The Unstoppable Rory!

Tiffany Nelson
Director of Business Development
TPC Scottsdale
Scottsdale, AZ

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I hope you all had a chance to watch the U.S. Open last month – what a great ending. We usually want the ending to come down to the final putt or even a playoff for someone to win, but this finish was a once-in-a-lifetime ending. For a 22 year old to finish 8 strokes ahead of everyone in the field and on top of that, to keep the lead going into Saturday and Sunday without even a quiver of a misstep, is unbelievable. Don’t forget – he had his melt down at the Master’s earlier this year when he let a 4 stroke lead slip away as we watched his game waiver. We all could learn a lot from Rory when it comes to his mental game.  

You’ve heard the old saying; golf is 90% what’s between your head – how true is that?! For Rory, he never once (okay, maybe once on #17 on the final round when he left that put on top of the ridge, but at that moment, he had the win in the bag) lost his mental game; he always stayed within himself and never let anything or anyone distract him. It was so very much fun to watch him dominate the field, especially at a major.

As you noticed, he kept his head down and stuck to his mental game throughout Saturday and Sunday. If golf is at least 90 percent mental, then why do we typically practice exclusively around physical preparation? I’m not saying that physical isn’t important; it definitely is a big part of it and being able to trust the shot that you want to make, but being confident that you can make it is what it’s about. It’s become very clear that mental practice on a daily routine is a prerequisite rather than an option.  

Back in February of 2010, Rory had thought about getting a mental coach. He said, “Most guys go to mental coaches when they’re playing poorly, but I want to turn these top fives and top threes into wins. It can’t hurt. It’s something I’m definitely going to do. I think that getting someone on the mental side might enable me to get to that stage.” 

Last March, Rory enlisted Dr. Bob Rotella, who Padraig Harrington also uses, to help him take that next step in his game. Rory said he wasn’t ready to win at the Master’s when he shot 80 in the final round, but he more than made up for that collapse at the Open. He knew he had to stay within himself and focus on his game and that’s exactly what he did.  

Congratulations Rory on a phenomenal win. And, I know we will be talking about Rory again…very soon!

Tiffany Nelson is Director Business Development at TPC Scottsdale/ PGA TOUR located at 17020 North Hayden Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85255. You can reach her at 480.585.4334, ext. 226. Follow TPC Scottsdale on Facebook (The TPC Scottsdale) and on Twitter and keep up with all the action!