Tag: calgary lessons

Junior Golf in Calgary

Hello friends, golfers, parents and juniors!

Junior golf is the key component to keeping our game healthy and strong for years to come.

Golf Canada has recently released Iphone and Ipad apps to assist coaches and parents in the instruction and guidance of junior golfers. The concepts here are products of extensive research, and a large amount of the content will be beneficial for any sport, for anyone, at any age. There are numerous activities for golf that can be done inside during the winter, with the appropriate equipment.

Ages 4-15 Learn to Play App

Ages 14-18 Learn to Compete App

  • If you are a junior and fall into these ages, please download the apps and use them.
  • If you’re a parent of a junior that either plays golf, plays a sport, or just wants to be better at stuff, please download and use.
  • If you’re an adult, but you wonder why kids can beat you at golf, please download and use the app.
  • If you’re a gym teacher, volunteer, aunt or uncle, coach or just want to learn more about how golf is taught, download and read when you have a chance!

These lay the groundwork to become a winner. To set yourself apart and break barriers in your own golf game, you’ll need a customized approach to your specific needs, wants and desires within the game of golf. Use these apps to solve what golf problems they can, and call me for the rest.

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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.

 

Televised Golf: A Juniors Perspective

I’m so delayed in posting blogs! I wrote this before the Ryder Cup, golf’s best event on television….anyways, have a read!!

 

Last week I taught a junior camp with a few of the greatest kids ever. Here’s a sample of one of our conversations..so much fun!

Todd – “So it’s nice out today..but what if it was raining? Would you quit? Keep playing? What would be some things you’d bring with you? What do you guys think?”

Junior – “hmm I’d probably keep playing if I could..I think I’d bring a leather jacket, sweat pants and an umbrella hat because I don’t want drips in my eyes”

Todd – “Of course, excellent”

 

Anyways, on Friday it was pouring rain, so in response to my last blog, we spent the first 1.5 hours of the camp doing some indoor activities (labeling golf balls, drawing imaginary greens with high and low points {AimPoint}), and watched The Barclays. They watched for an hour and were instructed to ask questions and make comments throughout. I took notes. 

Please note that this was a discussion with juniors, and I did my best not to guide their comments whatsoever. These are juniors rambling in a safe environment. The kids are 11, 12 and 14 years. Here is a sample of their comments.

“they should make the hole smaller for these guys..and bigger for us.”

“Have you seen the golf pranks on Youtube?” *we searched ‘golf pranks’ and watched that for 10 minutes on my IPhone…

“How come they’re only showing a few people? Isn’t there more?”

“Why are they showing Tiger, that big baby”

“They should show every single golfer freakout or club throw that would be awesome”

“These holes all look exactly the same. They should make a hole that’s par 25. Or make a golf course like a video game where you have shortcuts and bonus’s. They should build a Waterworld Golf Course where it’s almost ALL water. They should have a course called Rockland where it’s ALL rocks except for where you have to hit it. Cactus World” cue hysterical laughter and imagination.

“I can’t understand anything these guys are saying!”  A mix of English (Faldo), Irish (Feherty), Finch (Australia) with their own set of golf lingo..the kids had no idea what these guys were talking about. Simple as that.

“This music is terrible.”

“They should have a helicopter do flyby’s on every hole but like 15 feet off the ground”

“They should do a distraction challenge where you could yell whatever when the guy hits”

“Maybe one day Tiger will get his life back together” no joke I choked when I heard that haha

“Man this is slow. Is there a speed golf?”

“Golf on TV is sure boring”

“They should do relay teams of 5 and they have to run ahead and be ready when the ball stops”

That’s just the stuff that they laughed at and talked about for a minute..there were a lot of other ideas and comments made that they just shouted out. That tells me they were in an environment where they could just imagine freely and learn.

Learning is all about fun, and we as PGA of Canada Professionals do our best to make their day as fun and creative as possible. How come golf broadcasts don’t do the same?

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!