Golf Yardage Book On Tour

Are you prepared to play golf?

Success in almost all endeavors requires proper preparation.  Of course you are probably playing golf for recreation, but if you prepare to play golf properly you might enjoy yourself more and make better decisions on the golf course.

I have a video on Youtube called How To Use A Yardage Book that covers the yardage book at Pendleton Golf Club.  Preparation in proper procedures before play will help immensely.  However, proper preparation the night before you play with a stick to it strategy based on a yardage book or map of the golf course is going the extra mile which will pay dividends on your score card.

While on the seniors tour this week with Gene Sauers, Gene’s caddy Derrick was nice enough to show me his yardage book for this week.   Many of you play mostly the same golf courses at home all year long so it would not be difficult for you to build a yardage and strategy book of your own.  Heck with all the technology today you can practically make a picture of each golf hole with Google earth.

Here’s Derrick’s yardage book for this week’s tournament.

golf-yardage-bookBottom line is your swing can cause you to lose strokes by hitting shots off line however you might be wasting strokes by not preparing properly or having a clear strategy.  Nicklaus was well known for his strict strategy building the night before.  Once he decided he was going to tee off with a three wood on a given hole he would stick to that strategy no matter what his score was at that point.

Playing golf is like playing billiards outside.  Where are you going to leave the cue ball for the best next shot.  Play smart golf!  Build yourself a yardage and strategy book for all the regular courses you play.  Re-evaluate your performance and adjust your strategy accordingly.

 

 

 

 

Golf is 90% in Your Head?

Golf is 90% in Your Head?

90%-golf-in-headI’ve heard that comment all my life.  If 90% of golf is in your head why do we hit so many balls at practice?  I do know one thing.  You can certainly loose it with your mind or any negative thoughts on the golf course.  Gary Player once said, “the difference between a good golfer and a great golfer is they way they think.”

Now that I have more than 50 years of golf behind me I find that what you’re thinking can not only affect your golf score but also those around you and you’re overall well being.  What I would like to share with you today is how what you think will not only affect your golf score but it will change your outlook on the game of golf all together, and yes maybe even your outlook on life.  Golf could be 90% in your head maybe?  You be the judge.

I will also teach you what I know about what to think the night before, on the way to the golf course, during practice and of course on the golf course.  This is good information so please read on.

First, you need to think about your golf game the night before.  Plan out what your course strategy is and stick to it.  Don’t second guess yourself.  You can watch videos of how one would prepare a strategy for playing a golf course on our Golf Webinar Archive page.  About two thirds down the page called How To Play Smart Golf at Pendleton.

When preparing your strategy make sure you are realistic on the shots you expect to play.  As Nicklaus would say, “play within yourself.”  Do NOT dream of that 300 yard drive on the par 5 fifth for example, unless you can con90%-of-golf-in-your-headsistently, notice I said consistently drive the ball 300 or better.

Then there is what you think on the way to the golf course.  Forget the loud rock and roll music on the way and stay away from coffee.  Keep your eyes on the road ahead but take advantage of the drive to slow yourself down.  Leave early so you can drive under the speed limit.  Take deep breaths and think positive thoughts. 

Once you get to the golf course feel positive and think positive.  Start to build your bubble by not looking at any of the other players.  That was a BIG tip I got from Roberto DeVincenzo.  I said to him on the range while preparing to play in a Tournament what beautiful swings some of the players had.  He said don’t look at them!  He won over 230 tournaments in his career he should know.  Some of the players with picture perfect swings don’t always make it.  Look at Jim Furyk, Lee Trevino and others.

Another thing Roberto told me was, “to make it on tour you either have to have a great swing or great faith and great faith beats a great swing every time!”  So maybe he’s thinking that 90% of golf IS in your head?

You can check out my Blog post on How to Prepare to Play Golf  It’s a step by step plan for getting ready to play golf.  In building my positive attitude to play golf, I start talking to myself.  I close my eyes and feel the breeze on my face, then hit some soft shots in slow motion and try to slow myself down. This self hypnosis is critical to building the positive attitude you’re going to need in your round of golf.

golf-90%-in-headI’m also building the bubble.  What is the bubble?  It’s the “onliness” of golf that Hale Irwin talks about.  You’re the only person out there and you have to communicate with yourself, know yourself in competition and have total control of your emotions.  One thing is being a little nervous which is good, another is having control of your emotions.  You have probably seen that deep stare you see on most tour payers during a tournament.  That’s the bubble.

How should you think on the golf course?  FOLLOW YOUR GAME PLAN!!!!   If you decided to hit three wood off the 12th hole the night before, stick to that decision.  It doesn;t matter whether you’re way behind or ahead of your goals for the day.  Nicklaus was a fanatic about it and look at how well he did.  Having confidence in your game plan is key to having your thoughts continue to be positive throughout the round.

Lets say your round isn’t going as hoped.  Do NOT panic!  It’s only golf!  Controlling your emotions means you will be better prepared to look at your performance after the round and determine what changes need to be made.  A shaky start builds character in ones golf game.  A great player can double bogey the first hole and still shoot under par.  The same is true at your level of golf no matter what your level is.  If your average golf score is 90 and you start off with three double bogeys and still shoot your average, now you’re playing golf!  Starting off like a house on fire is not a guarantee of a good round for you that day.

Whenever either your swing goes negative on you or you get some bad breaks, slow down and take deep breaths.  Nicklaus also said, “golf is NOT a game of perfect.”  When a pilot gets in turbulence the pilot slows down the air speed.  You should do the same with your golf game.  Things start to go bad be patient, think calmly, slow down.  Slowdown your swing speed and take a little more club.  Talk to yourself and calm yourself down.  Panic or loss of temper will NOT help your cause one bit.

One last thing.  The gang you play golf with!  You have one very big disadvantage in that you’re riding in a golf cart with someone.  I suggest whenever you can, let your playing partner have the golf cart and walk some.  Feel the breeze on your face and make an effort to get in the bubble.  Worthless chatter during golf is a problem when it comes to scoring your best.  Make sure to stay away from any negative chatter!  Any comments like the course is too long, too wet, the greens are bumpy are all poison to your attitude and personal bubble.  Avoid golfers who talk negative on the golf course like the plague.

The exception to this is corporate or client golf.  You’re there to entertain your prospect and get the sale, not play your best golf.  Don’t confuse the two.

Golf is 90% in your head, maybe.  For the other 10% get out your cell phone and take a video of your golf swing and email to me for a complete analysis absolutely FREE!  For instructions on how to get the free lesson online go to http://www.quickfixgolf.com/golf-lessons/free-golf-lesson-online/

Your best golf lesson is on the Golf Course

Your Best Golf Lesson is on the Golf Course

I am even more convinced than ever that you MUST make an attempt to play golf with your instructor.  If the instructor is NOT making that affordable to you then he/she is making a big mistake.  That’s why I make the one day golf school with on course instruction available for only $99, which includes all costs like green fees, lunch etc.  Your best lesson is on the golf course. Expired June 30th 2014.

The golf instructor AND the student get a false impression as to their development by swinging the same golf club over and over again on the range.  I believe that what we are discussing here is a huge contributor to why the average golf score has not changed over time.  There is more technology than ever, tons of folks offering themselves as swing gurus but still the average golf score is over a 100.  (Of course it is also the fact that golfers are constantly entering and leaving the game.)

I played golf yesterday with one of our best members.  I’m not saying who so forget it!  What I learned was that I had to do a better job of communicating how important the following systems are:

1) Pre-shot routine
2) Alignment, Your alignment would be better if the pre-shot routine was effective.
3) A solid swing key to assure yourself that you get the golf club started on the right path on the back swing.  Or, a solid key to make sure you do NOT revert back to your core swing fault.
4) Short game around the greens.  You can hit balls until your hands bleed but if you cant get it up and down who cares.
5) Scoring shots from 80 yards and in.  It’s a different swing than your full swing.

Now this will sound like a sales job but I should be having to open more and more one day school dates because every student should attempt to do the one day school at least once a month during the season, if they want to reach their full potential.  More short game only schools should be available and I am going to work on that immediately.  Maybe some workshops on course management and player management.

I hope we get such a response that I have to create more to meet the demand.  It’s not for the money when we’re only charging $99 bucks.  It’s for the results!  The personal satisfaction of you playing a golf game you’re proud of and I had the opportunity of helping you do it.

 

Take a Lesson from Matt Kuchar

Take a Lesson from Matt Kuchar

Watching the PGA Tour today, The Valero Texas Open,  Matt Kuchar made a mistake we can all learn from.  You get greedy dreaming of that perfect shot you’re going to pull off to save the day.  I remember Chick Herbert telling me; “Lopez, never put yourself in a position to have to hit a great shot.”

Matt Kuchar on number 14 a par 5, was not in a position to have to hit a great shot and tried to do one anyway!  It cost him a possible opportunity to win the tournament.  He was two shots back at the time with still five holes to play.  Patients my man, patients!

His tee shot was in the left rough.  You have a par five with a large bunker on the right with the flagstick on the right side of the green.  More importantly it looks like the fairway tilted toward the right causing the ball to bounce toward the bunker and increasing the chances of the ball rolling into it.

If I were his caddy, I would have insisted that he hit an iron for his second shot and leave the ball about 100 yards short of the green.  Matt Kuchar is good at that 70 – 100 yard shot and it would guarantee a par with a possibility of birdie.  Greed got the best of Matt Kuchar and he chose a golf club that he thought he could reach the green with and instead, hit the ball in the bunker.  He caught the bunker shot a little heavy leaving it short and fanned it three times from there for a bogey.

The entire fiasco of events started with the second shot.  None of the rest would have happened, had he left the ball short of the green in the middle of the fairway with an easy wedge shot in his hands.  You might consider that the problem happened when his tee shot was in the rough, but I would still insist that it was the second shot that was miscalculated. 

After making bogey he was done from there.  Now had this been the last hole and he’s one shot behind etc. etc. etc. maybe taking the chance was worth the risk.

Learn from Matt Kuchar’s mistake and consider playing safe, especially early in the round.  Don’t be tempted to gamble it all on one shot that might eventually cost you several more strokes.

Phil Mickelson Got Greedy and it Cost Him!

Phil Mickelson Got Greedy and it Cost Him!

Without a doubt the 10th hole at Riviera C. C. is very small and has a significant grade to it.  However, with the ability Phil Mickelson has for using that 64 degree wedge of his, I am very surprised to see that he chose to go at the green with a three wood and potentially put himself in a very difficult position to save par, much less make a birdie to win.

In fact the new Callaway wedges are sweet!  You can see them on my web site at  http://www.quickfixgolf.com/golf-clubs/new-callaway-golf-clubs/

I would have suggested to him, (if I were his caddy) hit 3 iron off the tee and leave it 50 yards from the green.  Yes I heard that none of the other players in the field made birdie from leaving it short.  This is sudden death!  Phil would have had the opportunity to play first on the second shot and put the pressure on both of the other players.

I just can’t picture someone like Hogan or Trevino or Nicklaus going at the green in that situation.  Arnie yea!  No doubt.

Of course the two three putt greens coming in didn’t help either.  I do not blame the three putts as much as the choice in club selection that left him so far away from the hole.

Your Tournament Swing and Regular Everyday Golf Swing Are NOT The Same!

Your Tournament Swing and Regular
Everyday Golf Swing Are NOT The Same!

I had the honor of participating in the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame Golf Tournament on Wednesday and it was fun to feel that tournament swing again. I had a great group of guys to play with and considering all the fun we had, I thought we did pretty good.

The motto of this story is that you have to slow down and be more deliberate in tournament play. I noticed my playing partners hitting their short irons a mile but I personally throttle back and take an extra stick so I can hold my balance and tempo.

I had no idea who I was going to play with and it turned out to be a great day. I never consider “stacking” a team for a Captain’s choice event. The purpose of the event is to support the charity or cause and enjoy the fellowship and new friends you make.

That’s what golf is all about.