It’s a beautiful Friday morning, and I’m here at the Cochise Driving Range at Desert Mountain Country Club, waiting for my date with Bernhard Langer. I have known Mr. Langer for a little over a year, we have worked together in a few other golf tournaments and he was kindly forced to do this interview with me.
For those of you who don’t know, Bernhard Langer is a German professional golfer. He is a two-time Masters champion and was one of the greatest golfers in the world during the 1980s and 1990s. Mr. Langer was only 15 years old when he turned pro, so he has lived the game of golf for most of the time. his life. It took him almost eight years to achieve his first professional victory. Some might think that after so long in the loss categories, why continue like this? Well, it all comes down to determination. Mr. Langer would never have gotten to where he is today if he had given up and abandoned his dream.
While Mr. Langer and I casually hit balls on the field, the interview process was quite informal. We are talking mostly about the game of golf in general. We start with the current PGA and who do you think has the best chances next season. Of course, names like Jordan Spieth and Jason Day were right in the mix, stating that you can see them both win another major one soon. Jordan’s mental game is on point, concentration just shines through in his eyes, especially in his short game. Jason has one of the most mechanically perfect shifting Langer has seen in years. Hideki Matsuyama was also talked about nicely, Mr. Langer believes he could have a great break-up season, with a possible great next one.
Then I turned to Mr. Langer himself and asked him more about himself. I tried to focus on the mental aspects of his golf game. The first thing he gave me was a joke … Breathe, aim, shoot. Control your breathing in the direction, it will help relieve pressure and keep you focused on positive thoughts. Having an ingrained routine will help you when you are under pressure. Keeps your thoughts positive and focused on the present.
Staying focused is the key to an accurate game of golf. Too often, you get caught up in what’s going on around you, physically and mentally. A golfer needs to stay in the moment. The most important stroke for a golfer is the one he is currently taking. A golfer routinely thinks about that bad shot two holes ago, or dwells on the possible outcome of his round. Not enough golfers stay focused on their thoughts. After a while, all the negative thoughts aggravate and you break down mentally. If you’re going to get stuck in thoughts, turn them into good ones, like how you made that birdie, or the perfect push and draw you had before.
What helps Mr. Langer stay focused is his pre-shot routine. Every detail that you can control is taken into account, your breathing, vision, aim, etc. it’s the same for every shot. When you feel the pressure building, you use a breathing technique that helps calm your nerves and refocus. You will take a deep breath, exhale, breathe well again, and exhale halfway, then shoot. Mr. Langer has been using this technique for some time now and as we can see it seems to be working.
One last thing we talked about was dedication, not just in golf, but in all aspects of life. If a man really wants to excel at something, he must be passionate about it. Not everyone has the mental determination to endure the inconveniences and failures that come their way. You really should take the time to polish it up. Langer didn’t give up after eight winless years; Tiger Woods didn’t just practice once a week. Thomas Edison didn’t fail, he found 2000 ways not to make a light bulb. What you’re saying is don’t give up at the first signs of failure. Persevere, and eventually everything will fall into place.