Phil plays without fear. May 03 2012

golfeneur.com

Phil Mickleson likes to play without fear, the fear of making mistakes, and never wants to win by sitting back and hoping someone else will make a mistake. He said in interview before the Wells Fargo tournament;

"You’re going to make mistakes, it’s going to happen. You have to deal with losing. It’s part of the TOUR. Out of 156 guys each week, one person is going to win, so 155 lose. But you can’t worry about that. You’ve got to let it brush off when things don’t go your way.      If anything I might go a little bit overboard the other way, which we can all attest. But rather than play tentatively or with concern or fear or let somebody else hand it to you, I’ve always liked to try to get the tournament in my control where if I execute the shots I’m able to pull off the victory as opposed to letting somebody else hand it to me. I think it’s more that desire of trying to control my own destiny than let somebody else handle it, which has forced me to play aggressive."

Phil thinks that studying psychology at Arizona State reinforced that the only way to get over a fear was to tackle it head on, and he has applied that to his life in many ways.

"There was a few different ways, but the one that I felt was the best was if you don’t like snakes, go hang out with snakes a bunch and eventually you’re going to get over the fear. I never felt comfortable flying so I went and got my pilot’s license. I never felt comfortable with being in an awkward situation, so I took up martial arts. I just always want to take on my fears head on. That’s kind of the way I approach golf. If there’s a shot that I don’t feel comfortable with, I’ll go on the range and work on it until I do, until I turn that weakness into a strength, and where I see a lot of mistakes being made out here is people practice their strengths, and they don’t take their weaknesses and turn them into strengths. It feels better to practice things you’re good at, not the things you struggle at, and I’ve always tried to do the opposite."

I like Phil's approach to his golf, and his life.