Make no Mistake, this IS the US Open

In a recent interview with Charlie Rose, prominent golf coach Sean Foley, said something that I really loved! To watch the entire video, click here, and to hear that particular quote, go to the 14 minute mark.

“Today is a super important day. Let’s not pretend we’re back at Lake Nona. Let’s face the fact we’re there. It’s going to take a lot of energy to pretend you’re somewhere you’re not.”

     The concept of ‘going to your happy place’ does take a lot of energy!  I love what Sean said for so many reasons. Be in the moment. That moment is the US Open so be present in it, and create your experience.

    I do however, often teach mental game tactics that do involve placing your mind elsewhere, even for just a short moment (like 2 seconds) just to reset and refresh your emotions. Sean said ‘not at Lake Nona’, which I think resonates with some of the mental game stuff I work on. I’d seldom encourage a student to put their minds into another golf situation, positive or negative. Every shot is unique, so I believe that referring back to similar shots you executed well, is a poor strategy. The past is the past. If it was an hour ago it might as well be a million years. 

     What’s my point? Instead of putting your mind into a different golf situation, put it somewhere so far from golf. Put your mind in a place that provides energy, not requires it.  The videos below are where my mind goes when I close my eyes. Skiing the south face of the chutes at Castle Mountain. It is my favorite place in the world that I’ve seen so far, so going there in my mind to do something as creative and free as skiing, always helps my golf game.

 

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

If your golf ball doesn’t care, neither should you.

I’ve spent the last few months working a lot more in the coaching realm, as opposed to general golf instruction. Many students, friends and fellow PGA of Canada professionals are curious to what I think about the mental game of golf, and especially how to improve the mental game. I’ve also noticed how so many players of all skill levels, are constantly looking for the cause and effect pattern. If I think this, the ball does this. If I lift these weights, the ball should go further. I warmed up well and hit balls before the round, so I should play well to start. I got a new driver. I got a belly putter.

However, one daunting truth remains. At the moment of impact, all the golf ball cares about is what information the club is passing along. Nothing else.

Every day I hear hundreds of reasons for poor play, or the expectation for better play. All of them are valid things that may or may not improve your chances to perform a golf shot better. I agree. That’s a part of my job, to educate and train my players to improve their skill and decision making on the golf course. Regardless, your golf ball doesn’t care. It’s a part of why I love golf so much, nothing else matters. Not confident? I don’t care perform anyways. Rental clubs? So what. Sore ankle? Don’t care.

I digress..

When a tournament starts, I believe that nothing matters except the shot, in that moment. The golf ball doesn’t care about anything else, so why should you? All of the millions and billions of possible events, emotions, factors that could be in play, really don’t matter. For example, it doesn’t matter if it started raining; you’re two down in a match; four up in a match; the wind is swirling; your back is sore; your feet are soaking wet; you’re hungry; you’re thirsty and so on and so forth. All of those things (and millions more) may or affect your mental, emotional and physical bodies. Your golf ball? It still doesn’t care one bit.

You can pay attention to these things, or you can pay attention to the shot at hand. The choice is yours.

Pyper Power Pro Am

We are taking Silent Auction Donations now for this incredible tournament for a great cause. Last year I met Pyper and it was one of the most humbling and heartwarming experiences of my life. If you or anyone you know can donate to the cause with either cash or a silent auction item, please contact me at 403.803.3290.

Cheers friends,

pyperposterfinal

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