The Masters at Augusta

What is it about "The Masters at Augusta" - one of the biggest, most prestigious golfing tournaments - that make so many players nervous? A major tournament often sees a golfer's "A" game being left back in the clubhouse. I coach several sports people, including golfers, and it's amazing how many times I hear things like: "I play great when I'm just with my mates or practising

but as soon as I get into a tournament it all goes wrong!" "My swing is off" or "I can't putt for toffee."  

Clearly they haven't suddenly forgotten overnight how to play golf or the technical parts of their game that they've practiced again and again. The difference is the importance that any golfer places on a tournament and that difference takes place in their head. Whether it is their first tournament or The Masters what they think literally affects how they play, it can add to or reduce the level of stress they experience. Mental and emotional stress is then reflected in physical changes in the body causing muscles to tighten and that has an impact - in any sport - it throws their technique off. In the same way that a musician can tune an instrument to play perfectly but the slightest change to the tension of the strings and its out of tune, so in the same way, what a golfer thinks impacts on his golf. When you realise that they are just thoughts and you can choose how you want to think then you are already on your way to discovering how to have a better thought and a better round of golf!