Devastate your Golf Opponents with Tiger’s Mind Tactic…

Journeyman Ken Duke won his first PGA Tour event on Sunday after making birdie on the 2nd playoff hole to defeat Chris Stroud.

It took 187 Tournaments for the 44 year old Duke to break through into the winner’s circle.  He was playing against a tough field with golfers less than 1/2 his age!  Golf’s a unique game in that respect.

It’s interesting that a stroke play PGA Tour event essentially becomes match play in a playoff.  As is usually the case, “first in wins”.

For most of his career, Tiger Woods has been a great head to head and singles match play golfer going back to his amateur days where he started to build his reputation.

He’s won the Accenture Match Play Championship 3 times, more than any other player.  He’s also 4-1-2 and 5-2 in Ryder Cup and President’s Cup singles matches respectively.

Though some of the shine has come off the armour in recent years, there was a time when if you were paired with him in a final round of an event, you were basically playing for 2nd as he “stepped on your neck” to victory.

Tiger uses a number of mental and gamesmanship tactics to get the upper hand over his opponents.  Having watched him in person for years, one of the more devastating is something I call “Power Positioning” or “PP” for short.

Use Power Positioning:  PP is simply positioning yourself on the tee box, fairway, or green where your opponent is visually aware of your presence. The idea is to ramp up a player’s anxiety by merely having them quite conscious of the fact that you are nearby and watching.

Let’s take putting for instance.  While it is in bad taste (and a breach of rules etiquette) to stand closely to the side of a player or on their intended putting line while they putt, standing in front of a player (facing their chest) is quite acceptable.

And you should be in that position whenever possible, arms folded on your chest, projecting your presence on your opponent.

When a golfer addresses a ball with you facing them, the last thing they will see before they get into their putting crouch is your silhouette.

Like with a stage performer in front of an audience, the golfer will feel your eyes on his body and stage freight will ensue.

Hence, you can imagine seeing the glow of Tiger’s red shirt across from you on Sunday afternoon as you address a critical putt.

The gravity of that putt will be magnified and the mentally unprepared golfer will not be able to perform.  The ball has no chance of dropping.

When using this technique, be respectful of your opponent.  Stand a reasonable distance from them and don’t move until after he or she has fully stroked the ball.  And don’t cast a shadow on their line.

Hence, this tactic works the best when the other golfer doesn’t know that your positioning is intentional.  If they sense you are trying to spook them, this can remove the anxiety and actually enhance their shot making.

You want them to put their own mind in a twist with a little assistance from you.  We’ve all watched the Sunday collapses on TV.  Once a player starts to slide, it can be difficult to watch, and you will have a front row seat.

Use this tactic wisely.  It can win you matches, big and small.

To Winning Golf,

Robert Cotter
Instant Golf(r)