Why We Watch Golf!

An older book I’ve studied on and off over the years is a tome named. “The New Golf Mind.”  Very early in the book we’re asked why we watch sports; what exactly is our vested interest?;  will the outcome of the game have any effect on our life?; why do we get so very excited and then so very disappointed?

It’s all just because we all want to see the players BRING IT! We can hardly wait for that GREAT MOMENT!

And man…what a great moment I saw!

I’m not sure what tournament I was watching yesterday (Saturday) – I think it was the WGC at Doral – or it might have been the Puerto Rico Open. Apologies for not knowing. I almost always turn off the sound and just watch the players play.

Golf was on and that’s all I really know. The other thing I know is that I saw two (2) HIO’s within 30 minutes. Not only were they on the same hole, the landing area of each ball and the ensuing hole-out were virtually identical!  Now that’s freaky and a great moment!

No wonder we simply watch…….. and wait.

U.S. Open Championship - Final Round

Aside

Times Have Changed!

I recieved my 2014/2015 TOUR Credential a couple of weeks ago. (yes – it’s STILL very cool to have one of these.)  I received my first credential in 2001, then continued working on TOUR in 2002.  Unfortunately, I seem to have misplaced those credentials but, as you can see, 2003 is here for your observation.

2003PGA-Credential 2015 Credential 2I’m bringing this up because:

Those of us who are fortunate enough to work with the best players in the world ARE NO LONGER REFERRED TO AS INSTRUCTORS.  

WE ARE NOW PLAYER SUPPORT…

Although not within the cadre of all players, many players have a veritable entourage of “specialists.”  It is not uncommon for a player to enlist professional assistance from sports-psychologists, strength and flexibility trainers, life-coaches, and even nutritionists.

Additionally, when it comes to the the actual action of golf, it isn’t unusual for players to employ a full swing coach, a short game coach, a putting coach, etc.  I personally and professionaly hope that an “8-iron coach” is not waiting in the wings!

Call me old school if you want – BUT – what’s happened in golf is a bit of a travesty. Players like Bubba, Henrik, Gainey, Cabrera, Jimenez and yes – even Fred Couples – are few and far between.

Bubba does whatever he wants to and there is no way he’ll have a “lesson” anytime soon.   Does that mean he hasn’t learned anything form other players?  Probably not.  I’m sure Bubba has heard a thing or two, which he translates into Bubba-Like understanding/implementation. He then just moves on.  He has his own way.

(btw, Bubba read the back-side of my business card a while back and he said “..that’s really cool.”)

A young, un-trusting TOUR player tends to have “rabbit ears”  that are almost impossible to shut down.  No matter the skill-level, what a player hears and where it comes from needs to “register” to them completely.  For example, “keep your head down” is full of ambiguity! What does that actually mean and what does that have to do with the shot you want to hit?

Competitive golf has no place for uncertainty. A player needs to know that what they do by instinct is very likely to work out OK.

In my view, if a player needs to have an entourage as I’ve been describing, that player is suffering from nothing more than a lack of confidence!  That player does not TRUST their intuition, their athletic instinct or even the most basic ways they think about golf!  And yes, I’ll even include TW as a player with “installed” confidence – rather than “natural” confidence.

If you shoot 92 – i.e. a 20 handicap more-or-less, all of this applies to you too! You just gotta’ use your head, prioritize your strengths and minimize your weaknesses.  If your brain is working properly and you can make a realistic appraisal of your game, you could shoot 85! Seriously, you could shoot 85!

I don’t know what ever happened to that commercial, that was on a while back – the one where Arnie was encouraging everyone to “…do your own swing.”   For me, that was some of the very best advice I’ve ever heard!  I was hoping there would be more installments to that campaign but haven’t heard a peep since.  What a shame.

If you want to learn more about how YOU CAN PLAY YOUR BEST GOLF, click here and let’s hang out and have some fun!!!!

Times Have Changed!

Hit More Greens and Play Faster

Tee it Forward!  Sorry for the trick but most men would not read this post if the title was Tee it Forward.  The fact is that there is a ton of research that supports the viability of the  Tee it Forward program.  You can see the basic reasoning here:

http://www.golfdigest.com/golf-courses/2011-05/golf-barney-adams-forward-tees?currentPage=1

From there, you can go as deep as you like until you uncover the original work from Barney Adams.  When you’re watching golf on TV don’t go off into fantasy land! You and me CAN NOT hit golf shots like “they” do.  What you can do is hit more lofted clubs into greens and putt for your par much more often.

I whole-heartedly endorse the Tee It Forward program and I think you should too.  If it’s good enough for Jack, it’s good enough for me!

http://www.pgamediacenter.com/videos/2013_TeeItForward_JackNicklaus.cfm

Hit More Greens and Play Faster

Fix Your Improper Grip | PGA.com

(Hang on people – there’s a video link below so don’t stop reading. Thanks.)

Everybody’s heard how important the grip is but not many golfers have a great grip. Even fewer even attempt to get it right. The thought of a grip change or adjustment is horrifying to most players. I understand that a different feeling – especially in the hands – is the creepiest thing in golf and you just don’t want to change what you know best.  You think that you’ll never get used to a new feeling and you’re game will be ruined! Not so.

Here’s the truth: I’ve adjusted many students’ grips during a 30-45 minute session.  At the end of the session, and usually much sooner than that, students’ always say something like; “….this doesn’t feel too bad now.”

Getting used to a new or adjusted grip doesn’t take as long as you think. It does however require a little patience and diligence. You can’t quit working into a new feeling after just five minutes! But spend 30 minutes and it won’t be nearly as bad as you thought it would be.

Attaching your hands to the club correctly will get you a lot of really great things including:

  • Better distance
  • Better ball flight control (i.e. slicing, hooking, pushing, pulling)
  • Better distance control
  • More solid chips and pitches
  • Better bunker shots

Helping golfers understand how the grip affects almost everything is one of my favorite teaching sessions. I wish more student’s would be willing to go down that particular yellow brick road!

Click here Fix Your Improper Grip | PGA.com for a quick video from PGA Professional Eric Hogge. He does a nice job of presenting general advice on how to hold a golf club.. for a quick video from PGA Professional Eric Hogge. He does a nice job of presenting general advice on how to hold a golf club. 

Of course there is more to this than meets the eye. IF YOU ARE NOT TOO AFRAID and want to learn how your grip is impacting your game, please make an appointment or send me a text.

Hernandez, PGA

Video

Are You Stale Around the Green?

Most players are trying to find the one perfect way to chip or pitch the ball close to the hole and that can get real boring real fast.  If this is true, then it’s no wonder that most players don’t spend very much time working on the small game around the green.  Here’s the solution:

Stop “practicing” around the green and start experimenting instead.  

Before you start experimenting, be aware of the following general concepts:

  • If you don’t REALLY KNOW the difference between a true chip shot and a true pitch shot you’re already stuck.  Learn the difference.
  • There are hundreds of technique variations with JUST ONE CLUB.
  • Every small adjustment will profoundly impact what the ball does after you hit it.

Here are some of the most simple variations that you could experiment with TODAY:

  • Choke down on grip
  • Open the face
  • Close the face
  • Ball back/forward
  • Heel up/down
  • Strike ball towards the toe
  • Strike ball towards the heel

I’m no mathematician but it looks to me like there are 343 general combinations of the short list above.  As you continue adding and subtracting variations, the shot possibilities shots become mind-numbing!  Now consider that masters of the short game can CREATE THE BEST COMBINATIONS for whatever shot they are faced with.

Over the years, I have seen countless students embrace and successfully implement the ideas presented here.  I have also seen students who dismiss (for a variety of reasons) variance and creativity in favor of a more methodical/mechanical approach.  Of course, it’s always the players’ right and responsibility to choose what – analytically and physically – works best for them.

For me, I prefer the fun and joy of making up stuff to see what happens and adding the best stuff to my arsenal of shots.  Then, during play on the course, it’s very rewarding to be looking over a shot and have that “ahhh, I know exactly what to do here” moment.

The reality? Look, we all know that in golf there is no technique, knowledge, or thought that makes us impervious to the whims of the golf gods. Even masters mess up sometimes.  But, isn’t it better to know exactly what to do and fail than to be standing over the ball without a clue?

Are You Stale Around the Green?