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The Tour Report

August 27 2013

2:35 PM

Mental Game: Attitude is king

By Dr. Gregg Steinberg, Special to PGATOUR.COM

We have all played with that person. That friend who is having a terrible front nine. But instead of grinding it out, he just gives up. One BIP (ball in pocket) follows another. His day and his game are completely ruined by his bad attitude.

That type of behavior is not the stalk from which champions are grown. Ask Adam Scott. By his own admission he was playing like a dog for the first 13 holes during Saturday’s round at The Barclays. But instead of letting his score get to his attitude, he grinded it out for some closing birdies and a respectable score. His no-give-up attitude on Saturday set him up for his charge to victory on Sunday.

I tell my clients that when times go bad, that is the best opportunity to work on your mental game. Grinding out pars when your game has gone south is one of the best ways to build your mental toughness. Then when you are playing well, it will be easier for you to weather a few bad holes.

I always thought what Davis Love II told his son Davis Love III was one of the greatest pearls of mental game wisdom: “Don’t let your score affect your attitude, let your attitude affect your score.” It is so easy to give up the ship when the storms of bad play arrive. But like Scott showed us this weekend, keep your attitude positive and you never know what might happen in the long run.

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 as well as top collegiate and junior golfer. Dr. Gregg is the author of the best selling golf psychology book, MentalRules for Golf, and you can get your autographed copy at drgreggsteinberg.com.