Louis kept his head by seeing red
LOUIS Oosthuizen saw red during his march to glory in the Open championship at St Andrews -- and you can too.
That's the promise of leading mind coach Karl Morris who, remarkably, has played a role in the US Open victory of Graeme McDowell and now Oosthuizen.
Morris has worked with many leading players. His professional clients include McDowell, Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke and he has also worked with elite amateurs and squads.
However, he has always been keen to help the handicap amateur. The GUI have staged a number of seminars with Morris at their National Academy in Carton House and, after the success of Oosthuizen and McDowell, there will be particular interest in his next visit on July 30.
So, what about the 'red dot'?
Keen observers may have noted that the South African had a red dot on his golf glove. Morris explained the significance of that issue.
"About a month before the Open I was called up by Chubby Chandler at ISM to work with Louis on his concentration and 'mind factor'.
"We sat down for the first time in Manchester and talked and it was clear his routine was all over the place. He had all of the pieces he needed, but in completely the wrong order.
"Most golfers just do not understand how important and how vital it is that you get your routine right. You need to know how to put the pieces together.
"Concentration is one of the most misunderstood aspects of golf and life. Nobody 'loses' their concentration -- they just allow themselves to put it in the wrong place.
"One of the difficulties about golf is that there are no outside agents that help you focus your concentration, as for instance in football, where the referee's whistle will trigger the mind to focus on the game. In golf it is essential that you create your own 'concentration trigger'.
"With Louis the 'red dot' became his trigger point to go into a deep zen-like, almost hypnotic state.
"In five hours you need to be able to 'switch on' and 'switch off' to be able to maintain your focus at the right time. Did you notice how Louis actively seemed to be smiling and enjoying himself?
"This was a specific step we discussed. The red dot becomes the focus point to play the shot and then he would 'come out' of that trance in between shots."
Morris will give a two-hour workshop at the GUI National Academy on July 30. For further details, check out www.gui.ie.
sheridan keen to retain his west coast crown
TONY Sheridan from The Island looks forward to defending the individual title he won in the prestigious and challenging West Coast Challenge tournament last year.
The Challenge, now in its 24th year, will be played over four fine courses -- Enniscrone, Strandhill, Donegal and Bundoran from September 6-9.
Entries per three-man team cost €125 per person and will close at the end of this month. Sheridan has a fine record in this event, with four victories and two runners-up.
"I've been playing in it since 1989 and it's a great tournament," said the 11 handicapper. "But last year I was hoping our team could win because of Paddy Lipsett from Arklow.
"Paddy is amazing. He's 81, he plays off 13 and he doesn't take a buggy, he walks the course.
"Myself and Paddy and Shay Harte, another Arklow member, were in the hunt for the team prize, but we were pipped on the last day and came second. I'd have loved to win it for Paddy," said Sheridan.
Sheridan's individual wins span 20 years -- 1990, 1996, 2003, and 2009. Noreen Allen is tournament organiser. She can be contacted at 071 984 1302
O'donnell delivers to take june award
CONGRATULATIONS to Shannon golf club's Jason O'Donnell who is the winner of our Druids Glen Golf Resort/Irish Independent Golfer of the Month award for June.
We had a superb entry list of many excellent candidates, but in this case, the honour goes to O'Donnell for his fine golf in winning the Captain's (Joe Sheehan) Prize at Shannon.
It's always difficult for the low men to carry off a Captain's Prize, but Jason struck a blow for the single-figure golfers when he shot a 66 gross -- six under par -- off a three handicap.
His round included three birdies and two eagles, with the last eagle nicely timed on the 18th for Jason to clinch the prize by a margin of only two shots from runner-up Billy Grimes.
Jason wins an overnight stay for two people at the Druids Glen Hotel, plus a round on Druids Glen and also on the Druids Heath course.
We are now taking nominations for the month of July. If you have a great score, significant achievement or series of great results in July, enter using the coupon on these pages.
qualifying under way for home of golf final
GOLFERS from all over Ireland are busy competing in the Holmpatrick Cup seeking the chance to play at St Andrews.
This annual event, which has attracted an entry from 153 clubs, is 77 years old and raises funds for the National Council for the Blind.
The final will be played over 36 holes over the New and Old courses at the Home of Golf, venue for the Open championship and also for the Dunhill Cup next October.
The Holmpatrick final will also be played in October. County finals will be completed this month, with the four provincial deciders being held in September.
Boost your bag with some expert advice
ARE you being served in golf stores by people who know what they're talking about?
Well, in the case of McGuirk's Golf, that's the situation with two of their employees at their Howth outlet.
Jimmy Tully won the Deer Park Captain's (John Lambert) Prize while Tom Rickard triumphed in the Howth Captain's (Liam Cahill) Prize.