Category: Questions

New and Improved and Not Old

What if you had to spend an entire month doing new things to practice golf?

You literally COULD NOT do anything that you’ve done before WHATSOEVER.

Brainstorm a week long practice of one hour per day of what that would look like. My example is below. Please reply in the comments.

  1. Billiards – play pool at a friends or a pub focusing on the exact same routine for every shot, exactly like I would use on the golf course. Incorporate the decision making process, pre and post shot routine. Plan out the outcome of all the ball on the table. Plan out my reaction and my behaviour post shot.
  2. Hiking boots – wear some footwear that is so unfair and uncomfortable, that your footwork awareness hits new levels.
  3. Music – incorporate music into a range session and make it the absolute priority. Hear every note and every sound and every beat and every instrument. It literally doesn’t matter where the ball goes or where you go, keep the focus on the music.
  4. Batting Cages – Hand Eye, Timing, Rhythm, Power and FUN
  5. Winter Mini Golf – Bundle Up and hit some putts on the mini putt, we won’t charge you when it’s that cold!!
  6. Design a lesson plan for a friend – Pick a random friend and design a practice session for them. There is no wrong answer to this one. If you are done in less than an hour, design one for me.
  7. Watch golf on TV – visualize the entire experience from the Down The Line view (directly behind the target line), NOT the TV viewpoint. Note how your brain takes the visual information from the TV and builds out the perception of the event from the down the line view.

Social Media Highlights of the Month – December/January

https://twitter.com/GolfProYYC/status/684879549125922816 https://twitter.com/Uncle_Vonzy/status/673699465769914368

 

 

Slow Play Warning PART DEUX

After re-reading my article on Slow Play and realizing a few things, I thought I’d write another article on Slow Play.

Here are some suggestions that may be applicable, instantly, to some golf courses. If you have influence on a golf course to make these changes become part of your community and membership, do it and make a change.

Idea #1 – Small signs locating where to place golf bags near the green, always in line with the next teebox or the fastest way that the group can leave the green. This could be done by the maintenance crew daily and usually in 10 seconds or less. It could be a small sign that is simply the courses logo, and could be crafted to look very classy.

Idea #2 – Cart path design is a frustrating topic for me. The beginning and the end of a cart path is usually a pretty ugly site. Let’s all take a cue from The National Golf Club, where they employ a fantastic cart policy. There is a small wooden stake, colored blue I believe, that indicates the precise spot (and side) of the cart path you are to exit the path, followed by another blue stake nearer to the green, where you are to enter back on to the path. All other  driving on the course should be ON THE FAIRWAY. Grounds staff and likely members will move this stake around daily, so that there are no wear marks exiting and entering the hole. This will speed up pace of play, and remove terrible ideas like “Cart Paths Only” and “90* Rule” completely at some courses. Seriously, get 36 signs/stakes and try it for a month…

Idea #3 – Using “Honours” to determine hitting order is a contributor to slow play. Unless you’re playing for more than $50 a hole (and even that is relative…), my suggestions are as follows;

– whoever is first in the hole on #1 tees off first on #2. Makes sense. Whoever is done the hole first, has the most time to figure it out for the next tee shot. For example, I finally hit a chip to 1′ and it’s given to me for a smooth 8. My buddy is putting for a birdie from 20 feet after the other 2 guys in our group finish getting up and in for pars. So I’ve been done for about 3 minutes now, and buddy guy is still putting for birdie. He makes it. So he’s up? He just finished a birdie putt and now he’s on the tee and was the last guy to finish?…….isn’t that silly? Couldn’t I just have gone over to the tee, got a yardage, figured out where the group in front is, and done numerous other things possibly to even help the group move faster!

Idea #4 – This is a similar idea as above. First player to finish the hole rakes the bunker. Maybe the person who is putting for birdie could rake the bunker for the person that just bladed it over into another bunker. Whoever was in the greenside bunker doesn’t rake it. The first one in the hole does.

Idea #5 – The second last person to finish their putt is responsible to get the flagstick. I always see the first person to finish the hole grab the pin. What are you doing? You’re up!! The flag can just sit there it will be just fine. Go figure out something.

Idea #6 – When to pick up your ball? Once you get to two over par for the hole and aren’t on the green yet, you’re done. BIPSIC. Ball In Pocket Sittin In Cart. Relax have a beer.

Idea #7 – Shoot less shots.

Idea #8 – Be prepared to play the game before the 5th hole….

Idea #9 – Visualize yourself being the first person to exit the green, the first person to exit the teebox, the first person to start up the power cart.

Idea #10 – Run.

 

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.

 

Van Wilder gets a Golf Scholarship!

Hello friends,

A good friend of mine, and one of Calgary’s top junior golf instructors, Mitch Walz (@walzygolf) has asked me to write about quite a few topics over the last year, and I’m working on them! He has high standards so I’ll publish when they’re ready haha! This blog is about some “outside the box” ways to think about choosing a school for college golf. I hear all too often about junior golfers in Alberta signing ‘Letters of Intent’ to schools that aren’t the best fit for them.

Some of you may know of my golf history, some may not. Either way, I’d hardly call myself up to date on this topic. That said, I have been a part of the Alberta Golf Scholarship Panel, and have many friends and colleagues who have shared their experiences with me. Here I will only present thoughts based on my own experiences.

Here are some guidelines and questions that I don’t think get considered enough when choosing a school.

Would you want to move to the town/city if golf wasn’t a factor?

Is this a place that you would want to build a network of friends for 5 years?

What is a detailed tournament schedule, and how will this work with a full course load in 3rd and 4th years? What kind of scholastic support is there?

Just because you get a scholarship, doesn’t mean you have to take it..

Are there any international players on the team already? Any Canadians? If so, CALL THEM!

Is the coach going to be there the whole time you are? What is the schools athletic budget and how stable is the program? Is the coach someone you would like to mentor you for 5 years?

What is the team chemistry like? How many new players are coming in vs. how many are graduating? Is there a chance to go to the same school as a friend?

These questions are just the tip of the iceberg, but please note that most of it deals with the people there and the culture. I went to the University of Victoria, and now live in Calgary. So now I have friends all over Western Canada that I visit every few months. This is very different from a player that went to school in Mississippi, where all the networking and time invested in social life, is mostly faded after a few years. I love going out to Victoria and BC, knowing friends all over and always having opportunities to stay with them as opposed to hotels!

Hope this helps! Cheers!

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