LPGA player Jenny Shin knows that winning golf tournaments takes more than hours on the range and in the gym—or luck. Making the climb to the top of the rankings, and not crumbling when things aren’t going your way, means fine-tuning your mental game, too. The space between her ears is as critical to Shin’s success as her legendary driving accuracy.
She talked about her approach at the Volunteers of America® LPGA Texas Classic, which is being played May 4-May 6 at Old American Golf Club in The Colony, Texas.
“Sometimes I see both a regular psychologist, sometimes a sports psychologist, because they both have a very different view of things,” Shin said. “So, you attack on both ends.”
According to Shin, the sports psychologist asks “What do you think about when you approach the shot? What are your thoughts?” Whereas, a regular psychologist asks, “What do you do, and what are your thoughts, when you come home?”
It’s a more holistic approach that doesn’t just work with the athlete’s mindset, but the whole human being, both on and off the course.
“You start figuring out what’s really good for you, what you do, what makes you happy,” Shin said.
Shin isn’t alone in believing in the mind/body connection—or the fact that, a little help from the experts can make all of the difference.
“I was talking to Karrie (Webb) yesterday. And even now, being a Hall of Famer, having so many wins and so many majors, she still sees psychologists to figure out what’s healthy for her, what’s good for her golf game, what’s good for her life,” Shin said. “So, you always seek help. You can’t figure everything out on your own.”
As for her chances for a repeat win at the 2018 VoA LPGA Texas Classic, and the LPGA events to come?
Shin feels ready.
“I feel like, mentally, I’m okay now. I just need to get my driver straightened out, improve my short game a little bit more, and I think I will get to the top.”
We’ll see how it all plays out this weekend.