Category Archives for Misc

Have a Golf Goal!

Have a Golf Goal! photoI  want to write a little bit more about goals and goal setting. Yes, I know you’ve heard this all before in your business meetings and self-help books and psychology classes etc., etc. And yes, I used to roll my eyes when another speaker or “performance genius” would blather on and on about how we must set goals.

Well, you know that I have taken this seriously enough to include a template with your CD’s to kickstart you into doing something along these lines.

Why? Because, I just can’t ignore the facts about how this works on our mind and our game can be helped by being reminded of it.

golf swing tipWhat facts you say? Have you ever known somebody who retired and then watched them waste away because they had nothing left to do? Nothing left to strive for? No more challenges? Now, most of us have golf as our challenge and we take great pleasure in trying to achieve our dream score. But there are some sad examples in the golf world too.

Ever hear of David Duval? He was on top of the golf world at one time. Player of the year. Better than Tiger Woods. British Open winner. Shot a 59! I recently saw an interview with him and he said that during the peak of his game, his goal was to “be the best I can be.” That is the weakest goal I’ve ever heard.

Tiger Woods InterviewIn contrast, Tiger has goals to win the most tournaments of any player of all time and to beat Jack Nicklaus record for most Majors won. Specific and measurable. Duvall is pretty much done and Woods, you know all about him. Ian Woosnam was another one who fell hard after reaching a peak (winning the Masters). There are countless others in the same boat.

You must have a golf goal in front of you! But you don’t want to be thinking about it on the course.

golf course photoI had this concept hammered on me recently as well. I had always wanted to “Break 80” as my goal. I did that. After that, I wanted to break par. I did that this year as well. Right after that, my game began to slide because my fire was out. I then went out and turned in my last 20 scores and established a handicap for the first time in my life, a 5.2.

Recently, I’ve been looking at that little card with that number on it and NOW I WANT IT TO BE A 3! Whala, instant fire in my gut for this game. That fire has pushed me to do my nightly mental practice like I did to achieve my past goals. It’s given me a REASON to stick to my pre-shot routine like a dance number. And even better, all of a sudden, I REALLY want to play again!

craig seglDon’t underestimate the power of this but I do want to remind you not to think about your score when you are on the course. If thinking about your goal on the course fires you up to play “cool mad” like Sam Snead, then by all means, think about it. But don’t start telling yourself that you have to make this shot to shoot your scoring goal. Your major goal should mostly just be used off the course.

Youron-course goals should be to stick with your routine, to have 18 holes where you focused 100% at the right time, etc.

Allright! Now let’s get out and do it! C ya’ next time.

Greens and fairways!


Golf ebooks

Golf Ebooks: How To Solve Your Golf Problems.
Why You Can Improve Without Practice.

Thank you for receiving “The Legends and Gurus of Golf”

As promised, Here is that golf ebook “How To Solve Your Golf Problems”, and the one that I wrote called: “Why You Can Improve Without Practice.” Left Click on the links to bring them right up to read or Right Click them and choose “Save Target” or “Save Target As.”

How To Solve Your Golf Problems

Or cut and paste:

This is a large file, 21 mb and could take awhile to download. With a slow internet speed, be patient and let it download.

Some browsers take longer than others and have problems. You might consider using

a very cool, streamlined, fast-working browser like: Google Chrome
or, I use Firefox a lot.

Why You Can Improve Your Game Without Practice

or cut and paste:

How to solve your golf problems is an excellent resource for you to have on hand for as long as you play the game.

And for those that wonder if I’ve gone off the deep end, well, read “Why You Can Improve..” and decide after that 🙂

Be sure and tell your friends about golfing_tips website.

If you’ve found this page by referral or otherwise, you will want to get the the follow up trainings at golfing_tips

Greens and fairways,


Posted by
July 1, 2010 in Misc

You can be the next U.S Open winner! Fast facts and past winners

The US Open golf winner is THE man (or woman) and is my favorite golf tournament because:

1. Top 10 scores are right around par for the course (makes me feel better about my game)

2. The greens are usually extremely tough with ridiculous pin placements. (I like to see the best pros in the world miss 4 foot putts once in a while)

3. The longest hitters don’t have much of an advantage at the Open championship due to the height of the rough which makes driving long a very risky choice.

4. Anyone, I mean anyone can make and even win a US Open tournament

like Francis Ouimet did in 1913 at 20 years old with a 10-year old caddy

P.S. The (British) Open winner is right up there with the U.S. Open golf winner in my book except for the lousy weather. Maybe that makes it even more of an accomplishment but I like to see the sun, blue skies and the grass be a bright green.

So how do you go about trying to qualify to be the next US Open golf winner?The first thing you have to do is join the USGA (United States Golf Association)USGA Then, you need to establish a handicap. To enter the US Open championship, you cannot be more than a 1.4 handicap. Are you still with me? Then, go to the US Open application website to apply. Good luck and good golfing on your quest to be the next US Open golf winner! Apply for US Open golf championship As you can see, aps aren’t available til March and there is a deadline in April. You then play 1 round in a local qualifier. The 100 or so sites will be announced and you should find something within driving distance. If you place, then you will play 2 rounds in a sectional qualifier. If you place there, then you play golf in the US Open with all the greatest pros! There are about 150 spots for the Open tournament with about half of them reserved for exempt players. They are exempt due to having won certain pro or amateur golf tournaments or placing high on the pro money list. If you’re good in 3 rounds, you could play golf in the Open tournament with multiple US open golf winner, Tiger Woods, how cool is that?!

Past US Open golf winner and the course played:

2010 Graeme McDowell – Pebble Beach (CA.) Golf Links

2009 – Lucas Glover – Bethpage State Park (Black Course) Farmingdale, NY June 18 – 21
2008 – Tiger Woods – Torrey Pines Golf Course (South Course) La Jolla, California June 12 – 15
2007 – Angel Cabrera – Oakmont Country Club Oakmont, Pennsylvania June 14 – 17

2006…Geoff Ogilvy – Winged Foot Golf Club Mamaroneck, New York
2005…Michael Campbell – Pinehurst Resort and Country Club, Village of Pinehurst, North Carolina
2004…Retief Goosen – Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, Southampton, N.Y.
2003…Jim Furyk – Olympia Fields (Ill.) Country Club, N. Course
2002…Tiger Woods – Bethpage State Park, Black Course, Farmingdale, N.Y.
2001…Retief Goosen- Southern Hills Country Club, Tulsa, Okla.
2000…Tiger Woods- Pebble Beach (CA.) Golf Links
1999…Payne Stewart- Pinehurst Resort and Country Club, No. 2 Course, Village of Pinehurst, N.C.
1998…Lee Janzen- The Olympic Club, San Francisco, CA
1997…Ernie Els- Congressional Country Club, Bethesda, Md.
1996…Steve Jones- Oakland Hills Country Club, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
1995…Corey Pavin- Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, Southampton, N.Y.
1994…Ernie Els- Oakmont (PA.) Country Club
1993…Lee Janzen- Baltusrol Golf Club, Lower Course, Springfield, N.J.
1992…Tom Kite- Pebble Beach (CA.) Golf Links
1991…Payne Stewart- Hazeltine National Golf Club, Chaska, Minn.
1990…Hale Irwin- Medinah (Ill.) Country Club, No. 3 Course
1989…Curtis Strange- Oak Hill Country Club, Rochester, N.Y.
1988…Curtis Strange- The Country Club, Brookline, Mass.
1987…Scott Simpson- The Olympic Club, San Francisco, CA.
1986…Ray Floyd- Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, Southampton, N.Y.
1985…Andy North- Oakland Hills Country Club, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
1984…Fuzzy Zoeller- Winged Foot Golf Club, Mamaroneck, N.Y.
1983…Larry Nelson- Oakmont (PA.) Country Club
1982…Tom Watson- Pebble Beach (CA.) Golf Links
1981…David Graham- Merion Golf Club, East Course, Ardmore, PA.
1980…Jack Nicklaus- Baltusrol Golf Club, Lower Course, Springfield, N.J.
1979…Jack Nicklaus- Inverness Club, Toledo, Ohio
1978…Andy North- Cherry Hills Country Club, Englewood, Colo.
1977…Hubert Green- Southern Hills Country Club, Tulsa, Ok.
1976…Jerry Pate- Atlanta Athletic Club, Duluth, GA.
1975…Lou Graham- Medinah (Ill.) Country Club, No. 3 Course
1974…Hale Irwin- Winged Foot Golf Club, West Course, Mamaroneck, N.Y.
1973…Johnny Miller- Oakmont (PA.) Country Club
1972…Jack Nicklaus- Pebble Beach (CA.) Golf Links
1971…Lee Trevino- Merion Golf Club, Armore, PA.
1970…Tony Jacklin- Hazeltine National Golf Club, Chaska, Minn.
1969…Orville Moody- Champions Golf Club, Cypress Creek Course, Houston, TX.
1968…Lee Trevino- Oak Hill Country Club, E. Course, Rochester, N.Y.
1967…Jack Nicklaus- Baltusrol Golf Club, Lower Course, Springfield, N.J.
1966…Billy Casper- Olympic Country Club, Lake Course, San Francisco, CA
1965…Gary Player- Bellerive Country Club, St. Louis, MO.
1964…Ken Venturi- Congressional Country Club, Bethesda, MD.
1963…Julius Boros- The Country Club, Brookline, Mass.
1962…Jack Nicklaus- Oakmont (PA.) Country Club
1961…Gene Littler- Oakland Hills Country Club, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
1960…Arnold Palmer- Cherry Hills Country Club, Englewood, Colo.
1959…Billy Casper- Winged Foot Golf Club, Mamaroneck, N.Y.
1958…Tommy Bolt- Southern Hills Country Club, Tulsa, OK.
1957…Dick Mayer- Inverness Club, Toledo, Ohio
1956…Cary Middlecoff- Oak Hill Country Club, East Course, Rochester, N.Y.
1955…Jack Fleck- Olympic Country Club, Lake Course, San Francisco, CA
1954…Ed Furgol- Baltusrol Golf Club, Lower Course, Springfield, N.J.
1953…Ben Hogan- Oakmont (PA.) Country Club
1952…Julius Boros- Northwood Club, Dallas, TX
1951…Ben Hogan- Oakland Hills Country Club, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
1950…Ben Hogan- Merion Golf Club, East Course, Ardmore, PA.
1949…Cary Middlecoff- Medinah (Ill.) Country Club, No. 3 Course
1948…Ben Hogan- Riviera Country Club, Los Angeles, CA
1947…Lew Worsham- St. Louis (MO.) Country Club
1946…Lloyd Mangrum- Canterbury Golf Club, Cleveland, Ohio
1942…Cancelled due to World War II
1941…Craig Wood- Colonial Country Club, Fort Worth, TX.
1940…Lawson Little- Canterbury Golf Club, Cleveland, Ohio
1939…Byron Nelson- Philadelphia Country Club, Spring Mill Course
1938…Ralph Guldahl- Cherry Hills Country Club, Englewood, Colo.
1937…Ralph Guldahl- Oakland Hills Country Club, Bloomfield Hills, MI.
1936…Tony Manero- Baltusrol Golf Club, Springfield, N.J.
1935…Sam Parks Jr.- Oakmont (PA.) Country Club
1934…Olin Dutra- Merion Cricket Club, Ardmore, PA.
1933…Johnny Goodman- North Shore Golf Club, Glen View, Ill.
1932…Gene Sarazen- Fresh Meadow Country Club, Flushing, N.Y.
1931…Inverness Club, Toledo, Ohio
1930…Bobby Jones- Interlachen Country Club, Minneapolis, Minn.
1929…Bobby Jones- Winged Foot Golf Club, West Course, Mamaroneck, N.Y.
1928…Johnny Farrell- Olympia Fields Country Club, Matteson, Ill.
1927…Tommy Armour- Oakmont (PA.) Country Club
1926…Bobby Jones- Scioto Country Club, Columbus, Ohio
1925…W MacFarlane- Worcester (Mass.) Country Club
1924…Cyril Walker- Oakland Hills Country Club, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
1923…Bobby Jones- Inwood (N.Y.) Country Club
1922…Gene Sarazen- Skokie Country Club, Glencoe, Ill.
1921…James M. Barnes- Columbia Country Club, Chevy Chase, MD.
1920…Edward Ray- Inverness Club, Toledo, Ohio
1919…Walter Hagen- Brae Burn Country Club, West Newton, Mass.
1917…Cancelled due to World War I
1916…Charles Evans Jr.- Minikahda Club, Minneapolis, Minn.
1915…Jerome Travers- Baltusrol Golf Club, Springfield, N.J.
1914…Walter Hagen- Midlothian (Ill.) Country Club
1913…Francis Ouimet- The Country Club, Brookline, Mass.
1912…John McDermott- The Country Club of Buffalo, N.Y.
1911…John McDermott- Chicago Golf Club, Chicago, Ill.
1910…Alex Smith- Philadelphia Cricket Club, St. Martin’s Course, PA.
1909…George Sargent- Englewood (N.J.) Golf Club
1908…Fred McLeod- Myopia Hunt Club, South Hamilton, Mass.
1907…Alex Ross- Philadelphia Cricket Club, St. Martin’s Course
1906…Alex Ross- Onwentsia Club, Lake Forest, Ill.
1905…Willie Anderson- Myopia Hunt Club, South Hamilton, Mass.
1904…Willie Anderson- Glen View Club, Golf, Ill.
1903…Willie Anderson- Baltusrol Golf Club, Springfield, N.J.
1902…Laurie Auchterlonie- Garden City (N.Y.) Golf Club
1901…Willie Anderson- Myopia Hunt Club, South Hamilton, Mass.
1900…Harry Vardon- Chicago Golf Club, Chicago, Ill.
1899…Willie Smith- Baltimore (Md.) Country Club, Roland Park Course
1898…Fred Herd- Myopia Hunt Club, South Hamilton, Mass.
1897…Fred Herd- Chicago Golf Club, Chicago, Ill.
1896…James Foulis- Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, Southampton, N.Y.
1895…Horace Rawlins- Newport (R.I.) Golf and Country Club
us open golf winner list

Posted by
June 29, 2010 in Misc


Eliminate golf errors

Dr. Tom Kubistant, CSP

For years in these pages, I have presented a comprehensive system for optimizing golf performances. I addressed broad playing perspectives, general strategies, and specific tactics. I always strived to make these principles and techniques easy to understand and apply. From your feedback, it seemed to have worked. Golfers of all abilities have experienced greater improvement and enhanced joy in playing this grand game.

However, I am continually amazed how so many golfers make the same basic mistakes. These flubs are not so much mechanical, but mental. While some of these errors emerge from encountering new situations, most of them are repetitions. When we talk, golfers confess these patterns seem to be deeply ingrained within them. It is like they cannot stop themselves. Quite often, golfers fall into the same patterns because: (1) they are not aware when errors are emerging and (2) they do not know any alternatives.

It makes sense that if players could prevent errors from grabbing hold, they would squander less shots. They would then be in stronger positions to maximize more of their abilities. Indeed, managing error patterns is one of the basic keys in playing better golf.

So as much as I have always been positive, I�m going to become negative here. I am going to present what NOT to do in golf. I will also then include alternatives to that error. Let�s begin with general emphases.


Simply stated, how we approach the game determines how we play. Sure, we would like the time to practice everyday like the pros do. For most of us, this simply is not possible. If we can become a little more purposeful toward our games, we can achieve sustained improvement. Here are some basic “don�ts.” .

NEVER BE LACKADAISICAL TOWARD YOUR GAME. Golf demands ongoing attention. Actively commit yourself to your game. Now, commitment does not mean sacrifice. One secret to success is to live with your commitments. Motivation, consistency, and resilience all emanate from commitment. Nothing in life stands still. Remember, if you are not actively improving your game, you are allowing it to slowly deteriorate. This is an essential choice. But on the other hand…

NEVER CHANGE JUST FOR CHANGE SAKE. As detrimental as not being committed is always changing. I�ve worked with too many golfers who changed so much until they lost their essential games. They lost touch with those core skills and emphases which initially made them successful.

You see, there can be a very fine line between systematic improvement and capricious experimenting. Always ground your game upon existing strengths. Identify and honor these. Consider any change in terms of how it will enhance your base. Along with this…

NEVER TAKE ANY UNSOLICITED ADVICE. Every golfer–even those who have been playing for just a couple of years–seems to have a “magic” swing theory. While we should have our own theories, we should keep them to ourselves. But many of us just can’t! All of us have experienced times when we think we have found “THE SECRET.” And then we have to profess it to everyone! Although we have good intentions, realize that your secret won’t apply to everyone.

Whenever someone needs to give you advice, graciously thank them…and let it go. They have no idea the emphases and sequences of your practices. You cannot control them telling you. You do have control of what you choose to emphasize in working on your game. And finally…

NEVER BELIEVE ANYTHING YOU READ (including this article!),

VIEW, OR HEAR. There is so much golf information out there. Some of it is proven, but some of it is utter garbage. Added to this, there are new products coming out every month. The psychology of new implements imply that one can buy a better game. Sometimes you can, but most of the time you can’t.

Approach any improvement in your game with a healthy dose of caution. Be wary of what, and when, to add something to your game–whether it is a change to your golf swing, a new driver, or a new grip during putting. Only after the change has proven itself effective should you embrace it. “Caveat Emptor — let the buyer beware.”

For my money, one of the best theorists in playing the entire game is Mike Hebron. His mind-body series of books have become classics. He once said that one “has to have strong concepts to play strong golf.” No matter our current abilities, each of us has to create solid general approaches to our games before our approaches on the course can be solid.


There is a plethora of playing strategies and tactics. In every shot situation, there are at least a half-dozen different things you can do. Even though this can be overwhelming, exploring shot options is really one of the joys in playing golf. While there are some things always to do (such as concentrating, following your preshot routine, and swinging relatively easily), there are things never to do. Here are the most destructive of these playing patterns.

NEVER FORCE A SHOT. Whenever you feel tempted to blast or jam a shot, you are actually outside of your optimal playing rhythms. A forcing mentality promotes greed and impatience. It seems strange, but you cannot force power nor precision.

Stay aware of not only your swing rhythm, but also your thinking rhythm. Develop the discipline to take out one longer club, choke down on a shot, or swing easier. Not only will you better execute these shots, you will better stay in the rhythm of the rounds. Implicit in this is…

NEVER QUESTION INTUITIONS. How many times after a bad shot did you lament, “Deep down, I always felt it was the wrong club,” “I knew not to miss it there,” or “I sensed the ball would react that way.” These are instances you had intuitive messages.

Especially during decision making, really listen for any intuitions. Listen closely for valid intuitions as opposed to impulses, doubts, or expectations. Even if you cannot explain them, trust that all intuitions are true. And then immediately implement them. Doing strengthens trust. Part of this includes…

NEVER SUCCUMB TO TEMPTATIONS. Golf tempts us. While it is fun to succeed with risks, most temptations suck us down into a morass of frustration. Again, even if you cannot explain it, whenever you sense being tempted DO EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE. So if you are tempted to bust a driver, immediately swing easier. Or if you are tempted to cram an approach shot to a tucked pin, immediately take out one more club and smoothly stroke the ball to the middle of the green. Or if you are tempted to hit a flopper from a downhill lie, immediately pitch beyond the pin.

When you think about it, most temptations create disastrous results. Whenever you feel tempted, immediately do just the opposite. Tied in with this is…

NEVER BE TOO CUTE WITH SHOTS. Temptations trick us into believing we can execute with a very fine margin for error. Especially late in the round and under pressure, we at-tempt too many cute finesse shots. Fatigue, stress, greed, and even desperation all conspire to corrupt fine motor skills.

Learn to play–and accept–the percentages. The entire round actually becomes easier when you think clearly and play standard shots. As Tommy Armour always advised, “Play every shot to make the next shot easy.” All of this takes into account…

NEVER CHANGE YOUR PACE UNDER PRESSURE. Sustained playing pressure does some interesting things to the mind and body. One doesn’t have to be a tour pro to experience pressure. A three-footer on the final green for all the skins is as valid of pressure as during tournaments.

When one is under playing pressure, there is the tendency to change the pace of play. We walk or talk too fast, fidget, become timid and somber, mentally short-circuit and blank out, and/or rush our routines. Our swings typically then become shorter, quicker, and more staccato.

Become aware of your personal thinking and feeling patterns under pressure. Rely on those regular patterns of decision making and preshot routines which enabled earlier successes. Don’t be afraid of pressure. These situations are really gifts from The Game. Seen in this light, pressure is actually a doorway to improvement. A part this is…

NEVER WISH-AND-HOPE. Whether it is reacting to expectations, pressure, or temptations, we often hit shots which we just want to get over with. We wish the first drive into the fairway, we hope the ball over a hazard, and we pray a putt will stop somewhere around the hole. Golf is a game of targets. It is also a game of precision.

Precise targeting commences in the mind. Take time to plot out the desired outcome to a specified target. Detail the target–whether it is a brown patch in the fairway or the exact edge of the hole in which you want the ball to enter. Then precisely visualize how the ball will arrive there. Mentally and physically rehearse ideal swings. Then, forget it! Trust you have programmed your mind and body. Finally, immerse into what I call being “Clear & Committed.” Have a clear mind over the ball and settle into the shot performance. All of this includes…

NEVER FOCUS ON OUTCOMES. Now, this may seem contradictory to the above, but hear me out. One temptation is to become distracted with outcomes. I am sure that all of us have encountered situations where we stood on the 16th tee fantasizing about what a great final score would mean. And then what happened?

Yes, have goals and be Clear & Committed with them. However, you cannot totally control outcomes. Instead, learn to emphasize those processes and qualities to reach those outcomes. You CAN totally control these. Believe that if you emphasize the shot processes and personal qualities, the outcomes will take care of themselves.

Golf wisdom comes from learning and honoring essential playing strategies. Now, these strategies may not seem flashy, but the results are satisfying. All golfers say they strive for consistency, but relatively few honor their playing strategies. Consistency emanates from strategy.


Good golf, creative golf, and adaptive golf are all dependent on blending with the conditions, the situations, and yourself. As such, there are some things which deflect and block this blending mentality. The following are specific club and shot issues you should avoid.

NEVER SWING THE SAME ON FULL SHOTS. Now, this may seem illogical, but one of the secrets to consistent ballstriking is to never swing the same. Especially with drives and approach shots, there is the temptation to always swing full-out–at the outer limit of that club. Granted, you may pull off a couple of these shots, but doing this for an entire round is nearly impossible. Full-out rhythm and timing are difficult to achieve, difficult to maintain, and once lost, nearly impossible to regain.

Great ballstrikers and scorers understand the need to continually adapt and adjust. Just as every shot situation is unique, so must be the response to it. Granted, there are times to hit full-out swings on some drives and approaches, but these are really rarities. As such, creative players calibrate each of their swings based on their optimal (not maximal) rhythm. Particularly if they choose to work a shot (high or low, left or right), these require easier, abbreviated, and softer swings. There is an inherent joy in matching the appropriate swing to the specific shot.

A round of golf is NOT a long drive nor busted-iron contest. Remember, ultimate consistency involves continual adjustments. Applied to the short clubs…

NEVER HIT A FULL WEDGE. Wedges are key scoring clubs. There are a multiplicity of shots which can played with each of them. Many times, the wedges overlap. Learn to create different shots with each of your wedges. Distance, trajectory, spin, and release are all factors to take into consideration when creating short shots.

The only factor to avoid is to swing fully with a wedge. Even if you can pull off these shots, you tend to lose precise control over the ball. Such full shots usually produce more spin and height (not to mention skulls and chunks!) which actually reduce direct control. It is actually fun to create different touch shots with each wedge. These shots may not look as spectacular as when a high lob sucks back, but the better results will speak for themselves. Related with this issue is…

NEVER BECOME INFATUATED WITH THE LOB WEDGE. I have encountered so many players who have fallen in love with their lob wedges. They use it on every short game shot. They rationalize “Tiger and Annika do this, so I should as well.” A lob wedge is a very difficult club to master and it requires constant practice to keep it sharp.

Now, there are situations where the LW is the best choice. However, use this club as the last option. In short game decision making, start with your longest flattest clubs (including the putter, hybrid, or fairway wood). Proceed considering club options going from longer to shorter. When you arrive at the best choice, go with that. Such decision making usually creates easier, more effective, more forgiving, and more consistent shots. Starting each short game decision with the LW not only is more risky, it also stifles creativity. Here is a new one…

NEVER THINK OF SHORT SHOTS IN TERMS OF “UP-AND-DOWNs.” One of my tour pros brought this up. He became aware that thinking of “up-and-down” was too result oriented. This mindset took him out of the flow of executing the shot.

Instead, he came up with the notions of “approach chips” or “approach pitches.” Such concepts anchored him in the same solid frame of mind as his approach shots or approach putts. He could then better emphasize the processes of execution. (And oh, by the way, his up-and-down conversions improved significantly.) Experiment with the mindsets of approach chips and approach pitches. And finally…

NEVER GIVE UP. Perseverance is not only essential to golf, but to all of life as well. Giving up tempts us. Whether it is on a shot, near the end of a discouraging hole, at the end of a round, or during a tournament, giving up tempts. You question, “Why persist?” Only you can answer this. And you had better come up with many positive answers.

Golf is tough enough in itself without us becoming pessimistic and giving up. You see, giving up is really a contagious disease. Once we give up, it is easier to give up next time. Very quickly, giving up expands to become the norm. Learn to persist, persevere, gut it out, grind, hang in there, remain doggedly positive, redeem, and believe. There is strength, and even pride, to be gained from these qualities.

So these are things NOT to do…along with some alternatives. It makes sense that if you can eliminate the things not to do, what is left are positive alternatives. Become more aware of your own self-destructive playing patterns. Catch them and do something different.

True to what I said, DO NOT believe me! Find out for yourself. Now stand back–I’m gonna swing out of my shoes on this next drive!

Cheers! Tom


Dr. Tom Kubistant is one of the original modern day sport psychologists. He has been researching the mental game and helping athletes since 1972. He has written five books and over 440 articles on the psychology of human performance. ==========================================================

“Dr. Kubistant does a tremendous job in helping people reach their goals not only in golf, but in all aspects of their lives. It is remarkable watching him work with players from the junior level all the way through the college and professional ranks helping them reach as high as they can go.”

Pamela A. Whalen – Executive Director, Northern Nevada Golf Association

Dr. Tom Kubistant, sports psychologist has worked with world-class athletes since 1971. He is one of the most prolific writers and speakers on the mental game of golf on the planet. To take advantage of his decades of golf wizardry, visit Mind Links

golf psychologist

Author of “Performing Your Best, Links Golf, Mind Pump: The Psychology of Body Building, business and sales training audios, over 280 articles for magazines and now………Mind Links – The Psychology of Golf.


Copyright © 2006 Tom Kubistant
Posted by
June 29, 2010 in Misc

How to prepare for a golf tournament


Dr. Tom Kubistant, CSP

One of the neat things I observed from watching the recent Winter Olympics was how so many announcers, analysts, and even athletes referred to golf in describing performance situations. Golf is THE most complex of all sports. Not only does it involve a myriad of mechanical components, it also includes overlapping psychological, emotional, and playing issues. More athletes from other sports are not only recognizing the principles of golf, but adapting them to help in their own performances.

What all sports have in common is the necessity of preparation. In golf, it not only includes warming up, but being truly ready to play. This readiness applies to being able to quickly adapt to any situation encountered during the round. Concentration, consistency, mental toughness, as well as creativity and even intuition all depend on the quality of preround preparation

Although we wish every round would enfold smoothly with our performances being completely in control, they rarely do. We all hit bad shots and encounter rough patches. When you think about it, one of the fascinations with The Game is learning how to minimize and adapt to various adversities. Most great performances are grounded in successfully responding to early challenges.

Are you truly ready to play every round? C�mon, be honest with yourself. Rocky starts, disjointed swings, poorly thought-out decisions, dumb course management, and even emotional reactions all stem from not be properly prepared. How many times have you stood on the third tee wanting to go back to the clubhouse and play a “do over?” Even though many of us think we are ready to play a round, we could do much more.

All complete preround preparation includes: (1) stretching; (2) relaxing/centering; (3) warmup on the range, chipping, and putting greens; (4) mentally rehearsing how to play each hole, and (5) engaged playing scenarios. Rushing up to the first tee with shoe laces untied, arranging wagers, fumbling for a tee, taking a couple of abbreviated practice swings, and hoping for the best is not preparation. We can do…and be…so much more. Even though a four hour round of golf goes through different phases, very few of us can recover from an ill-prepared start.

An integral component of preparation occurs away from the course. It is mentally rehearsing various playing scenarios. Whenever I begin working with golfers, I ask them a series of questions to determine just how well they prepare for rounds. These questions often take the form of “What if…?” scenarios–both about ideal qualities as well as responding to challenges. There is nothing hypothetical about them. Even though most players believe they are prepared, few can completely answer these questions. You see, even though we all dream about playing well, few do much beyond this fantasizing.

Simply put, golfers who start off well, play consistently, successfully cope with adversity, finish well, and generally allow solid efforts to emerge have programmed themselves to do specific things. It is like their minds and bodies are complex biocomputers. Constructing answers to specific playing scenarios efficiently programs efforts. Now, this mental programming is not catastrophizing. Far from it. Mentally playing out different playing scenarios helps: (1) tap into good performances, (2) prevent or minimize bad stretches, (3) allow emotional reactions to more quickly run their courses, and (4) facilitate better and faster decisions.

If you have worked out possible playing situations you will be better able to respond (not react) to them when they emerge. Even if you encounter situations you haven�t programmed, you can more quickly create appropriate responses. You see, much of self-control actually occurs before the round. If you wait to figure something out when it actually happens, it is usually too late. You tend to get thrown for a loop, become confused, allow emotions to bubble up, and lose your way. Appropriate situational responses are programmed well before the round.

Below is an exercise to help you prepare better. What follows are seven key playing scenarios. Each one includes two separate parts: (1) what to optimally do and (2) “what if” this ideal doesn�t work. Here is the best way to benefit from this exercise. Spend one day contemplating each of these scenarios. Depending on your learning and remembering styles, you might want to write down each one and carry it around with you occasionally referring to it. Write down and/or repeatedly mentally rehearse your responses. Your goal is to create a clear and comprehensive plan for each one of these. Spend an entire day developing responses to each of these scenario pairs. Players who have done this report this has been one of the most productive weeks of their golfing lives. Have fun with these!

DAY 1. How best do I settle into deep and sustained concentration? What if I become distracted, too intense, or get in my own way?

DAY 2. How do I start off well? What if I don�t get off to a good start?

DAY 3. What are my optimal playing routines? What if the pace of play becomes very slow or erratic?

DAY 4. How do I feel my optimal swing rhythm? What if my rhythm goes out of synch?

DAY 5. How do I best relax and stay centered? What if I start feeling anxious or angry?

DAY 6. How do I best remain patient? What do I do if I encounter adversity, bad luck, or good shots that don�t end up well?

DAY 7. How do I best finish off a round? What if I get ahead of myself or become greedy?

Now, each of these scenario pairs may initially appear simple, but they are far from that. Each usually has multiple layers, much like that of an onion. Of course, seeds for the answers for each second part can be found in the first. This exercise requires a lot of energy. Take your time and completely explore these scenarios. Create a clear picture of your plans and responses. You will know when you have completed each scenario when it “clicks” into place in your mind. You have then programmed your great golfing biocomputer in that area.

If you are like other players who go through this week, you will probably encounter other spinoff issues as you explore these seven scenarios. When you do, just write these down and put them aside. You are actually developing scenarios for the second week!

One of the best feelings in golf is feeling well prepared. True confidence not only comes from belief in self and previous successes, but also from full preparedness. Smooth golf is prepared golf. It seems to be paradoxical, but in order to allow the best performances to flow, one must have first have created a structure for them. Program, rehearse, and then do.


Over the last year, many of you have inquired how you could obtain a copy of my venerable book. I wrote this in a practical notebook form exploring thirty key mental and playing areas. I have always been surprised how well this book stood the test of time. After ten printings, I thought it was time to let it go. From what I have heard, it has now become sort of a collectors� item. By the way, for you collectors, the first 100 copies of MIND LINKS were numbered, autographed, and contained both a special stamp and embossed three letters imprint on the title page.

Many of you loaned out this book never to see it again, wore through your copy, or wanted to give it as a present. Among those who contacted me, Craig Sigl persisted in wishing to resurrect MIND LINKS. I gave Craig permission to record this book onto CD. He did an outstanding job with its production. The electronic book, along with neat bonus features, is now available on Craig�s website of Truly, there are links of the mind to golf performances!

Over the last fifteen years, Dr. Tom Kubistant has been THE most prolific writer on the psychology of golf. Tom is a member of the TOUR INSTRUCTIONAL SERIES which offers seminars around North America on the mental, biomechanical, and playing dimensions of golf.


Dr. Tom Kubistant, sports psychologist has worked with world-class athletes since 1971. He is one of the most prolific writers and speakers on the mental game of golf on the planet. To take advantage of his decades of golf wizardry, visit Mind Links

golf psychologist

Author of “Performing Your Best, Links Golf, Mind Pump: The Psychology of Body Building, business and sales training audios, over 280 articles for magazines and now………Mind Links – The Psychology of Golf.

Way before the current crop of golf psychologists, 2 decades before anyone ever heard of the term “sports psychology,” Dr. Kubistant was working with Olympic Athletes, World-Class Tennis players, Baseball pitchers, Football Quarterbacks, Bowlers, Drag Racers, Body builders, Poker Players , Ballerinas, Gymnasts, Skaters, Rodeo Barrel Racers, Business Sales and Corporate Professionals and of course, Golfers.

In 1971, after working in private psychotherapy practice he dove headfirst into Human Performance and Achievement and became one of the pioneers of modern sports psychology. His own athletic prowess as a tennis pro and accomplished golfer spurred him on. If that isn’t enough, he maintains the complete “Bibliography On The Psychology Of Golf;” everything ever written on the mental game of golf. And HE HAS READ EVERYTHING IN IT!


Copyright © 2006 Tom Kubistant
Posted by
June 29, 2010 in Misc

Top 10 tips from golf teaching pros

golf psychologist


No, it’s not repeating Sam Snead’s classic line to, “Take two weeks off…and then quit the game!” On the contrary, your golf teacher is a committed professional. She or he is dedicated in assisting you improve and better enjoy this great game. They make the confusing understandable and the elusive achievable. Still, there are some things your pro won’t tell you about your game.

Over the decades, I have had the opportunity to know teaching pros unlike most students ever do. I survey them on various mental game research projects I conduct. I also train them on such issues as: learning and retention styles, pre-teaching assessments, content sequencing, human performance, guest servicve, marketing, and even help them with their own putting yips! I learn as much from them as they do from me.

Some of the most memorable conversations I have ever had with them are informal ones over beverages as we discussed the natures of learning and playing the game. Their clarity and passion about the game was inspiring. I wished we could have recorded these sessions for all golfers could have learned so much from them.

Trained and experienced LPGA and PGA teaching pros are the pinnacles of professionalism and ethics. As such, many restrain themselves from confronting students about certain issues. Some pros are reluctant to assert themselves about what their students need to do. They won’t tell you…BUT I WILL!

The following are the ten issues which frustrate teaching pros the most about students’ approaches to their games. As you read through these, reflect on which you commit…and what you can do differently. Here is what your teaching pro won’t tell you about your game!

1. YOU ARE NOT TRULY COMMITTED. No matter how experienced the player, teachers frequently report to me that many golfers are not fully committed to improving their games in the long run. Teachers become frustrated when they are more committed to their student’s games than the golfers themselves. Some golfers still expect the pro to fix them or the problem to magically resolve itself…in one lesson. And when it doesn’t occur, they give up or blame the pro. Golf is THE toughest game and consistent improvement begins with a honest and full commitment.

2. YOU DON’T PRACTICE ENOUGH. Change does not occur during the lesson. Rather, change occurs from systematic practice of the lesson material. As I surveyed teaching pros over the last seven years, more reported they will not allow students to schedule another lesson until they have practiced the previous material at least three times. New skills need regular practice over a period of time for them to sink in. In fact, practice can become fun in its own right.

3. YOU DON’T PRACTICE CORRECTLY. Mindlessly banging out balls is not practice. In the first session of a lesson series, innovative teaching pros cover how to practice the material. For each practice session you should have a specific plan of what to emphasize and how to do it. This plan should be an extension of what you have recently done and fit into the overall direction of growth. Specifically, each practice session should begin with a full warmup, conscientious work on one or two isolated elements, and then reintegrate changes back into the entire swing. Rhythm is key in both warmup and integration.

4. YOU DON’T DEVELOP AND INCORPORATE PRESHOT ROUTINES INTO PRACTICES. Teaching pros just shake their heads when watching “machine gun practicers.” You know the type: they quickly bang out buckets of balls believing somehow “muscle memory” is working. Intelligent practice sessions include complete preshot and postshot routines. Hence, you should only be able to hit, at the most, two balls per minute. Pretend certain range shots are like those specific ones you will encounter during a round. It is true, “If you want to play like you practice, then practice like you want to play.” Spend time reflecting on this maxim.

5. YOU DON’T PRACTICE YOUR SHORT GAME NEARLY ENOUGH. When I asked top teaching pros about practice prioritizing, most reported that students should practice their full swings only 33-50% of the time. The rest should be short game practices: chips, pitches, sand play, and putting. Think about it, there are perhaps three times as many options on short game shots as there are with full swing ones. If there is one element of the short game teachers say students don’t practice enough, it is the 20-50 yard half-pitches. I advise my players that after they have a pretty good handle on their full swing mechanics, 70% of all practice sessions should be entirely on short games.

6. YOU DON’T REQUEST PUTTING SESSIONS. Way back in 1992, I surveyed teaching pros about what percentage of their students EVER requested a putting lesson. The results may initially surprise you. I discovered that only 6% of students ever requested a putting session. Since the putt is the shortest shot in the game, most golfers feel they can master it on their own. Sure, anybody can putt, but few can putt consistently well. Beyond stroke mechanics, teaching pros can expand your awareness about reading greens, speed and distance control, preputt routines, various targeting systems, and handling pressure.

7. YOU DON’T ASK ABOUT TRANSFERENCE. Many golfers still mistakenly believe that if they take lessons and regularly practice, these newfound skills will automatically transfer onto the course. LEARNING HOW TO SWING AND LEARNING HOW TO PLAY ARE TWO SEPARATE PROCESSES. If there is a weakness I see in teaching pros’ content sequencing, it is that they do not spend enough lesson time on the issue of transference from range to the course. Granted, this is a fairly sophisticated psychological concept, but the issue has to be covered about the strategies and tactics of bringing one’s game onto the course. Good teachers address this issue at the end of each lesson. Such short conversations can be as valuable in the long run as another series of lessons. Really.

8. YOU DON’T TALK ABOUT CONCENTRATION. Just as there are specific skills involved with learning and retention, there are other specific skills involved with playing the game. Concentration is the core of human performance. It is much more than the ability of not being distracted or even visualizing the shot. Granted, hardly any teaching pros have comprehensive training in golf psychology, but they can teach the basics of how to best apply your mind during a round.

9. YOU DON’T TAKE ADVANTAGE OF PLAYING SESSIONS. After you understand the fundamentals of the swing, the best time you can spend is booking regular playing sessions with your pro. Teaching pros are very good players and such sessions provide unique opportunities to pick their brains over specific situations encountered during a round. Even if such playing sessions are only six or 9 holes, you can learn so much from them. Course management, targeting, shot selection, settling into the round, flow, short game options, coping with frustrations, and finishing off a round are just some of the topics which can be discussed, Contrary to what you may believe, most teaching pros love these sessions. I believe all players should book playing sessions at least once every other month. You will greatly reduce your learning curve about how to play the game.

10. YOU DON’T HAVE A LONG TERM PLAN FOR YOUR GAME. Teaching pros are tickled when students ask for input about long term progress–at least for the upcoming season. Such discussions not only include mechanics, equipment, and playing the game, but also ancillary areas as fitness, specialized training, and developmental phases. Such interest conveys students are really committed to improving their games. This brings us back full circle to #1.

Okay, to which of the above do you plead guilty? And what are you going to do about it? You see, I don’t really care if you choose not to improve your game. If you enjoy knocking the ball around, grand. However, if you sincerely want to improve, you have to fully commit to a process. Not doing the right things and yet expecting improvement only sets yourself up for frustration and failure.

You have a grand resource in your local teaching pros. You don’t have to travel across the country to work with a “name” teacher. Your local pros can do as good (if not better) of a job. They are much more than friendly faces behind the counter or the encouraging presences on the range. They genuinely want you to grow and succeed. Take advantage of them.

* If teaching pros see value in this article, they have my permission to make copies and distribute it to their students through 2007.


“Tom is our secret weapon for competitive golfers. He both calms us and inspires us. It sometimes gets lonely and confusing out there. Tom is our refuge for us to come back to our best performances.”

Frank Roberson, Touring Professional

Dr. Tom Kubistant has been called “The Master of the Intrinsic.” He maintains the entire bibliography on the mental game of golf…and has read it all! Nobody is more experienced than Tom. He continues to work with professional and average golfers every day.

If you want to get your game to the next level, click here to get Mind Links now!

Author of “Performing Your Best, Links Golf, Mind Pump: The Psychology of Body Building, business and sales training audios, over 280 articles for magazines and now………Mind Links – The Psychology of Golf.


Copyright © 2006 Tom Kubistant
Posted by
June 29, 2010 in Misc

Become Your Own Pro Golf Caddie


golf psychologist

Most of the pro Tour and mini-tour players with whom I work do not have their own regular caddies. They usually employ a local golf caddie at week’s event These players are constantly forging new relationships with new caddies. Some weeks it works, some weeks it doesn’t.

A golf caddie is a critical element in performing well at a professional tournament. In addition to giving yardages and taking care of the player, a caddie can also be a coach, confidant and counselor Beyond the classic adage, “Show up, keep up and shut up,” a good caddie has to be continually in the head of the golfer. The caddie has to know when to say something, what to say, how to say it and, as importantly, when not to say anything at all.

One technique we have developed with touring players is to have a 4-by-6-inch index card that explains what the golfers want from their caddies during the tournament. Instead of explaining what the golfer wants at the beginning of each week, the player simply gives this index card to the caddie. On the card is what the player wants the caddie to do, what to say and how to say it.

The index card is really a compilation of how the player can perform well. Many of my players have reported that this index card was even more valuable than just a caddie briefing. Even though I never originally intended to be so (I am not that smart!), this index card represents the key elements in the player’s formula for success.

Frequent1y, the players read their cards again and respond, “Oh yes, that is what I need to do to play well.” Some of them regularly use this index card as a reminder for themselves as well. Let’s take this concept of the caddie card one step further. Answer this question: If you were to become your own golf caddie, what would you tell yourself about how you perform best? What are the key elements to your personal formula for success -especially under pressure? What things do you need to emphasize, de-emphasize and ignore? What would you like to say to yourself and in what manner?

Answer this question:
If you were to become your own golf caddie, what would you tell yourself about how you perform best? You may be surprised at what you write down

Pretend you are becoming your own caddie and educate yourself about you. Write out a caddie card for yourself. You’ll quickly discover that it is not as easy as it first appears. Not only do you have to determine what to say to yourself but also how to say it. Any formula – such as this formula for golfing success – has to be precise for it to be of any consistent value.

As an example, the following is the caddie card I wrote up when I last played The Old Course at St. Andrews. I usually do not like to use caddies, but sometimes they are a treat. Knowing for me that caddies can be as much of a hindrance as a help, here is what I wrote:

I am a quiet focused and creative player. Give me just enough information about a hole so I can figure it out by myself. I like making my own decisions and mentally rehearsing each shot.

Since I shape many of my shots and hit them at various speeds, please don’t recommend or pull a club for me. Quietly support me. No pushing or exhorting me. Sincerely compliment me after a good shot and find something positive to say after a poor shot. In everything you say and do, be positive about it.

When I am becoming too (in)tense, lighten me up by pointing at the scenery or telling a funny story. When I am angry don’t say anything. It will pass quickly. Just have me focus on the shot in front of me. When I am battling, support my fight. When I am playing well don’t say much and just keep me calm.

Since I read my putts by imagining the hole as a clock, if I ask you for help tell me at what hour and minute; (such as 4:30) you see the putt going into the hole. Until you understand this concept, just confirm what I say. Let’s go settle into ourselves and throw ourselves into this round!

You may want to write up your own caddie card. You will certainly have to revise it a couple of times. And you may very well be surprised at the final result. What you come up with is really your unique formula for success. Read it and become your own golf caddie.




“Tom is our secret weapon for competitive golfers. He both calms us and inspires us. It sometimes gets lonely and confusing out there. Tom is our refuge for us to come back to our best performances.”

Frank Roberson, Touring Professional

Dr. Tom Kubistant has been called “The Master of the Intrinsic.” He maintains the entire bibliography on the mental game of golf…and has read it all! Nobody is more experienced than Tom. He continues to work with professional and average golfers every day.

If you want to get your game to the next level, click here to get Mind Links now!

Author of “Performing Your Best, Links Golf, Mind Pump: The Psychology of Body Building, business and sales training audios, over 280 articles for magazines and now………Mind Links – The Psychology of Golf.


Copyright © 2006 Tom Kubistant

Playing Golf Around Your Pain

I DO WHAT MY BODY ALLOWS me to do. None of us have perfect bodies. From basic structure, to genetics, to pain, to illnesses and injuries, all the way to aging, each of us has to learn how to swing based on the bodies we have. Shotmaking and even scoring tactics should also take into account the body used to perform them.

Let me use myself as an example. I am a 54-year-old geezer who has chronically damaged knees, the webbing between my fingers is so tight it prohibits me from using overlapping or interlocking grips, my left leg is slightly longer than my right one, and I have relatively long limbs and a short torso. Add

There are many, many ways to hit the ball well and play
the game solidly.

Add to this that I am a bodybuilder who is perpetually stiff, sore, and in pain. When the players with whom I work discover all of my “limitations,” they are amazed I can hit the ball at all .much less take money off of them! Perhaps – precisely because of these physical liabilities is why I learned how to maximize my mental and scoring games.

I see many whiny golfers use their physical limitations as excuses. These become their crutches. “If only.” is their standard phrase. “If only I didn’t have this bum back pain,” “If only I wasn’t so stiff from yard work,” “If only I didn’t have these allergies,” “If only I didn’t have this gut,” or even “If only I was taller,”… “then I could practice more and play better.” Rubbish! The only person they are fooling is themselves. Golf is a pure and honest game which allows no excuses. Cowboy up.

Dennis Oliver is the head teaching pro at my home course. He is regionally renowned for having the best eyes arid communication skills in working with golfers of all abilities. Dennis is one of those teaching pros golfers go to when they experience roadblocks or slumps. He is magical how he helps players. Beyond his teaching prowess, Dennis has a special passion for helping golfers in The Special Olympics.

He reports that some of the most remarkable progress he has ever seen in any golfer are from players who should not have the minds and bodies to do it. These golfers courageously and passionately play with what they have. Dennis views himself as a kind of guide to put them on the right track. And, boy, do they respond.

Great teaching pros like Dennis Oliver work with the individual golfer’s uniqueness. Sure, he teaches the fundamentals, but he then adapts to what the student’s body will allow them to do. Whether it is more of a long arc swing or a compact rotation swing, Dennis helps golfers discover their own “natural” swings. There are many, many ways to hit the ball well and play the game solidly. You see, there is really no such thing as a classic swing. If you ask players who have always been recognized at possessing pure

“It is what it is” and
“I’ll do what I can do.”

swings, they would report they had to do a lot of compensating for their bodies throughout their careers. Steve Elkington, Patty Sheehan, and Tom Purtzer all have made adjustments to their “classic” swings to accommodate their bodies.

You may not have the challenges of a Special Olympian or a person coping with chemotherapy to have to adapt with your body. Your body is your performance vehicle. All of us have to learn how to play around our bodies. The body never stays the same; it is always changing. So not only does the course change everyday, so do our bodies we use to play.

Seen in these lights, golf is a game of continuous adaptations. Here is the key: acceptance. Accept the body you have. Accept the reality that there will be some things you will not be able to do. And accept that there are some things you can learn to do. The mantras of the sell-accepting golfer are, “It is what it is” and “I’ll do what I can do.” Now, acceptance does not mean resignation. Nor is it a rationale for making excuses. Acceptance focuses on maximizing what one possesses instead of lamenting over what one no longer has. You see, until you accept your body you will not be able to fully change things nor maximize other things. Sure, you may not be able to swing the way you used to, but you can learn to swing in new ways. In fact, most dedicated golfers report to me that they have received deeper self-satisfaction with the game through learning how to play around their bodies.

From a base of honest acceptance, golfers can learn how to maximize what they have. For example, we have all learned about the benefits of developing a system of stretching, both daily and prior to a round. And some of us have reaped the benefits of weight training. Regular practice and intelligent playing can more than make up for some physical disabilities. And your heart, mind, and playing savvy can get around swing limitations.

There are things you can do if only you accept yourself and give yourself permission to strive for them. Establish more appropriate and attainable goals . . .and then go out and do it. You will never know how far you can go with your body until you find out for yourself. I have always used the metaphor that golf is a human performance laboratory. The game can be played and enjoyed at so many levels. In the face of aging, illness, or physical disabilities, golf can still be enjoyed and even mastered at new levels. Most importantly, the processes of striving can become as meaningful as the new outcomes.

You have some essential choices to make. No matter your age, illnesses, or injuries, only you can decide how to approach the game. Are you going to be a victim or are you going to become a warrior? Are you going to stay in the past lamenting how you used to play? Or are you going to accept your current body, accommodate it, and learn how to play in

Establish … attainable goals
and then go out and do it.

new ways? The choices are ultimately yours.

Some of you real students of the game are familiar with the writing of Bob Labbance. Based in New England, Bob has always had a passion about golf literature, classic course architecture, and the history of the American game. What few of you know is that while golfing in September he slipped on a slick bridge, fell head first into the creek bed, and suffered a severe spinal injury. He was immediately completely paralyzed. After three operations Bob is still partially paralyzed.

However, his friends say Bob is still talking about coming back to Ms beloved golf. He is striving daily to make progress with his new body. Sure, he a never swing the way he used to. But my money is on Bob coming back to the game and learning how to play it. and enjoy it .. in new ways. Bob, we’re all waiting for you on the tee.




“Do you really want to listen to someone who actually makes sense about this crazy game? Tom Kubistant is almost a reclusive man, but golfers who find him are always rewarded by his complete system of the mental game, his practical applications, and his everyday wisdom. Tom has been a regular contributor to my radio show since 1997. I am continually surprised at how much he knows for every playing situation. He just makes so much sense. Doc is also one of the few in his profession who strictly maintains his professional ethics regarding confidentiality with his golfers. So he cannot say who he works with. But I can! I have seen him work with his golfers at tournaments and have even interviewed a couple of them for my show. He is their secret weapon”

Vince Mastracco – Host of the nationally syndicated radio program: “Golf Talk”

Dr. Tom Kubistant, sports psychologist has worked with world-class athletes since 1971. He is one of the most prolific writers and speakers on the mental game of golf on the planet. To take advantage of his decades of golf wizardry, visit Mind Links

golf psychologist

Author of “Performing Your Best, Links Golf, Mind Pump: The Psychology of Body Building, business and sales training audios, over 280 articles for magazines and now………Mind Links – The Psychology of Golf.


Copyright © 2006 Tom Kubistant

How to Have More Patience In Golf…Part 1

Dr. Tom Kubistant, CSP Golf Psychologist

Patience is power        — Chinese Proverb

How to Have More Patience In Golf...Part 1One of the few things I can still clearly remember from the turbulent 1960’s was a popular poster depicting two vultures sitting in a tree.

As you know, vultures wait to feed on already dead carrion.  In that poster, one vulture said to the other, “Patience, hell, I want to kill something!”

Most of us want to “kill” something during a round of golf.  We become tired of waiting.  We feel we don’t have any other options but to kill it.

And besides, it seems like more fun just to mindlessly bust a shot.  So we force things…usually with disappointing and disastrous results.

Both high level and consistent golf are grounded in patience.  Those who play “all-or-nothing” golf usually end up with nothing.  Beyond that, impatient people rarely improve–certainly not at the rate they expect.  Patience is not only a critical key for maximizing your rounds, but also in guiding your long term progress.

How to Have More Patience In Golf...Part 1Most of us sabotage our rounds by impatience.  To fully understand this, please answer these questions:  how many shots per round do you fritter away by impatience?  How many shots are you not clear and committed in  its decision making?

How often do you not include in your planning where to miss the shot?  Do you rush your preshot routine when discouraged?  How often do you try to force a shot into a target?

How often do you become mentally dulled during the last six holes?  How often do you let your emotions (both greed and frustration) control you?  How many shots, holes, and even rounds do you give up on?  All of your answers to these questions can be summarized by a lack of patience.

In competitive golf, most tournaments at all levels–even the pros at majors–are lost, not outright won.  The player who endures makes the least number of mistakes at the critical times.  Said more positively, the winners tend to be the most patient.

Most players do not have the courage, self-discipline, and belief to be patient.  In evaluating Jack Nicklaus’ game, Tom Weiskoph said, “To play the way Jack did required and enormous amount of patience.

How to Have More Patience In Golf...Part 1Most players just couldn’t do it–they’d get too antsy and feel as if they must force the issue.  Nicklaus had more patience than anyone I ever saw. Sure, it is much easier to be impatient under the guises of being natural or fluid.

However, one of the great challenges of golf–both recreational and competitive–is that it challenges golfers to be patient. 

The Game rewards patience.  As the great Byron Nelson advised, “If you don’t have patience playing golf, the game will teach it to you.”

Here is the encouraging thing:  patience can be improved.  Sure, patience is expanded with overall maturity as well as experience from various playing situations.

However, it can also be improved upon by consciously working on it.  Patience is an ability and, as such, it can be refined and deepened.  Here is how….continued

How to Have More Patience In Golf...Part 1Dr. Tom Kubistant, Master of the Intrinsic, is one of the leading speakers, researches, and coaches of the mental and scoring games.  He is one of the pioneers in sports psychology working with Olympic, Professional and Amateur athletes since 1973. Since 1984, he has worked exclusively with golfers ranging from tour pros to average weekend golfers. Over the last fifteen years, Tom has been THE most prolific writer on the psychology of golf with three books and over 275 articles and he maintains (and has read) the entire “Bibliography On The Psychology Of Golf;” everything ever written and recorded on the mental game. He trains other sports psychologists and mental coaches and is widely known as the leading authority on all forms of THE YIPS.

You can get more of his wisdom and sign up for his free newsletter at:

Golf book reviews

On this page are some golf book reviews for some of the all-time great golf books.

Here is the list of some of the golf books I’ve read and my golf instruction review of them. At the end of each, I give my rating based on the value to the average golfer from 1 to 10 with 10 being the best

I would love it if you would send in your own review for posting on this site. Try to name the valuable golf instruction that we take from the book you review and the rating from 1 to 10. Use the contact form at the bottom of the page. Let me know if you want your name or just initials as a credit for your review on this site. Also, include the city, state or country you’re from and let’s watch this page grow…. Craig. Kjell Enhager. Quantum Golf. Warner Books (1992)

If you’ve never heard of quantum physics before, it’s the study of subatomic particles. This author brings this science into the realm of golf. Kind of hard to follow at times unless you’re really into quantum physics like I am. It’s about a wise older golf instructor who takes a typical high-strung business type and turns him into a golfer who trusts his swing. Some may find this book a little too deep but I loved it! Golf instruction review rating: 6

Gallwey, W. Timothy . The Inner Game of Golf-Rev. Random House (1998) So far, this is my favorite golf mental book by far. Gallwey was originally a tennis pro and instructor. He wrote Inner Tennis first based on his studies and experiments in teaching the mental game of tennis. He then challenged himself to become a 70’s shooting golfer using the Inner Game principles he developed from tennis. He gave himself a year with no more than 1 hour of practice a week and didn’t take any lessons. There are some serious techniques in this book that you can put into practice on your next round that can have dramatic effects as I have experienced myself. The main golf instruction here is that our head can accomplish amazing things if we take control of it. Golf instruction review rating: 10.

Larry Miller. Holographic Golf. Pelican Publishing Co. (2000)
My golf instruction review: This is my favorite “physical game” book. Until I read this, I was so confused by the avalanche of books, articles in magazines, videos, etc. on how to get the perfect swing. It seems that the whole world of golf is focused on this aspect of the game and there is so much contradictory opinion on it that I just didn’t know what to use for my game. Then I read this book and it gives you a solid foundation for building your own swing that is so simple that you just won’t believe it until you try it. I talk about this in “without practice”. Larry Miller is my golf swing hero!Golf instruction review rating: 8.

Dave Pelz. Dave Pelz’s Short Game Bible. Doubleday (1999)
Are you of the same opinion that I was about what is the most important part of the golf game for scoring low. You think it’s putting right? Think again. Pelz is a golf researcher of the scientific sort. His previous career was as a physicist and NASA researcher prior to creating his golf company from scratch by following around pros for years recording statistics of their various shots. His conclusions from years of these studies are in this book with detailed instructions on how you can capitalize it. Prior to reading this book, I used to “feel” for distance on those dreaded half-swing pitches. Hah, not any more. Golf instruction review: eye opening stats and facts about the short game that should change the way you build your game. Golf instruction review rating: 8.

Nicklaus, Jack . My most memorable shots in the majors.Times Books; (1988) Historically accurate accounting of golf plays/shots in major tournaments that Jack Nicklaus has accomplished and failed at during his long career. It is broken down, hole by hole with a section for each on the lessons he learned from that shot. This book can give you an inside line to what a champion is doing and thinking during top competitions and can give you their perspective to make your watching the pros on TV a little more interesting. Each chapter is a golf lesson in itself. Get inside the head of the best golfer of all time. Golf instruction review rating: 5. For the scratch golfer:9

Anthony, Michael . The Mental Keys to Improve Your Golf TMK press (2001) This book is a complete “system” for mental management. Review: What I liked about it most is that it is heavy on the science and light on the fluff. Step by step process that is spelled out and even diagrammed pictorally for clarification and understanding. Anthony borrows from the classic “Golf in the Kingdom” for support of many of his science-based conclusions. I also like the golf instruction on controlling our emotions and why we do what we do. It’s written in very understandable terms. This is a “must-have” book for any golfer. You can also request your copy be signed by the author himself as I did when you order direct from his site. Golf instruction review rating: 10.

Dave Pelz. Dave Pelz’s Putting Bible. Doubleday (2000)If you are a really analytical person, then this book is for you. Pelz dissects everything that can be looked at in the putting game. Only problem is that it could hurt some players that are pretty decent putters by taking them away from what makes them successful on the greens. Good for tinkerers. Golf instruction review rating: 6.

Crenshaw, Ben . A feel for the game. Broadway (2002) Crenshaw is know to be a “feel” player as opposed to a mechanics player, thus the title. Review: If Ben Crenshaw is your favorite golfer and you are interested in stories from one of the good guys on the tour, then this is a good book for you. I can’t really say I learned a whole lot but I take something from every book I read. I think each person will take something different from this book as it appeals more to the person than the golfer. The golf instruction here is how to be and trust yourself. Golf instruction review rating: 5.

Parent, Dr. Joseph . Zen Golf. Doubleday (2002) This is one of my latest golf book readings. I read it after I read some of the other more detailed books on the mental golf game. It is a good summary of most of the mental things that the pros and other successful golfers do these days. According to the book jacket, Dr. Parent has taught Buddhist philosophy and this comes through in the book as analogies and stories about Zen masters, warriors and Shambhala. Instruction review: If you think a little mystical, magical theme in your golf lessons can help you, then this book provides. This philosophy isn’t really my cup of tea as I lean toward science and so I skimmed through these parts to get to the meat of the mental game techniques he teaches. I will say that he covers more items than the average golfer will realistically put into practice. I didn’t really hit on anything I could grab onto or excited me so if you are only going to buy one book on basics of the mental game, this wouldn’t be it.Golf instruction review rating: 4.

Al Geiberger. Tempo. Golf Digest (1992)

Geiberger was the first to shoot a 59 in PGA tournament. His nickname was “skippy” on tour as he was always eating peanut butter sandwiches. He was known for having awesome tempo and rhythm. If you have trouble with that area and just can’t find a smooth swing, then yes, you can benefit from soaking up his words into your unconscious. Basic principle of NLP is to model those who are good at what you want to be good at. Golf instruction review rating: 6.

Couples, Fred . Total Shot making. HarperCollins (1995) I was most interested in this book to learn about Fred Couples and how he has become to be known as a laid back, easygoing golfer and how that translated to his successes. I got what I wanted for that purpose but had to consciously ignore a lot of the “shotmaking”. There is just no way that I was going to play around with what I call “trick shots”. My M.O. from all other teachings has been to play conservatively at all times and this has served me well. Learn from this book how to “let go” of things that only hurt your game.Golf instruction review rating: 5. For scratch players: 7

Rotella, Dr. Bob . Golf is not a game of perfect. Simon & Schuster (1995) Rotella, Dr. Bob . Golf is a game of confidence. . Simon & Schuster (1996)

If you’re going to read one, you should read them both. Rotella is the guru of gurus of the mental game of golf on tour. He has so much experience to transfer to your brain from his years of working with pros and some average joes. He accomplishes this in these books with actual stories with actual names and situations and how he and the golfer worked together to conquer their problem or goals. That got a little tedious at times. Rotella constantly refers to his “Rotella’s rules” which I liked as they can all fit on a 3×5 index card if you want to boil the basics of the mental game down to a cheat sheet that you can bring with you to the course as a reminder. Load of mental golf lessons here. Golf instruction review rating: 8.

Woods, Tiger . How I play golf. Warner Books (2001) I think the most surprising thing about this book for me was that Tiger spends a lot of ink and paper on his physical regimen including details about his exercise/workout program and how he eats and drinks. There’s more about what kinds of things he puts in his bag. There are so many unheard of lessons in this book. I now think that one of the big reasons Tiger is head and shoulders above the crowd is because he pays so much attention to detail, without fail. I was fully expecting a book like Jack Nicklaus puts out with loads of golf situations and how he mentally and physically tackled them. Tiger has some of that but it isn’t the thrust of the book. I also came away from this book with a better understanding of Tiger as a person which is nice to have when watching him on TV in a major. He seems to be quite humble at times but with a determination that never quits. You’ll learn a few of his trademark shots from this book as well. If he wasn’t one of the greatest golfers, it wouldn’t have been so interesting, however. Because he is, it is. Golf instruction review rating: 7.

Col. Edward L. Hubbard. Escape from the box. The wonder of human potential Praxis Intl (1994) To describe this book in one word: WOW! No specific golf instruction to review here but this book will make your head spin and give you confidence for anything you want to do. I happened upon a seminar given by Col. Hubbard in 2003. He gave a one-hour speech on human potential. His speech and his book are told in a manner that is really down-to-earth and matter-of-fact. No rah-rah or hype. He’s different than other motivational types that way but that style gives him incredible believability. You won’t believe some of the things he tells about in this book that happened to him during his imprisonment in Vietnam. If you believe him, you’ll also believe you too can accomplish extraordinary things. I do now. The golf lesson to get from this book is: Ordinary people have extraordinary potential. Golf instruction review rating: 7.

Irwin, Hale. Smart Golf. Harper Resource (2001) If you didn’t know, Hale Irwin is famous for winning tournaments without being blessed with unusual skill or talent like say Tiger Woods. He has always been an average or shorter driver and never been at the top of many statistic lists except for the MONEY lists! This book basically tells you all of things you need to do that you currently have a difficult time of doing when you’re out on the course. Golf instruction review: for this book is: play conservatively and you will lower your score. He shows you how in all sorts of situations. If you are a hard-charging, high-flying golfer who likes to “go for it”, this is a must read book. You’ll be surprised how much strategy he packs in this book. Golf instruction review rating: 8.

Player, Gary. Golf begins at 50. Simon & Schuster (1988) Don’t be fooled by the title. Yes, it has a lot of tips for the senior golfer. But it also has a lot of basics that Gary says all golfers need to pay more attention to. The most interesting part of this book that I haven’t read anywhere else is his instructions for changing your swing from the square-to-square or “young man’s swing.” He says that that swing will destroy your back. He has an alternative that is based on many of the golfers of the first half of the century. He also has sections on fitness and nutrition, no surprise there. Golf instruction review: If you are worried about or have back trouble and want to continue to play for a long time, read this book. Golf instruction review rating: 6.

Jim Mclean. Golf Digest’s book of drills. Pocket Books (1990) This one has been out for awhile but the content is still as good as ever. I really like drills for the busy person because you can do them at home or anywhere. Mclean is widely known as one of the top teachers in the country so you gotta give him his credentialed due. Very useful swing drills to work on specific areas where the golfer is weak. Golf instruction review rating: 8.

Raymond Floyd. The Elements of Scoring. Simon & Schuster (2000) Floyd says that if you compete against a golfer with the exact skill as you, you will win EVERY TIME if you know the concepts of SCORING. Too many golfers, he says are too wound up in how to swing, how to look pretty, etc. The book is similar to Irwin’s “Smart Golf” but a little more valuable to the average golfer. This should be in every golfer’s library and it’s very cheap to buy. Golf instruction review rating: 8 (for the cost/value it’s a 10!
More books and tapes I’ve read,listened to and used for my program Break 80 without practice look for review soon:

Greg Norman. Shark Attack! Simon & Schuster (1988)
Sam Snead. The lessons I’ve learned. McGraw Hill – NTC (1996)
Campbell/Landau. Presidential lies. Hungry Minds, Inc. (1998)
Dr. Richard Coop. Mind over golf. How to use your head to lower your score. John Wiley & Sons (1997)
Nancy Lopez. The education of a woman golfer. . Simon & Schuster (1979) You know, there’s some very useful information in Nancy’s book but I’m afraid that the golf world is all caught up in what the men do. She is very down to earth and shows you what you can do with your potential. I liked this book and pulled some things out of it that I still use to this day. The biggest one is her use of music to establish a tempo and rhythm for the day of a tournament.
John Daly. Grip it and Rip it! Harperperennial library (1993)
Arnold Palmer. Play great golf. Doubleday (1987)
Kathy Whitworth. Golf for women. St. Martin’s Press (1990)
Anthony Robbins. Unlimited Power. Free Press (1997)
Richard Bandler and John Grinder. Frogs into princes: Neuro Linguistic Programming Real People Press (1981)
Joseph Murphy. The Power of Your Subconscious Mind. Bantam (2001)
David Leadbetter. Practice makes perfect (video). United American Video (2001)
Sheila Ostrander/Lynn Schroeder. Superlearning. Delta (1980)
Ostrander/Schroeder. Superlearning 2000. Island Books (1997) I talk a lot about Accelerated Learning techniques in my products. Some folks call it another form of hypnosis and that’s fine. It’s very good and gives you convincing evidence to work your golf issues without practice.
Robert A. Baker. They call it Hypnosis. Prometheus Books (1990) I read this before I became a hypnotist myself. It’s ok but I would definitely not call it a textbook for serious hypnotists. Modern hypnosis has come a long way and is generally more powerful than back when this book was written.
Janet Fricker/John Butler. Secrets of Hypnosis. DK Publishing (2000)
Sam Snead. The Game I Love. Ballantine Books (1997)
Dr. Karl Morris ph.d. (audio) Train your golf brain
Patrick Cohn ph.d./Robert Winters ph.d. The Mental Art of Putting Taylor Trade Publishing (1995) There’s some pretty good information in this book and I do recommend it. Yes, most of it is timeless.  Nothing earthshaking in this book but full of good strategies to train your mind to putt better.
Jack Heise. How you can play better golf using self-hypnosis Wilshire Book Co. (1961)
Steven Pressfield. The Legend of Bagger Vance. William Morrow (1995)
Alex J. Morrison. Better Golf Without Practice. Simon & Schuster (1940)
Roy Pace. Target Golf. Lower scores by “visualizing” your game. Body Press (1986)
Malcolm Gladwell. Blink, the power of thinking without thinking.

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June 28, 2010 in Misc