Caring For Your Golf Course

Many of you lucky golfers are joyfully swinging away at your favorite course. Some of you are a bit rusty, but the joy of playing eclipses any self doubts.  Unfortunately, this rust may pose a potential risk to the health of the tee boxes, fairways, and greens.  As the season is early for us northerners, it is important to remember that caring for your beloved playing field is so very important.

Tee box SandTee Boxes. Many players have a misconception about tee boxes. They may not understand that care of the tee box is as important as the green or fairway. Most players do not try to take divots on the tee box unless they are using an iron. Regardless of where, it is important of replace your divots or fill the hole with a sand/dirt/seed mix.  The familiar green box on the teeing area is usually a great sign that the superintendent wants us to fill the hole. It is really very easy; grab the scoop and fill the hole so it is slightly higher than the ground; then smooth.  The little extra mix will make sure that the hole remains filled after it settles from the rain or watering. Tee boxes are important to every golf course – the better we take care of them, the better we enjoy the game.

ball in divotFairways. Care and maintenance of a fairway is a no brainer. Every golfer has heard, seen, or understands that replacing their divots is important.  Normally, there are signs all over the golf course.  However, some course superintendents would rather players put a sand/soil/seed mix in the hole because it helps promote grass growth. Not fixing your divots can have a negative impact on your game!

golf-ball-markGreens. Fixing ball marks on the green are a pet peeve of mine. How many times have we walked to the green to realize that most of the players at your course have bad backs.  You know this because of the multiple unfixed ball marks on the green. The green is the most delicate part of the course and extra care is required! In case you do not remember how to fix divots, check out the above image!

With the golfing season upon us I feel like a little kid on Christmas morning. However, I must remember that to fully enjoy the season, it is important to look after the course from the beginning.

As a golfing fanatics, it is our duty to lead by example!

I am the grateful golfer!  See you on the links!



Success Breeds Success

Success Breeds Success is a common theme in all areas of life. The main tenet suggests that positive results are built by a set by step process of small successful actions. Golf is no different. Talk to any professional and they could outline how, from a very early age, an orchestrated plan of baby steps resulted in long-term success. With encouragement and training they were able to live the dream of playing golf for a living!

Talk to an amateur and the story is completely different. Although their desire to play well is as strong as a professional’s, yet the process to success is more challenging. It becomes more difficult because the process of small successful actions is not easy to envision or achieve. Why is it so difficult? How do amateurs determine what is important and what is white noise?

Slide1This is the time when most articles would point out that at the core level, practicing your short game, grooving a swing at the range, and focused putting are extremely important to lowering your golf score. Many would espouse which skill would be the most important or a diatribe on fundamentals; yet really not touch on how success breeds success.

So how does success breed success in golf. Finding out what works and does not work when swinging a club is definitely a great place to start… and that takes time.  Practicing different strokes at the practice green and the driving range would be the next step. Lastly, focusing on course management would help develop great habits. I could go on, but really all I have to say now is – make the madness stop…please make it stop!!!!

Success breeds success is simpler than that; for amateur golfers it breaks down to one important area: support. Amateurs can find support from a friend, support from their local professional, and support from your golfing buddies. These are all great places to start the baby step process to achieving lower scores in golf. Support is very important.

Lastly, there is one other area amateurs seek for support: golfing websites. Before I started The Grateful Golfer, I searched many golf blogs and websites to see what they had to offer. Some of the sites immediately peaked my interest and others turned me off forever. What surprised me the most is the mountain of support, advice, tips and great golfing stories. I believe that my interaction with many of the authors has drastically improved my game and help weed out the white noise.  If you are curious, here are just some of my favorites:

This is not a complete list, but I believe you will get the point once you take a look. To me, one of the most interesting aspects of these sites is that they are around the world.  Each author offers something unique about golf, but the one thing they all have in common is support for fellow golfers!

Success breeds success! The first step towards developing your plan to become a better golfer is to find the support you need to succeed!

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links….real soon!


Lending a Helping Hand

Easter Sunday is a time for reflection and is quickly coming to an end. For many, it is a time of reflection and happiness for the wonderful things in their lives.  For others, it is a challenge to be grateful for the things in their lives. Yet there are some who need help and understanding as they struggle to achieve even the most minor of things; for those, there are special people who extend a helping hand and a leg up.

The PGA Tour of Canada and The United States support two of many important charities – True Patriot Love Foundation and Birdies for the Brave, respectively. These two particular charities are focused on supporting the brave military men and women who serve both at home and abroad. I am grateful to the PGA for their unwavering support to my brothers in arms!

The PGA also supports many other charities throughout the golfing year. Their motto “Together, anything’s possible” says it all. Virtually every tournament has an associated charity where the giving never seems to stop. Although the Tour receives most of the recognition, it is extremely important to recognize the thousands of volunteers who selflessly give their time and money to all the worthy causes. As a volunteer through the years, I am grateful to volunteers, who without, none of this would be possible!

Charity is not always on a grand scale and does not need to raise money. Sometimes time is far more important and a little help goes a long way to positively impact people’s lives.  If we were to look around our neighbourhood, there are places to help. Whether it be at the local school, church, community centre or sports team – charity of time is extremely important.

10256053_10152393304113552_833345085_nOver the past couple years, my nephew-in-law has coached the local floor hockey team. This team has thrived under his leadership and all the players are devoted to him and the team.  He continually provides them support, understanding and guidance which in turn is transferred into their daily lives. This particular situation is not uncommon, but what does make it unique is that the floor hockey team is part of the Sudbury Special Olympics. My nephew-in-law has explained how these players never cease to surprise him by their efforts and love for the game and each other.  It is truly inspiring. Recently, a local business, KGHM International where my sister-in-law works, stepped up to buy uniforms; their local financial contribution has made a tremendous impact on the community and the local athletes. Recently, a hockey game between Special Olympics Sudbury, now named the KGHMI Miners, and the Cops to Conquer Cancer hockey team was a huge success and great fun was had by all! Their inspiring story shows how a few dedicated people can make a huge difference in the lives of many!

Being grateful for so many things does not stop at Easter.  Whether large organizations, like the PGA, are focused on helping on a grand scale or whether a few volunteers make a tremendous difference in their local community, I for one am grateful for their efforts. Sometimes it does not take much to have a positive impact on someone’s life and Easter is a time for reflection and an opportunity to help.

I am a grateful golfer.  See you on the links!