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Thursday, July 27, 2006

5 Ways to Enjoy Golf More

We all love the game of golf, but some times it is just as they say, a good walk spoiled. Here are a few ways to enjoy golf more.

1 Don't play the blue tees.
Unless you are at least a 10 handicap or lower, why bother making the golf course even harder than it has to be. If you are shooting in the 90's or triple digits, it makes no sense making a conscious decision to making the course more difficult. Play the white tees and take the extra level of anxiety out of the equation.

2 Improve your lie
When you are having a recreational round of golf, there is no way you should be playing the strict rules of golf. The average round of golf would be at least 6 hours at courses all over the world. Golfers would be returning to the tees all day after hitting there first ball out bounds, or searching for every lost ball for 5 minutes. So if we are bending the rules to save time, why not bend them to improve your lie, something you can actually benefit from. Play winter rules all the time.

3. Play different games
Instead playing the same match with your buddies, compete in other categories other than score. Some examples would be:
Most fairways hit
Least amount of 3 putts
Most 1 putts

4 If it is your honor, take it.
You just birdie the hardest (or easiest) hole on the golf course, it's your tee, you earned it, take it. Challenge yourself to get another one, you will be surprised how often you can have two birdies in a row if you are actually trying to get two birdies in a row.

5 Lower your expectations.
If you are a average golfer you play golf twice per week if you're lucky, on top of that, you don't practice as much as you should.. You can't honestly think that your game is not exactly what it should be. Just enjoy the game itself, don't be so hard on yourself when you're not playing well. Even the pros have bad days.


Monday, July 24, 2006

How To Find A Golf Partner

Let's face it, if you are going to be on the golf course for 5 hours, you want to be with people that you enjoy being with. Finding good golf partners can be harder than finding true love. There are almost as many things that you look for in a golf partner as a life partner. You want a golfer you can communicate with, a golfer that you are comfortable with silence with, a golfer that is reliable and one of the most important, a golfer that you can trust. I will talk a little more about trust in a minute. I have been playing golf for 20 years and I can say that I have met people on the golf course that have wound up being good friends off the golf course. There is a unique bond that is formed when you do find a good golf partner.

The reason you need to be able to trust your golf partner is, chances are your golf partner has pretty much the same skill level as you, you probably would not be playing together on a regular basis if he or she was much better or much worse golfer than you, unless you were already friends or family. That means that chances are pretty good that you will wind up having friendly wagers of some kind while on the golf course. I can tell you first hand that is is a long day if you are playing a friendly skins game or a $5 nassau against a golfer that cheats. It adds an element to golf that should not be involved. If you have to spend an ounce of energy trying to make sure your opponent isn't improving his lie or even dropping another ball to replace the one that he couldn't find with a search party, it makes for a very long and un enjoyable round of golf.

The regular foursome that I play golf with was recently broken apart, one moved to California, and the other moved to a another county within the same state. The impact that it has had on my game has totally surprised me. The one other golfer that is left is the "cheater" of the group. It is well documented that he cheats, we even had an " golf intervention" to try to get him to stop. That did not go very well, he was totally in denial and did not admit to anything. He stopped cheating for a little while (maybe) but then started back up again.

Ironically enough, the one golfer of the group that cheats is also the one that makes the tee times. When one of the foursome could not make it, he would make all the phone calls to find a replacement. Now that we have lost two of our golf partners, it is very hard to find 2 new partners because everyone knows that he cheats.

The best way to find a good golf partner is to BE a good golf partner:

1. Don't cheat, not once, not ever.
2. Be friendly, but don't talk to much.
3. Control your temper. Nobody likes being with a golfer that is constantly screaming and or throwing clubs.
4. Be reliable, if you make plans to play, keep them.
5. If you play with a golfer that you think is a good match, by all means exchange phone numbers, you have to start somewhere.
6. Be willing to play for a few bucks. Playing for something helps you focus on your round.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Tiger is Back

I saw an interview that Tiger gave on Wednesday, I knew at that point that he was back. It didn't have anything to do with what he said, it was all in his eyes. The question was something about Nick Faldo, he made eye contact with the person who asked the question and never blinked. That doesn't seem like much, but at the time it stood out in my mind. He just had a look of calmness that was glaring.

Today he goes out puts on a clinic on how to play a links style golf course. It was amazing to see him adapt his game to the course. Tiger hit 12/14 fairways and 16/18 greens in regulation, that is the dream of every golfer in the tournament. If you have never had a golf fantasy, that would be a good place to start. Regardless of what happens, even though I don't see him collapsing like Phil, it doesn't matter whether he wins or loses, I'm just glad he's back.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Why use Yellow Balls

One of the reasons we love golf is that a lot of what happens on the golf course is a result of how we feel. How many times have you purchased a new putter because of how it felt? Yellow balls provided me 5 good “feelings” to use them.

1. They play exactly the same as any other ball
2. When you hit the middle of the fairway with your driver, as you walk up to your ball you have to admit it's a pretty good feeling, if you have a yellow ball, you get that feeling longer because your mind knows that it is your ball sooner than when you have to walk all the way to it to KNOW it's your ball.
3. No one ever "picks up" or hits the yellow ball by mistake

4. Yellow balls are easier to find when you do hit them in the woods

5. Yellow balls are less than $20 for 15

I started using them this year after I found one on the course and played the rest of the round with it, and there is no turning back. If you can get past the initial "rookie" look of the yellow ball, I can assure anyone that tries a yellow ball will see the difference.

I actually went to the golf shop from the golf course to buy a box. When I arrived at golfsmith and asked if they had yellow Noodles, the guy told me they didn't exist, I tried to convince him that I had just used one, after he spoke to the other guy, he assured me they did not exist. He was right, the ball I had played was a Dunlop Loco. I wound up purchasing 2 boxes of Pinnacle gold in yellow for $14.99 for a box of 15. The Pinnacle ball winds up being even better (in my humble opinion) than the Loco.

Don't get me wrong, I was never a big proponent of all the hype about golf balls, I have been playing golf for 20 years and can honestly say I never purchased a box of balls that cost more than $25 a box. I guess I consider myself an above average player, on a good day I'll shoot in the low 70's, on a bad day , low 80's, which makes me a 4 handicap. It always amazed me how you would see people spending $40 on a box of balls but don't have the ability to take advantage of the technology that they are paying for. With the average golfers score being somewhere around 100, most golfers would be much better served by investing money into golf improvement. One other word of warning, be prepared for the wise cracks from your buddies. After I won a few friendly matches with my yellow ball, the wise cracks stopped.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

1st Tee Focus

For most golfers the first tee can be very intimidating to say the least, with all the other golfers, the starter, even the other golfers that you just met that you will be playing with watching and waiting can make even the best golfer a little nervous. Even pro golfers have said that they are nervous on the first tee. The difference with the pro golfers is they can rely on their ability to focus on what they are doing. The high handicap golfer already is at a disadvantage, out of 10 tee shots he will probably hit the fairway 3 or 4 times. Add the first tee jitters on top of their existing lack of confidence and you have a formula for failure. The funny thing is that the people watching want you to hit a great shot, that's why they're watching. Let's face it, some golfers look like they can play. You can't tell me that if Tiger showed up at your local course, and he wasn't the Tiger we now know, you would still want to see him hit a golf ball, and you surely would want him to hit a great shot. How about “The Big Easy” Ernie Els? Don't you think you would want to see him hit an effortless 300 yard drive? We go to golf tournaments and watch to see good shots, not sliced drives that wind up going out to the street running next to the course.
Try to go back to your childhood when you looked for praise from your father by yelling “look dad, NO HANDS!”. Remember how good it felt when took your hands off those handle bars for a few seconds and heard your father say ”Ada boy”? Why not use that same thought on the first tee? I have been using it for years and can honestly say I am never nervous on the first tee. As a matter of fact, the more people that are watching the better. The actual thought that I have before I start my pre-shot routine is “ Watch me his this ball straight down the middle”. What that does is bring my focus to what I want to accomplish, instead of any thoughts of nervousness. The next time you are on the first tee, look around and notice the people that are watching and use it to your advantage. Tap into your natural instinct to”show off, depending on the golfer, that can be much stronger than the fear of failure.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Michelle Wei Part Two

When I posted yesterday, the drama had not started yet. I hate to say I told you so, wait, no I don't, I don't mind saying I told you so, but she is not ready to play with the big dogs. I was embarrassed watching that whole spectacle unfold. She was going to miss the cut anyway, why not just say you're not feeling well, and walk off the course??? Instead she goes into drama mode, which she is entitled to do as a 16 year old, and quite frankly embarrassed women golfers everywhere. You have to know that the women from the ladies tour had to cringe at the site of her struggling to even walk one second, then signing autographs the next.What the hell was her family doing?? I think that is where her problems start, how could her mother and father stand back and watch as she basically reminds us, very vividly I might add, how old she is. Let me make it clear, I have no problem with Michelle, the big issue I have is with the people she has advising her, ie her parents. So they finally talk her into quiting the round, she goes into the trailer, an ambulance shows up, and not only does she have to go to the hospital, but she has to ride on a stretcher???? Can you say Drama Princess? (she's to young to be a queen)

Friday, July 14, 2006

Michelle Wei

One question... what is your hurry???? You're 16 years old. What makes you think that just because you have a fundamentally sound swing, that you can play with the big boys? Anyone that has ever played golf knows that there is more to golf than just a good looking golf swing. Take your time, win a tournament on the ladies tour, then we'll see about you playing with the big dogs. Your game is a lot of flash with no substance. Putting is the name of the game. I think you are a victim of bad advice. The PGA tour is not going anywhere,,, at 16,,,, ya got nothin but time.

Cell Phones at the Driving Range

There is nothing more annoying than when you are trying to concentrate on practicing your golf swing, and the jerk in the next booth is on is cell phone sharing with the world his stupid ass opinion on everything from what he had for dinner, to the hot babe in accounting. It always amazes me how people talk freely about any and everything on the cell phones. It's almost like they are trying to let everyone hear what they are talking about. Me, I am the total opposite, I go out of my way not to let anyone hear what I am saying. Not because I am trying to be polite, but because I don't like people listening to my conversation. Getting back to the driving range, I give the guy the 100 yard stare,,,, >:( , and guess he gets the message, because he says "let me call you later". The point is, you're at the driving range to practice, not to talk on the phone. Don't be a driving range jerk, hang up the phone. Please.