Attitude was a key to Koepka’s PGA Championship success
By Dominic Sainsbury
New Zealand PGA General Manager
Brooks Koepka won the PGA Championship for the second year in a row on arguably one of the toughest golf courses in the world against the strongest field in professional golf.
And now he is not only the winner of the last two PGA Championships and the last two US Opens, but he has just finished second to Tiger Woods at the US Masters in April.
What sets Brooks apart from most golfers is that he works hard on all facets of his game. He is physically conditioned for golf, he is mentally very strong, he has a great technique in all areas of his game, he thrives under pressure and loves competing.
Brooks enjoys all that the game of golf offers and loves the camaraderie of those playing all over the world. At the age of 29 he has won twice on the Japan Golf Tour, five times on the European Tour, four times on the European Challenge Tour and six times on the US PGA Tour. Brooks is a golf purest.
What can we learn from Brooks Koepka?
In an interview prior to the PGA Championship the media asked how hard it was going to be for him to win the PGA Championship on such a hard course against such a strong field.
Brooks replied that he believed that major championships were the easiest tournaments to win due to the pressure about half the players put on themselves to perform, the fact some players would not play well and that left only about 30 players he would be competing with. He believed he was in that 30 and that he had the golf game and mental belief to beat them.
This does come across a little arrogant, but the point here is this player has a strong belief in his state of mind and the confidence in his golf game and equipment to play well. This did not only lead Brooks to winning the tournament but more importantly he had a lot of fun in the way he approached every shot he hit.
I love the way that Brooks controlled his mind and only focused on a positive outcome prior to playing each shot and then committed to executing the shot. All too often I hear amateur players say ‘I knew I was going to do that’ after hitting a poor shot or how they failed on the course during their round.
The best players love to fail as failure stands for the First Attempt In Learning. But if you continue to fail then you have not learnt that skill or shot. The best way to help with this is to seek advice or coaching from a PGA professional as this is a shortfall of the average golfer when they take on shots that not even the best players in world would.
The ability to control your mind and take a positive approach into each golf shot is a choice, not only to be positive but also realistic. If you choose this positive mindset approach to playing golf and choose to play shots within your skill level, you will enjoy your experience on the course a lot more.
Just like Brooks, not every shot will turn out the way you prepared for it and that is the beauty of golf and what we love about the challenge.
The one aspect of your golf game you are in control over is your mind and your approach to how you will play each shot.
If you want help with how to think better on the golf course and how to stay in control of your mind both before and after each golf shot call your local PGA professional today for a mind game assessment.
You can find your PGA professional at www.pga.org.nz/find-a-pga-pro
The game is also not just about how good your good shots are, but how good your bad shots (that we all hit from time to time) are and if they are still in play and pretty straight then you can recover and score.