Valuable Advice I Got from Bob Rotella on My Golf Game
Dr. Bob Rotella grew up seven miles from where I did. He went to the same college where I got my master's degree. And he played in a local four ball invitational tournament regularly with his father that I played in for many years. "Dr. Bob" has worked with Tom Kite, Ernie Els, Davis Love III, Brad Faxon, Padraig Harrington and Darren Clarke. He currently works with Rory McIlroy. He also works with stars and superstars from other sports -- LeBron James no less! He works with Fortune 500 companies. And he is author of over a dozen books on sports psychology, including his popular Golf is Not a Game of Perfect.
I was fortunate to have the opportunity to ask about an aspect of my game I was concerned about. I had the habit of gravitating toward par. If I got over par early in my round, I'd work really hard to get back to par. Many times I would succeed. However, if I got under par early, I'd get conservative and inevitably make little mistakes on my way back up to par.
Sports Psychologist as a Conduit
Dr. Bob said that he would talk to John Huston, a pro golfer known for going low. John Huston would say that when he got under par, he'd start playing aggressively. The way he looked at it, he was playing with the house money, to use a casino gambling concept. Sometimes he'd blow his round, but many times he'd shoot a very low score. He generally played better by relaxing and enjoying being under par.
It's hard to internalize sports psychology concepts. If it weren't, Dr. Bob would be a professional golfer. Dr. Bob Rotella is a conduit. He's not a scratch player himself by any means. But he passes along tips that he gets by talking to various professional golfers. Or other professional athletes. Or successful businessmen. It was valuable advice. It helped me quite a bit. While I was still good enough to get under par anyway.