positive affirmations that Stewart gave his son throughout the event. If you listened closely, you would continually hear Stewart saying statements to Connor such as, “That was great contact,” “Nice roll,” and “You hit that hard.” I know all those positive statements greatly helped Connor handle the pressure coming down the stretch on Sunday.
   
I always tell my clients, ”You must be your own best friend.” You need to continually pat yourself on the back during a round.  Positive self-talk is one of the best ways to keep your confidence on the course.
   
Do you continually pat yourself on the back or do you do the opposite when things go bad on the course?
   
Unfortunately, many amateurs do the opposite. When the course is beating them up, they just add to the pummeling.  They berate themselves when they miss an easy putt and say such statements as “You stink today!”  This can only lead to a decrease in confidence as well as enjoyment.
   
In this upcoming year, make a pledge to be your own best friend and you will find out how much you like playing with your best friend!

Dr. Gregg Steinberg is a regular guest every Tuesday on “Talk of the Tour” heard on the Sirius/XM PGA TOUR radio. He is a tenured professor of sports psychology and has been the mental game coach for many PGA TOUR players.  Dr. Gregg is the author of the best selling golf psychology book, MentalRules for Golf, and you can information about mental game coaching as well as get your autographed copy at www.drgreggsteinberg.com.

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