In 1997, Earl Woods was there to greet his prodigal son when he finally fulfilled his dream to win the Augusta Masters. 22 years later and 14 years since his last, after much controversy in his personal life, a long hiatus from professional golf and four back operations when many thought he was past his best, he was there to win his 5th Masters - this time to be greeted by his son Charlie, daughter Sam and mother, Kultida. How the tide has turned.
International rugby place kickers Jonny Sexton and Beauden Barrett place the ball, set themselves, say something to themselves and mostly go about their business and put the ball between the posts.
So what exactly should they be saying and why?
How often have we seen golfers do erratic things at the most inopportune times? Ernie Els made a six-putt at the first hole in Augusta a few years ago. Such poor skill execution can often be seen in golf – known as “the yips”. This often occurs when golfers feel under pressure and anxious during performance.
A golfer puts the ball on the tee, scans the terrain and consciously makes a statement to self – “keep it away from the water”.
Research has shown an interesting thing about the way golfers often make the exact error they are specifically trying to avoid. When a golfer places the ball on the tee, he would often tell himself to aim in a certain direction while being conscious not to miss either left or right due to water hazards or bunkers. In a non-pressurised situation, a skilled golfer would invariably succeed in executing what they wanted to do with the ball.
Performance psychologist - accredited with Irish Institute of Sport