The Power of Resilience in Golf's Mental Game: 2 Key Lessons from Brian Harman's 2023 Open Championship Victory

July 25, 2023
2 mins
Brian Harman's six shot victory at the 2023 Open Championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club was nothing short of remarkable.

His ability to fend off the best players in the world over the weekend showcased the power of resilience, and demonstrated how even golfers who lack physical prowess can win majors if they have an abundance of belief, grit, and mental strength.

We're going to delve into 2 key takeaways from his triumph and explore how you can apply these principles to improve your golf game through Golf Guru, our golf mental game coaching app.

1 Resilience in the Face of Adversity

Throughout the tournament, but especially in the third and fourth rounds, Harman's unwavering resilience was evident. Despite challenging conditions, a crowd heavily backing Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy, and golfers lik Jon Rahm charging up the leaderboard at him, Harman remained composed and focused. Even a heckler's snide comments on Saturday couldn't rattle him. As he was walking from tee to green at some point during the back 9, a fan said to him in passing:

"Harman, you haven't got the stones for this".

Rather than let this affect him, he used it as motivation to (in his words) 'double down on his process', trusting that this would lead to exceptional shotmaking and the result he wanted - lifting the trophy.

2 Bouncing Back from Bogeys

One remarkable aspect of Harman's mental strength was his ability to bounce back from bogeys. He made six bogeys during the tournament, but managed to make birdies on the next hole four out of those six times. This remarkable feat demonstrates his mental composure and highlights the importance of a short term memory that allows you to accept and recover from setbacks.

Most golfers panic after they make a bad shot or bad score. They start thinking too far ahead, worrying about the next hole or what score they're going to shoot. Perhaps they start analysing what went wrong and tinkering with their swing or putting stroke on the remaining holes. They get in their own way.

If Brian Harman had done this he'd have been in real trouble. Instead, he accepted before the round that he would make bad swings, he knew they were inevitable in the tough weather conditions and in the heat of competition. By pre-accepting, it meant that he didn't panic when bad shots happened. Instead, he was able to re-focus, move on, and not get in his own way. This skill massively helps with bouncing back from bad shots or bad holes. If you can avoid panicking, and instead stick to your process, trusting that this will lead to good shots, that's the best chance you have of recovering well.

By investing time in the Golf Guru mental game coaching app, you can learn from Harman's mental game skills and apply them to your own game. Specific sessions, such as 'Expect Adversity' and 'Pressure Practice,' will empower you to handle challenging situations and hit better shots under pressure.

As you work on your mental game, you can use the track your game feature of the app to monitor your progress. By correlating your mental performance with your golf scores, you'll gain insights into the impact of a strong mindset on your game's outcome.

In conclusion, Brian Harman's Open Championship victory serves as a powerful reminder of the significance of resilience and mental strength in golf. The mental skills that led him to lift the Claret Jug are accessible to all. Embrace the power of resilience and a process mindset, then start implementing these mental game techniques into your golf game today. With these tools, you can elevate your performance, achieve better results, and enjoy a more fulfilling golfing experience throughout the rest of this year's golf season!