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A strong mind

Michael Campbell
Michael Campbell
2005 US Open champion

Michael Campbell fact file
Michael Campbell wins the 2005 US Open
Birth date: 23 February 1969
Birthplace: Hawera, Taranaki, New Zealand
Major wins: 2005 US Open champion
European Tour wins: Seven

Even though Campbell is a Scottish name, I'm from a Maori background.

I like to represent my country wherever I am and I wear my own Cambo line of clothing.

It's called Kia Kaha which in Maori means "stay strong" - it's something I use to help me in golf too.

Here are some mental skills which can help you to stay strong on the course.

1. Stop your mind wondering

Sometimes it's hard to stop your mind playing tricks during a round of golf. You think, "If I make this shot I've only got an easy putt to make a birdie".

That's when things go wrong. You need to stay in the present. I do this by focusing on something like a red shirt in the crowd or a really beautiful tree.

That might sound funny but it makes you think what is happening right now. Not what went before or what is going to happen.

2. Do your homework

To give yourself the best chance of a good shot you need to do your homework before you even hit it.

That means knowing what club to use, what shot to play or how the wind is blowing.

3. Breathe easy

Michael Campbell
A tree can help you focus in the present

It is easy to get nervous when you step onto the tee.

What I do is take a couple of deep breaths to get rid of all the negative energy and breathe in the positive stuff.

When your muscles lack oxygen they tense up. What you want are nice, relaxed muscles to get the most efficient swing.

4. Stick to your routine

More than anything you need to have your routine. Next time you watch Tiger or Ernie look at their routine. That's their way of feeling comfortable.

I walk up to a shot and look where I want it to go. Next I take a practice swing. Then I cock my club back, once looking at the target, then two more times.

It's then that I'm relaxed and ready to hit the shot.

5. Don't even think about it

Last of all when you play your shot don't think about it. Just hit it.

If you've done your homework and your practise you should be fine. Standing over the ball is not the place to think about your grip or your swing.

Do your thinking on the driving range.



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