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In Times of Trouble, Rely on Your Routine

By Keith Stewart, PGA
Published on

“Even though I say I think I lost hope, I will never give up. I’ll go down fighting every single time.” - KPMG Women’s PGA Champion, Nelly Korda
After 70 holes of the LPGA Pelican Women’s Championship, the #1 Women’s Player in the World was poised to win the tournament. Suddenly on the 71st hole a triple bogey happened. Now Nelly was no longer in the lead. Believe it not, the story doesn’t end there. Following her triple bogey 7 on the 17th , Korda proceeded to birdie the 72nd hole by making a twenty-one-foot putt. This placed her in a four-way tie for the tournament. With regulation golf completed the four ladies entered a sudden death playoff.
They replayed the 18th once again and from twenty-three feet, Nelly Korda canned another birdie bomb and secured the victory! We all face adversity like Nelly in our rounds. Moments that truly test our resolve even more than our game. What Nelly showed us all on Sunday was a blueprint for getting your round back on the very next hole. Let’s look at how she regained her composure from PGA Coach’s perspective.
  • When things go wrong, the first step is to realize something is out of kilter and to stop it. This sounds simple enough, but golfers tend to think and act in a micro sense. Maintain a big picture perspective of your game. Once you make a mistake or receive a bad break, accept it, and tell yourself it is time to get back to your successful ways.
  • The fastest way to reset your round is to slow things down for a minute. When you recognize the moment, step away for a second. Process what went wrong, how it could be avoided again and then head back into battle. Stowing away a skulled bunker shot, or flubbed chip will only come back to haunt you. Attack the moment with a positive mindset and then move on.
  • Your routine is the reset button. Successful players possess a sound pre-shot routine. When you see the highlights of Nelly’s 72 nd and 73 rd hole she relies heavily on her routine. The average golfer does not employ a pre-shot routine and therefore when tragedy strikes, they just don’t know what to do. Save yourself from that lost feeling and build a set swing procedure. Now when the going gets tough, you can think about what to do, rather than what not to do.
  • A grip on your club is like a grip on your world. Pay attention to the manner in which you personally react to the challenging moment. Maintain positive body language. Don’t hang your head or change your demeanor. Make sure to keep a smile on your face, after all you are playing golf.
It would be one thing if Nelly met adversity just as this weekend’s PGA Tour winner Jason Kokrak did down in Houston finishing his second round. She faced a triple bogey with one hole to go. That’s why this blueprint and her resolve provides us with a wonderful Monday teaching moment.
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