Playing Golf With Better Players

If you are reading this post, you were probably intrigued by the title of this article. As a 5 handicapper it is difficult to consistently play against players who are significantly better. As with Osprey Links, that is a challenge at most public courses. However, I think it is important that all golfers, regardless of your skill level, play golf with better golfers as much as possible. And that is exactly what I did last Saturday when I played my Match Play round against Brooks. Continue reading

How Much Time Do You Need?

Time is a precious gift. I have talked about time in the past, but more about how long it takes to play a round a golf or to practice or even to work out the kinks. Time is important when hitting the links. However, to rush time on the course can cost you a great deal and negatively impact your score. Specifically, the time it takes to make a golf shot. For my game, it is important to use this time wisely. Continue reading

Fixing your Golf Swing in One Easy Step

I have the sure fire way to fix your golf swing in one easy step! It came to me while playing golf yesterday. It fits every level of player and can be adopted with little or no trouble. Yup, it is amazing how simple it is and I am not surprised that I did not think of it sooner.

For $19.95, I will send you blah, blah, blah… many times have I read or heard about the one solution that will fix everything. The funny thing is that I do believe there is one thing that any golfer can do to improve their swing at any given time.

Yesterday, I was playing golf with a couple of friends and someone I never met before named Kevin. Kevin is our club champion and his swing is as smooth as silk. He was always in control and his shot routine was flawless. However, what caught my attention was his tempo! It was always the same regardless of which club he was using. After watching him, I realized that my swing tempo was way out sync!

After coming back from a long break, my swing was actually out of sync regardless of my scores. Watching Kevin I realized that if I fixed my tempo, many of my swing challenges would be fixed. So, I decided to slow down my tempo. I know, this is the wrong time, but I our season is quickly coming to a close and I need to take advantage of every opportunity to improve my game.

Immediately I found success! My ball striking improved and my confidence increased. I felt better about my swing and hoped that it would continue through that round and during my next. So, I today headed for a quick 9 to see if my new-found success was still around. And to my surprise and happiness, my slower tempo is still working.

This video is an example of my tempo that is quicker than I want:

I go back to my original statement, ‘fixing your swing in one easy step’ is possible and anyone can do it! However, I will admit that finding that one area to change can be challenging, but it is possible. It just takes time and patience to work your way through whatever it is you want to fix.

The only real suggestion I have is that once you decide on what you are going to change, do it with confidence, focus and intent. It will be challenging at first, but you what you can conceive and believe, you can achieve!

I am a grateful golfer!

Staying Grounded in Golf

Glen Abbey (22)

On the 10th tee at Glen Abbey!

Recently, my efforts to increase the distance off the tee has taken me out of my game. I realized just last week that, while thinking I was improving one aspect of my game – distance off the tee – I was actually hurting three others: Accuracy, consistency, and my mental focus. As these three core tenants to my game were slowly eroding, I was struggling to shot the scores I expect during this part of the season.

I generally tell most players who ask, that less is more. We do not have the hit the ball with 110% of our strength every time. Sometimes, a controlled 80% gives great greater results. Forgetting my own advice, here is what was happening:

First, by trying to swing harder I found I was on my toes during contact. I was lunging at the ball and my center of gravity was way off. Therefore, my balance during the entire swing was off.

Second, I was teeing the ball way to high because I read that a higher tee would allow me to contact the ball on my upswing, thus greater distance. Yeah, the ball went higher alright….and 40 yards shorter. My swing, after being honed for over 35 years, does not support a high tee position.

Third, due to the first challenge mentioned above, I was moving the ball further up in my stance. The result, many I experienced more pulled balls into the left rough or cabbage off the tee. Not a great way to score low.

Lastly, I was frustrated because I was so comfortable with my old driver. I was questioning my new driver choice. The moment I started second guessing my ability to hit my driver, my mental focus on the tee was on everything, but hitting a good ball.

So, I asked Mike our GM and master golf club fitter to give me a hand on the range. After I hit the ball about 10 times, straight down the range, he asked what the problem was. I explained that I was losing about 30 yards off the tee from my old driver and it was very frustrating. At first he thought my club had a dead face, but after hitting his driver and he hit mine. That was not the issue.

Basically, he said he was not really sure what the issue was but, I seemed to be swing pretty hard at the ball. Well I have had a few days to think about it and I believe he was more accurate that he realized. In my efforts to make a change, I changed the fundamental aspect of my swing: balance and tempo.

To achieve the right balance and tempo with my driver, I need to swing at about 80%. I have not had a chance to hit the course since last Tuesday, but this will be my mental process when I hit the range this week!

Staying grounded in golf is all about maximizing your strengths and limiting your weaknesses. I have never been a long ball hitter, so being in play off the tee 90% of the time is critical to my success on the links. It is time to go back to the basics! I let you know what I find out!

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