PGA Championship 2019: Xander Schauffele reveals the one thing he stopped doing that helped his game

May 16, 2019
Xander Schauffele answers questions during a press conference ahead of the 2019 PGA Championship.

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. — Dig down a little bit, and you’ll find that pro golfers are really just like the rest of us. They’re human, with hopes and fears and dreams and imperfections. The best players understand this, and they’re constantly trying to improve it. Just ask Xander Schauffele.

Schauffele had a good rookie year by anyone’s standards. He won twice, pocketed more than $4 million and cracked the top five in the U.S. Open. But a few years on and a few more wins under his belt, Xander has gained some perspective about what he does better now than he used to. The answer?

“Panic,” he says. “I panic less. I don’t feel as overwhelmed. I think I know what I’m doing, and we’ll go with that. I don’t really listen to a whole lot of noise, and I kind of keep my head down more.”

He continued:

As a rookie you sort of don’t really know if you’re good enough, and then you start listening to a bunch of random things or just out looking for a bunch of random things that don’t help. So I feel like I sort of stay in my lane more so now than ever and don’t really panic about what I can do out here.

There’s a simple but interesting lesson we can all learn from there, because it’s a trap amateur golfers fall into all too often. Things go badly, you start playing poorly, and you start panicking. So employ some of Xander’s mindset. Stop panicking and worrying about all the “random” things that don’t help. Stay in your lane. Simple as it sounds, you’ll probably play better golf because of it.