Posted 05/05/2020 in Category 1

Golf Coach Pete Cowen Explains the Importance of Attitude of Success in Golf

Golf Coach Pete Cowen Explains the Importance of Attitude of Success in Golf

Golf is a game played by the body but won with the mind. Now, we ought to pause here because we are not separating the body and the mind but acknowledging their confluence. The mind orchestrates the body towards agility, flow and peak performance when it’s needed most. And while we can learn on our own, we often seek support from a coach to learn faster and better. The greatest coaches in golf, like the greatest golfers in the game, distil their years of experience to present complexity in its simplest form. But it’s not about dispensing information; it’s about knowing what’s right for each golfer at the right time. This developmental sequence of learning places a strain on the coaching process and relationship between the golfer and the coach because there is one ingredient central to grease the wheels of success: attitude. 

Pete Cowen, taught and teaches some of the world’s best golfers (e.g., Lee Westwood) and Major champions (e.g., Darren Clarke, Padraig Harrington, Brooks Koepka, Graeme McDowell, and Henrik Stenson). Pete explained how he likes to think about golfers needs but especially the thread that holds the parts together.

 “I like to think of it as a pyramid of learning. You look at those things that you need in a golf swing and put them into the building blocks. I think attitude comes right on top of the pyramid. You can have all the things below that like great technique, great discipline, great hand/eye co-ordination and great balance – but if the attitude’s poor it can destroy the lot.”

If attitude holds such a lofty position in the progress and success of a golfer, how is one’s attitude moulded in golf coaching? It’s possible that most golfers allow golf to teach them about themselves. Parents, peers among others teach golfers in various ways but golf coaches dominate within the lives of golfers and so need to fit comfortably with each other. 

Pete Cowen explained: “I think coaches are a bit like hairdressers for women. They’re comfortable with them. They might not be the best hairdresser, but if you’re comfortable with somebody around you, you’re more likely to have a better feeling about them. So personalities come through a lot.”

If these two ingredients matter as much as Pete Cowen believes then we ought to choose wisely by working on our attitude and finding a coach that’s right for us – whatever that might mean to each golfer. Before we find the right coach, we need to start at the start of the golfing alphabet with an A for Attitude.


Hemmings, Brian. Mental Toughness for Golf. G2 Rights Ltd. Kindle Edition.

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