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Golf Psychology: Improve your game from your inbox – Don’t worry about it.

Golf Psychology: Improve your game from your inbox – Don’t worry about it.

By Coen Welsh

Dustin Johnson won the 2017 World Golf Championships – Mexico Championship with one shot on Sunday. This was despite him ranking 74th out of 76 players for putting inside 10 feet. If you ever thought your flat stick was cold, Johnson’s was sub-zero.

Yet he won. How did he do it? Allow me to post quite a long quote by Paul Casey. (Thanks to [“People will always talk about the ball-striking, which is truly amazing,” Paul Casey said of Johnson after shooting a final-round 66 to finish 16th. “But what they fail to mention about Dustin—three things stick out.

One, how disciplined he’s become about taking a look at areas of the game where there’s an opportunity. His wedge game, for example. He capitalized on it last year, and you see what’s happening.

Two, he has amazing touch for such a strong athlete—just some soft, soft hands, great touch around the greens and on the greens.

“And the third, and probably most important statistic—everybody loves that strokes gained statistic,” Casey continued. “Oh, strokes-gained driving, oh, strokes-gained putting. Nobody ever talks about strokes-gained mentally, strokes-gained attitude. Strokes-gained attitude, he’s probably number one. Because he’s just like, I made double. Yeah. I made eagle. Yeah. [Laughs] It’s brilliant! He’s just got it. That to me is the third element.”] (from

Tip of the week – Get the third element

What Paul Casey is referring to in this long quote is the mental attitude Dustin Johnson has toward his scoring and his play. Many of us, if we had a similar day on the greens as Johnson, would have become despondent and even angry. Once you’re angry or despondent you stop trying and this could cause even bigger disasters.

So follow Johnson’s lead and don’t worry about it. If you get an eagle. That’s nice, don’t let it get to your head. If you get a double bogey, the same applies, don’t worry about it.

I have started to practice what I preach and have developed a very specific pre-shot routine. This allows you to focus your energy and effort on the most important shot. The most important shot in golf is your next shot.

Quote of the week

“I’m going to try,” Dustin Johnson replied after he was asked if he could catch Woods after his fourth WGC title puts him second alone to Tiger Woods (18) on the list of all-time WGC victories.

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Coen Welsh, a qualified industrial psychologist is an expert on the Antecedents and underlying Psychological Conditions predicting Employee Engagement.He has worked in diverse teams in the UK, Egypt and Namibia. Coen regularly gets invited to speak at HR and other conferences. He is a regular contributor to NBC National Radio as well as Tupopyeni and Off-the-Hook on NBC Television. He is a founding member of the Professional Speakers Association of Namibia. You can visit him at

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A Guest Contributor is any of a number of experts who contribute articles and columns under their own respective names. They are regarded as authorities in their disciplines, and their work is usually published with limited editing only. They may also contribute to other publications. - Ed.