SNEAKY PRO-SECRETS OF WINNING THE MIND GAME
OHP: Hi my name is Jim Curley marketing manager of OHP golf and I would like to welcome all of you to the most interesting facet of golf I have seen in a long time-winning the game of golf with psychological tactics.
I would first like to make it clear that we are not talking about straight up cheating or poor sportsmanship or placing our opponents in a hypnotic trance and getting them to drive his cart into the lake or anything like that. The point we are trying to make with this tape is simply to give you an edge over your opponent with some subtle but extremely powerful psychology because anyone who has ever played golf for any length of time knows that this game is really played between the ears.
That is what we are focusing on here. I have got with me a gentleman I am calling "Golfer X", he is a professional level golfer who is a notorious golf hustler. He's made literally tens of thousands of dollars in golf money-matches and we have agreed to keep his name hidden and his voice altered for one obvious reason-he wants to keep using these "tactics of befuddlement", as helices to call them, to continue making money. In fact the only reason he is revealing to us of these much coveted secrets is because OHP golf has agreed to pay him. We are the only ones who do it on audio and we are keeping his identity hidden.
So, without much further ado I would like to welcome to our program Golfer X. Welcome.
GOLFER X: Thank you Jim
OHP: My pleasure Golfer X, why don't you give me an example of how you can sum up your opponent on the first hole.
GOLFER X: Well, let me start out Jim, I have been around the block. I like to go out and play tournament golf and have played in tours all around the country and parts of the world. I just don't have the game anymore so I've had to find a way to put bread on the table.
So what I've learned to do over the years is to really watch all of my opponents mannerisms. You know sometimes we get up there at that first tee and I have this young kid that's strong and like a bull and I know he's gonna beat me. I know I have no chance to beat a kid like that, I can just tell by his practice swing that I have no chance.
But if I can get inside the kid's head I've got him.
I like to look at everything he does, how he takes his club out of the bag, how he steps up to the ball, every mannerism he has to be able to tell, what I mean by tell is to let me know something about this guy. Now I can use his mannerisms to make adjustments in his head. I can effect his head. That is what I like about this game. I pay attention from the get go.
OHP: When do you start these tactics? Are you watching for certain signs that will allow to use a specific tactic?
GOLFER X: Well let me give you an example: Let's say I get up on the first tee and then my opponent bombs a drive down there. I know that my back is screwed up and I don't have what I used to have anymore. Sure, I could still put it out there, but to be honest it's kind of discouraging to a guy 40-55 who doesn't quite have the mojo anymore.
But this is one thing I can do. This guy could have perfect technique, but I walk up to him a hole or two later and I can get inside his head and say very simply: "Hey, that is one heck of a golf swing you've got. Boy, when I play the ball that far forward in my stance I hit it thin and pop it every time. How do you do it like that?
Here is the key, get doubt in their head. Right? Although his ball position is perfect, he starts thinking "wait a second-too far forward?" Now he is going to do one of two things: he is going to move further back which is really going to mess him up or just have doubt during his next swing. He is not going to be confident anymore and now I've got him.
OHP: Alright so the idea is to get into his head.
GOLFER X: Oh, precisely. And this is just a small example. I have hundreds of techniques. But I'll give you only 8 or 10 of my best. One of my favorite techniques is to, right from the get-go, let the guy know that something's wrong-although it may not be. Again, if I can just get the guy to go from his automatic swing to thinking about it or something less than automatic, the game's over. The money's in my pocket.
OHP: Alright so, for example what do you do with a guy who has, let's say, a hot putter going? What can you do?
GOLFER X: There are so many things for a hot putter. That is kind of the fun thing about golf because, let's fact it, everyone now and then gets hot while putting. But to be honest most people have doubts about WHY they're hot. The key to being hot is just to not question it but keep going forward with it. Right? Don't think about it.
Well, I want to get these guys thinking about why he's hot. I can say a couple different things. I could say, "man oh man. I tell you what I used to have a big loop on my stroke too, and I couldn't sink anything. What are you doing? That's amazing?"
OHP: So you get them to doubt. You concentrate on their strength and then you throw some level of doubt into it.
GOLFER X: Yea, I throw a big pile of ice cream on top of it they don't know what's hitting them. It's all sugar. You get inside their head and start messing with them that's they key. If you come off really rude like "Hey that's a lousy putting stroke" he's not going to listen to you and then he is going to be mad at you and he will probably beat you. They key is to act like you are trying to help and actually you are trying to hurt.
So again you can say something like, "goodness gracious you have that putter lined up a foot to the left and on a straight putt I don't know how you do that" That is amazing talent." Okay so he's saying to himself "I'm a foot left and I made the putt? Really? Again you are giving the guy compliments, but you are actually getting inside of his head. The guy may have been lined up perfectly. I don't even have to know that. I'm just getting him guessing.
OHP: Okay, what can you do, if for example, if you get out of the back nine and you're down?
GOLFER X: Well again there are many things. One of my favorite things to do is what I did on the first hole or so. That is, I look for a player's weakness. Let's say his wedge shot is not very good and or say he's okay hitting them but he just doesn't look as good as the rest of his game. I'll be on the tee and maybe after a two minute wait I will pull his wedge and look at it and go " Ohhh my goodness. Wow you now I used to play a wedge like this I either chunked it or skulled it every time. Something about that wedge, I just couldn't do it. I don't know how you do it." Right? You try to help the guy, you make yourself look bad "I couldn't hit it" and then you don't say anything else besides that. And again this guy's got a wedge shot next time and he's going to be thinking "What am I going to do now? Is this wedge really that screwed up? Is that my problem? Got em!! Got em!! I'm taking home the money!
OHP: So do you don't only make comments on good shots?
GOLFER X: No, no. I do usually concentrate on the good shots because on the lousy shots the guy already knows he did something wrong. Right? But I have techniques for the bad shots. For instance, a guy hits a big duck 5 iron off a par 3. It's a big quacker, 30 yards left.
I like to pull that club out of his bag and get a look at it and go "OHHH man that thing is upright", cuz upright clubs make the ball go left okay. Guys know this stuff. A flat club makes the ball go right. Now the club could be perfect, but I tell the guy "ohh I would hook the heck out of that thing too that thing is so upright I can't believe it." And then throw it back into his bag and walk away. Leave it at that.
So again that guy has a long iron and he's thinking "oh my goodness am I going to hook this one too?" He starts doubting himself, tries to overcompensate and pretty soon he gets nervous and starts holding on with a death grip-the last thing you want to be doing with a long iron. Now you've got him. Game over. Game over.
OHP: Is there a good opportunity to use a tactic on both the good and the bad shots?
GOLFER X: Well, it's a prime example I just gave you where the guy hits the bad shot and I told him his club was screwed up, now on a good shot you can tell him the same old classic I like: "Hey that was a perfect shot with your nine iron. I used to play my nine iron back off my right foot like that, but I used to hit it too low to the green. But you're hitting it great!"
Again, the guy starts thinking "WHAT?"
But here's the thing-you don't want to use the ball position all the time. Use it that one or two times with whatever he's hitting well, the driver, the irons, whatever. You gotta look for the guy's weakness or strength and plug it in there.
OHP: Will these tactics work any time in a match?
GOLFER X: When you need them, yes. You obviously don't want to use all your tricks in the beginning of your game or use them at all if you're already up two or three strokes. Remember, you don't always have to use these, but the way I've played my games the last five years, I've had to use them 99 times out of 100 to win my money.
Hey, and by the way Jim, here's a quick tip on winning the money because that is what I do anymore. If I am going to be in t own for say a week, I just shop around and pick up things here and there and I look for guys that have a few bucks. I am not afraid to play a small match for 20 bucks, I got to eat that night, you know what I'm saying. But if I know I am going to be there for a week I might let the guy beat me the first round or two for that twenty bucks. Get the stakes up a little bit. Get the money up. All of a sudden the guy thinks he's got me, he's got a hundred of my bucks in his pocket, I go up there the third day hey, give me a chance to get the money back, lets play a little bigger game, I need to get my money back they guys think "This is perfect I got this guy. I killed him everyday." So the guy jacks up the stakes bam I pull some of these tactics out and I am leaving the town that third day with a big boat load of cash.
OHP: So how do you avoid looking like a sandbagger in a situation like that?
GOLFER X: Well, see, here's the key. For the most part, the first two days you know I play mostly my game, and the guy might be on his game a little bit, and I'm just off a little bit, I'm not off like the worst game of my life, one or two up you know, and then the third day I get in his head, I play the exact same game, my game looks the damn same.
GOLFER X: I'm playing the same game, he's not, because I got in his head. T hat's the beauty of this, so I'm not a sandbagger. I played the same game three days, but when the chips are on the table I got in his head.
OHP: So technically a sandbagger you would be holding back, pulling out the big guns later on. What you're talking about is making his game fall apart-not suddenly improving your game.
GOLFER X: Now you're learning my boy. Very nice.
OHP: Okay, as a professional golfer you've been around this game for a long time. What are the really good players using?
GOLFER X: Let me tell you Jimmy, in my opinion the few masters of this were Sam Sneed and Walter Hagen. These guys played back in the twenties and thirties. Hagen was born in 1912, so these are old school boys, right. These tactics back then were looked upon with a lot of pride by the players, you know.
Today people get a little too brittle in this game and they lose touch with knowing what this game is all about. It's about competition, right, and these guys could do it. Let me tell you what Walter Hagen loved to do. He used to be the best match player of all times. He loved to tee off with a 3 wood instead of a driver so that he would be the first one into the green, he liked to put pressure on the guy by being the first one into the green. Again, he's inside the guy's head. He loved doing that. This guy, he gets up there like fifteen feet and this guy is stressing out, Hagen's got him.
Okay, Sam Sneed. Let me tell you what the Old Slammer used to do. The slammer used to get up on the tee and the guys he's playing with are wondering "what club is Sam going to hit here"? So, Sam would make this golf swing with a six iron. Looked like a normal golf swing. But Sam would gear it down inside. You couldn't tell by looking at it, right? That thing would go right down the center of the green with a big looking swing. That guy goes "jeeeze!!! Sam hit that full six iron, I better get my six maybe even a five."
Of course they don't know what Sam's doing to them. You know, he's messing with their minds, fooling them into using more club than they need. And sure enough, they use a five or six iron and hit it thirty yards over. Sam could have gotten away with using a nine iron. That's the beauty-Sam was a classic gamesmanship master. Oh, the slammer, I'll tell you what, if I could of played with him that would have been great but he would have taken me every day of the week. But I've learned some of his tricks-and so can you.
OHP: Which brings up a point. What if an opponent tries this on you and you recognize that this guy's trying to get into my head?
GOLFER X: I just laugh. I like it you know, I just laugh. When someone has something like that, I just turn it right back on them... my game plan is very simple. I know what I can do and what I can't do. You can't get into my head. I've made up my mind that I am the one dishing it out. You try dishing it out on me and it'll actually improve my game because I know what you're up to. I'm telling you that's what I think. So if a guy tries to use one of these tactics on me I turn his tactic right back on him. I am prepared before I go out there with these things.
OHP: Do you look for an early sign like an Achilles heel when you are initially starting off? Are you looking for a tell-tale sign?
GOLFER X: Well yeah, again the guy could tell you a lot "hey bob, where are you from, what's going on" a little conversation "hey how's your golf game been?"
He answers something like: "Yeah, it's been good except for my long irons you know I have been topping em" or whatever his problem. It could be on the first or second hole and I see he's definitely got the potential to beat me. All of a sudden I make a comment about his long irons. You see get him really second guessing himself. I even let know that I'm a pro. "Say hey buddy, you may want to try a stronger grip with the long irons." This is of course the last thing he should to do. Pow He sticks it down into the ground. Now he's really shook up. Got em.
OHP: Okay pro, speaking of equipment, do you use your opponent's equipment against him?
GOLFER X: The most important part of the equipment is let's face it the golf ball. Right? And I'll tell you what... these new ad campaigns they have out if the ball is round or not is putting money in my pocket. Have you seen these new commercials that show brand new golf balls roll down a perfect green and they break off line right or left? Yes, some balls are out of round. But the fact is his ball cold be perfect, but I can use it to get into the guy's head. It's great. For instance I'll walk up to the guy and say "Hey you're playing a Brand X. You know what I checked it out and 6 out of 8 of that kind of ball is out of round."
The guy thinks "oh my God are my balls out of round or not?:" You see, suddenly I'm in his head space. He's got the rest of the day to think about it and then about going shopping the next day to buy another 12 golf balls. Then, when he shows up the next day with a new brand, I do the same thing to him. I tell him that on average, 3 out of 12 of that brand are bad. No matter what he does, I got him.
OHP: So tell me pro, do you have a trump card?
GOLFER X: Do I have a trump card? I have 2 or 3 trump cards Jimmy. Every good player should because hey every day a trump card could mean the difference. Let me tell you my favorite okay.
I', on the last hold on a long par 4. It's a close match, we've tied and this guy is nervous. I step up to the tee and say "May I have the honor", then I chuckle and drop a ball on the ground and smack it right off the deck with the driver without teeing it up. It's no problem for me anyhow but this guy starts thinking "What the heck, t his guy is not even nervous!" Once again I'm in his head right?" I do something to convince him that I'm not the least bit nervous. Okay?
But here's my key trump card... let's fact it most golf matches come down to putting. It always comes down to putting. So let's say I have a 20-footer for the match and the other guy's got a 12-footer. Don't get me wrong, I am definitely trying to make this putt but my putt just misses 2-inches to the left, and broke only a cup length right. So I mumble to myself so he could hear it, "I can't believe it broke that far right, I think it broke 2 feet right." Now he's thinking "oh my goodness I can't see that, but obviously it did because the guy said it did, right?" So he plays it at a foot right and misses by 10 inches to the right and I've got him, got him, money in my pocket, thank you boys, thank you very much.
OHP: Well thanks Pro, hopefully some of our listeners can really take advantage of some of these tactics of befuddlement. Do you have anything you would want to use to sum up what we've had to talk about here?
GOLFER X: Yes, Jimmy actually I would like to say that I'm very proud to be a golf pro. These aren't horrible tactics-these are part of the game, and have been used in pro circle since the beginning. It's a psychological warfare. Don't forget golfer's competition like these are lost arts again. My heroes Walter Hagan, Sam Sneed used these. They were proud to use them. Their opponents expected them to use them. When it comes down to it, you need to capitalize on his weaknesses. Golf is a competitive game, so use these to get your opponent doubting what he does. But do it with sugar, add a bunch of sugar t it, always act like your helping, when actually you are trying to tear them down. It's a lot of fun.
OHP: This is great and useful information. Thanks a lot pro.
GOLFER X: Good luck with it Jimmy.