Master of the Mind and the Game
Alison Curdt is always on the move, always advancing her careers – yes, there are multiple, some off the course and some on. It’s no surprise that the time she had for a phone call was driving to Vista Valley CC to compete in the SCPGA Women’s Stroke Play series.
Competing in professional tournaments is just one of the many things that keeps Curdt busy. When she’s not playing, Curdt is a golf instructor and operates her own private therapy practice. Oh, she’s also the second dual PGA and LPGA Master professional – the first to earn that status in teaching and coaching.
When Curdt teaches, she combines her golf background with her doctoral degree in psychology.
“In teaching, I think that it’s important to highlight more than just swing mechanics and motor patterns and changing ball flight,” Curdt said. “Most everyon who works with me will get a little bit of influence of psychology and mental performance in their lesson, already kind of built in. It’s a very student-centered approach.”
Curdt, who owns and operates Curdt Performance Therapy in Woodland Hills, focused her research for her LPGA Master professional on Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a type of therapy that uses eye movement to overcome past experiences and potential future challenges. Though the psychological concepts are nothing new, Curdt’s application of them to the golf industry has been groundbreaking.
“I’m just really taking my education as a psychotherapist and applying it to a population that it’s never really been applied to or even talked about and that’s golfers,” Curdt said.
Curdt works with golfers of every skill level, from beginners to professionals about improving their mental game. Curdt emphasizes the impact that the foundations of mental performance can have a profound effect on beginner golfers.
“The part that I find that is frustrating is when a player thinks they aren’t good enough to even take a lesson,” Curdt said. “I think that’s the most important time to take a lesson, when you have a deficit in knowledge and skill set and you want to go learn something new, that’s the best time to go find an expert in the field to start learning.”
As for being a dual Master professional, Curdt is excited about the opportunities that it will bring her professionally.
“It’s an exclusive club and one thing that has made it more exclusive is nobody being a Master in both in teaching and coaching,” Curdt said. “It allows me to be in the forefront of sharing information and what I’m doing to help golfers play better.”
She isn’t stopping here though, Curdt is currently working on adapting her research to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, as well as publishing a book that makes the concepts accessible for golfers of all levels to enhance their game.
In between her private practice and helping her students master the mental aspects of golf, Curdt still makes competition a priority. The interview didn’t distract her from the Women’s Stroke Play Series she was driving to — she won.