Category: Performance

SLOW PLAY WARNING

Slow play is arguably the biggest issue in golf today.

I thought I’d provide some of my strategies during a slow round.  This article is NOT about speeding up play.  It is about taking advantage of the time that you are forced to wait.  These situations happen in tournaments, corporate tournaments, weekends on public courses and other scenarios where slow play is inevitable.  Your experience and your life is created by you, in your mind. Use this time to create the experience you want.

During a round, the moment I anticipate a wait that might last longer than 3 minutes, I create a conversation, game, or use the time to be productive.  My time is my own, I choose how I spend it.

Conversation

Start asking questions.  Your playing partners will thank you and enjoy the day, perform better, and in turn help you along your way.  Ask about NHL, Q-School, current Calgary events, the Presidents Cup, their lives in general, so on and so forth.

Games

Markers – Using whichever club you brought to the teebox, chip a golf ball around the tee markers, and back to the starting point. Essentially, croquet. Pick your course and place your bets. Be attentive to the group in front and be ready to proceed with your regular game.
Chipping – Simply bringing a wedge to the tee can increase the creativity and value of the Markers game. Or just chipping to the yardage plate until you hit it is a simple one. I strongly suggest using this time to sauce. If you don’t know what I mean, click that link now.
Ball Tap – Using the same wedge, practice tapping your balls.

Productive

– drink some water, pee somewhere, drink more water
– eat something healthy and high in energy
– catch up on missed information on scorecard for the match, your stats, or your yardage book for those tournament players out there
– clean your clubs
– write out a practice plan based on your last few holes
– Tweet something
– text somebody
– write an email draft to someone that would like to hear from you
– clean your grips
– make a To-Do list for later

 

But please, do not complain. Complaining makes you sound like a loser. Be a winner.

 

2013 Tournament Summary

I must say this has been the strangest tournament season of my life. After the devastating floods on June 20, I hardly touched a club to practice all year. I was using new clubs and even at the end of the year they still look brand new.

With such a massive blow to my work lifestyle at the Golf Canada Centre, I had no idea what lay ahead. The 3 weeks after the flood were very difficult, and you can see the scoring suffered. The tournaments on July 8 and August 7/8, and even the PGA Championship, were basically practice for me. As I continued to play in these events, I continued to improve.

I led the the Canadian Assistants Championship by one shot on the last tee box, and a tiny misjudgement on club selection, wind and yardages led to a ball out of bounds, and a quadruple bogey. This is the only quadruple I’ve made in a tournament in 5 years. Tough break…

My caddy, JP Channa and I, made a significant change in the middle of August to my game. I promised myself I would keep my face calm and composed on every shot, and if I did that, good shots would follow. It worked. I ended up with the lowest scoring average for the year and that was one of my goals!

Hope you all had a great tournament season and look forward to helping you improve your game over the winter to make 2014 even better!!

 

Date Tournament Location Scores Total Results
2013 PGA of Alberta Match Play     T3  
May 27 Professional Series Lacombe GCC 69 -2 3rd
May 28 Professional Series Lynx Ridge GCC 67 -5 Win
June 10/11 Players Tour  Inglewood GCC 64-68 -10 Win
July 8 Professional Series Elbow Springs GCC 76 +4 T10
August 7/8 Assistants Championship Pine Hills Golf Course 74-74 +4 T10
August 19/20 PGA of Alberta Championship River Bend Golf Course 67-74 -3 T9
September 3/4 Players Tour Championship Canal at Delacour Golf Course 66-69 -9 2nd
September 9-12 Canadian Assistants Championship The Willows Golf Club 68-66-73 -9 5th

Story Time

My name is Todd and I have a degree in Behavioral Psychology. I believe that your body language and behavior can greatly effect your performance. As the season approaches I have a challenge for all of you. But first, some background information for context…

I’ve played at the highest level in golf, the PGA Tour. I’ve also played at every level below that. One of the biggest differences I see as players progress to the next level (and in turn leave their fellow players in the dust), is how they talk over beers after the round. So often you’ll hear all the stories of the good shots, the bad shots, the penalty strokes, the slow play, the weather, the 3 putts the list goes on and on. When I hear this, my performance translater goes BLAH BLAH BLAH BS BLAH BLAH Whine Complain…I don’t want to hear it. I really don’t care if people pay me well to teach them golf, and that I’m obligated to spend that hour with them to improve their game. I’ll do my best to help this self talk, but I will not hesitate to let you find another instructor. I don’t babysit.

My goal is to help everyone improve, although I reserve the right to maintain my own personality and call people out, even students, if I think it’s in their best interest long term. This is one of those topics…

Since I’m a believer that your words and actions dictate your success and happiness (See http://www.humanpotentialunlimited.com/Summary-content.html ), let’s change the story you tell.

Here are some examples of things that I want you to PLAN to talk about after the round. Looking forward to feedback.

1. How many bunkers were on the golf course?
2. How many water hazards?
3. How many greens had tiers on them?
4. How many different teeboxes were potentially in use for the longer par 3’s?
5. What does your 15 minute post round practice session look like?
6. What would you do differently? *Do NOT mention how you actually played the situation, ONLY the new decision
7. Was the sand consistent throughout all bunkers? Did you test every one (for a practice round)?
8. How many drivers/3 woods/irons did you hit off the tee? (not where they went or how the swing was, just the decision)
9. Which green was the smallest? Largest? Most sloped? Were the speeds the same on every green?
10. Are there any areas where there may be some rules issues? ie. GUR, sight lines on lateral and water hazards, local rules (power lines, immovable obstructions, flower beds etc.)
11. Names and occupations of all playing partners.
12. Any new things you learned about your playing partners and their golf lives. You’d be surprised how much happiness and value you’ll get from conversing with the golfers in your group.
13. Anything funny or unexpected, but positive!

The point is, that there is so much other stuff to talk about, why waste your breath with verbal diarrhea?? Save your breath because nobody cares how many 3 putts you had.

Thanks guys for listening and learning!!

 

“I Just Want to be More Consistent”

Hello friends,

This blog is about the single most consistent question or goal from my students.

“How can I get more consistent?” or “I’d really like to get more consistent.”     

What does consistent mean? Does it mean your bad shots aren’t as bad? Your good shots are a bit better? Less big mistakes?

Lets take a look at the math behind this a little bit and talk about the Bell Curve!!! YAY STATS!!! For those that aren’t familiar with Normal Distribution or Standard Deviation, google it. Getting more consistent doesn’t really make sense. Do you want to get more average? You can’t have ‘more’ shots fall within one Standard Deviation from the Mean.

 

If you were to take a golfers collection of shots, grade them, rank them, rate them, measure them, whichever method you like, they will fall into this kind of distribution curve. Note that the outliers (the 1% usually), are thrown out (shanks!). Products like Trackman and Flightscope use radar to measure ball flight, and measure the distance to a target very accurately.

Let’s take a look at the TrackMan Combine. “The TrackMan Combine consists of 60 shots hit to selected distances. TrackMan scores each shot on a scale of 0-100 based on your accuracy.”

Consistently better scores come from a  consistently better shot dispersion (tighter), thereby lowering the average distance to the target. You don’t get more consistent, you get better or you get worse, with every shot. The Mean shifts left on the x-axis, or to the right, negative or positive, with every shot, you just don’t have the tools to measure it.

The ‘mean’ distance from your target fluctuates, each time the sample size increases. It either goes up, or down. It just depends on how many decimal places you include. #stats

Let’s also note that your golf scores will also follow this dispersion.

Get better or get worse, you choose.

*Edit

A student of mine sent me this graph to help clarify my point here.

So even though the pro does have a tighter dispersion, their mean also shifted to the left, or shifted to a lower handicap. You get more consistent by getting better.

Thanks y’all!

Tournament Summary 2012

What a great season! Thanks very much to the PGA of Alberta and the host courses for doing an excellent job this year! It is always very challenging, especially with our crazy Alberta weather, to set up and finish tournaments in a set time period. Many of us pros only have a small window to get out with the boys and compete, so thanks again to the PGA for their efforts. Also, thanks to all the competitors for bringing their best each time and making the events the most fun I’ve played in!

 

Tournament Date Venue Score Finish Points
Tour Championship Sep 04, 2012 Blackhawk Golf Club 148 T8 24
Assistants Championship Aug 13, 2012 Lewis Estates GC 152 19 15
PGA of Alberta Championship Jul 11, 2012 Calgary Elks Lodge GC 142 2 30
Players Tour – Silver Springs Jun 26, 2012 Silver Springs G&CC 154 15 12
Professional Series – Turner Valley Jun 11, 2012 Turner Valley GC 76 18 0
Players Tour – Sturgeon Valley May 16, 2012 Sturgeon Valley GC 147 T6 21
Match Play Championship Apr 30, 2012 Red Deer G&CC  2nd 2 30

 

So there it is. Oh, and the Alberta Open at Carnmoney (not part of the APGA Events) where I played well in the wind and finished 3rd. Wes Hefernan won the tournament and my training partner at The Athlete Factory, Scott Stiles, finished 2nd.

My goal to “do less” when planning and hitting each golf shot worked wonders. While I did play close to 50 rounds (which served as my practice), there was not much done on the practice green or the driving range at all. By far the least I’ve practiced in my career. I knew this was going to be the case, so I developed a simpler routine.

I made sure to not think at all about the next shot, until I saw the lie from 3 feet away. I made sure to take a very close look at the ball/lie before allowing any ‘thinking’ or ‘planning’ to occur. First step was lie analysis, then ideal carry yardage, and a target line, then a real practice swing holding the finish, then a final decision and commitment, then the swing to the finish. My post shot routine was simply saying, good balance Todd (or similar) and putting my clubs away. From the moment I look down at the golf ball, to the moment I put my clubs away, I did my best to have the emotion of gratitude. To sum up, I tried as hard as I could on every shot, but only for 45-60 seconds and then moved on.

While I did have some solid finishes (2 in the Match Play, 2nd in the PGA Championship and 3rd at the Alberta Open), my goals next year will require more discipline and practice.

Thanks Dr. Rick Jensen for this line “golf is only stressful if your expectations exceed your skill”, as I had the most fun golfing that I’ve had in years!

Thanks for reading and following!

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