The CLUTCH GOLFER FORMULA Overview
WE ALL WANT TO BE CLUTCH
We love clutch.
We love clutch situations, clutch shots and clutch players.
We love watching clutch. We love talking clutch. We love being clutch. We love being the guy or gal who comes through when it matters most. The one that hit the shot that won the tournament or took a few bucks off your buddies.
Clutch shots earn us cheers or jeers, create legendary nicknames, and can even define an entire career. They are the warp & woof of our post-action tales at the 19th hole. Epic victory or epic fail, we remember clutch shots for years. It’s that moment – the opportunity to be clutch – that resonates with us forever.
Of course we love being clutch. It’s the most fun in golf.
“Clutch is the most admired attribute in sports, the separator that differentiates our favorite athletes.” writes Jaime Diaz for Golf Digest.
WHAT IS CLUTCH?
What are Clutch Situations?
What are Clutch Shots?
What makes a Clutch Player?
Most importantly, how can YOU be a clutch golfer?
Watch this short video to get answers about clutch. You’ll know what we mean by clutch situations, clutch shots, and clutch players. Plus you’ll learn the (surprising) secret to what it takes for you to come through in the clutch. You’ll also see what it takes to train for peak performance and clutch situations.
This overview will give you the background you need to get the full context of the podcast interviews so you’ll get the most out of listening to them.
The rest of the lessons in this Course feature interviews with star players from the Tour telling us what it takes to be clutch. These interviews are pure gold. You’re in for a real treat.
The next step after you listen to the interviews is to get a copy of our book “The Clutch Golfer Formula.” It’s a detailed explanation of how you can develop your clutch skills and your ability to hit clutch shots in pressure situations.
PS – Don’t forget that you can leave questions and comments in the box below. We’re looking forward to hearing clutch stories from you!
Welcome to the Clutch Golfer Formula
A book of suspense and intrigue featuring your favorite action hero battling implacable foes.
By Dr. Glen Albaugh and Eric Jones
We’re going to show you how to how to become a clutch golfer using the Clutch Golfer Formula.
But before we get into the actual formula – which we will give you step-by-step – we should first define what we mean by Clutch.
What is Clutch? How would you define it?
When we ask this question in our seminars the audience is surprisingly consistent in their answers. They very quickly name three different types of clutch:
- Clutch Situations
- Clutch Shots
- Clutch Players
What is a clutch situation? It’s the pivotal or crucial moment when the outcome hangs in the balance.
What is a clutch shot? The key shot made under pressure that changes the momentum or seals the competition.
What is a clutch player? After the first two definitions this one is pretty easy: A clutch player is a golfer who hits clutch shots in clutch situations.
Virtually all our seminar participants and clients are athletes, and they have all been in clutch situations and they have all hit clutch shots. And every single one of us would like to consider ourselves clutch golfers. That’s why we think there is so much agreement about what clutch means.
Why do we want to be clutch?
Here’s a clutch baseball situation with the runner sliding into third and the ball about to arrive. Somebody is going to make a clutch play. And the fans are completely glued to the action.
We love clutch situations, clutch plays, and clutch players. As Jaime Diaz from Golf Digest wrote: “Clutch is the most admired attribute in sports, the separator that differentiates our favorite athletes.”
Golf gives each and every one of us – no matter the skill level – the opportunity to be clutch. We are, after all, the central hero in the narrative of our own life story. And heroes always prevail. Of course we all want to be clutch. That’s why we play.
So then the question becomes “Can we learn to be clutch?”
The Answer is yes. Here’s how.
First, understand what’s happening when we play clutch. By knowing what is happening with clutch athletes we can work actively and purposefully to recreate clutch conditions for ourselves.
Second, learn to avoid choking by recognizing the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that keep us from achieving peak performance.
Lastly, train to be clutch. Do it intentionally. Use deliberate practice and other advanced training methodologies to prepare the right way. As Brandon Sneed from BleacherReport said “The cornerstone of clutch play is training. You can’t [be clutch] if you haven’t spent a lot of time training basic skills.”
So what is happening when we are clutch? Here’s what studies indicate:
A major component of clutch is automatacity:
One thing clutch athletes across all sports have in common is the ability to put their Mind on automatic and allow their Body and Training to take over. They turn off their Thinking and Emotional Control Centers and allow their Athletic Control Center to execute. No thinking. Just doing.
There is a growing body of scientific evidence indicating clutch athletes even exhibit specific physical and mental responses to clutch situations. Their brain waves change. Their bodies produce specific chemicals and hormones that facilitate performance.
And then there’s Mindset. Athletes who’ve been clutch believe they can do it again, and this positive outlook is their fundamental philosophy. As Jaime Diaz wrote “There is a style and manner apart from results that is clutch: poise and body language.”
Lastly, but no less importantly, you don’t have to do anything special in the clutch. Recent studies across a variety of sports – baseball, basketball, football, and golf – by a bunch of stats wonks show that even the great players we think of as clutch like LeBron, Tom Brady, and Tiger Woods perform at a statistically average level in the clutch.
In other words, they don’t do anything super-human. They just do what they are capable of doing. In his book “Clutch” Paul Sullivan wrote “Clutch, simply put, is the ability to do what you can normally do under immense pressure. And while it has a mental component, it is not a mystical ability.”
This may seem surprising. But take Tiger as an example. His scoring average for his final rounds was actually higher than his scoring average for his first three rounds: 69.4 compared to 69.1. A third of a shot. Yet at 54-4 with a 54-hole lead he had a remarkable 94% close-out rate. Clearly he figured out a successful system to play the kind of clutch golf he needed to win. Particularly when you consider that everyone else on Tour who had the 54-hole lead averaged only a 40% win rate.
40%. That’s less than half the time. In other words, there’s a lot of choking going on in the clutch.
So it’s important to understand what is happening when we choke.
By learning to recognize cognitive or emotional interference we can learn what NOT to do in clutch situations, and whether it is interference or a simple breakdown in execution. That’s part of the secret.
So what is the secret to being Clutch?
First, clutch athletes bring an extra level of focus to clutch situations. That means you need a systematic way to sharpen your focus.
Second, your swing needs to be on automatic. You need a routine that turns off your thinking and emotional minds and allows your Athletic mind to do what it does best.
Third is mindset. You need to believe you can do it and commit to your strategy and shot.
Lastly there is Trust.
Remember, you don’t need to do anything super-human. You just need to train yourself to do all you are capable of doing under pressure.
I’m going to give you the Clutch Golfer formula. But before I do let me give you a couple more definitions.
“Reliance on the integrity, strength, or ability of something and confidence in the expectation of an outcome.”
Sounds like another definition for clutch, doesn’t it. But it is actually the definition for Trust. In the end, clutch boils down to trust, a concept that Dr. Albaugh has been championing for more than 25 years.
Here are two more Clutch definitions: “The mechanism that helps you change gears” and “The act of taking under one’s power or control.”
Now you know what the Clutch Golfer Formula does. It is a systematic way to take control, develop extra focus, put your swing on automatic, and shift to a higher level of play.
Here are the steps we’ve identified for the Clutch Golfer Formula:
Lock, load, fire, hold.
Catchy, isn’t it.
Lock into the target, shot, and feel of the swing. Load your set-up routine, aim and center. Fire tension free with full release, then hold to review, learn, and reinforce or adjust.
The first step, Lock, begins the process of putting your swing on automatic and sharpening your focus.
The second step, Load, reinforces automatacity.
The third step, Fire, is letting your Athletic Mind make a tension-free swing and full release.
The fourth step, Hold, is where you learn, then reinforce or make adjustments.
The beauty of the Clutch Golfer Formula is that it allows you to customize each step of the process using the tools like breathing, visualization, and positive self talk in a way that works best for you.
It takes time, purposeful practice and training to learn and use the Clutch Golfer Formula. Understanding the hierarchy of practice and training is how you will know you are spending your time and energy wisely and to your greatest advantage.