To play your best golf, please don’t copy Brian Harman-the 2023 British Open Champion!
Yes, Brian Harman does a lot of stuff great. Harman made 58/59 putts within 10 feet. He is gritty and has a great short game-key reasons for winning his first major. But one aspect of his game you do not want to imitate is his waggle!
In his pre-shot routine, Brian Harman might waggle the club 10 times before pulling the trigger. Then he might waggle the club 8 times, and on the next shot 12 times. Harmon said he added a bunch of waggles to slow him down as he was getting too quick, and slowing down has made him play better. But Harmon has said his waggling has gotten out of hand and he wants to cut back on doing it so many times.
You will play your best golf under pressure when you have a consistent amount of waggles. Consistency gives us a sense of comfort. As an example, you probably take the same roads to work or school every time. You do this because it is comfortable. When you go grocery shopping, you most likely start with the same aisle, and buy the same foods. You do this because consistency is comforting.
Interestingly, in all my university classes (I teach sport psychology at Austin Peay State University), the students always sit in the same seats every class. They never change-never. The students tell me it gives them a sense of peace and comfort to view the class from the same seat.
To play your best golf under pressure, your waggles should be consistent. That is, you should waggle 3 times-every time. When you change it to 4 or 5, this tells your body that something is different about this situation-perhaps more pressure. This in turn could throw your rhythm and timing off, producing a poor shot.
Additionally, you should use this same consistency principle when looking at the hole when putting, chipping, pitching, or your full swing. If you look twice at the hole when putting, always look twice. This will keep you calm under pressure.
Be consistent with your game to play your best golf under pressure!
See more mental game tips like this one and get your free mental game e-book at www.masteringgolfpsychology.com. This site has an online golf psychology course approved by the PGA for education.