Mental Golf is key to Golf Improvement from Paul Casey at Houston


I’ve been watching Paul Casey’s golf improvement this year starting with his consistent golf performance in Abu Dhabi when he was talking optimistically about getting into the top 20 in the world. Now, with his second-place finish at the World Golf Championships at Dove Mountain and his consummate performance at the Shell Houston Open last weekend, he’s at number six on the world rankings. With his golf mind working this well, he’s surely one of the favourites to win this week at Augusta.

He played there after being told what a tough course it was going to be. He mentioned the great greens, the way that lots of run off areas were shaved down low and the high swirling winds. What a perfect set up in the run in to the Masters.

Casey was clearly focussed and in the zone, as he explained at the press conference, “I kept my head down, to be honest, and didn’t pay too much attention to what was going on. I just thought it was incredibly difficult out there, so why burden myself with knowing too much.” He went on to say, “It wasn’t until the last green I looked up when I was in the bunker and knew I had to get up and down to beat J.B. Otherwise a play off.” He went on to beat long-hitting J.B. Holmes in the playoff.

Now this isn’t the same Paul Casey who went into a dramatic slump back in 2005. The new Casey has rebuilt himself to a new level with the help of sports Psychologist, Dr Don Greene, as well as coach, Peter Kostis. Back then, Casey was losing his way mentally and that was impacting his golf physically as well. Now he’s about as far from a slump as can be imagined.

So, who exactly is Don Greene? Well he’s no ordinary golf psychologist. He started out as a champion diver and Green Beret before earning his doctorate in sports psychology. For the last 25 years he’s been working with people under pressure ranging from police SWAT officers, through professional golfers, Grand Prix drivers, Olympic athletes and for the last 15 years he’s been specialising in the performing arts with musicians, singers and actors – and Paul Casey.

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