Category: Questions

You Can’t Do That on Television!

As a PGA of Canada member, past Canadian Tour member, Canadian National Team member, Golf Canada Calgary Centre instructor, and Swinkey co-founder, I cannot stress how grateful I am for the initiatives of golf organizations worldwide. Millions of dollars are spent every year worldwide to grow the game of golf. The efforts by these organizations are incredible and inspiring. Thank you.

I can’t help but think, that more of the efforts and finances should go towards television. Should the governing organizations in golf (Royal & Ancient, USGA, PGA of America, PGA of Canada, Golf Canada, among hundreds of others) lobby the television industry for changes and improvements in how golf is presented on television? From here on out I will refer to any and all golf organizations as “The Man”.

I believe that golf broadcasters have an INCREDIBLY important role in growing the game. Every week they reach MILLIONS of people. At this moment I have no idea who the president of the PGA of America is, but I can name 20+ Golf Channel employees. These are the people that influence the game. If you influence that many people, you are a leader and educator. Golf Channel is doing an amazing job with the new shows like “On the Range”, “Down the Stretch”, “Feherty” and “Big Break”. I believe they are growing the game. Kudos to the guys at “Morning Drive” as well, awesome work. Shout out to Michael Breed and Martin Hall too!!

So here are ten ideas, and obviously there are barriers to each..but if the right person in the right position read these ideas, they could make it happen and make a real improvement in the way our game is perceived and grown. Remember, it’s cold up here, we can’t golf year round!

My Top Ten Ways “The Man” Can Grow Golf via Lobbying/Supporting the Television Industry

1. A bi-yearly, week long education seminar for all Golf Channel employees (and NBC, CBS etc.). Content can be pulled from the Instructor Summits by GBN, PGA of America seminars, PGA of Canada Seminars, the World Golf Fitness Summit, AimPoint Green Reading, Trackman and Flightscope, Canadian Coaching Association, and of course many more. I’m talking to you Johnny Miller, Sir Nick, Brandel, Gary, Gary, David, Chris Berman, Jim…all y’all. As a member of the PGA of Canada, we are required to stay educated. Professional associations worldwide have education requirements of all varieties. The things I learned from Glenn Cundari at the Coach of New Competitors, Mark Sweeney from AimPoint, Joseph Mayo with Trackman, John Graham, and hundreds of other instructors, make me cringe when I listen to golf commentary on television. This is #1 for a reason. Get educated, you’ll be surprised how happy it will make you with your career on television. It is unacceptable for announcers and commentators to be flat out incorrect.

2. Pitch Count highlight packs. In the MLB broadcasts, they do a ‘pitch count’ and I think that would be cool to see this format…show a players entire back nine in 40 seconds..might add a little speed to the broadcast and spice things up a bit..

3. Have a few players play a few holes on Tiger Woods 2012 for XBOX (cue sponsor $’s)…would be fun and cool and they could commentate and have some laughs!

4. Mic’d up players. Thought they did this but don’t see it as much as I’d like. I think that kids would rather listen to Rickie Fowler or Jason Day, instead of Maltbie and Koch.

5. Primetime. I want to golf on Sunday afternoon, the pro’s can golf when I’m eating dinner and watching the game.. Let’s get a few final rounds in prime time under night sky with flood lights…

6. Show the players Twitter handles. (LPGA did this after I wrote the first draft! I promise! Here’s a list of LPGA Twitter)

7. Make a show like 24/7 Rangers/Flyers for the tour. “Inside the PGA Tour” isn’t cutting it. Ryder Cup potential here…

8. Put Trackman or Flightscope #’s up for players shots..just for fun..just for a bit..just to see how it feels…learning this stuff has helped a LOT of people.

9. This one is for all the junior golfers and their families….. I would really like the old boys in the booth to attend and even assist a TPI Junior Camp. This is how kids learn. Do this.

10. Top instructors as co-hosts. There are lots of these guys that know a ton about the game and the performance aspects…more of these guys on TV. There are 40 ish events a year, we can spread the love on this concept easily…we’ll all get a turn ūüėČ

I can’t help but feel that these suggestions would grow the game far more than the cost associated with them, bottom line.

As I write this I saw the NBC360 on Rickie Fowler. Tres cool.

Additional Questions and Topics

What are other countries, organizations or governing bodies doing to influence the golf broadcast industry in an educational manner?

Do commentators have education requirements? If not how come?

Does having a specified channel for golf isolate the game?

How much golf content appears outside of the Golf Channel?

CNIB

Hello,

I highly recommend you take a look into attending the CNIB Outta Sight Golf Classic on August 15 at Elbow Springs! Please consider using this as an opportunity for your company/staff to network and team build.

To see the sponsorship/registration package, Click Here for PDF download.

See you there,

Todd

CNIB

Start Strong and Finish Strong and have a Strong Middle Section too

A friend ( @walzygolf ) posed this topic for us.

“I would love to hear thoughts on staying mentally strong down the stretch. Lots of people fold when approaching a career round”. Well…considering yesterday I shot 33 – 41 at Canal, maybe not the best guy to ask….

Who’s ready for the cliche parade? Stay in the present¬† –¬† Stick to your game plan – Focus on your next shot¬† –¬† Use your Mental Strength*

Hmmmm…how about some practical things that actually work? Here are three LEGIT tips

1.  Always practice for 30 minutes after every round. Holing out on 18 is NOT your finish line folks. Not enough time for that? Play the front, practice for two hours while your buddies hack the back.

2.¬† Break up the round into 6 three hole segments. Wait….that sounds cliche…take it one step further…plan and execute an action to help you separate each segment. Bathroom, food, phone call, whatever…just something to hit the reset button. The scorecard can help you out here..tally up all your stats after holes 3, 6, 9 etc..

3.¬† And finally, take a tip from the trunk slam hustlers of the world…Show up 2 minutes before the tee time, and use the next 2 hours on the front 9 to prepare for the back 9, and use the back 9 for performance! For example, you could fire a shaky 44 on the front, practice and focus the whole time, shoot a smooth 32 on the back, win 12 skins on the carryover (and the two presses**) thanks for coming out! Then refer back to Tip #1.

 

*Mental Strength available by contacting TH directly via handwritten letter and blank cheque
**Press – When a golfer or team is down in a match, they can start a new match anytime by ‘pressing’ the existing match

Just another article about practice…

Here’s a blog post that will tell you everything about how to plan a practice!! or will it??

I believe that you can almost always be ‘practicing’. The theory of ‘10,000 hours’ basically says that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become world class. There are many interpretations of this 10,000 hours..is it focused practice? does it include workouts? does it account for the time between shots? the list goes on..my take is simply to utilize your time as best as you can. For example, visualizing a rehearsed and disciplined pre-shot and post-shot routine (more to come on this), all while sitting on the couch, can have a much stronger effect on your game than hitting balls aimlessly. I improved my public speaking skills, and my golf game improved. If you want to shoot lower scores, that implies that you play by the rules…do you know the rules? Pick up a Rule Book at the Golf Canada Centre and save shots!

In the book “Every Shot Must Have a Purpose”, Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott discuss the benefits of focus on every shot.¬† I totally agree.¬† I like to take it further…every single thing you do with focus and purpose will improve. Sometimes actually hitting a golf ball is only 20% of my practice time for that day. It sometimes takes 30 minutes of warming up (perhaps some drills, one foot swings, one arm swings etc.), before I am truly focused and committed to hitting a full shot. Accept that there is so much practice to be done outside of the boundaries of the golf course.

Thirdly, now what? How do I plan a practice session? How is all this relevant to me as a bogey golfer who plays 20 rounds a year? Here’s a teaser…

Let’s start with off-season as courses are just now beginning to open here in Calgary. We have a great facility here at Golf Canada, although by springtime we’re all ready to get out on the real course and hit off grass!¬† I find that for each person there is a set of drills, thoughts and shots to hit on the driving range to maintain their rhythm and swing, and the winter is best spent on physical improvements, season preparation, equipment, and less on ball flight, shot making, and scoring. This is also a time where I believe it is best to research the game…learn what bounce means, learn ball flight laws, learn about impact and shaft deflection, learn how to read greens (cue AimPoint plug), read Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book, gain posterior strength and increase power at the Athlete Factory…shall I go on? I could go on all day on this. It’s important to recharge and fire up the passion you have for the game, regardless of the level. The challenge for us is to prioritize. What is relevant to your game??¬†

This is where I can help. What will YOUR off season practice session look like? What can you do during the commercials??

In season golf is a little different in my opinion. When you tee it up on #1, the objective changes. Score as low as possible! It’s important to implement different techniques in the way you practice or warm up, depending on the time of year and when your next/last game is. Say you’re a terrible lag putter…do you work on lag putting or work on approach shots to hit it closer? This is where golf gets fun, and where I really enjoy helping people improve. Personally, when I play golf, I like to think that I’m practicing the whole time between shots, always improving. Never give up and always build confidence throughout the round. Some examples are to practice your lie analysis, pre and post shot routines, shot selection and course management decisions, and of course much more short game! Slow group in front? Make it a goal to hit 15 chips with an extra ball while you wait. Many of my students play their best when they try less on the golf course. They have practiced their 1 minute routine for every shot so well, that when they go play it’s much more FUN!!!! They practice for 3 hours and compete for 1. That’s what it’s all about. No fretting, worrying, anger, frustration, nothing…just like you’re surfing..just pop up!

Golf Power Workshop April 7 10am

For the second blog post, why not make it an event announcement?

This Saturday (Yes Masters Saturday), come down to the Athlete Factory for a 90 minute presentation on power and speed. It starts at 10am, so you’ll have plenty of time to hit up the Farmers Market next door and watch the years most dramatic golf tournament, The Masters!

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Todd

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