Tag: canada centre

What is the difference between professionals and amateur golfers?

As a member of a Facebook group named “Golf Teaching Professionals”, I’m lucky to learn from great instructors worldwide on a daily basis. This resource is incredible and I can barely keep up! I don’t participate much but thought I’d share something from this group.

Sasha Catron asked this question to the group,

“In one word what is the difference in the best players you teach and the average ones?”

The answers are astounding, but not that surprising. Here is a list of the names of the instructors, and their one word answer. I hope I don’t get in trouble posting this, but it’s a risk I’m taking…

Christopher Smeal – Optimistic
Bob Fahy – Commitment
Chip Richter – Athleticism
Michael Deiter – Dedicated
Eric Cogorno – Talent
Michael Blinco – Obsessed
Brad Edwards – Attitude
Matt Malesteri – Drive
Bob Duncan – Motivation
Stephen Lynn – Everything
Michael Starr – Determination
Mitch Brunick – All true
Sean Kennedy – Attitude
Todd Edwards – Desire
Joey Anders – Grit
Jim Sykes – Practice
Chris Beaty – Mental
Rodd Slater – Observation
Mike Aldrich – Hand Eye Coordination
Shane LeBaron – Strike
Jeff Schmiedbauer – Coordination
Scott Leritz – Commitment
Blaze Grinn – Emotional
Justin Rister – Commitment, persistence to their practice drills and routines (Too many words Justin…)
Chris Daily – Body Awareness
Doug Grey – Desire
Andy Walker – Awareness
John Dochety – Attendance
Bowen Sargent – Confidence
Ira Kramer – Belief
Jonathan Bullas – Score
Bob Baldassari – Talent
David Ogrin – Awareness
Jason Helman – Attitude
Tim Lambert – Enlightenment
Sasha Catron – Perserverance
Joe Dau – Discipline
Andy Griffiths – Scoring
Elliot Oscar – Approach
Todd Ormsby – Grip
Steven Steinway – Positive
Wayne DeFrancesco – Everything
Peggy Gustafson – A desire of where they want to be. A perception of where they are on their golfing dreams. How we as teachers to give them their path to allow them to reach their golfing dreams..Realistic or not. (Uhh way to many words…not sure how this is a one word answer…)
Dan Schwabe – Awareness
Doug Lawrie – Grit
Joe Ingoglia – Sequencing
Brett Fanning – Talent
Zac Stennett – Fearlessness
Gary Ellis – Rhythm
Rita Mehrens – Form
John Hughes – Passion
Eddie Smith – Commitment
Matthew Finney – Motivated
Randy Cavanaugh – Teachable
Brian Smock – Time
Trevor Derrheim – Proprioception
Joe Dougherty III – Coordinated
Marty Foster – Practice
Chris Ford – Passion
Jim Beadle – Face
Aaron Doyle – Patience
Adam Stevenson – Determination
Bob Townsend – Drive
Christie Quinn – Perseverance
Jenn Holt – Desire
Wayne Powell – Dedicated
James Jordan – Routine
Oliver Darby – Skill
Rick Wright – Committed
Stephen Cottingham – Detail
Todd Halpen – Concentration
Kathy Gook – Mindfulness (Defined by wikipedia as “the intentional, accepting, and non-judgemental focus of one’s attention on the thoughts, emotions, and sensations occurring in the present moment”.)
David White – Wanting
Sean Pender – Grinding
Morten Jensen – Tenacity
Geoff Saayman – Drive
Timo van Geest – System
Grant Field – Attitude
Deanna Zenger – Discipline
Steve Cardy – Practice
Boris Miro Janjic – Feel
Dominic Sainsbury – Grit
Gavin John Hamlyn – Application
Stuart Campbell – Inspired
Nancy Quarcelino – Want
Stephen Ennis – Work
David Walker – Ability
Adam Young – Skill
Kelly Murray – Sticktoitness
Jeff Dantas – Awareness
Dave Druken – Commitment
Dale Ketola – Determination
Steven Yellin – Silence
Roger Hatcher – Score
Mark Caldwell – Putting
Kevin Shields – Talent
Ed Angulo – Passionitment
Bob Grissett – Proprioception
Rudy Gonzalez – Mobility
Robert Gates – Work
Barry Cheesman – Mind
Brian Jensen – Love
Dave Pezzino – Clubface
Allen Burton – Precision
Christian Alderucci – Dedication
Andrew Patnou – Score
Mark Russo – Commitment
Joe Casey – Confidence
Mark Caldwell – Equipment
Chris Schultz – Practice
Tom Connell – Grip
Brad Pluth – Talent
Peter Arnott – Adaptability
Frank Gowen – Mind
Chad Ristow – Mentality
Jeff Howe – Commitment
Dave Heinen – Relentlessness
Jennifer Cully – Awareness
Paul Contento – Skill
Steve Ford – Knowledge
Mike Vanderwolf – Perspective
David Johnston – Willingness
Chad Powell – Commitment
Blaze Grinn – Selfishness
Scott Davies – Desire
Buddy Cooper – Mind
Preston Combs – Consciousness

 

What is amazing about this list?

NEVER DOES IT SAY GOLF SWING!!!!!

Pick out your top 5 favourite words from the list above, and write down how you plan to improve those characteristics with respect to your golf game.

When you book a lesson with me, expect guidance on those characteristics in your game. I’m here to answer the easy questions, actually improving and learning lies within you.

 

 

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!

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!

About Todd

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Summary

Todd has spent 27 years dedicated to the game of golf. With an extensive competitive, instruction and business career in the game, Todd’s experience is second to none. Having competed on the PGA Tour Canada, PGA Tour, international amateur events, his playing experience gives him an advantage over other teaching professionals that either don’t compete anymore, or never really did. His work building the Swinkey (now Golfers Toolbox) from 2009-2013 has him more connected and researched than instructors twice his age. The Swinkey is the only training tool to receive a perfect score. He continues to train every day for competitive golf, and competes across Alberta and the rest of Canada every year. Not many other instructors can do this.

Mission Statement

“My goal is to help you become awesome at golfing. To guide your actions in the game of golf, so you surpass your own expectations. To inspire and engage competitive players to break records.”

Education

  • BSc. Behavioural Psychology, 2006, University of Victoria
  • National Coaching Certification Program – Level 1  & 2
  • PGA of Canada Coach of New Competitor Certification
  • Titleist Performance Institute – Certified Golf Fitness Instructor I

To book a lesson CLICK HERE, or call Todd direct at 403.803.3290

Business

In 2009, he and Brian Benedictson founded Swinkey Golf Inc. They manufactured, distributed and sold the Swinkey, now called The Golfers Toolbox, across North America and worldwide. This entrepreneurial undertaking brought Todd to the forefront of golf instruction, and makes him an industry leader in golf. To check out the Swinkey, head to SWINKEY

Competitive

As a junior, Todd played for Team Alberta on many occasions, placing well in numerous junior events across Calgary, Alberta and Canada. Todd graduated from the University of Victoria, and captained the Mens Team to three RCGA College/University Titles in 2003, 2004 and 2006. He finished 2nd in the Canadian Amateur in 2006, earning a berth in the first of two PGA Tour appearances, at the 2006 and 2008 Canadian Opens. He competed with the 2007 National Team all over the world, and shortly after his time there, turned professional and qualified for the Canadian TourHe joined the PGA of Canada on December 1, 2011.

He’s always wanted to be a great player, and learn from players better than him. This is why it is important to Todd to stay competitive. Todd Halpen Tournament Results

Todd Halpen Tournament Results2