Tuesday, January 31, 2012

PGA Show Finale!

Thank you US Kids Golf!
What an amazing finale to the PGA Show Week--a great combination of networking, relationship-building, product viewing, meetings and seeing future ideas to help grow golf.
The last two days included many wonderful events including: 

I also ran into Nancy Dunn Kato on the floor and saw her truly wonderful junior golf book and games.
I tested the PING I-20 irons and I LIKE! Upgrade time? They've come a long way from Eye 2 but that's a very good line.
I even found some great sushi before driving home with a great book on tape. I'm very tired but very energized by the 2012 PGA Merchandise Show!
Here are some of my favorite pictures:

GBN Lunch Panel Mike Malaska, Martin Hall,
Mike Bender and Todd Anderson

Charlie, myself and Ty outside my book signing.

My Mini Golf from Starting Time


Thanks for visiting the book signing Carol!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Day 3 of the PGA Show

What a busy and fun day! The hotel I usually stay at allows for a wonderful 10 minute walk over 528 right into the convention center--great exercise before being indoors. I saw lots of busy activity with exhibitors getting their booths ready.

I had some meetings with colleagues and then headed off to the Golf Business Network Instructors Meeting. There were a lot of very, very good ideas and things to come. I was also able to see some of Dr. Rick Jensen's clever presentation--I can't wait for his visit to The Landings Club on February 27!

Then I was off to a video shoot with The Littlest Golfer at MetroWest, together with Little Linksters LLC.  Total fun working with our little student, almost 4 years old. She ended up hitting one shot nearly 30 yards with the 1-2-Show-My-Shoe Game & Gum Check Game... so cute!

I rounded out the evening with an impromptu visit with Don Law from a Facebook golf instruction group (can't wait to go through my Camp in a Bag!) and a reception downtown in Orlando hosted by EWGA and ClubCorp (Pamela & Kathy). It was fun to see friends and colleagues like Kiernan, Suzy and Nancy before seeing some great presentations to women veterans with Renee Powell - very moving. The ladies are loving the game!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Day 2 of the PGA Show--More SNAG!

I wrapped up the last day of SNAG certification taught by owner Terry Anton. SNAG is moving up in the spotlight and it's exciting to be part of the family and program! I'm looking very forward to implementing SNAG for both juniors and new golfers. Keep an eye on SNAG (http://www.snaggolf.com/) -- good things are coming around the world and in the night!

After a busy day, I always enjoy dinner at Bahama Breeze. It's a great place for catching up on work and prepping for another great day. Tomorrow I'll meet with GBN, attend various meetings and go to a reception held by ClubCorp and EWGA as well as a special video shoot. I'm so appreciative of the chance to be in Orlando!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Competing From Different Tees

Are you part of a group in which players want to or need to play from a different set of tee markers but aren't sure of how to use the proper handicaps? This article provides basic information that will help clarify so groups can incorporate players using different teeing ground combinations, like Tournament and Club tees, Club and Medal tees, Medal and Forward tees, and Forward and Skidaway tees. Below you will find an fantastic article by the USGA, and then I will provide a Landings example. 

Suppose you and a friend (or your spouse) decide to play a match. One of you favors using the forward tees, while the other wants to play from the back tees. Can you still have a fair match?

Yes, you can. The USGA's Handicap System allows players to use separate tees, yet still compete on an equitable basis. Normally, two players will have different Course Handicaps, so one player receives strokes from the other in a match. But what happens if each golfer plays from different tees? The golfer playing from the more difficult tees-those with a higher USGA Course Rating (normally the back tees) -- receives extra strokes as well.

Let's demonstrate this concept by reviewing a match between Uncle Snoopy and Woodstock at Beagle Haven Country Club. Snoopy, who has an 11.6 USGA Handicap Index, plays from the more difficult Beagle tees with a higher Course Rating of 73.5. Snoopy checks the Course Handicap Table located at the clubhouse or near the first tee) and finds he has a Course Handicap of 13 that day.

Meanwhile, Woodstock plays from the easier forward tees with a lower Course Rating of 70.9. Since Woodstock has a Handicap Index of 17.8, he checks the Course Handicap Table and finds he has a Course Handicap of 20 that day.

Normally, Uncle Snoopy would give Woodstock seven strokes (20-13 = 7). But, in this instance, Uncle Snoopy's Course Rating is 2.6 higher than Woodstock's Course Rating (73.5 - 70.9 = 2.6). A decimal of .5 or more is rounded off to the higher number, so 2.6 becomes 3. Thus, Snoopy gives Woodstock only four strokes instead of seven because Snoopy is playing from more difficult tees.

This formula works for humans the same as for beagles and birds. When you and your opponent compete from different tees, you need to do two things in order to give or receive the right number of strokes. First, look up your Handicap Index on the Course Handicap Table to find your Course Handicap for the set of tees you play that day and compare it to your opponent's total for his or her tees; the player with the higher Course Handicap receives strokes.

Second, compare your Course Rating for the set of tees you play with that of your opponent for the set of tees he or she plays; the golfer playing from the set of tees with a higher Course Rating receives the number of strokes equaling the difference between the two Course Ratings.

The USGA's Handicap System allows you to compete on an equitable basis with your partner, even if you both play from different sets of tees. Remember that it's okay to move to the forward tees one day or the back tees the next. Just choose the set of tees where you'll have the most fun on a given day-and play away, please!

The Landings Club Example #1
Mary would like to play from the Skidaway Tees while Sally would like to play from the Deer Creek Tees.  Mary's course handicap is 25 and Sally's is 32. Normally, Mary would give Sally 7 strokes (32-25=7) but in this instance, the Deer Creek Tee rating (69.2) is 7 higher than the Skidaway Tees (62.2), so those 7 extra shots that Mary would normally get from Sally are wiped away since she's playing from the Skidaway Tees, which are 7 lower than the Deer Creek Tees.

The Landings Club Example #2
Bob would like to play from the Club Tees while Jim would like to play from the Medal Tees.  Bob's course handicap is 12 and Jim's is 17.  Normally, Bob would give Jim 5 strokes (17-12=5) but in this instance, the Deer Creek Club Tee rating (69.4) is 2.3 higher higher than the Deer Creek Medal Tee rating (67.1), so Jim has to essentially give those 2 (2.3 is rounded to 2) strokes back and would only receive a total of 3 strokes from Bob, out of fairness from playing from the higher rated tees.

Please check with the golf professional staff to help your groups figure out the proper handicaps beforehand.  Your group should have all the strokes and handicaps figured out well before tee times. The rounds are much more enjoyable and faster-paced if players are competing from the tees that best suit their games and distance.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Day 1 of the PGA Show: SNAG Certification!

SNAG Certification

If you are a new golfer or a junior golfer, this is for YOU!  SNAG Golf is a really fun way to learn about the game. I've been using SNAG equipment since the early 2000s and I am loving their new products and methodology.

Doesn't it look fun?

How fun is it to hit colored velcro balls that stick to flagsticky bases or bullseyes that you can put in a tree, on a cart, on a net, etc? Or, hitting a person in the SNAG suit (pants, top, helmut)? Maybe trying the Snapper, Snag-o-matic, roller brush, hoop clock, Snagazoo with the 5-sided color-coded grip appeals as well. 

This is by far one of the best ways to engage families, new golfers and juniors into the game and I'll definitely be using it a lot more. More fun things on the horizon with SNAG!

Monday, January 23, 2012

PGA Show Pre-Game

A nice easy drive to Orlando with a book-on-tape was the perfect way to kick off PGA Show week at the Orange County Convention Center in Florida! The buzz on I-Drive and the throngs of people who just love and live this sport make it a special week. 

For me, the show used to be about walking the floor (miles of booths and vendors) and seeing so much new and unfamiliar product. Now, this week has become more about networking with colleagues, catching up with friends and exchanging ideas, attending certifications and workshops, developing relationships with known reps and companies, anticipating certain booths to visit and feeding the spark of the early golf season that will quickly grow into a flame.

I can't wait for SNAG certification, GBN meetings and lunch panels, a video shoot with The Littlest Golfer company, a book signing on Friday, January 27 at The Littlest Golfer booth #4753, US Kids Golf ceremony, stopping by booths like Eyeline Golf, PING, Foot-Joy, Uschedule, Startingtime Golf, V1, Orange Whip Trainer and so many more.

Looking forward to seeing some of you at the Show and also blogging about the event. Stay tuned!

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Cold Weather Spin on a Warm Weather Sport

For many golfers, January/February is a down-time for the game. As a youngster growing up in southeast Massachusetts, my Dad and I used to play golf as much as we could during the winters with some fun modifications that bring back great memories.

Each night we used to putt 3 sets of 10 putts on the cement basement floor (15' putt, slight break which you could take out with more speed on the putt). We had to record how many times we hit a skinny brick against the wall and after 2,000 putts, he was just 1 up!

Dad was a remarkable tailor and clothing designer. He designed a chipping net for us to use in the basement and drew some circles on it so we could try for different targets. He sewed it so the net would catch the balls in the bottom and we could later clean them all out at once. In his later years, he tried working on his full swing and to avoid the overhead beams, added in a little squat so he could finish his swing. As a teaching professional, I had to later help him undo his little squat finish which he so faithfully developed in the basement during those long winters. It exacerbated his slice and wasn't something I recommended for his back!

Ice Golf... FUN! I grew up living on the 10th fairway (well, just past the OB stakes) of Heritage Hill Country Club, a gorgeous executive course where Dad and I used to go out in the winter on weekends and play on frozen ground and ponds. Our rule was if you were firing over a pond, the ball had to bounce twice on the ice before making it over or you were given a 1-stroke penalty. Sometimes the fairways were so frozen that you could hit 5 iron from 200 yards away and it would bounce like on asphalt all the way down near the green. That's my kind of 5 iron!

Rotating Flags... I remember this at Poquoy Brook Golf Course very well - with the greens frozen most of the winter, we would play to one of three flagsticks on the green. When we finished putting, we had to rotate the flagstick to another cup so it would be used equally since they couldn't change the cups.

Hot chocolate and a chocolate frosted Dunkin Donut after golf... my favorite!

Book Signing at the PGA Show

That's right, I'm going to the 2012 PGA Merchandise Show from January 25-28 in sunny Orlando, Florida!

If you happen to be in the area, stop by The Littlest Golfer booth on Friday, January 27 between 2 and 3pm. I'll be there doing a book signing for Stick to Sports: Let's Play Golf. If you can't make it then, I'm having a bonus signing January 26, 27 or 28 during the Best Pee Wee Swing Contest Award Presentation.

I hope to see you all there--it should be a great show!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Exciting Events for 2012!

What an exciting 2012 already! I'm looking forward to kicking off our instruction season with some unique new events!

Dinner with the Pro
January 20 with Nicole & Ty Weller
Eating out? Join us for dinner and great conversation! This exciting event will be held monthly on Fridays at 5:30pm at Deer Creek (unless otherwise specified). Food will be billed to each member's account with no extra charges incurred for the evening! Each dinner with include Nicole Weller with 1-4 participants. If there are 5-8 people, a second pro will join the group! Don't forget to sign up, there are still 4 out of 8 spots left for January 20!

Magical Video Tour
Select Thursdays at 11am at Marshwood
Come out for a complimentary video on various skills topics with Mike McNutt & Tad Sanders at Marshwood for one hour.

Guest Speaker: Dr. Rick Jensen
Monday, February 27 from 9am-11am at Plantation
Dr. Jensen will share information from his new book, Easier Said than Done. I've seen his new presentation and it's excellent! So good that I was able to secure with him here at The Landings Club! There will be a limited-space clinic (25 students) in the morning, which will be interactive with Dr. Jensen and myself on swing, short game, putting for $99. Following the morning clinic will be Dr. Jensen's afternoon lecture from 3:30pm-4:30pm. This includes an excellent PowerPoint presentation and engaging, motivating ideas on how to make practice and play more successful and why ideas seemingly learned don't hold up. $35 for the lecture. 

Middle School and High School Practices
Wednesdays in March & April 4:00-4:30pm with Mike Morgan at Oakridge
This also includes an 8-week play series and pizza party to be held Saturdays at 1pm  with Jim Sykes on various courses.

Girls Golf, Stickers, Games and Pizza Party
Saturday, February 25 from 2:00pm-4:30pm

And much more

Also, several golf professionals joined me in filming some very short and important etiquette tips that we will be launching over the course of the next few months. It will be fun to see them go national but also serve as reminders of great etiquette to follow here at The Landings Club

Stay tuned -- they'll be posted on Club News and The Landings Club website! They were fun to shoot and I'm sure there is a reel of bloopers and deleted scenes for some fun!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Goodbye 2011, Hello 2012!

As we say goodbye to 2011, it's fun to look back at some great instruction memories at The Landings Club, such as
  • New Teeny Tiny Tot (age 3) golf program
  • Golf Fitness Seminar with 70+ attendees
  • Holiday Camps, Haunted Halloween Putting Challenge with 40+ participants, Glow Golf Putting
  • Junior Camps & Kyle Wohler (2011 Junior Sportsmanship Award Winner)
  • Revamped Supervised Practice sessions
  • Successful new ways to play the course more wisely in on-course practice sessions
  • Golf Talk and May Free Lesson Month tips with the pros
  • Ideas from the PGA Teaching & Coaching Summit, Golf Business Network and LPGA Teaching National Summits
  • Golf Schools (Short Game, Reading Southern Greens, Landings Golf School)
  • PGA Get Golf Ready Programs (over 20+ new and budding golfers through July-November)

Teeny Tiny Tots Golf Camp

Haunted Putting Challenge

Glow Golf Putting

2011 might have been a great time, but 2012 is chock full of new additions that I think will be just as great! Here are some things to look forward to:
  • February 27 - Guest Speaker Dr. Rick Jensen (sport psychologist performance coach)
  • Dinner with a Pro
  • Ultimate Junior Skills Challenge
  • Middle & High School Practices and Play Series
  • Girls Golf
  • Member & Guest Golf Experience
  • Complimentary Video Analysis with Mike McNutt & Tad Sanders
  • Much more!!!
I hope your New Year is starting off wonderfully and best wishes for good health, success and excellent golf in 2012. Let us know how we can make your golf experience more enjoyable!