How Dustin Johnson Reignited his Passion for Golf

Playing Golf With a Lead

Playing Golf and Competing are Different.

Do you enjoy being a competitive golfer? You may think, “That’s a dumb question. I’ve been golfing since I was young. Of course, I like to golf.”

Playing golf is usually less pressure. You may try to beat someone in your group, but the stakes are not as high. When there is less pressure, you tend to have more fun and shoot lower scores.

During competitive rounds, pressure increases. Competitive golf has more on the line, such as rankings, prize money, titles, or scholarships.

An added stressor in competitive golf is the highs and lows of the game. One day, you are having the round of your life; the next day, you feel like the worst golfer on the planet.

If you are not mentally equipped to handle the rigors of competition, it is easy to lose your confidence, drive, and patience. When you hit that point, golf becomes a chore.

A golfer who responded to our Golf Mental Game Survey asked the following question:

“How do I keep my confidence and motivation high throughout the season, especially when I am struggling with my game?”

Golf has a way of toying with your emotions and confidence–if you allow it.

The golf season is long. You will not win every tournament or be on top of your game during every competitive round. Managing your expectations and emotions is crucial during a long season.

Here’s what often happens to golfers. It is easy to become frustrated after several lackluster rounds or a poor showing in a tournament. Instead of grinding forward or finding a solution, you become overly concerned with how poorly you play. 

Soon enough, you become disheartened, demotivated, and resigned to having a bad season. You no longer enjoy playing and lose your passion for competing.

If you don’t enjoy what you are doing, you will not put in your best effort or play at a high level. After the season, you may even regret that you wasted your season by not working to find a solution.

The key is to reignite your passion. See golf as a puzzle to figure out instead of being overly focused on the results. When golf is viewed as a game, playing becomes enjoyable again. In addition, when golf is fun, you won’t mind putting in the work.

Dustin Johnson clinched the 2024 LIV Las Vegas tournament after overcoming three bogeys and making birdies on the 13th, 15th, and 17th holes.

After his victory, Johnson admitted he didn’t put in his best effort last season and didn’t enjoy playing. Johnson changed his mental approach this year and looks forward to playing his best.

JOHNSON: “Last year I didn’t play very well, to be honest, but it kind of goes with how much effort that goes into it, too. Obviously, I could have worked a lot harder than I did. This year, I’ve got a little more drive and determination. I don’t enjoy not playing well. I enjoy playing well and being up here and talking to you guys after the week’s over and holding up the trophy.”

Peak performance flows from enjoying the game. And this means you play without strict expectations for your performance and scoring.

When you temper your expectations, you will enjoy the game more and be willing to put in the work. As a result, your performance will improve.

Embrace the Challenges – Golf is a game of ups and downs, and overcoming challenges is part of what makes it rewarding. 

Instead of getting frustrated by setbacks, embrace them as opportunities for growth and improvement.

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know you are frustrated with your putting, chipping, or pitching and have considered giving up the game you once loved to play. But before you make that decision, read what I have to say about how I help golfers overcome the yips….

The first place to begin to break the Yips Cycle is to admit that the yips are a mental issue. Stabbing or flinching at impact are symptoms of bigger issues: fear and over control. Changing your grip, putter, swing, club, or routine are only temporary Band-Aids to a mental game issue.

Breaking The Yips Cycle” is a complete brain dump of the TOP NINE mental training sessions I do with my personal coaching students to help them overcome the yips and play with freedom again!

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