Confidence in Golf: Jeff Brehaut’s Prescription for Clutch Play
We all know that we play our best when we play with confidence.
But where does confidence come from?
PGA Tour veteran Jeff Brehaut has some answers in our latest Clutch Golfer Podcast Interview.
“The times that I was clutch the state of my game was better: I was more prepared, I was more confident.” said Brehaut.
How does he prepare? That’s part of what you’ll learn in the podcast. You’ll get advice like “When you’re practicing you’re trying to put yourself as much as possible in situations that you’re going to face when you get to the big tournament. That way,” Jeff says, “when the moment comes you can say ‘Okay. I’ve done this. I know how to do this.’ You draw on all those experiences; you take a deep breath, trust yourself, and just go do it.”
When Goofing Around Like a Kid is Great Preparation
The key for Jeff was to put himself into as many situations as he could imagine before he faced the real thing. It even goes back to the times when he was a kid goofing around on the putting green saying “This 15-footer is to win the Masters” or “This up & down is to win the Open.” It may have seemed like goofing around back then, but it was actually great preparation for clutch situations. And it is a lot of fun.
Jeff’s focus now is on teaching juniors, and he uses the same principles with them. He’ll put them in a so-so lie in the rough and then give them a scenario where they have to think their way through a good strategy and then execute. “You’re in the rough, the pin is on the left, over a bunker, with water on the left, and you have a 1-shot lead. What do you do?”
Sooner or later the kids realize that aiming at the hole is not the right strategy. Sometimes it takes a number of failures before the message sinks in. But the end result is that Jeff’s students learn what they can and can’t do, and what it really takes to score – particularly in clutch time.
Jeff also shares some insights from his work Juli Inkster while helping to coach America’s Solheim Cup team – including a pep-talk Juli gave to Lexi Thompson that helped her get her mojo back and turn around what some have called one of the best-ever Solheim Cup matches.
Listen to the Jeff Brehaut Clutch Golfer Podcast Interview. Then go out and practice like a kid if you want to gain confidence (and have more fun).