Friday, June 21, 2013

US Senior Open Qualifier - HIllwood Country Club Nashville, Tennesse

On June 20, I played in my first US Senior Open Qualifier.  Unfortunately I didn't obtain one of the two spots that were awarded.  However, it was a marvelous experience. 

I did start the day with a good breakfast at the Hotel we were staying at to provide me nourishment for the day.

We traveled 15 minutes to the Hillwood Country Club Golf Course.  This was a really nice Private Country Club.  The course was in good condition and the greens ran true.


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I started the day by meeting my caddy at the club.  We went to the range first where I utilized my warm up drill.  After the range, we went to the chipping area where I practiced my short game just off the green, 10, 20, 30 yards out, and sand shots.

Last, I worked on my putting on the practice green.  I thought this would be most important because the greens would be running at about 14 on the stimpmeter. 

The course was set up on USGA form by making the course as tough as possible and it lived up to the expectations.  There was only one round under par, three one over, and the rest well they don't really matter, but there was some high scores.

I think the major reason for the high scores from most of the players had to do with the greens, their false edges and their firmness.  You just couldn't get the balls to stop.


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The other factor is that the temperature was 95 degrees with a feel like temperature because of the humidity at about 105 degrees.  You just couldn't keep enough fluids in your system.  I drank 12oz bottle of water every 2 holes and had a couple of sport drinks.  I ate trail mix, apples and bananas.  I even carried a cool wet towel for around my neck.  All of this still didn't keep from over heating and getting leg cramps during the last three holes.  My wife told me they had to have medical attention to three of the golfers on the course and 12 others withdrew.

I enjoyed myself on the experience of playing this tournament and definitely enjoyed meeting different pros around the region.  I didn't enjoy the heat.  As my fellow playing partner stated on the 17th tee, I am hitting all upper body for I have no legs left.

Well, I am looking forward to my next tournament on June 29th.  This will be a one day Pro-Am Tournament in Nicholasville, Ky.  The Professional Golfers they have lined up for the 4th Annual Alltech Invitational are mostly from the Web.com Tour and the NGA Tour.   The Pro's will be playing stroke play while playing with three amateurs that will be playing a best ball.  The Amateurs can chose to play the Pro's drive, but that is the only shot they can use of his.  This will be an exciting event.  They plan on having ESPN Radio for interviews, live music after the tournament, and a motivational speaker.  The course we are playing is Connemara Golf Course.  The Course is in excellent condition and very challenging. 

Until next time, keep moving forward so you don't go in reverse......

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Four Points by Sheraton Hotel & Restaraunt Food Review Brentwood, Tennessee - US Senior Open Qualifier

I have to change on talking about my golf adventure for a little bit to talk about a Great Place to Eat in Brentwood, Tennessee just south of Nashville on I-65.

My wife and I are staying at the Four Points by Sheraton in Brentwood, Tennessee and we have found that not only is it a great hotel to stay at with outstanding customer service, but a great place to eat as well. 

Most times when you stay at a hotel you end up having to drive to find something to eat.  Well not here at the Four Points by Sheraton in Brentwood.  You only have to walk a few feet from the elevator and you will be in dining heaven. 

The Executive Chef, John Harasimik, and his staff have a excellent menu not only for the sandwich and burger lovers, but also for the people who want to enjoy gourmet food.  I would classify this as a four star dining facility in a casual atmosphere.

It all started on Tuesday the 18th of June when we arrived at the hotel around 1pm.  We were hungry from our travel for the day so we asked where there was a good place to eat nearby and they suggested right here at our hotel, they are open until 2pm.  We have eaten at many hotel restaurants and haven't had to many good meals so we usually travel to the nearest restaurant.  Today, we were tired and hungry so we decided to try it.  Now understand they were cleaning up for closing for the afternoon and there was no one there but the waitress for what we could see.  We asked what was good and she recommended the chicken wrap and the Brentwood Burger.  So we tried them and as we were eating these yummy delights the Executive Chef John came out to our table to ask how everything was.  Now normally, we never get to talk to the Executive Chef unless there is something wrong and the customer generally is the instigator.  It was pleasant to talk to him and share with John that the burger was the best I have eaten in any restaurant (I have traveled extensively in the world) and my wife's Chicken Wrap was out of this world.  He thanked us and recommended we try the Cast Iron Chicken Entrée on a bed of Sautéed French Cut Green Beans with a side dish of White Truffle Mac-N-Cheese for dinner.

We came back later that night for the Hotel Staff informed us there was a local musician playing from 7pm to 10pm and it is a must see.  The musician was good, but the food was "Outstanding"!  We took John's advise and ordered the Cast Iron Chicken Entrée with the White Truffle Mac-n-Cheese.  Wow!  That is the only word I could describe it with.  It was that good.

Today after my practice round at the Hillwood Country Club for the Senior US Open Qualifier, my wife suggested we go to eat at the Hotel Restaurant.  Why not, last night was fabulous so we couldn't go wrong.  We were hungry, but wanted something light so we ordered the Cobb Salad and the Ribeye Salad.  They were both wonderful.  They have a treat system at the Four Points that provides you a token for a dessert treat.  I am a Diabetic and therefore cannot eat sweets so I asked our waiter if I could exchange it for a appetizer instead.  He stated,  he will ask the manager and let us know.  Well, he came back and stated that we could get $5 off a appetizer or the Executive Chef would make me a low sugar dessert specially for me. I ordered he dessert.

That is what he did, John came out to our table with this delicious fruity yogurt dessert that I normally never eat because I just don't like this kind of dessert.  Well, my tastebuds made me a liar.  I loved it.  Never has any restaurant gone out of their way to make me feel so welcome as a diabetic, that they would be willing to make me  a special dessert treat like that.  John, then asked if my wife had any sugar restrictions for he had something he created that he would like her to try .  Of course, my wife enjoys new flavors so she said yes.  John brought out this awesome looking Crème Brulee. 
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He explained that he had just been awarded Runner-Up Best In Show at the Taste of Williamson County Show.  It was not just a Crème Brulee, it was a Lavender Infused Crème Brulee.  It was ironic that Lavender is my wife's favorite fragrance of all time.  She grows lavender all over our yard.  She never realized you could put it in food.  This Lavender Crème Brulee was another dish from John that was out of this world.  She described it as sensual, comforting, soothing, tasteful delight, a spa for your mouth.

So, if you are planning on staying near Nashville and are looking for a great place to stay with a fabulous four star restaurant in a casual dining setting, then you must stay and eat at the Four Points by Sheraton in Brentwood, Tennessee just off I-65 on exit 74A.  Or if you are just passing by stop in and have a great meal with exploding flavors.

My wife and I just want to thank John and his staff for three fabulous meals and a satisfying favorable remembrance for our palates.

Tournament Time - US SENIOR OPEN QUALIFIER - HILLWOOD CC, NASHVILLE TN - Practice Day

Practice Day for the US SENIOR OPEN QUALIFIER - Hillwood Country Club, Nashville, TN

It is time to test my skills against the elements of the course.  The layout of US Open courses, regardless of whether Senior or Regular Open, is the toughest test in the game of golf.  The USGA sets the course up to the extreme to make the golfers use their skill and knowledge to concur the course.  If you are not looking forward to this kind of test, then my advise is to not enter and just watch.

I arrived last night and staying at the Four Points Sheraton in Brentwood, TN, just 15 minutes from the course.  What a marvelous hotel.  This is the first hotel my wife and I have stayed in that has outstanding service and the rooms are fabulous.  We ate dinner at the Hotel Restaurant and food is superb!  We even talked with the Executive Chef last night at dinner.  He cares about what he puts out and the taste is fabulous.  It is a must to eat at if you are in Brentwood.  Also, they had a local musician playing acoustic guitar and singing during the dinner.

Well, this morning I am getting ready to go to the Hillwood Country Club to get my practice round in.  I am looking forward to getting the layout of the course and see how my game is shaping up.

Until after the practice round, remember practice makes progression not perfection.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Tournament Play - Time to Travel

Well it is Tournament Time.  Time to travel to Nashville for the Senior Open Qualifier.

I have been getting prepared by practicing the drills for  warm-up, short game,  putting, and routine work out.

As I talked about in my post for focus it is time to put it into realization.

My wife and I will depart tomorrow morning for the 3 1/2 hour drive to Nashville.  Once there we will check-in to our hotel and relax.

The next day we will go out to the course where I will meet up with my caddy.  He is a student at a nearby college that works at the golf course I will be playing.  He will provide me with local course  knowledge since I haven't played the course before.  If you are playing in a qualifier or any tournament and you don't have your own caddy, the best way to inquire for one is to ask the golf pro at the course who they might recommend.  I believe I will have a good caddy in this fellow.  You see he is a player with a 4.5 handicap, so he should not only know the course well, he will have golf knowledge.

I will start with a work out on the range for warm-up, then practice at the chipping and sand area, and finish up at the putting green.  We will then tee it up with 3 other qualifiers.  We will map out the course and figure our strategy for the tournament play the following day.

We will also be able to relax and hopefully get some good photos of the course, since during the tournament I won't have the time and will need my focus to be at its best.

Well, time to get ready for a good night sleep prior to the long drive.

Until next time, keep rested so you won't tire out during the long haul......



Saturday, June 15, 2013

Focus - Why it is Important in Golf

Focus.  A five letter word that means a lot in golf.  Especially during your game and practice.  How many of you loose focus while practicing, playing a round, or in a tournament atmosphere?

I know I have lost my share of focus not only when practicing, but during crucial times in tournaments.

Lets look at the definition of Focus.

Focus (cognitive process), selectively concentrating on one aspect of the environment while ignoring other things.  In golf terms, distractions outside your control such as noise from the click of a camera, sneezing, coughing, talking, etc. while you are trying to hit your shot.  Also, distraction of your mind, because of anxiety, pressure, scenery, etc.

Lets look at the third round of the US Open that just finished.  There was several golfers that missed a 3 foot but and then missed the putt coming back.   Those are generally missed because of loss of focus.  The play of Phil Mickelson today was in focus.  He maintained his concentration, because he stayed within himself on the course with great focus.  If he can keep that same focus tomorrow he should be able to win his first US OPEN.  His loss of focus in previous opens has caused him to have 5 runner-up finishes in the US OPEN.  I for one hope he wins tomorrow, he deserves it.

Now to get this post back on track since I lost focus talking about Phil. 

A lot of golfers think focus is just needed when playing the round on the weekend, or during tournaments.  I think that it is important then, but it is definitely needed during practice.  That is where you learn the golf technique, your repeat swing, and your routine you need on the golf course.  If you work on your focus during practice, then your focus will improve during your golf rounds.

Here are some tips to help you focus:

  • Clear your mind from any mental stresses.  Problems and issues at the office or at home should be set aside for a while.  If possible, adopt a happy and positive disposition during the game.  That would help you attain, maintain and improve concentration
  • Aim big.  Aim to always hit the ball at the right speed, at the right angle and toward the right direction.  Direction and goal is the name of the game and you should develop that self discipline of attaining those goals.
  • Be silent and concentrate.  Focus on the ball, the hole and how you hold that golf club.  Before swinging, make sure your mind is occupied with nothing else except successfully landing that ball into where it should be, where it belongs, the hole.
By applying the tips above it will help you obtain more focus in your golf practice and game.  With more focus you should be able to lower your score and possibly take the bets during the $2 Nassau on the weekend.

Comments are always welcome on any of my posts.  You can follow my blog by subscribing or following by email.

Until next time, focus on what you are doing and it might just get done.......

Friday, June 14, 2013

Effects of Golf Wedge Shots in the Wind

The Effects of Wedge shots hitting in the wind.

Tour players know that the toughest scoring in golf is during windy conditions.  As the wind picks up, the elite golfers assess, evaluate, and play the effect the wind has on every shot, including short-game and putts.

Most Amateurs wait until the wind is blowing hard toward danger before they start to adjust.  Even then they fail to consider how it affects wedge shots.  You hit the shot tracking toward the pin, only to end up short in the sand.  This not only happens in real windy conditions, but also in mild 5-7 mph winds.

Even though wind is a challenge, most golfers try to hit through it instead of using the wind to their advantage.  To have the wind assist you instead of hinder you, you must have some knowledge of the wind.  The most important is to keep your shots lower and with less spin on the ball. 

Here are a few tips on how to strategize on windy days hitting short-game shots into the green.

1.  Playing Downwind. Play the ball in the back of your stance, close your club face, and hit it crisply.  This will allow you to penetrate the wind with ample backspin.  Will give you a lower trajectory, allowing you to minimize the wind affect, while stopping the ball prior to any trouble behind the green.





2.  Playing into the wind.  Try hitting this shot with pitching wedge, or a 8, 9 iron with an easy swing.  This should produce a lower ball flight with minimal backspin, both of which should minimize the wind effect.  The result should be landing short of the green, releasing and then rolling on the putting surface toward the hole.  This is a much more predictable shot than hitting a high shot with a lot of spin.



3.  Playing in Cross Wind.  The important thing to remember is the ball will turn with the wind the whole way, including after it hits the ground.  It's the last bounce and roll that surprises the golfer.  Sending what are well played shots further from the hole.

I have played a lot of golf in the wind.  Actually practice on the range during windy days to work and watch how the wind affects my ball flight.  I pride myself with the ability to adjust to the wind.

You will, too, if you take the advise above to heart, and accept that the wind affects all shots, not just the long ones.

Until next time, keep your head down and your swing smooth....

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Five Tips To Help the Mental Game of Golf

As everyone has heard through the years and I have stated on my previous blogs the game of Golf is 10% skill and 90% mental.   With that being stated you would think since the game is only 10% skill that everyone should be able to play on the Big Tours.

I believe that most people could play on the professional tours if they do these two things.

  1. Spend countless hours perfecting their swing technique and control of the ball
  2. Have a Great Mental Game
This sounds pretty easy but, how many people want to work that hard at something they think they enjoy.  You have to give up so much to accomplish this goal.  Let's put this into perspective.  An individual wants to become a Dr.  They spend countless hours in books, classroom, medical facilities and constantly study the rest of their life.  Always learning new techniques and creating new ideas on how to perfect a field that cannot be perfected.

You Think since 10% skill is needed then all that would be simple.  Actually, that is the easy part.  The Mental Game in golf is much harder.  You have to constantly focus, think, visualize, and push your mind to stay in the game of golf.  The game has so many distractions.  The golfers that are within your ear distance that are loud, or yell that infamous word "FORE" in the middle of your back swing.  Mowers that start up in your back swing.  The people you are playing with or are watching you and they sneeze in your back swing.  The beautiful scenery that takes you away from your concentration on what you are doing.  The walk between shots.  And it keeps going on and on.

So you have to ask what can I do to help my Mental Game in Golf:

  1. Think positive
    1. visualize what you need to do,  not what you don't want to do
    2. don't over think what you are doing
    3. don't doubt yourself
  2. Play within yourself, understand your limitations
    1. Don't try something you haven't practiced
    2. Don't crunch the 7 Iron when smooth 6  will get you there
  3. Forget the last shot
    1. The more you think of the last shot the more bad shots you will make
    2. Golf is one shot made at a time
  4. Don't put undue pressure on yourself
    1. Don't start the hole with I have to make par, birdie or bogey.
    2. Don't stand over a putt wishing it into the hole and thinking you won't make it
      1. Use the stroke and swing that got you there
  5. Shut out the rest of the world
    1. Enjoy the course, the people, camaraderie, and scenery but when you get ready to hit your shot zone everything out and focus on what is at hand, your current shot.
    2. Don't worry about the tier of the green on the approach shot, establish your distance, swing thought and stroke the ball. 

The mental game of golf is the hardest to accomplish.  How many of you have seen one of the PGA pros on TV get aggravated at the phone camera click in their back swing and they give them a dirty look or say "C'mon Man".

If anyone has more tips that would like to interject feel free to comment.

Don't forget to subscribe or follow by email.

Until next time, Remember what Bobby Jones said, "Golf is played on a course five-and-half inches long...the space between your ear..."





Wednesday, June 12, 2013

HOT DAY OF GOLF - HOW TO STAY COOL

Well the height of Golf Season is underway.  The temperatures are rising and the days are getting hotter and hotter.  With the normal slow play at golf courses today you can expect to be out in the heat for five to six hours on a busy weekend, it is a recipe for heat exhaustion or worse.  Heat related illnesses are responsible for thousands of hospital trips when temperatures and humidity are high.  If you leave untreated, severe heat exhaustion could lead to heat stroke or death.  Before you play your next round in the extreme heat and humidity take a few precautions that will keep you comfortable, let you play to your maximum potential and keep you from possibly losing your life.

The key to avoid heat exhaustion is to stay properly hydrated.  In order to prepare to maintain proper hydration starts the day before.  You know the day before that it will be extremely hot, start drinking plenty of water the night before so when you start your round your body has adequate amount of water.  You can loose up to 2 liters of water an hour during the course of a round if you are sweating a lot.    In order to replenish the water in your body you will need to drink 2 to 3 cups of water an hour, that translates into about one 8 ounce bottle of water per hour of play.  Most courses will have water coolers on the course, not always cold.  So if you want cold water, you can refrigerate some bottles the night before and pack them in an ice cooler before your start your round, or you can buy cold water at the golf courses and they will provide you an ice cooler.

Another easy thing you can do is wet a towel before and during the round or place damp towels around the iced bottles of water which you can used to put over your face and neck to keep you cool.

By dressing for the summer you can also beat the heat.  You should wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing which reflect the heat of the sun.    Many golf apparel manufacturers have clothing lines that use fabrics that have moisture wicking properties.  These shirts and blouses will soak up the sweat leaving you dry and keep them from sticking to your body allowing you to swing freely.  There are even some fabrics that have UV protection to keep you from getting sunburn.   You should also wear a hat to keep your scalp from burning.  If you can wear a wide brimmed hat,  that would be best, it will offer you the most protection to your neck and ears.  You should also wear sun screen of at least 20spf.  Put the sunscreen on before you start your warm-up and more at the 9 hole turn.

Of course, the best way to beat the heat is to avoid it all together.  If you are going to play around during extreme heat try and get tee time before 10am and after 5pm.  This will keep you out of the hottest times of the day between noon and 4pm.

In case you do decide it is to hot to play golf, below is an alternative.....


Feel free to leave comments of your hot golf days......

Monday, June 10, 2013

Golf Programs for Youth - First Tee Program

When I was a growing up we didn't have the golf programs we do today for the youth. 

We weren't allowed to be on the course until we were 9 years old and had to be with a parent until we were 12 years old.  Once we were 12 we could play without a parent, but still were limited on time of day and day of the week we could play.

Fortunately, today there are many youth programs for the young golfers.  I see them starting as early as 5 years old.  In fact, I have a student that started with me at 5 and he is now 10.  He has worked with the First Tee Program, entered Pepsi Junior Tournament series and enjoyed the camaraderie with other young people along with learning values he can use the rest of his life.  These are just two of the many programs out there for the youth today.

Today I am going to talk about the First Tee Program.

What a wonderful program.  The First Tee network is made up of 200 chapters that offer programs at more than 700 golf locations. Most chapters offer programs at multiple locations. When you search, chapter(s) near you will come up first, followed by locations.

The First Tee has established Nine Core Values:

  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Sportsmanship
  • Respect
  • Confidence
  • Responsibility
  • Perseverance
  • Courtesy
  • Judgment
This program has helped over 6.5 million youth since the inception in 1997.

With one in four students dropping out of public high schools today, the need for quality youth programs is critical. The First Tee golf program can be part of the solution to challenges facing today’s youth. The First Tee reaches young people ages 5-18 through golf instruction and life skills lessons administered at chapters, military installations, and to students in elementary schools.

So if you know any youth that enjoy golf or are looking for an area of life that they can incorporate not only fun but great core values, then please take or lead them to the first tee program in your area.

Until next time, It is up to us adults to help the youth find a good path in today's society......

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Harris English wins Fedex St. Jude Classic in Memphis Tennessee

What a wonderful story, Harris English who grew up playing golf and winning local tournaments in Tennessee wins Fedex St. Jude Classic in Memphis TN.  His stellar playing by birding two of the final three holes holds off Phil Mickelson.

What a feet this is for the young Harris English.  He now gets to go to the Masters and attempt to include his name with the greatest names in golf by winning this Legendary Tournament.  Check this out this on Golf Channel for the full story.

This story is another Golf Dream Happens.

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If you wish to comment on young Harris English or any of my other blogs please do.

Until next time, keep your dreams alive and you may just fulfill them......

Practice without Nerves Play with Nerves - Golf at its Finest

Practice without Nerve Play with Nerves.  This statement says it all when playing golf.  You see until you place your self in a position that brings out your nerves you will never know what you are capable of.

During practice you don't get nervous because you are able to hit shot after shot and not worry about the outcome.  If you do hit a bad shot, you can work on it until you fix it.  It is like putting on the green and you miss the first attempt and the second attempt goes in because you took all the pressure off.

Have you ever played in the Club Championship or in any competition other than the weekend outing with your friends or fellow club members.  During the play with your friends and club members you aren't nervous because you are among friends and you are relaxed.  You don't worry about your errant shots because you all just joke and laugh them off.  You are only playing for the usual $2 Nassau or Bingo Bango Bungo for 25 cents per point.  There is not much at stake and you aren't concerned if you play bad enough to loose and shoot above your normal score.  You generally play your best with no pressure.

Then you get into the Club Championship or another stroke play competition and everything changes.  Your stomach churns and your thought of if I shank or hit a bad shot in front of people I don't know will they still think I am a good golfer.  Worst yet in front of an crowd of spectators watching everything you are doing and judging you on how you play or don't play.  Now that is pressure and will bring out your nerves.  That is when you will realize how good of a golfer you are or are not. 

What you have to learn to do is to embrace the nervousness and don't concern yourself with the strangers, other golfers, or the spectators.  This goes on not just in golf, but all facets of life.  How do you overcome it.  How is it that some people seem to not have any issues with nerves and they can play looking like they don't have a care in the world. 

I will state that they have learned to keep their calmness in the open and use the nervousness and fear to their advantage.  They practice the shots so often they have the confidence that they will hit it without nerves causing it to shank or chunk it. 

But even with that being said even the best of golfers do not do it perfectly.  You see golf is not a perfect game, you can never perfect it.  You may think you can or you think the highest of professionals have mastered this art, but then you see one of the best Tiger hit a 44 (his worst score on nine holes since becoming a professional) and you state they are human.  The only thing you can do is work on your game and progressively get better.  And at times revert to having no idea on what you are doing only to find your game again.

Until next time, work on making your calmness show and your nerves work for you.....




Friday, June 7, 2013

5 TIPS WHEN GETTING READY FOR A TOURNAMENT

It is getting closer for the next tournament qualifier so here are 5 tips to know when getting ready for a big tournament:

  1. Make sure your clubs meet the USGA and R&A Groove Specifications.  The following is a data base  to verify if your clubs made prior to January 1, 2010 comply with the 2012-2015 Rules of Golf and are permissible for play under the Groove Condition of competition, which is in effect for all USGA Open Championships.  Additionally, information regarding the conformance status of clubs not listed, which includes new models of clubs manufactured on or after Jan 1, 2010, please contact the USGA Research and Test Center at (908) 234-2300.
  2. Make sure your golf balls are all the same type and conform to the 2012-2015 Rules of Golf Rule 5 The Ball and Appendix III.  Conforming Ball List
  3. Check out and adhere to the foot ware policy for the local course conditions.  Recently Lee Janzen was Disqualified at a US OPEN QUALIFIER for wearing metal spikes. 
  4. Your golf attire meets the dress code of the tournament you are playing.  Most USGA tournaments or Professional Tournaments will not allow you to wear jeans, cut offs, shorts.  Mock Turtlenecks sometimes are allowed, but time to time depending on the course you are playing they may not be allowed.  If not in the proper attire yourself or your caddie you may be disqualified.
  5. Check your bag thoroughly making sure you have enough equipment such as gloves, towels, tees, balls, rain gear, umbrella etc. to be with you for any condition that may arise.  For if you don't have it in your bag you cannot go get it.   Also make sure you only have 14 clubs in your bag.  Rules of  Golf Rule 4.
If you follow these 5 tips you should be ready to enter any tournament as long as your game preparation is set to play at that level.

Until next time, come prepared to play.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Would You Like to Stop the Blow-Up Holes on the Golf Course - Keeping your Score Lower

Would you Like to stop those blow up holes during a 18 hole round of golf?

How often do you think you hit your 3 wood for your second shot during the course of the round?  Most of the golfers would answer about 4.  That is normally done on the par 5's.

Why is it that you use the 3 wood on par fives for your second shot.  Is it because you want to go for the gusto and get on the green in 2 and try for that infamous eagle? 

The percentages of everyday golfers that probably use the 3 wood for second shots on part 5's is about 80%.  The Tour Players are not even close to that percentage. 

So if the Tour Players are not using the 3 wood for second shots why do you think you should be.  I know, you think because the Tour Players hit the ball farther on their drives they have shorter distances into the green.  Well, they are actually playing par 5's from a lot farther back than you - usually 575 yards or so - so things average out.

I think this is an important question to ask since we're always looking for ways to help you get rid of the blow-up hole.  I think and probably know that the one thing holding the average golfer from having a good round is the occasional blow-up hole.

So, how many of you start your rounds off hitting the ball well and you have a good score up to the 7th or 8th hole then you have that blow-up hole. How did that happen?  Your playing well and then you have the infamous 8 or 9 on the par 5 and you end up having the same score you normally post after 9 holes.  Then you do it again on the back nine.  You end up instead of having the good score of 85 you end up with the 95.  Or you are working on getting that 99 to break 100 and end up with a 108.

After the round you are all sitting in the club house having a drink and you talk about if only I didn't have those blow-up holes, I would of had a good round.

Let me ask you a few questions.  How many blow up holes were caused by you hitting a 5 iron or 7 iron.  How many blow-up holes have been caused by your 3 wood?  Has your 3 wood caused more or less Blow Up Holes than your 5 or 7 iron?

I am not saying it is always caused by the 3 wood.  There are some players that would say they had more caused by 5 iron than 3 wood.  That is possible, but I would like to be there and see it to believe it.

Now what causes most blow-up holes?  Is it a bad drive into the trees automatically causing you to get an 8 on a par 5?  No, not at all.

This last weekend, I was playing a round with one of my friends and he hit a nice fade off the tee box down the right side of the fairway only to get a big hop and ran him right into the trees.  He was about 260 yards from center of the green with no shot.  He punched out leaving him 240 yards from the green lying 2.

What would you do from here. 

I think that if you would've gone on to make an 8 or 9 on the hole the bad drive would've had very little to do with the reason you made that score.  I think that pulling out the 3 wood trying to get as close to the green as possible for your 3rd shot - topping the shot because you swung to hard leaving your self still 200 yard out, hitting your 4th shot with a 3 iron only to chunk it leaving your 5th shot 150 yards out hitting your 7 iron into the green side bunker would of been more of the cause for the Blow-Up hole than your drive did.

How many of you have been there and done that!

So what we are truly looking at when we talk about Blow-Up Holes is mismanagement of the course. And, a little bit of ego.

Let's look at this hole again.  Hit your drive into the woods on the right, punch out leaving you 240 yards to the hole for your third shot.  Hit a 5 iron about 180 yards leaving you 80 yard to the pin for your 4th shot.  Hitting your wedge on to the green within 20 feet and making the putt for a par. 

You know what, that makes it look simple.  Even if you didn't make the putt - the potential for a blow-up hole was taken away - you still wind up with a bogey which still won't hurt your score to much.

Blow-up holes don't happen because of bad tee shots.  They happen because you are not playing to your strengths.  They happen because you are playing to your weaknesses and not thinking of course management. 

Players play to their strengths so they don't have to play to their weaknesses.

When was the last time you were a Player.

Until next time, plan out your 18 hole game before you start, keep your cool, and play to your strengths.....






Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Father's Day Fun Golf Day - Ideas for Gifts for Dad's Day

Father's day is coming up and I know I always liked to play golf with Dad.  Over the years it has always been a day where we can both play a game we enjoy and catch up on what is going on in both of our lives.  Of course you don't have to wait until Dad's day to let Dad know how much he means to you.

I haven't been able to play Golf with my Dad much anymore, because we live miles apart.  But you that are close by to Dad can still have a golf day out with Dad.   Below is a list of things you can do together in golf and some golf items you an get Dad.

  1. See if your local Golf Course has a Father Son/Daughter Tournament
  2. Check the local Golf Courses and see if there is a Tournament you can both enter
  3. Buy a Golf Package at a local Resort and/or a weekend getaway weekend for the two of you
  4. Just get a tee time at your favorite course and enjoy the day with golf and go to your favorite restaurant afterword
  5. If  Dad is looking for a new Driver or Clubs now is your chance to help him out.  Find out what kind of club he wants or uses.  To make sure it is the club he wants you may want to buy him a gift certificate so he can also get it fit to his swing style.
  6. Find out what his favorite balls are and buy him a dozen.
  7. Buy him a new golf shirt
  8. Get Dad new rain gear for those rainy days he has to play on
  9. New pair of golf shoes.  They have some real nice ones that are light as a feather now
  10. If you don't play golf you can buy Dad a Great Golf Getaway package at his favorite course or resort
  11. Take Dad to his Favorite Restaurant
  12. Don't forget no matter if you can get a gift for Dad or not, tell him how much he means to you and how much you love him.
Well, another day is ended and time to call it a night.

Until next time, Ben Hogen said, 'Golf is 20 percent talent and 80 percent management'.  
   

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tournament Practice - Taking a Break Playing a Golf Scramble Best Ball Tournament

I took a break yesterday from my regular practice to play in a scramble best ball tournament.

Every now and then you need to do something fun and enjoyable instead of steady focus on the work.

During the scramble I was paired up with a 3 gentlemen from a minor league baseball team franchise.  The neat thing is they were the General Manager, Director of Marketing and Directory of Graphics.   They played great golf and we enjoyed the communication of what goes on in their lives as professionals in the baseball field. 

During the tournament I still practiced though I didn't have to focus as much as I do when I practice and play in regular tournaments.

The warm up for the tournament I still used my same warm up drills as I would for a regular tournament.  Some things I don't change.

  • Stretch
  • 52 degree wedge half shots (warming up my body)
  • 52 degree wedge
  • full shots
    • draw
    • fade
    • trajectory (different flight paths)
  • 8 Iron
    • full shots
    • draw
    • fade
    • half swings
    • 3/4 swings
    • trajectory (different flight paths)
  • 5 Iron
    • full shots
    • draw
    • fade
    • half swings
    • 3/4 swings
    • trajectory (different flight paths)
  • hybrid
    • full shots
    • draw
    • fade
    • stingers
  • 3 wood
    • full shots
    • draw
    • fade
    • stingers
  • Driver
    • draw
    • fade
  • 60 degree wedge
    • full shot
    • half shot
    • flop shot
    • low trajectory
    • high trajectory
    • fade
    • draw
  • Chipping around green
    • pitch run
    • chip
    • flop
  • Putting
    • 25 foot range lag putting
    • 6 foot range
    • 3 foot range
This is my normal warm up for tournaments.  Some things I just don't like changing routine on.

One thing I have learned is that to have a good game and swing you have to learn to have the same routine for every practice and swing.  All swings should look and feel the same with no changes if possible.   

The more it becomes part of you the more it becomes intuitive.

Now for the Scramble Best Ball Tournament.  We had a wonderful time.  Everyone played fairly within their own strengths.  I enjoy these kind of tournaments for I can experiment  in different situations attempting shots that I have been practicing on and not worry if they go array.

As a group we ended up 7 under par and in third place.

Like I stated at the beginning, sometimes you just got to have fun and relax and take away from the focus and grind.

Until next time, take it easy and don't worry about the small stuff.......

Monday, June 3, 2013

Golf Dreams - When Practice Doesn't Go Well

Well you know the old saying practice makes perfect.  Some days you practice and it doesn't go perfect or get better.  I had one of those days yesterday.

I went to the range and worked on hitting my warm up drills, worked through my drills with fading and drawing the ball, finishing with putting and chipping.   Normally I meet my goals and everything seems to be in place with tempo, rhythm and distance control.

It didn't work yesterday.  My tempo was off, my shots were not going how I wanted them to and my distance was weak.  It is like I didn't have enough energy.

Just to let you know, those days happen also.  When you have that kind of day and it doesn't seem to get any better below are a list of what you can do.

  1. When getting frustrated when not working, change to another drill
  2. Take a breather and rest removing yourself from the range for a short time
  3. Work through it the best you can.
  4. If still not working call it a day and start again tomorrow.
Sometime it is better to just stop the practice that isn't working and get back to it at a later time.  It could be that something else is keeping your mind occupied so you cannot use it to control what you are working on.

Until next time, if at first you don't succeed, try try again.......

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Golf Vacation Cont'd Wyndham Fairfield Glade Crossville Tennessee - Sites

Well I am back at the blog and I promised on one of the last blogs that I would provide the wonderful pictures of nature during our vacation at Wyndham Resort in Crossville Tennessee.

While playing golf and walking the nature paths below are the photos we took of the wildlife and flowers.
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Now that you have seen the beauty of the Resort I hope to see all of you at the resort from time to time.

Until next time, on a windy golf day keep your ball flight low.....

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Practie Continued - Practice Versus Playing

Playing a round of golf is fun, challenging and a great way to spend the weekend with your buddies.

As a golfer I have a lot of fun playing with my friends, co-workers, business friends and acquaintances.  I think it is the most relaxing part of the game.  You get to have great conversations, tell jokes, cut up, even sometimes shoot off a firecracker in their backswings.  After the round you sit have a few drinks and tell stories of how you did for the day.  That is relaxing at its finest.  It helps take your mind off the troubles of your life and worries of work for a few hours during the day.  Unless, of course, you have to bring that phone with you and ruin your game altogether.

As a professional golfer I still have those days stated above, but spend most of my golfing time at the practice range, chipping and putting area perfecting my game.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy practicing also, because I make games out of what I am practicing on.  This way I don't get bored and can practice for hours.

You see the way you look at things in your mind determines what you are doing is boring or exciting.  I think that if you are bored at what you are doing then you are more than likely truly not interested in this endeavor.  So my recommendation is that if you are bored at whatever you are doing than you have two options: change your attitude and perception of why you are doing whatever you are doing or, stop doing it.

I have enjoyed golf my whole life.  I have played and had a lot of fun over the years. A lot of good memories and a lot more memories still to come.  The decision I made to play as a professional changed my outlook on the game I love.  I still have fun at it, I just have to work more at it instead of playing just on the weekend, or a couple times during the week.  I choose to practice for hours an on my free time to compete at this high level instead of playing rounds upon rounds of golf. 

Now, as far as playing, I have found that a lot of times you go to the course with your buddies you don't have time to hit the range to warm up.  I recommend to at least do some good stretching and swinging of one of your long irons to loosen up before you hit that first shot.  You do not want to pull anything on the first hole except the ball.  With that being said I want to give you some of the new rules of golf I heard:

  • You can take as many drives off the first whole as you want until you get the one you want, because everyone knows you don't have time to warm up before you start
  • If you loose your ball in the high rough, trees you shouldn't have to take a penalty stroke because, eventually someone will find the ball and then it becomes a stolen ball and why should we be penalized for someone stealing our ball
  • On the putting green if the ball roles over the hole then it is considered to be holed, because everyone knows that the rules of Physics out rule the Rules of Golf.
I do believe that no matter what level of golfer you are that practice is an important part of your game.   The better golfer you want to become the more practice you should be doing.  As far as instruction to get better you have to do three things.

  1. Gain more knowledge in the game
  2. Get lessons from a qualified Professional
  3. Practice what you have learned and have been taught
Along with practice the other big area of interest in improving the game of golf is course management.  I will be talking about that later on.

Until next time, If you find yourself getting frustrated in what you are doing, stop and do something else for awhile......