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Cultivating a Champion's Mindset in Golf with Lee Crombleholme

May 01, 2024 Jesse Perryman
Cultivating a Champion's Mindset in Golf with Lee Crombleholme
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Flaghuntersgolfpod
Cultivating a Champion's Mindset in Golf with Lee Crombleholme
May 01, 2024
Jesse Perryman

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Unlock the secrets to a stronger mental game on the green with our latest episode featuring sports psychologist Lee Crombleholme. Lee, with a storied background aiding pros on the DP World and PGA Tours, reveals how mental health is the linchpin in elevating a golfer's performance. By breaking down psychological complexities into digestible strategies, he sets you up for success whether you're aiming to shave strokes off your handicap or simply find more joy in every round.

Step onto the course with confidence as we unpack the Winning Golf Mind program and the power of positive reinforcement. From tales of Ryder Cup glory to the intimate challenges faced on the fairway, Lee's expertise sheds light on the psychological finesse that separates the good from the great. Embrace the lighter side of sports psychology, too, as we share laughter, a love for the game, and the infectious enthusiasm for helping others improve their mental approach to golf.

Finally, savor the satisfaction that comes with every well-struck shot and learn how to hold onto that feeling. Lee's approach not only improves your game but also amps up the enjoyment factor, regardless of the scorecard. Join us as we explore the delightful intricacies of golf psychology and offer a fresh perspective to enhance your love for the game.

To find out more valuable game improvement information, go to www.winninggolfmind.com

To reach Justin for lessons or other inquiries, please email justin@elitegolfswing.com

To reach Jesse, jesse@flaghuntersgolf.com

A big thank you to TaylorMade and Adidas for their support as always. 

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Unlock the secrets to a stronger mental game on the green with our latest episode featuring sports psychologist Lee Crombleholme. Lee, with a storied background aiding pros on the DP World and PGA Tours, reveals how mental health is the linchpin in elevating a golfer's performance. By breaking down psychological complexities into digestible strategies, he sets you up for success whether you're aiming to shave strokes off your handicap or simply find more joy in every round.

Step onto the course with confidence as we unpack the Winning Golf Mind program and the power of positive reinforcement. From tales of Ryder Cup glory to the intimate challenges faced on the fairway, Lee's expertise sheds light on the psychological finesse that separates the good from the great. Embrace the lighter side of sports psychology, too, as we share laughter, a love for the game, and the infectious enthusiasm for helping others improve their mental approach to golf.

Finally, savor the satisfaction that comes with every well-struck shot and learn how to hold onto that feeling. Lee's approach not only improves your game but also amps up the enjoyment factor, regardless of the scorecard. Join us as we explore the delightful intricacies of golf psychology and offer a fresh perspective to enhance your love for the game.

To find out more valuable game improvement information, go to www.winninggolfmind.com

To reach Justin for lessons or other inquiries, please email justin@elitegolfswing.com

To reach Jesse, jesse@flaghuntersgolf.com

A big thank you to TaylorMade and Adidas for their support as always. 

Speaker 1:

Hello, this is Jesse Perryman and welcome to the Flag Hunters Golf Podcast where we bring you the best game improvement information we could possibly muster up. This week on the pod we have a gentleman by the name of Lee Crumblehome. Lee, notably, is a registered sports psychologist out of England and his website Winning Golf Mind is available to all. Lee primarily works with tour plos, both on the DP World Tour and the PGA Tour, and we get into just the practical application and the basic understanding of getting yourself mentally prepared and having yourself ready and having some really good fundamental things to bring to your game. That is, aside from the same everyday minutia of working under golf swing. Lee really talks about getting in there and working on some different things to create a different paradigm shift for the player. So Justin takes the lead on this one. I'm not going to bore you with the ultra long intro, but it really is apparent that working on our games mentally, mental health, especially in this day and age, is, in my opinion, most likely more important, and hopefully that doesn't upset the swing geeks out there, because I think that, although it's still work to create something emotion that is repeatable and reliable, the mind, I believe, is more difficult to tame and that is a work in and of itself for a lifetime and thankfully we have gentlemen and folks like Lee Crumblehome out there that help to guide us to realize our full potential out there and to really you know, quite frankly bridge the gap also between the practice tee and the golf course.

Speaker 1:

Enjoyed this episode. I certainly did. Justin takes the lead, as I said, and it's a great lesson. Once again, lee Crumblehome, winninggolfmindcom. I'll make sure to put the pertinent links in the show notes and also I want to give a special shout out to everybody in England who took incredible care of my wife and I. You all have a fantastic country, great culture, great people, and I couldn't have felt more welcome. My wife and I couldn't have felt more welcome. So kudos to England, the mother country where we originated, and hope to get back there sometime in the near future. Cheers everyone and have a great week. This is Jesse Perryman from the Flag Hunters Golf Podcast, welcoming you to another very early edition for me, welcoming and saying hello to my co-host, justin Tang, as always, and our guest today from the winning golf mind is Lee Crumpleholm from England. Lee, thank you for coming on, justin. Thanks pal.

Speaker 2:

Thanks Jesse, Thanks Lee, Good morning. Good morning, it was Lee. It was really nice catching up with you at the Porsche Singapore Classic last week. Lots of lessons to learn there. But before we delve into it, let me give our listeners a brief introduction to you. Lee Crumblehome is a registered sports psychologist and a tour coach on the DP World and PGA Tour since 2006. So, Lee, tell our listeners, how did you get here?

Speaker 3:

um, it's like most coaches actually, um failed golfer I've in in 19. Well, I first touched a golf club on my 16th birthday and then about kind of two and a half years later, um, I was playing off a handicap of one, so I kind of took to it pretty quickly. And then in 1991, when I would have been 20 years old, I was fortunate enough to get a scholarship to UNC, charlotte and then realized very quickly that I wasn't going to be earning any money as a golfer. We were playing against Georgia Tech, a couple of guys called Stuart Sink and David Duval on a regular basis and they were unbelievable golfers in college. And what I actually did was I knew that my shortcomings weren't movement based, they were more mental based. And what I did was I started reading some books and then helping the other guys on the golf team. Basically, back in 1991, the performance psychology realm was very different to what it is today. It was very heavy kind of textbooks like this, thick and really hard going, but I found I had the ability to read those and then turn them into plain english, basically, and so I started helping the guys on the golf team rather than rather than myself, and I got a real buzz off that, got a real kick off it, um, helping helping those, um other players, um, and that's basically.

Speaker 3:

I just did one year at unc, char, unc, charlotte, came home back to the UK, went to university in Liverpool, did my psych degree, sports science degree, postgrad and then just started working with local players. Basically, my intention early doors was just to work with club players. I never had any real intentions of working with tour players. Bizarrely, I just wanted people to enjoy the game more, because I really you know I love the game. I still love the game. I only play about 10 times a year now just because of my travel commitments. I actually played on Saturday at my golf club in a competition, but that was the first time I'd played since October, which is a bit bizarre. My last round was at.

Speaker 3:

Valderrama, and then I played at my golf club, Lee Golf Club, yesterday, and it was rather wet. We've had a lot of rain over here.

Speaker 2:

It's quite a contrast from Valderrama to your home club. Yeah yeah, it is. Yeah, so you said you read a lot of books early on. I suppose in your search have you heard of this gentleman by the name of Tom Cubiston? He's supposed to be the father of modern sports psychology.

Speaker 3:

No, no, I haven't actually.

Speaker 2:

Okay, I might send you some of his early stuff. He wrote this book called Mind Pump Okay, no, no. And his seminal book was Performing your Best by Tom Cubiston. That's the book that he's most known after Okay.

Speaker 3:

Now, that's bizarre that I've not come across his name. But over the last kind of 20 years or so, you know a lot of texts have come out. Yeah Well, I've read a lot, but you know we lot, of a lot of texts have come out. Yeah well, I've read a lot, but we can't read absolutely everything, can we?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I suppose you're right and I think I think the problem is this right To find a really good psychologist, sports psychologist or good sports psychology book is always by accident, just like I came across your name quite by accident through a mutual friend by the name of Gary Smith, ex-egu coach. Yeah, I explored winning golf man and I really like what I read in your program.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 3:

I mean what I did. Obviously I went to university, I did my psych degree and sports science degree and post-grad stuff and all the time I've always read around the subject um as well. I've done like clinical hypnotherapy, um courses. I've done nlp courses. You know I've always looked to go not just kind of down the very narrow kind of sports psychology band and early doors.

Speaker 3:

I worked in a lot of other sports as well. I did quite a bit of work in gymnastics because we had one of the major kind of gymnastics clubs in Liverpool when I was doing my postgrad and one of my friends at uni was a guy called Neil Thomas who was a British um Olympian in in gymnastics and he asked me if I could go um and work in in the gym because some of the, some of the um kids were struggling quite a bit and I'm like, yeah, that's brilliant. Yeah, so I end up um working alongside the head coach there. Um, and I learned, I learned so much from gymnastics um, bizarrely, because it's compared to golf, it's, it's such a tough sport you know it's, it's you, it's very negatively marked.

Speaker 3:

You kind of start off with a certain amount of points, let's say 9.6 or something like that. But and then every mistake you get it gets chipped back. So from a mental point of view, gymnastics is very, very, very tough. Um, but then I also work with kind of england women's rugby league and work with some premier league footballers or soccer players for jesse. Um, and you know, learning, learning a lot about different sports and then bringing it all back into the golf was I think I really benefited from doing that. Working in other sports.

Speaker 2:

I think, if you look at gymnastics, it has some similarities with golf, doesn't it? There's a lot of time in gymnastics. You start when you're ready. It's not like soccer or football, where you've got new rudder running after you trying to break your legs and then here you are fighting against the clock. It's 90 minutes, the ref's going to blow the whistle for full time, but you need to equalize. So there's a lot of things happening in football, but in gymnastics and golf you go when you're ready, and that's the problem. There's too much time to think of. Oh, what did my coach tell me? Oh, that girl in the stands looking at me. Oh, I, I got to make this, uh, hit this green in order to make a birdie, to make the cut. So I think there's there's a ton of similarities there and we'll discuss this in your uh as we talk about your program, that ego yeah, ego versus master you talk about I want that ego versus master.

Speaker 2:

I want to talk a little bit about the Winning Golf Mind program. Before that right, for my own sake, I've always been meaning to ask you this question. I know your players have won a ton of tour events, but which majors have you personally been to with them? Have you done the Grand Slam in coaching?

Speaker 3:

Oh yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, I've been.

Speaker 3:

Awesome, including Ryder Cup. I was in the Ryder Cup in 2016 with Andy Sullivan and obviously I've been to the Masters a few times with Kiridek Ross Fisher and, I think, maybe Matt Wallace, maybe, maybe work with Matt Wallace at the.

Speaker 2:

Masters as well. Unfortunately he wasn't at the Porsche last week.

Speaker 3:

Sorry, unfortunately Matt wasn't at the Porsche last week no, no, he applies his trade out on the PGA Tour and you know he finished well, he finished 17th at the Valspar tournament, a really tough golf course the same week as Singapore.

Speaker 2:

So he was out there. So you mentioned Ape Banra. Very interesting finish at the Porsche Singapore Classic. He had to make an eagle on 18th to force a playoff with Jesper Svensson. Yeah, so what do you think was going on in his mind? Or what was going on in his mind and you know? Can we talk a little bit about the mental preparation you guys did for these situations?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, obviously I was out there in Singapore because you and I caught up Kiridek was just coming off a top 20 finish in Macau on the Asian Tour. He played that as a bit of a warm up really for Singapore and then. So his form had kind of started to come back a little bit. And then what we did that week was, very quickly I kind of I actually hadn't seen Kiridek since about October face to face, but we'd obviously spoken a lot on the phone. But one of the things I noticed quite quickly because I know him very, very well, because we've worked together for well since, probably for the last eight years I noticed that there was a possibility of just tweaking how him and his caddy worked, so getting them to communicate a little bit more effectively. And then also so we organized that. And then also on his putting, I wanted to simplify things down. I'm always one for making things as simple as possible. I think golfers tend to complicate everything and overthinking, kind of thinking too much about movement. So I got him to just shift his focus a little bit on his putting. And then also what he had done the week before was he was being more, more field-based with his golf swing, which I totally am on board with, because you know he's, he's. I mean, if there's any golfer on the planet who's more field-based than Kiridek Afibanrat, then I'd be amazed. You know, I'd love to meet the person because he is, he's just total feel and he'd been, he'd been kind of getting a little bit too technical with his goal swing. So him and um, a friend of his back in thailand, have been working on just kind of bringing a little bit more feel back to his goal swing and and then, yeah, he, I mean he, obviously he eagled the last um. But the more impressive thing for me was the par put on the 17th that he made. That I actually didn't see at the time because I was still asleep, because obviously, with the time difference and I saw it on I think it was on Instagram he was plugged in the front right trap on 17. He played it out but it stayed up on top of the ridge and then he holed about a 25, 25 footer with about eight feet of break and to make his par and then that was. That was just an unbelievably gutsy kind of play. Um. So what was going on in his mind? Well, he's just all about playing great golf shots. That is, that is when he's got momentum. That that is. That is what is where he's at, and I think he spoke on one of the interviews about his second shot, on the 18th in regulation play.

Speaker 3:

He spoke to his caddy about it was a very similar shot to what he'd hit in an Asian tournament, I think it was. He had the same hybrid, same number, and in that position in a previous event he'd hit the hybrid into two feet to eagle the last, and that's what he was telling his caddies like this is exactly the same shot. I can see it, I can feel it. And then he obviously played it to about 18 feet, I think, and then knocked the putt in, which is fantastic. Unfortunately he lost in the playoff, but it was some return to form basically.

Speaker 2:

What stuck out to me when I saw Api Bandra at the range last week was how happy he was, how relaxed he was and he seemed to be really having a great time. And then you guys got him to slide down one of the steep slopes. I mean that tells me, you know, when he's relaxed, his best game comes up. And I think he also mentioned in an interview some time back that he was homesick during his foray on the US tour.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, he got very homesick. I mean, obviously you know, we know Kyrdek loves his Thai food and just speaking Thai was something that he was struggling with because he didn't really have that many people who he could speak with on the PGA Tour in Thai and we ended up getting him to switch caddies from an American caddy to a Thai caddy just so he could have that communication. He lost his way a little bit. I think it was 2016. No, it wasn't 2016. It was 2018, maybe playing at the Masters.

Speaker 3:

He played a shot on the 17th hole where he had to hit a big raking hook into the green and he actually his right knee buckled after the shot and he fell over. But we were laughing about it afterwards in the car park. But what we didn't realise, he'd actually really injured his right knee. He'd torn a ligament at some point. We only found out a couple of months later and since then he'd been kind of compensating with his goal swing and that's when we noticed his Kyriadex form kind of falling off, because he was top 30 in the world and after that shot he really struggled to keep his momentum going.

Speaker 3:

But, like I said, we didn't know that he'd actually injured himself quite badly because he just keeps going, he just keeps trooping on, never complained anything about having a sore right knee, but then from a mental point of view he was struggling. He has mentioned it in interviews so I can't talk about it. He was quite lonely out in the States, which was a shame. And then when he ended up, kind of after COVID, there was a lot of problems with he got stuck in Thailand as well because of all the COVID situation and he wasn't able to get out and play on the PGA Tour and that's when he ended up losing his card. They did say that they would look after him, but they actually didn't look after him that well, to be honest. But yeah, the whole COVID situation really hurt him from a form point of view, but it was great to see him back up in Singapore for sure hopefully this is the return of the top, the form that saw him reach the top 30 in the world ranking.

Speaker 2:

So, lee, you mentioned visualization. He talked to his caddy on the 18th hole. I've seen this shot, I've felt this shot before. Tell us what are some of the visualization drills you do with your players and how. To some extent, this visualization is not something a 36 handicapper needs to work on.

Speaker 3:

You probably need to work on hard technical, technical skills instead yeah, I mean, one of the things that I get players to do and and again, it's so simple is I get players to ask good questions, to get curious about the shot, and so what they would do is they would stand behind the ball and then ask themselves what does a good shot look like? So what happens from a mental point of view when you ask a question like that? Your subconscious kicks in and answers the question for you and then, kind of trying to consciously force a visualization of the shot, that is not as effective as if you ask a subconscious question. You know what does a good shot look like? Because then the subconscious kicks in and answers that question and you would always some players struggle with visualization, but those people might be more field-based, so they might just kind of mend.

Speaker 3:

I would rather say mental practice rather than visualization, because different people will, um, kind of tap into it and in different ways. If that makes sense, with some people it's more of a field-based mental practice. Um, some some players, it's the sound, um, you know, one of my old clients used to really tap into the sound, and to the point where what we did was on his um, his ringtone on his phone we actually recorded the sound of a ball going into the hole, so you know that that kind of that, that little pop, and we had that as his ringtone so so he just constantly would hear, whenever his phone went off, the ball going into the bottom of the cup, and so it was just constantly feeding that narrative of him holding putts, which is quite a random kind of thing. We ended up doing some crazy stuff really.

Speaker 2:

I suppose the advent of the iPhone in 2007 has changed your business model. When you were here, you sent me a phone recording of a self-hypnosis track. I thought that was absolutely brilliant. What are some of the other phone recordings you send to your players?

Speaker 3:

Okay, so I've done. I probably record one on a monthly basis. Probably record one, um, on a monthly basis. We've got. I've got a peak uh flow state audio that I've I send out to some of the players. I've got a self-belief audio and that I send out to them. I think the one was it the putting one that I sent to you. I think it was.

Speaker 3:

That was the one yeah so the theory behind that is um, we've all, we've all stood over a 10 or 15 foot putt knowing that the ball is going to go in the hole even before you've you've started the putter. Yeah, we've just looked there, you know it's going to go in, everything is just crystal clear. And then you hold it and then you just kind of walk away and he's like well, I knew I was going to hold up. So that that was what the audio that I sent to you was all about. It was about encouraging that deja vu feeling, wasn't it? And that's computer.

Speaker 3:

Audio is to be listened to when you're actually doing a hole-in-out putting drill. Basically, the peak flow state audio is. I think it's not really hypnosis audio, it was one to just listen to in the background when the guys are hitting shots on the range, because we know that everyone's trying to get into this flow state. That's the ultimate goal for a golfer. And there's kind of three main triggers for getting into a flow state. One is focus you have to be really focused on the shot in hand. Number two is you have to be really focused on um, on the shot in hand. Number two is you have to be present. And then number three is you have to be focused on what you actually want to do as opposed to what you don't want to do. So those three things are the three main triggers for getting into that peak flow state.

Speaker 3:

Um, there's also the on the range. There is the skill challenge sweet spot. So you will have noticed, justin, when I was at Singapore, some of the challenges that I throw at the players, I'm really turning the screw and putting them under pressure when they're on the range or on the practice putting green, setting really tough challenges for them to the point where they actually get frustrated. But then, as soon as they get frustrated, that's when we kick into focus, presence and a towards mindset so we can actually get them to recreate the pressures of tournament golf on the range, because these guys are so competitive that if I set them a challenge, they will want to prove me wrong, and I love that on the range, you know, because these guys are so, so competitive. But if I set them a challenge, they will want to prove me wrong, and I love that. You know it works really well actually. So that's basically the challenge get them to challenge their mindset when they're on the range.

Speaker 2:

That's basically the Yerkes-Dodson law, isn't it? Yeah, maximum, the optimum state of arousal. So for our listeners, if they are doing a drill and they can only accomplish the task, say, 30% of the time, I would dare say that the task is a little bit too challenging for them. And if they can do it 50% of the time, that's probably the sweet spot. And would you say that if they can do it 80% of the time, then it's probably too easy.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, absolutely Justin. Yeah, I think if they can do the challenge 50% of the time, I would say that that's probably about right.

Speaker 2:

So let's talk about the drill that gets you called names by your players. They want to fire you on the spot. I've seen you do that with some of the players. Let's talk a little bit about that, because a lot of people come from this school of thought like, oh, you know what't? You can't talk yourself into a ton, into tournament pressure, because there's so many other variables involved, but you're, you seem to be able to get your players into that, that state of frustration or anxiety with this drill let's talk about it.

Speaker 3:

Well, it, to be honest, it depends where I am, um, it depends what the range is like. So one of the first things I do when I go to a you know kind of european dp world tour event or a pga tour event, as soon as I step onto the range I'm looking around seeing, okay, how can we challenge the player here? You know what, what kind of you know is there? Is there some greens? Is there, because not not everywhere has greens, or you know, the one in singapore was quite good because it's one of the the holes. I think, yeah, it's an actual hole. You get somewhere like valderrama in spain, on the south coast of spain, which has got the most incredible range and it's it's a high t, and then there's there's five different greens at different distances, and then there's also a big kind of fence like the netting at the back, because obviously guys are bombing it further now, because I think it protects the 11th hole. I think it is. It stops golf balls from going onto the fairway and hitting players. Well, someone like Valderrama. I would say to them okay, what we're going to do is we're going to, you need to hit each of the five greens on the spin and they're between 100 yards and 200 yards long the distance to these greens. So you've got to land each ball consecutively onto each of the five greens and then you've got to hit a driver in between two of the stanchions. If you, if you miss one of the greens, then you have to restart. So obviously, if they hit the first three or four greens, then the pressure started to build because they want to complete the task. They want to complete the task. So once they've hit the five greens on the spin, then it's a driver, and then if they miss that, then they have to restart again. And at Valderrama it's usually quite windy off the right as well. Then it's a driver and then if they miss that, then they have to restart again. And at Val d'Arma it's usually quite windy off the right as well, because it's down on the south coast, so the wind's coming in off the sea. So it does get quite challenging. And if they manage to do that too quickly, then I'll say well, you have to hit right of the flag, left of the flag, right of the flag, left of the flag, right of the flag. And I'll just keep cranking it up.

Speaker 3:

But I think we we spoke in singapore about if, if the range is a bit kind of dull, um, you know there's not much in the way of targets. I use the 10 drill. So if they're using trackman, what I would get them to do is hit um, 100 yard shot but 10 of that in feet. So we've got 100 yards, target 10, 10 feet either side. They have to land it in there. So one, two, five would be 12 and a half feet either side. 150 yards would be 15 feet either side, and then and so on. You know so. So we keep turning the screw all the time, um and again, getting them to hit the five different hit, the four different iron shots and then one drive swing. So yeah, they do feel the pressure of it because they buy in. I think if you don't buy into the challenge then you're going to struggle building pressure. But what I've found is, with pretty much everyone that I work with, they will always buy into the challenge.

Speaker 2:

They don't want to lose when you do these challenges with your tour players, do you put them on the clock. So, for example, tour player A does the drill and you say hey, you completed it in three minutes. Let's do another set. Let's complete it in two and a half minutes. Because when we are under pressure, time flies by. Our brain does something to us and time just seems to fly by when we're in fight or flight syndrome.

Speaker 3:

Do you put them on the clock? I would generally put a 20 minute cut off, because we can only concentrate and be focused for up to kind of 20 minutes on a particular task as human beings. So I would generally pull the ripcord at about 20 minutes, even if they're still struggling to complete the challenge.

Speaker 2:

So, in general, what do you think separates the winners from the journeyman tour pros? Wow, what a question.

Speaker 3:

You've thrown that one at me Just when you least expected it. Yeah, that's coming in from the blind side, excuse me, I would say having the ability to distance themselves from the situation. You know, it's like Kiridek in Singapore. You know he coming there. I think he was five under for them last five holes. You know it's like Kiridek in Singapore. You know he coming down, I think he was five under for them last five holes. You know. But what he did was he's not all he's focused on is hitting world-class goal shots down the stretch. You know, rather than kind of worrying, you know, and hitting the panic button, thinking that he's you know, I've got to, I'm in with a chance of winning, it's about distancing yourself from the outcome and being very much focused on the task, which is what he did fantastically well in.

Speaker 2:

Singapore. So what's your process when you meet a player for the first time, someone who wants to join the Crumble Home stable?

Speaker 3:

One of the first questions I ask is you know why do you play golf? It's quite a simple question, but it's quite tricky to answer, so I'm going to throw this question right back at you, justin. So you know why do you play golf.

Speaker 2:

Sense of mastery, because when you have a pre-shot routine it suggests the discipline to follow it, whether you had a good hole or bad hole. Especially after a good hole you eagle hole five and then you think it's Superman. On hole six you throw a caution that I win. Out comes the double bogey. I think more so after a good shot. It's really for me it's more of self-discipline and obviously the pleasure of nutting the ball out of the sweet spot. It's hard to describe the feeling to people who have not played golf, but once you've experienced smashing the ball with the sweet spot at speed, I don't think there's any other feeling in any other sport that quite compares.

Speaker 3:

I would totally agree with you on that. There's nothing like getting out of the middle of the club hitting that sweet spot, and that's kind of addictive, isn't it? Because what happens there, when we get it out the middle and we hit, you know, close to a perfect shot, what happens then from a neuroscience point of view, is we get a dopamine hit. We get that dopamine hit, and that's what we're always trying to encourage with tall players, club players, whoever it is I'm working with. That's why we set them challenges, because once the players reach the challenge, they actually complete the drill, they're ecstatic, they're feeling really confident because they're getting and, from a neuroscience point of view, they're getting the dopamine hit, and that's what keeps bringing us back for more.

Speaker 3:

And one of the things that I do with the players, no matter what level they are, is get them to appreciate the good players, to take for granted the fact that they've actually hit a good shot.

Speaker 3:

And they don't enjoy the good shots because you know they've got the tour badge, you know they've got hit a good shot and they don't enjoy the good shots because they've got the tour badge, they've got their tour card, they've got the name on the bag they're supposed to hit really good shots, but one of the things I really really press with the good players is appreciating good shots. I'd rather players have a bigger reaction to a good shot than the reaction that they have to a bad shot. But that's kind of always completely the reverse when, whenever I first start working with a player, they will. They will generally have a bigger reaction to bad shots than good shots. No one, no one ever comes, you know, comes up to me and says lee, can you know, can we do some work? Um, you know, it's never because they're playing really well, it's. They only ever come to me when they're struggling with the game, and that's where I get my dopamine hit from is when they start playing well again.

Speaker 2:

So I want how much easier it is to teach a beginner. You get the beginner to hit a green, he's happy, but a total player misses the flag by three yards, five yards. He gets pissed off. Yeah, absolutely, yeah, absolutely. He spits at you. You know, you talked about one negative memory, or was it three? Yeah, five to one, yeah, it would be about that. Yeah, and it's really about evolutionary psychology, isn't it? The brain highlights all the negatives so that, hey, we don't repeat, we can. We can, uh, stay alive for the next game of golf, so to speak. Yes, so are there are there?

Speaker 2:

are there little tips that you can give our listeners on how to get over negatives and try to imprint the positives in their mindset as they progress in this, uh, wonderful game of golf? I?

Speaker 3:

think you know, just from like I was just talking about there, just have the appreciation of what you've done, good whether that be. You know, even if it's a bad shot it could be the process was really good. Your mental pre-shot routine was good, you know. Enjoy the fact that you asked the question what does a good shot look like? What is my target? You know, even though you might not have hit a fantastic goal shot, but you can still appreciate the good stuff that you do in the in the build-up to that shot and you can also appreciate the, the way that you react you know not we've got.

Speaker 3:

We've got primary emotional reactions, which are the initial reaction it's like I can't believe I've just hit that shot. You know we can't get rid of that particularly. But the secondary emotion, as you're walking down the fairway or you know into the rough or you know towards the out of bounds or whatever, that's the element that we can manage more effectively. You know, it's more the secondary emotion, because when we hit a bad shot, the initial burst of reaction negative reaction it's pure, it's just adrenaline, that's all it is. And in some way, shape or form, it's your, it's your body trying to um, trying to protect you, like you said, from an evolutionary point of view. But it's it's, it's actually um a misfire, you know it's it's. You know, because it's not life or death. You know which is what the fight and flight, um and freeze response is basically. Therefore, it's, it's, it's not life or death. You know which is what the fight and flight and freeze response is basically. Therefore, it's built into us, hardwired into us as part of a survival instinct.

Speaker 2:

So what you're saying is don't grade yourself simply on the outcome of the shot. Have a more holistic scorecard. What was my pre-shot routine like? What was my self-talk like? Did I rush from process to process? So the outcome is just but one column on the scorecard for that particular shot.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, and what I get players to do sometimes is you just tick off the processes. They might go out and have three or four controllable goals and what they will do is they will either tick off each shot or tick off each hole. You know so. So if they're doing just ticking off each hole for their mental goals, then the goal becomes to get 18 ticks. You know so. So we're trying to create a little bit of balance between the score and the process.

Speaker 3:

You know the game of golf is designed to mess with your head. You know we, we write the score down after each hole. We add them up after nine holes, you know. And then we have how much we earn. You know with with the tour players, but you know with with the club players, it's you know it's my handicap going to go up or down. You know it's all this ego-based kind of outcome, result orientation, whereas what I try and do is distance people away from the school and get more focused on the process. Now I'm not saying that they need to be completely dismissive of the school, because that's not going to happen, but it's just giving them that balance. It's trying to balance it out a little bit more effectively rather than just being obsessed with the school. To balance it out a little bit more effectively rather than just being obsessed with the school.

Speaker 2:

To balance things out. You're basically bringing them to a state of stable confidence, yes, when a lot of players club pros or club golfers alike they attach rather they equate their self-worth to the outcome. I eagled it. I'm a great guy, I double bogey. I'm a shitty person. I think that's what winning golf mine is all about. Bringing people away from an unstable sense of self-worth, because you attach volatile results to who you are as a person, rather than stable factors, Absolutely.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely. If our self-worth is attached to what a little round plastic golf ball does, then there's something wrong with us. But we all do it. We all do it. We put our self-worth on what happens to the golf ball, which is when we describe it as that. I'm going to let this little round white plastic thing affect how I feel and when. When I describe it like that, then it's like oh, whoa, whoa, hang on a minute. You know we can't be, we can't be allowing that to happen, as huge.

Speaker 2:

It brings things back to perspective, doesn't it? It does it does so. There's club fitting. Okay, it's tall, you should use a plus one inches of a length. And then there's also swing fitting. If your arms longer than your, your height, you should be more upright, have have more of an upright swing plane. Now, in the world of mental game, is there mental game fitting? Is there? Is it a one size fits all approach, or are there different types of approaches for different players?

Speaker 3:

Everyone's different. Everyone is unique. Everyone has their golf DNA. I like to think that when I work with a player, I work on the person before the golfer, so a lot of it is being the psychology side is getting a player to feel more comfortable in their own skin. Being the psychology side is getting a player to feel more comfortable in their own skin, so that, you know, that's the psychologist in me coming through. You know there's a lot of guys. You know there's guys out there who work with players, who are just basically mental skills coaches, and that's fine, you know. But I'd like to think I work a little bit deeper and a little bit more about the person rather than just mental skills.

Speaker 3:

Now, on my website that I know you look at Justin a lot of that is predominantly just mental skills, because that's, you know, it's quite difficult to coach the psychology side via a website, to coach the psychology side via a website. But I think you know some of the newer videos that I've been starting to put on. We're starting to look a little bit more about how we can coach the person as opposed to just the golfer. You know You've seen all the mastery versus ego videos. Yeah, that's awesome.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I mean everyone who looks at them videos goes it makes total sense, it just makes total sense. And they have them kind of light bulb moments like what, what have I been doing for all these years as a golfer? You know, I'm very much into the outcome, very much into the into the ego side and they, intuitively, they know that they need to nurture the mastery side, you know, and just to have an appreciation for the game, this amazing game that we play, you know, and, like I say, the game golf always wants to drag you over into the outcome and the ego side. And my job is to drag people over more into the mastery side.

Speaker 2:

Let's give our listeners a glimpse of your amazing website, winninggolfmindcom. Let's talk a little bit about the ego versus mastery modules and what you hope to teach our listeners.

Speaker 3:

Honestly, I just want people to enjoy the game of golf more. I played on Saturday it's Monday now. I played, you know, at my club. It was my first game of golf of the year. The only other shot I'd hit between October and on Saturday was I hit a tee shot on the 17th in Singapore because a few of the caddies had a go. It's all over the place. I took an extra club. I had one of Matthew Baldwin's irons and I managed to get it onto the front edge of the green. I took an extra club, one of Matthew Baldwin's irons and I managed to get it onto the front edge of the green. But I think it was a horrendous strike. But I kind of anticipated that. But my point is I just want golfers to enjoy themselves more.

Speaker 3:

When I played on Saturday, my playing partners were getting frustrated. Well, two of them were getting really frustrated. They were missing puts, they were lipping out from kind of two feet one of the guys in particular and we started having a chat about how, again, they need to be more mastery-based, focus more on just the simple task. I wasn't coaching them um in in the in the club comp, because I would never do that, but I always have a chat with them afterwards and and kind of point them in the in the right direction. Um, but yeah, I mean just appreciating the nuances of the game.

Speaker 3:

You know, knowing that if the body language is improved, then they're more likely to hit a good shot. If their mind is quite, um, focused on the task at hand, then they're more likely to hit a good shot. You know, if they pick a, if they focus their mind on a target rather than where they don't want to hit it, they're more likely to hit a good shot. There's no guarantees, but all all I do is I load the dice in players' favours. You know, that's how I always describe it. If we do the simple things well and we block out as much as we can, the, you know, the distractions, the interference, then they're more likely to hit a good shot. And that is across the board. Whether you play off a 28 handicap or whether you're a multiple winner on the European Tour or PGA Tour, it's exactly the same. It's exactly the same.

Speaker 2:

So that's winninggolfmindcom. So in closing, I'd like to ask you a few personal questions, just to add a personal touch to this interview. What's your favorite fast food?

Speaker 3:

My guilty pleasure is KFC. Okay, what's your favourite fast food? My guilty pleasure is KFC, but my favourite food, my favourite food, is Thai food, and we've got Kiridek to thank for that.

Speaker 2:

Specifically what dish? Pad Thai Tom Yum Goong. No, no, no.

Speaker 3:

Spicy Beef basil, beef, basil, yeah, oh that's good.

Speaker 2:

The beef basil, that's really good. Yeah, what item can't you do without when traveling? Same with everyone. Same with everyone. Greatest golfer of all time. Sorry, justin, what was that? One greatest golfer of all time tiger, absolutely tiger.

Speaker 3:

Um little little known fact, though fun fact, I was named after Lee Trevino, which is completely bizarre. Just a little, very short tale. My parents are from Liverpool and in 1971, in July, lee Trevino won the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale, which is just north of Liverpool, and my mum and my granddad used to watch golf all the time. Never, no one ever played. I'm the only person in my family who ever played golf. Um, but I was, I was, I was named, I was born a couple of months after that and lee trevino was. He won the open at royal birkdale and I was. I was named after him, which is quite random, and he was very well known for just talking rubbish about golf as well, like I am.

Speaker 2:

Who are in your teaching hall of fame can be any number Teaching Hall of fame, or could be, well, I guess, for you psychologist hall of fame.

Speaker 3:

Well, I think I'm. I'm blessed, I've got some. Some of my friends are the most amazing golf coaches. You know Mike Walker, Phil Kenyon, we're really good mates. There's a movement specialist called Kev Duffy who is just unbelievable at what he does. He thinks outside the box all of the time From a psychology point of view. I meanella's a legend, isn't he? You know, he's he kind of brought golf psychology um to the masses really with his, with his golf psychology books, and he's such a lovely guy you know I know this can't be repeated, but I had a chat with jamie about bob retella.

Speaker 2:

Have you heard about the Cindy Crawford story?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, remind me.

Speaker 2:

No, no, no. I can't repeat this one. I thought that was quite funny and quite bizarre at the same time. Yeah yeah, jamie is a Jamie, you can't make this up. So, besides Bob Rotella, any other guys erm, there's.

Speaker 3:

There's too many to mention. I actually bumped into Karl Morris at my golf club. Oh, okay, on Saturday, nice erm. We're both from the same town, erm, so it was good to catch up with Karl erm. Karl knows his stuff Really good guy. So yeah, from a psychologist's point of view, I would say those guys really got a lot of respect for the work that they do.

Speaker 2:

Carl was on what Jesse was it in December?

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

That was a really good interview too. So for our listeners, where can they find out more about your services?

Speaker 3:

Just winninggolfmindcom.

Speaker 2:

Instagram handle lots of fun stuff.

Speaker 3:

Instagram and xcom yeah, x, whatever it's called this week, but, yeah, everything is at winninggolfmind or winninggolfmindcom. So I love getting emails off club players, you know, asking questions, and you know getting direct messages through the socials. Um, I do. I'm always doing best to answer them as best I can because, again, I just want people to enjoy the game of golf more. You know, and I think it when, when I see players getting overly frustrated with the game of golf, then that's an opportunity for for learning, for for any player, no matter, no matter what level they're playing at and for you to get your dopamine hit.

Speaker 2:

I, that's where I get my dopamine hit. Hey, but lee I just want to say, from from myself, a very big thank you for making sports psychology so fun. You've taken something dry, mundane, unapplicable and make it fun that people remember. I always have a great time watching your socials, meeting you in person, talking about the stuff that you do with your players. So big thank you and keep keep the amazing content coming on winning golf minecom I shall try, and I really appreciate that, justin.

Speaker 3:

It's, uh, it's always good to catch up with yourself and, um, you know it's to for you to see that I kind of bring a little bit of light into a very dry subject. That's, uh, I get, I get a bit of a dopamine hit off that.

Speaker 2:

So thank you. Thanks for your time again, Lee. Look forward to speaking to you again.

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