Composure was a key in Kobori’s NZ PGA Championship success
By Dominic Sainsbury
New Zealand PGA General Manager
Last month Kazuma Kobori won the SEC (Sports and Education Corporation) New Zealand PGA Championship at the age of 17 and as an amateur.
Kobori was playing amongst seasoned professional golfers on the ISPS Handa PGA Tour of Australasia where some of the best professional players in Australasia compete.
In the third round Kobori played in the final group of the day alongside European Tour player Josh Geary and one of Australia’s rising stars Jack Wilson and he did not falter. In fact it brought the best out of Kobori and he took the lead of the tournament by four shots.
On the final day of the tournament Kobori seemed unfazed as eight-time Japanese Tour winner, New Zealand Open winner and four-time Australasian Tour winner David Smail made a charge. Kobori held his nerve and calmly and confidently went about playing his game.
Kobori won the tournament by four shots with a four-round total of 21 under par. In 72 holes of intense tournament play, Kobori only had two bogies and one of those was a three putt. In all of his post-round interviews he was smiling and seemed to be having the time of his life enjoying every moment of the event.
So how did this young man handle himself with such professional composure, show such confidence and calmness in the most intense arena of professional tournament golf on one of the world’s leading professional golf tours.
Positive mind set – This was a young man that showed that he played golf with a focus on what he wanted to happen with every shot (not want he did not want to happen). He played in the moment and had a clear vision of what he wanted to achieve with every shot.
Practice with a purpose – Kobori had practiced from a young age competing against his older sister and father in chipping, putting and pitching games at the Rangiora and Pegasus Golf Clubs. Not only were they having fun when they were practicing but they were preparing for the pressure of a tournament by having a consequence on the outcome of each shot and learning how to perform under pressure.
Preparation – Kobori had a great game plan for playing the course and stuck to his tactics. He was unfazed as to what other players were doing, simply by only focusing on what he could control. He selected his shot and his plan for executing that shot and simply accepted the outcome.
Acceptance – Kobori seemed to completely understand his golf game. He only played shots that he was confident he could execute.
The PGA’s advice for you
1. Focus on what you want to achieve and how you will do that with each shot you play. Make this your last thought before you play your shot.
2. Have an outcome with every shot you play in practice and if you can play practice games with friends and family to develop skill (skill is the ability to perform a task under pressure).
3. This is all to do with course management. Have a plan for how you want to play each hole and commit to your plan and each shot.
4. All to often we see golfers attempting to play a shot in a competition that they have not mastered on the practice range. This is where a lot of poor scores come from. Only play the shots you have mastered in practice.
For help with your golf game and how to shoot lower scores get in contact your local PGA professional today. You can find them at https://www.pga.org.nz/find-a-pga-pro?ComeFromCat=875