Magical Mindset

    With the Masters here it is perhaps worth looking at how attitude can make a huge difference in your business. Unfortunately, most of our attitude is on auto pilot, we just react to what is put in front of us. Yet one thing is for sure nobody can ‘make’ you have a certain attitude. It is entirely up to you how you see the world, good or bad, positive or negative, it is entirely up to you to choose. Your attitude will either support or suppress your goals in golf, business or life. The truly great players in the game don’t wait for the world to make them feel good, they choose an attitude to best serve them in the quest for lower scores.

    There is a wonderful picture of a very young, fresh faced, short haired, Seve Ballesteros excitedly shaking hands with Gary Player on the final green of the 1978 US Masters at Augusta. He was later to say what he had just witnessed gave him tremendous inspiration for the rest of his great and illustrious career. That inspiration was because he had witnessed at first hand one of the greatest final rounds in the history of major championship golf. A round that reflected everything about choosing an attitude. Going into the final round South African Gary Player found himself trailing leader Hubert Green by seven shots. Nobody gave him a chance being so far back. He wasn’t even on the winner’s radar. Player though had different ideas. He chose a different attitude. His final round started at a steady if unspectacular pace but then the final ten holes were an explosion of scoring fuelled by one of the greatest golfing minds ever to play the game of golf. Player had seven birdies in those final ten holes culminating in that famous low armed fist clench on the 18th hole as he drained a fifteen foot birdie putt right into the centre of the hole. 64 blows gave Player an agonising hours wait before all of the other leaders fell by the wayside and he was able to call himself the Masters champion once more and slip on the coveted green jacket. The comment Player made afterwards is a tremendous example of a mindset that made him such a great golfer.

    “One of the things I am is an eternal optimist. I was playing excellent golf but I hadn’t made any putts all week. But you have to keep on aiming at them”

    You have to keep on aiming at them.

    Maybe this one sentence sums up what is required to get the best out of yourself at golf and for that matter life itself.

    Most of the time the putts are not dropping, most of the time our game is less than we would like it to be, the world isn’t bending to our particular whims and desires, the economy isn’t right or the state of the game isn’t what it ‘should’ be. Many give up and start to blame. They look for excuses. They look for a way to escape to more comfortable and less challenging pastures. Not Player. You have to keep aiming at them.

    I once heard another great Masters champion Nick Faldo talk about the power of intention. He said that no force was as powerful on a golf course than that of clear intention.

    I couldn’t agree more. What do you intend to do in your business today?

    I would say when you combine the forces intention and acceptance then you will get close to being the best you can be.

    The example could be a single putt or it could be the whole round or a day in your shop or teaching bay. Have a very clear intention of what you want to do with this putt right here and now in this moment. Where exactly do you see the ball entering the hole. See and feel the pace that will give the ball the best chance of finding the bottom of the cup. With that clear intention your body has a map to follow. It has a clear instruction as to what you want it to do. Send the ball on its way and one of two things will happen, the ball will go in or it will miss. Either way you accept the outcome and move on to your next intention. The alternative is to start moaning about your luck, the condition of the greens, the weather, your playing partners or anything else you can think of affecting what you think your version of the world should be. If you don’t accept the outcome you don’t move on and your intention is weakened on the next putt, shot or opportunity. You have to keep aiming at them. Exactly the same in business, have a clear intention of what you are going to do today. What are your actions going to be that will make a difference? Set out with clear intention. It doesn’t mean that the day will turn out perfectly, often it will be the opposite but at the very least you gave yourself the best possible chance of success.

    You have to keep aiming at them.

    It could well be that single phrase uttered by Gary Player should be written down by all of us and stuck up on the metaphorical screen of our mind as a constant reminder of a simple principle understood by so few.

    Take some time to watch the Masters this year, it is for me a wonderful time saying the winter is finally over and we can look ahead to the possibility of the summer months in front of us and the potential possibilities we have. The key is to look closely at the possibilities and then embrace the opportunity and take some action. Make the phone calls you know you need to make, change things around, organise that event, let people know about your coaching, offer something different. Take the action. GR


    Karl has a podcast called ‘The Brain Booster’ available each Friday on ITunes. Why not have a Mind Factor evening at YOUR club? Go to for details

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    As an avid golfer since the age of eleven Dan lives and breathes all things golf.  With a current handicap of eleven he gets out and plays as often as his work life (and girlfriend) allows. Dan confesses to still being like a kid at Christmas when it comes to seeing the latest golf equipment. Having served as GolfPunk’s Deputy Editor, and resident golf geek for the past 13 years and working for golf's oldest brand, John Letters Dan brings to GOLF RETAILING an excellent understanding of the sector.