karl morris Karl Morris is one of the finest thinkers in the game of golf.  He is the only living Jedi Knight and has worked extensively with Yoda on his mental approach to light sabre battles.  Be sure to Check out Karl’s website www.golf-brain.com
What do you think has been an outstanding Irish sporting victory of the last ten years? On the eve of the 2011 US Open at Congressional, I personally think that Graeme McDowell’s stunning victory in last years US Open is right up there with the best of of them and frankly the coverage and recognition of his achievement has been relatively muted.
Perhaps the fact that it was sandwiched between World Cup fever and Wimbledon that held the back pages made Graeme’s win slip somewhat under the radar. Yet just consider what an incredible effort it was.
Not since Tony Jacklin FORTY Graeme-McDowell-winner-of-US-Open-at-Peeble-Beachyears ago has there been a GB&I US Open champion. Even in the golden era of Faldo, Lyle and Woosnam none of those great players managed to capture perhaps the toughest of all Majors to win. Hopefully McDowell will in time get the due recognition for what he has achieved. On a personal level it has been great to see him develop into a top quality World player. I have been lucky enough to have worked personally with Graeme on his Mind Factor for over six years from the first time we met in 2003. It has been a fascinating journey not without the setbacks and slumps but one which I am proud to hopefully have played some small part in.
McDowell has always had a keen interest in Mind Coaching, I believe he spent some time with world renowned guru Bob Rotella just before his US Open win. It is this mindset that I believe has been one of the keys to the subsequent success. Not the greatest ball striker by any means but he seeks to make the best out of ALL departments of his game.


The sum is FAR greater than the whole. Maybe it is his inherent curiosity that has played such a significant factor in his progress. I remember hearing someone say to me recently that possibly the greatest loss that we have as we get older is our childlike sense of curiosity. We think that we know, we think that we have seen it all before, we close our mind to the possible. Yet we miss out, we really miss out. Not on major championships but we miss out on the joy and pleasure that learning gives us. Is there anything less inspiring and dull than a closed mind?
How many people do you know who NEVER take a lesson, never try to learn new skills, never acknowledge that they COULD improve the way that they think on the course and so in turn improve their enjoyment of the game. It seems that we very easily develop an attitude of ‘been there done that’. Yet to share ideas and information, to learn and move forward is a joy. It never ceases to amaze me when golf clubs host Mind Factor workshops how many people come up at the end and say that they enjoyed LEARNING something new, they certainly may not agree with all that I have said but they have enjoyed the chance to look at, reflect and possibly change some ingrained habits in their game and life.
In his groundbreaking book ‘The Inner Game of Golf’ published in the 1970’s Tim Gallwey said that to have balance in almost any activity in life there was what he called the ‘Performance Triangle’ which had three key components Performance, Enjoyment and Learning. He said that when the triangle got out of balance and we focused too much in one area our experience would suffer. Clearly for a lot of us we lean too heavily on the Performance aspect of our experience and fail to focus on the Enjoyment and Learning aspects. Nobody is saying that performance doesn’t matter but in my experience when we put a little more attention on the Learning and Enjoyment aspects of what we do then the Performance tends to look after itself. I would say that Graeme McDowell has a pretty balanced triangle, how balanced is yours?
Check out Karl’s website www.golf-brain.com
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