Sean Foley, “as much a mental coach as a swing coach,” has guided Tiger, Lee Westwood, Hunter Mahan, and Justin Rose in recent years. Notice how all the top golfers in the world have outside coaching and guidance and not just on the physical level but mentally as well. I work with executives and business owners who utilize my services in part because of my focus on improving their mental game in life and business not just sports. And with several, we hit balls as well!— New York Times Sports Sunday section
When I read this article in The New York Times Magazine I had a dizzying array of thoughts – first, I love the game and believe it’s great that the international community is embracing it more and more. However, eight-year-olds pushed by their parents to train as if it were their full time job is a little frightening. I coached an architecture student at Pratt University in Brooklyn last year who was under enormous pressure to keep up with foreign (especially Chinese) students who regularly pulled all-nighters studying for exams. Sometimes, growth and competition can be a bad thing. Where is the emphasis on Being?, the essence of happiness, not just more and more Doing one might ask.
This is British Open week. It is one of my favorite weeks of life. I love the Majors in professional golf because the tournaments are so intense and meaningful to the players. In fact, I love golf. To me, it is one of the best sports on the planet. Some people say, “Oh, how can you love a sport where there is no real action?” The reality is golf is infinitely complex and quite spiritual.
Let’s discuss the complexity first. No matter how much you practice, the conditions always change. Some days, the wind blows, some days it sits down. In the same round the weather conditions can change several times. This is especially true on links style courses where the ocean meets the land. I played in Ireland in the middle of August several years ago. The conditions went from relatively warm and sunny to downright cold and blustery three or four times in the same round. I put on and took off rain gear more in that one week than I did at home in one year. Anybody who has ever seen Caddie Shack with Rodney Dangerfield, Ted Knight, and Chevy Chase remembers the scene where the Reverin is playing the best round of his life in a giant thunderstorm and refuses the quit until he is struck by lightening!