Asking The Right Question to Improve Your Golf Game

If you are a regular reader of The Grateful Golfer, you know that I like to run polls on Twitter almost every day. It helps with gathering data for articles, but sometimes it is just for fun. Over the past couple of years, I realize that asking the right question on the polls if more difficult than I originally thought and as such, some questions lead to multiple, unexpected answers! Continue reading

Using a Hybrid to Chip

Accurate chipping is an important component of low golf scores. There are many influences on each chip and selecting the proper club, stroke, stance, and follow through are just a few. I consider myself a fairly solid short game player, but I am always looking for ways to improve my play around the green and using a hybrid seems to be a possible next step for me. Continue reading

Lead or Trail Hand While Putting

The putting grip is the most important and personal of all grips. It is both a strength and weakness depending on how things are going on the greens. When putting, I try to keep equal pressure with both hands and swing my putter with my shoulders. This technique works for me and produces the solid even contact I desire with the flat stick. Continue reading

Painting and Golf

As many of you already know, I like to take everyday, run of the mill, chores and relate them to golf. It helps show how almost anything we try is connected in one form or another. Also, it helps show how being good at one thing is transferable to such a point that it is possible to be good at many things. It is all a matter of how you look at things.

Think of a person right now who you consider to be good at many things. It does not really matter what they are good at, however it is interesting that they appear to be top performers, artists, writers, mothers, fathers, carpenters, or whatever, all at the same time. Is this person special? Do they have super powers? Or are they genetically superior? The short answer to these questions is a resounding NO!

painting suppliesI enjoy painting a wall with a roller. Call me crazy, but I think a newly painted wall looks clean and fresh and I gain a certain level of satisfaction when the wall is finished. During the past weekend, my darling wife and I decided it was time to paint the whole basement. Importantly, four days off work was enough time to complete the job and still get a couple of rounds of golf in!

As I cut, edged, rolled, wiped, fixed, re-rolled and applied a second coat of paint, I was surprised how painting and golf were so much alike. And here is how:

The grip – as I gripped the broom handle attached to the paint roller, I quickly realized that to produce smooth even stokes of paint I needed to hold the handle gently.  Too tight and the roller moved in short choppy movements; too loose and I was dripping paint everywhere. Gripping a golf club produces the same results. Too tight – choppy swing; too loose – no control!

Edging – As I cut delicately around the ceiling and baseboards, patience and a steady stroke produced the best results. Being patient enable me to see potential mistakes, anticipate areas of concern and fix minor blemishes before I compounded them into a painting gaff. In golf, focusing on course management produces the same results. It helps us plan our next shot, avoid the hazards and make small corrections in our game as the round unfolds! Thereby, lowering our score.

Length of my painting stroke – when painting, keeping the roller at a steady, yet constant speed helped to evenly spread the paint. If I needed to cover an area just a little bit further than normal, I would keep the same speed but extend my stroke. In golf, my putting stroke is the same way. The speed of my putter head does not change, but the length of the stroke does depending on the distance from the hole!

I think you get my point! Many everyday skills are transferable. It is a matter of how you look at the task at hand and how to apply the skills we already know. Personally, I use this technique with great success on many new things. No matter what you are trying to accomplish, if you can relate it to golf (or whatever you are good at) positive results are likely to occur.

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

When The Stars Align

When the stars align in golf magical things can happen! You can score a hole-in-one. You can have the opportunity to play St Andrews (like my friend in the UK who is teeing off on the old course as I write this article). Or you can put together a round of golf that is worth of mention. The latter happened to me yesterday at the Roundel Glen Golf Course!

Glen Abbey (22)In my previous post, I discussed how I thought my tempo was a little off. I thought it was time to go back to basics, slow down a bit, and focus on making each golf shot.  Brian Penn commented after he watch my swing on Youtube, that my tempo looked fine, but my lower body and upper body may be a bit out of sync. His advice gave me confidence that things may not be as out of alignment as I thought.  So, I focused on my pre-shot routine and staying in the flow of the game.

Well the results were amazing.  I shot a 1 under score of 71 from the blues. The round consisted of 5 birdies, 4 bogies and 9 pars. The success on the course was a bit of the stars aligning and by focusing on my strengths, which is chipping and putting, I was able to score low.

Two obvious changes occurred when playing yesterday. First, when I was aligning my shot. I stood behind the ball as always, but this time I took an extra breath and let my shoulders drop a little. This minor movement totally relaxed my body before I attempted the shot.  What a difference! I felt confident and focused when making every shot!

The second change was my putter grip. I loosened my grip so I was gently holding my putter. I found that by softening my grip, the ball responded better off my putter head, keep the ball on my intended line, and misses were tap-in range close!

It was truly a great round.  I was fortunate enough to share this outstanding experience with my friends Mike and Jean. They were a calming influence as the round progressed. I am grateful to both of them for helping me stay mentally focused for 4 hours.

This round did, however, open many doors for discussion at a later date. As I looped the course, I encountered other aspects of golf that just adds to our daily challenges:

  • Scorecard watching
  • The “What if” Syndrome
  • Playing not to bogey
  • Course management  – staying within my game

I will elaborate on these topics in future posts. But for now, I want to bask in the joy of breaking par for the first time in years and mentally visualize the positive aspects of my round!

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