Was Hoffman's Mental Game Good Enough for the Ryder Cup Team?

The news just came out and Hoffman was passed over for the fourth spot. One of the justifications I've read from various sources is that there's too much pressure at the Ryder Cup and Hoffman probably can't deal with it, especially considering how many top golf pros have folded from the pressure.

I disagree for three reasons.


First, it all comes down to the mental game of golf, which is how you do under pressure. It was clear, watching Hoffman play, that he was having fun - challenging fun, true, but still fun. In spite of the tremendous pressure, It was clear to me that Hoffman was able to stop thinking and just play. That's winning the mental game.

Second, part of succeeding in golf is letting go of bad shots (and experiences). One of the best ways to do that is by recalling past triumphs. Recent ones make it easier. Hoffman's final round was fantastic, he keeps focusing on that, how it felt, that can be a key to shrugging off bad shots.

Third, and most important, I'd say Hoffman played like he understood that, as golfing great Bobby Jones said, "Golf is played one stroke at a time.” As long as he remembers that, along with a piece of advice Sam Snead offered, "Forget your opponents, always play against par," he should do just fine.

Hoffman proved he had the skill and ability to play exceptionally well. Does he have what it takes to win the mental game and continue playing great? I believe he does.

David Kenward - The Mental Coach

No comments: