I am obviously very excited for Mike and his wife, Jeanine. Mike is such a gracious and humble person, but also, as he proved yesterday a very tough competitor. I talked to Mike for a while today and he said it hasn’t sunk in yet, but he is thrilled to start the year like this. He never takes anything for granted and he knows that the only thing he can control is his preparation for the next tournament. He said he knows that any time you win you have to be very fortunate. He said he knows that just because he won a tournament it doesn’t mean anything for the next tournament. I know this about Mike, he will continue to work harder than anybody on the Champions Tour. I know for a fact this is true because I have seen how hard he prepares every day getting ready for a tournament, and I’ve watched how he works during a tournament. Mike Goodes has proven that talent, dedication, passion, hard work, and perseverance can bring great rewards.
I’ve been fortunate to have been able to work with Mike for 12 or 13 years. During this time, I have seen him handle the highs and lows of tournament golf. During the tough times, his mindset has always been to work harder. During the good times his mindset is that he has to continue to prepare and work hard to continue his good play. The thing he told me today that was knew he had to work hard to get ready for the next tournament. Typical Mike. If he plays poorly it will never be because of a lack of preparation. He talked about how he needed to work hard on his short game this week. Mike loves the idea of learning how to get a little better every day.
Mike talked about his mindset playing the final round. His focus was to stay in the moment. He wanted to execute his routine and stay completely focused on that particular shot. When he would start thinking about upcoming holes, he would regroup and tell himself to get back refocused on playing one shot and staying in the moment. He did not look at the leader board all day. He asked his caddy in the fairway on 18 if he needed birdie to win and his caddy told him he did need to birdie the final hole to win. That was the only time he knew exactly where he stood. It’s a great lesson for all of us. The concept is so simple, but the execution is so difficult. Win one shot at a time. One of my questions I ask junior and/or collegiate golfers is “What is the most important shot in golf?” The answer is …the shot you are playing. Mike played 66 shots Sunday with the only important shot being the shot he was playing.
Sometimes the very nicest people do finish first!
Thanks Robert for the insight. It is very exciting to see a player execute a game plan and reap the reward. Are there any exercises in practice to work on staying in the present?
I think the main exercise is that we have to train ourselves every time we go out to play to stay in the moment…to win one shot. I think we have the ability to choose to do this, but we rarely work on training our minds to help us. We work hard on the swing mechanics, but rarely train the mental mechanics. Therefore, when we get in situations, i.e. , the first hole of a tournament, we don’t have the tools in place to use when we need them. We can only learn these tools by practicing them just as much as we do the swing mechanics.
I have known Mile Goodes for years and have watched his work ethic in person. Due to his hard work, mental toughness and great attitude I was not the least bit surprised to see Mike win on the Champions Tour. Mike has told me numerous times how much help Robert Linville has been to him in developing his game. Congratulations to Mike and Robert!