Category Archives: Rantings

My humble opinion on everything to my golf game to my former life as a sales guru and everything in between.

Hole-In-One Certificate

Never had one myself, but I know a whole slew of folks who did.

Funny thing is your group gets excited but the starters or the guys behind the counter don’t. ¬†Personally I feel it’s a let down. ¬†Wouldn’t you be more apt to remember a course that treated you right and seriously consider playing there again since you are treated¬†so well?

In fact these are not that uncommon.  Actuaries at Hole In One insurance companies have calculated the chance of an average golfer making a hole in one at approximately 12,500 to 1, and the odds of a tour professional at 2,500 to 1.

May the odds be ever in your favor.  Look no further.

Every course should have this form available to those people who are lucky enough to score a hole in one.  Simply download this FILLABLE PDF file and print it out and give it to the lucky guy or gal who made their hole-in-one at your golf course.  At the very least someone may read this certificate and think lightening will strike twice and God forbid you actually get added business from a little piece of paper.

GK-Hole-In-One-Certificate
GK-Hole-In-One-Certificate by Greenskeeper.org

For the Hole-In-One Certificate sponsored by Greenskeeper.org, download the file:  Click HERE

Speaker of Cliches … My Back to Basics Approach to Golf

I am guilty. ¬†I do it all the time. ¬†And I hate myself for doing it but I for one think it’s a necessary evil. ¬†Sometimes even my salvation.

Ask me why and the only logical conclusion I can give is that a cliché is a parable.  It provides the best way to help another or yourself for that matter  understand your explanation.  Sometimes a cliché can best describe the action you want to mimic.  Other times you miss the point completely and hilarity ensues.

For example, I have been in the golf doldrums for a few weeks now. ¬†I just cannot hit a golf shot. ¬†To make matters worse I cannot string a few good shots per hole in order to string a few pars together. ¬†And no amount of time on the range can fix it. ¬†Believe me I have tried. ¬†My tennis elbow and blisters prove it. ¬†I just can’t explain it. ¬†That’s when my “Back to Basics” mantra kicked in. I guess you could say, I was fed up with sucking. ¬† It also made economic sense — stop throwing good money after bad prospects [The bad prospect(s) being me.]

I have tried to “hit down on the ball to go up.” ¬†I have tried “swinging on plane.” ¬†I have even tried “swinging easy.” ¬†I felt like Tin Cup at the US Open. ¬†We are talking “deer in the headlights,” “’cause nothing was going on between the space of five inches between my ears.” ¬†Nothing seemed to¬†work.

That is until I discovered¬†“my religion.” ¬†My first “conversion”¬†started when a golf coach told me when asked how to score better, “Hit the ball closer to the hole.” ¬†I was insulted. ¬†Of course you have to hit the ball closer to the hole. ¬†If we could all hit the ball closer to the hole, golf would be easy. ¬†Closer to the hole meant¬†you had¬†fewer puts. ¬†Then a lightbulb went off in my head. ¬†I had to ask myself HOW to hit the ball closer to the hole. ¬†And that meant chipping the ball closer to the hole. ¬†That also meant short iron shots had to be dead on. ¬†That meant I had to know what club would do what and make that outcome consistent. ¬†So away I went to work on my short game. ¬†And lo and behold it worked — for a time.

Now this latest bout of yips, I had to find that religion again.

This time I had to break down my swing to its basic parts¬†to figure out what the devil I was/is/shall continue to do¬†wrong. ¬†Golf is a simple game. ¬†It’s the golfer that gets in the way of making it a simple game. ¬†You hit the ball. ¬†You chase the ball into the hole; rinse, repeat eighteen more times. ¬†That’s simple. ¬†The one with the fewer strokes “wins.” ¬†But golf isn’t about winning at least on the Weekend Warrior level. ¬†Sure you can “win” if you wager against other golfers, but it’s more a personal victory if you can string together a few good holes, survive a few bad holes, and cobble together a round worth remembering.

My Religion was to break down my swing into its simplest parts. ¬†My swing is simple to begin with so it was relatively easy. ¬†First I checked my stance. ¬†Everything looked square in the mirror. ¬†Then I worked on my turn, and I figured out how to turn the core of my body without putting much stress on my back by coiling it. ¬†(Yippee! no more back problems!) ¬†It was really simple, I bend my left knee forward, not a lot just enough to allow my body to turn naturally and as a single unit. ¬†But still that didn’t work. ¬†So I went further checking my grip and club face. ¬†This was my Eureka moment. ¬†Apparently I wasn’t holding my club properly. ¬†In fact I was holding the club with my fingers and not the palm of my left hand to anchor the club shaft. ¬†A proper grip uses the fingers to cradle the club shaft but the pad of your left hand balances that club. ¬†There should be no space or wiggle room when you hold the club properly. ¬†Holding the club properly allows you to use the club as an extension of your hand. ¬†That probably explains the latest body ailment — tennis elbow.

Took this rediscovered knowledge with me to the golf course yesterday. ¬†And although I still suck as a golfer, I did manage to survive a few bad holes, cobble together a few pars, and string together a few gold holes to make this round at least for the recent past — worth remembering. ¬†It provided positive results.

So when confronted with the “yips,” “yaps,” “heebeegeebees” do not despair, just go back to your basics. ¬†Find your religion. ¬†Who knows the light may just go off inside your head and you discover some part of your swing mechanics¬†or course management¬†that will help you play more consistently and that after all is a win of sorts isn’t it?

Your mileage may vary with this tidbit of sage advice.  Like I always say, I am not a professional.  I am not even a guru or teaching pro.  I can only tell you what worked for me.  It may work for you.  It may not, that is entirely up to you.

Who I am and Why I am here.

2014-07-12 10.25.55Now that’s a very good question. ¬†The best way to describe myself is not who I am but who I am not.

I am not a PGA tour professional, PGA affiliated, or even an apprentice.

I am not some golfing maven or prodigy.

I am not smart or very handsome.  In a word I am homely.  Well at least I have a face only a mother could love.

What I am though is a regular guy like any other who just happens to be passionate about golf. ¬†Started playing at twelve and haven’t looked back since. ¬†Fast forward 40 years, all I can say about my golfing “career” to date is that if I only knew what I know now, I could have been a force to reckon with in high school and even perhaps college. ¬†If it matters I was your typical bogey golfer — a weekend warrior — doing battle with each golf course with hacker’s abandon. ¬†That is until I found “religion.” ¬†That religion was the simple phrase “hit the ball closer to the hole.” ¬†Funny as it may seem obvious, a little light went on in my head and lo and behold my scores consistently started to drop. ¬†My swing still hadn’t changed but suddenly I knew how to play smarter and instead of taking my lumps the course would indiscriminately throw at me, I started to dispense my form of course management and as a result¬†my score from round to round began to drop. ¬†Now I sport a single digit handicap (unofficially of course.)

I am here quite simply to share my perspective on the game of golf. ¬†Why is that important? ¬†I have been where a lot of you golfers have been. ¬†I have ground out rounds that felt like work. ¬†I have even played most of the golf courses in Southern California. ¬†That is a huge body of knowledge and I want to share it with you. ¬†On a side note, I also moderate a little website known as Greenskeeper.org. ¬†It offers Golf course Maintenance Alerts — a one of a kind in the industry. ¬†Blogging here at Golfing-guru.com helps keep my sanity as Greenskeeper.org make’s its transition to the national level and¬†begins to compete with the big boys like GolfNow and GolfAdvisor. ¬†I blog here to bring what I feel is important to the sport I love.

So now that you know a little about who I am and what I bring to the table, why not follow me on my journey through golf mediocrity here at Golfing-Guru.com!

Birthday Golf — Golfing for FREE

FREE is a Wonderful four letter word.  Golf is another wonderful four letter word.

Birthday = FREE + Golf. Now that is a winning combination

I almost never associate GOLF with WORK.  That is a four letter word I abhor.

Now FREE GOLF is something I can sink my teeth into. ¬†And FREE GOLF on your birthday is a great combination. ¬†One place I have found in all my internet meanderings is Greenskeeper.org. ¬†And the folks at Greenskeeper¬†keep a current list of all those golf courses that celebrate your birthday with you by paying you the greatest compliment — FREE GOLF on your Birthday.

Check it out the next time your birthday comes around. ¬†You won’t be disappointed. ¬†In fact you may save a dollar or three in the process.

Sound advice from your friend the Golfing-Guru.

Another DOH! Moment…. How to Chip/Pitch.

bitcoin-aha-momentGood God.  Was I born under a rock?

I swear there are folks WAY smarter than myself and this is just one of those occasions where even the most simplest of concepts evade me.

Don’t chip/pitch to the hole… well you do but what you really need to focus is chip/pitch to a spot where the ball can release to the hole.

Why chip to a spot?  Simple you take into consideration the undulations of the green.  You pick a spot where you want to ball to land so it can reach the hole.

You focus on the hole, you forget everything between you and the hole — and that is a lot of real estate you need to consider. ¬†Besides you control where you hit the ball. ¬†Once the ball lands those pesky things called momentum, gravity and friction take over and guess what — YOU HAVE NO CONTROL over those factors. ¬† Coaxing that ball by yelling, body language — even the occasional pelvic thrust won’t make the ball move any closer to the hole. ¬†Because if they did, bet your bottom dollar everyone would be doing it.

The only thing you can control is where you can put the ball on the green. ¬†What it does after it lands…. it’s up to whatever deity you believe.

The subtleties not the details in golf are out to get you.

Throw in whatever pun you want but it’s as simple as “Location, Location, Location!”

Time to try this out.

Putting — more attention to detail

This year one of my resolutions for my golf game is to improve my putting.  That is to say I want to be more consistent with my putts.

But what sort of consistency am I looking? ¬†To say I want to putt better isn’t enough. ¬†In fact I would hazard to guess that I need to be consistent with certain types of putts.

I need to objectify my selection so I can best evaluate my situation.

So that got me to thinking.  Where or what type of putts do I need to be consistent.  I can spout numbers as to why but what sort of putts will help me save pars or make birdies?

Then it dawned on me.  Long putts are OK but my chances are remote on making them consistently.  I am leaving too much to chance.  So short putts are the key but what sort of short putts should I make consistently?

I decided on a random distance, and I said two paces or around 5-6 feet.  Anything within 5-6 feet I want to hole out consistently.  Now how do I do that?

Been puttering around my local golf range today to figure out what I need to look for and I recall what one of my coaches told me long ago — Keep It Simple, Stupid. ¬†So if I know the line a putt will roll and so long as I align myself properly (my set up) then all I really have to worry about is pace (speed) and distance. ¬†But since I already know that I want to focus on just putts two paces from the hole, all I really have to worry about is the pace of my putt.

Focusing on just one thing instead of a plethora of other variables is liberating to say the least.  Now in order to ensure I have the proper pace I have to make sure my mechanics (my putting swing) is consistent so I can predict the path my ball will take.

Interesting.  I tell you scribbling these ideas down allows me to coordinate my thoughts so I can focus on the goal instead of a multitude of variables.

Now I just have to execute.  More on that later.

Golf: Breaking it down to it’s simplest terms.

It’s all about score.

It’s just that simple. ¬†Why complicate an already complicated game? ¬†You can have the worst swing, the worst ball flight, wear hand-me-downs and look like you walked out of a homeless shelter but if you can score, how can anyone fault you on style points? ¬†You played better than they did.

I hear excuses like, “The Greens were terrible,” or “I just couldn’t get my game together because the pace of play was so slow,” and so on. ¬†They are what they are — excuses. ¬†Why is it that some players have rotten days yet still manage to come in with a respectable score? ¬†Are they just luckier? ¬†Perhaps. ¬†Perhaps, not.

I prefer the later.  Sure having an excuse is a great cop-out.  But does it really serve any purpose other than to smooth over your bruised ego?  Personally I would much rather figure out why I messed up and perhaps, just perhaps should the occasion rear its ugly head again I may just have an answer.

You have heard it all before. ¬†Golf coaches stress the importance of a short game. ¬†Rely on your putting. ¬†But why? ¬†Is there something they aren’t telling you? ¬†How about I break it down this way.

It may seem obvious to you but to me this was a revelation that was 20 years too late.

A par 4 for example is a tee shot, an approach shot and two putts. ¬†That is what it’s supposed to be theoretically. ¬†A par 5 similarly is a tee shot, a fairway shot, an approach and two putts. Finally a par 3 is simply an approach with two putts.

Now that is all well and good if you hit every green and make every putt. ¬†But what if you miss the green on your approach? ¬†Then you throw in an extra stroke for every hole you miss your green. ¬†What if you make a single putt instead and make up the difference? ¬†How do you do that? ¬†The obvious answer, “hit the ball so close to the hole you just one putt or chip/pitch it in.”

The math of this is simple.  There are 18 holes on a golf course.  There are usually 10 par 4 , 4 par 5 and 4 par 3 holes per golf course with a par 72.  Putts alone equal 51% of your game.  Add your approach shot and that becomes 69% of your game.

Hole Type 3 % 4 % 5 % Importance Par
Qty 4 10 4 72
Tee Shot 1 33% 1 25% 1 20% 26%
Fairway 0% 0% 1 20% 4%
Approach 0% 1 25% 1 20% 18%
Put 2 67% 2 50% 2 40% 51%

Sure your tee shot is important but only with respect to par 3’s. ¬†And it gets worse if you miss the green on your approach shot.

Hole Type 3 4 5
Score 4 % 5 % 6 % Importance Par
Qty 4 10 4 90
Tee Shot 1 25% 1 20% 1 17% 20%
Fairway 0% 0% 1 17% 4%
Approach 0% 1 20% 1 17% 15%
Chip 1 25% 1 20% 1 17% 20%
Put 2 50% 2 40% 2 33% 41%

Putting and chipping would account for 61% of my game. ¬†If that wasn’t a wake up call I don’t know what is. ¬†Add your approach shot and it jumps to a whopping 76%. ¬†That is a HUGE part of your game. ¬†Doing the math, I saw where I needed to concentrate. ¬†And specifically where to concentrate. ¬† Chips and putts — that was the key with approach shots being my second area to focus. ¬†The next question was how the devil do I do that? ¬†Keep track of your score but also track your Fairways hit, greens-in-regulation, and putts. ¬†Keep your data collection simple so you can determine at a glance where your shortcomings arise.

One-putting, not impossible just difficult to do consistently. ¬†Chipping it close, sample problem just different location and it’s easier to putt a ball you manage to chip close to a hole.

Now when I practice whenever I do, I know it’s tempting to pull out the driver but now I focus on hitting shots certain distances. ¬†Why? ¬†I know I will encounter those type of shots in my game (like a 75 yard pitch with my wedge). ¬†Now standing over a ball I have the confidence to say to myself you have this shot. ¬†You can hit it and this is what the ball will do when it lands. ¬†If I miss it, so what. ¬†Just recover.

The question then became how to score instead of making a perfect shot. ¬†It took a lot of pressure off of me and instead allowed me to focus on the task at hand — saving par. ¬†So what if I hit a ball poorly so long as I managed to get the ball on the green or so what if I hit the wrong line on my putt so long as I was close on my second putt to save par or bogey. ¬†Now after a boatload of practicing chipping and putting I can honestly say I feel comfortable around the greens. ¬†I focus on where I want my ball to be and execute. ¬†If I miss then re-evaluate and execute.

The next time you hear one of those favorite excuses just remember what you could have done or rather should have done. ¬†Just leave no excuses out there on the golf course. ¬†You either executed what you wanted done or you didn’t.

Golfer Profiling

Watched CSI?  Heard of Criminal profiling?  How about Racial Profiling?

Well I am not as politically correct but I found out a few years ago about Golfer Profiling. ¬†What is it? ¬†To me it defines what a golfer does or plays to — his tendencies if you will. ¬†(Thanks Coach!) ¬†And playing to those tendencies will make you aware of where you need to improve your game and drop your score. ¬†Because let’s face it in golf it’s not the high score that wins; it’s how low can you go!

Now I didn’t put a lot of stock into this until I started tracking my own game. ¬†I mean meticulously trying to figure out why I struggled playing a game I so dearly loved. ¬†At first I kept saying it was my mechanics and to some extent it was. ¬†But I kept playing with golfers with similar or lesser ability yet they SCORED better than I did. ¬†Did they know the rules better than me? ¬†Perhaps. ¬†Did they put better than I did? ¬†Maybe. ¬†The truth though is they thought of this game as a just that ¬†— a game. ¬†A game that can be played well if you know how to score.

Mechanics that was for the golf range. ¬†Rules of golf for playing in a tournament. ¬†To play this game you have to master just a few things — chase a little white ball into a hole in as few as strokes as possible.

Now how the hell do you do that? ¬†When I was originally confronted with that question it was like a light bulb went on in my head. ¬†I evolved from just “chasing that ball” to chasing that ball in as few as strokes possible.

It’s subtle I know but nevertheless mind-blowing to this hacker.

Let me illustrate.  See the graph below it shows the tendencies of various golfers at various skill levels based on score.

AVERAGE SCORE
Relationship
CATEGORY
71
75
79
81
85
89
91
95
99
GIR
12
10
8
7
5
3
2
0
0
Strong
% Fairways
81
71
61
56
46
36
31
21
11
Weak
Iron Accuracy
80
68
53
47
33
20
13
0
0
Good
Putts per Round
29.0
30.3
31.7
32.3
33.7
35.0
35.7
37.0
38.3
Weak
Pitch/Chip/Sand
5.1
7.4
9.8
10.9
13.3
15.6
16.8
19.2
21.5
Strong
Birdies
3.2
2.4
1.8
1.5
0.8
0.1
0
0
0
Strong
Pars
11.8
10.3
8.8
8.1
6.6
5.1
4.3
2.8
1.3
Strong

 

Seeing this got me thinking on the differences between various levels of players. ¬†Now I saw the differences between a player that shot in the 90’s versus a player who regularly shot in the 80’s and so on. ¬†Where to improve. ¬†Where to focus my attentions.

Just to say to another golfer, “you need to know your short game,” isn’t enough. ¬†You need to know your short game “100 yards and in.” ¬†You need to quantify your shortcomings so you can adjust. ¬†If your short game isn’t working focus on your putting. ¬†If that isn’t working focus on getting on that green in regulation. ¬†Improve your chances for success. ¬†Honestly I don’t have enough time to devote to this game like I used to. ¬†So everything has to be spot-on or I waste my time and time is money. ¬†So what do I need to do to get the results I want? ¬†These are the sort of questions you need to ask yourself if you want to improve at this game.

So it is this humble hacker’s assessment that seeing these tendencies listed in such a manner it became easy to assess my game, assess what needed to be focused and ultimately get my game to a level I felt comfortable playing. ¬†Hacking can be fun but let’s be honest it can wear on you during a round. ¬†It’s not fun. ¬†It’s not pretty. ¬†This could be just the band-aid you need to help you stay focused playing 18 holes.

The real proof of this pudding though is will it work for you?