"Act Without Expectation"
Golf is a game meant to be played. We go to driving ranges and practice facilities and we see people hitting ball after ball. We get into a little rhythm and rake another ball and hit it right at our target then another and another and you are saying to yourself yeah that’s me. I hate to break it to you but that method of practice and that alone is not playing the game it is playing golf swing. There is a time to work on mechanics and your swing but way too many people play the game in that mindset. How many people do you see actually going through their routine on the range? Actually standing behind the ball, picking out a target and hitting the shot as they would on the course? If you want to be able to take your game from the practice tee and from your lesson with your teaching professional, to the golf course then you owe it to yourself to spend at least half your practice time like you are on the golf course.
Towards the end of your warm up or practice session play the first few holes on the range. Pick out the club you would hit off the first tee and go through your entire routine. Wherever the shot goes and how you hit it imagine your second shot and the club you now would hit. Do the same for every shot and so-on. Maybe you missed the green, I challenge you to pull out your wedge and hit a little pitch shot maybe over a bunker! You get the picture; do this little exercise for a few holes. The more you can use your imagination the more realistic and it will translate to better play when you get over to the first tee.
We spend a lot of time on the practice tee working on our swings. We read books that tell us to focus on the target when we are on the course and to not think about our swings. If we don’t practice on the practice tee hitting shots without mechanical thoughts, or just focusing on our target how can we expect to do that on the golf course?
I challenge you to a little experiment. For the next 30 days implement what I am suggesting into your practice regimen and see if it improves your play. Then the next 30 days go back to your old way of practicing and see which one improves your handicap and most importantly your enjoyment of the game.
Until next week, Play the game and enjoy the walk!
Do you want a college athletic scholarship? Do you have a son, daughter, family member or friend who is interested in playing a sport in college? It can be a tricky process, but if you take a few necessary steps it will help immensely in choosing the best school for its academic prowess and athletic tradition. Here are a few questions you must ask yourself. What size school would I be most comfortable? What type of degree is important? Do I want to be in a big city or college town? Does the coach need to be a supportive father figure or a Vince Lombardi clone? Is team chemistry important? Do I know the type of players on the roster? Have I engaged them at all?
These questions are just a few to get your mind in the right place to make the most important decision in your life to this point. A number of companies have popped up recently helping athletes with this important decision. A good friend of mine started the firm Scholarship for Athletes a few years back. I recommend highly their help in choosing the best spot for you. Owner Ross Greenstein played tennis at the University of Florida and he has developed an excellent program for getting the athlete to ask the right questions and understand fully where he/she would be the happiest which in turn will make them the most successful. Former Golf Coach John Brooks of Red Numbers Golf has really developed a nice program for golfers that I highly recommend as well.
When I was the assistant golf coach at UF and would be recruiting student athletes rarely were they asking questions. If they did ask questions they usually weren’t the right ones. We also received hundreds of letters and resumes from players that wanted to play golf for UF and Buddy Alexander. Very rarely were the letters creative and unique to catch our eye. If you have a school dead set in your mind to attend and want to grab the coach’s attention, do you homework. Understand what type of player the coach likes and recruits. Does your ability match the other players on the team? What will you add to the team and why would the coach have to have you?
I urge all parents and family members to be as objective as possible when evaluating their child’s talent. I also urge you to encourage your child to play lots of sports in high school. The better athlete they are the more impressive they will be to their future coach. Always remind them it’s a game and to keep the proper perspective. Getting a great education is paramount to their long term success and happiness. Very few athletes go on to play their respective sport professionally. Instill in them to live their life as if they will achieve their goals but to prepare for any and all outcomes.
Enjoy the process, it is a fun ride. Please contact me if you would like an introduction to my good friend Ross at SFA or John at Red numbers Golf. they know their stuff and have helped hundreds of student athletes find their perfect spot. I’d love to hear comments of your experience with the process as a player and a parent.
Kettle bells, you may have seen them at the gym and wondered what are those things? You’ve probably noticed guys and girls doing silly looking moves. So you ask yourself what are they and would they help me? Wikipedia gives the following definition of a kettle bell. The kettlebell or girya (Russian: ги́ря) is a cast-iron weight (resembling a cannonball with a handle) used to perform ballistic exercises that combine cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training.
They are a phenomenal piece of equipment to add to your workout. They work the entire body and improve your power and strength while increasing your range of motion. Certified Titleist Performance Institute Professional Jason Glass demonstrates three great exercises with the kettle bells for golfers. Even though he describes the benefits for golfers all athletes will benefit from these movements. After watching these movements I couldn’t wait to do them. They look simple but if done properly will get your blood pumping and heart going! I then came across Tim Ferris’ book Four Hour Body. I highly recommend it to everyone. You will find some fabulous information in the book from diet, to fitness to sleep to being better in bed. He talks a lot about kettle bells and the value of doing the kettle bell swings. He has a case study on himself and a woman who lost 100 pounds that other than her slow carb diet she just engaged once a week in 75 kettle bells swings.
I have added the kettle bell swings to my work out twice a week and I can tell you I feel much more powerful in my hips and legs. My squat movement has improved as well and I haven’t even worked up to the 55 lb. kettle bell Mr. Ferris recommends for men.
Next time you are in the gym, grab that kettle bell and perform some segmental stabilizers, then work into the kettle bell swings. Mix in both arms and single arms, really focusing on keeping your arms loose and driving the kettle bell up with your hips. Focus on deep abdominal breathing as this is an intense workout that will really get your heart pumping. Remember before you attempt the swings to warm up your hips and glutes with 20-40 hip extensions. Please share your experiences with the kettle bells and other good exercises below. Thanks in advance!
Professional Golfer, Golf Coach, Director of Golf for SFA, #UF, #Gator Grad, sports fan, musician, student of life & all things social. Married to an amazing woman with two incredible children.