Friday, April 26, 2013

Notes from the Summit - 1

Over the next few articles, I will be conveying information learned from attending the PGA Teaching & Coaching Summit in Orlando, Florida earlier this year. There were many of the great’s among the top teachers on hand… enjoy the seminar highlights!

Notes from Dave Stockton Sr & Rob Stockton, PGA Teaching & Coaching Summit Presentation -Tour Players and Top Golf Instructors

A wonderful presentation on what Dave Stockton’s golf schools work with in putting.

  • Learning goes through 4 stages: Unconscious Incompetence, Conscious Incompetence, Conscious Competence and Unconscious Competence.  While all golfers would like to dwell in unconscious competence, most amateurs live between Conscious Incompetence and Conscious Competence when working on a skill because of lack of practice, repetitions and time spent on really learning a drill. 
  • Abandon the words Try and Hit and replace them with Feel and Roll.
  • Move physical thoughts and emotions into the background when putting. We can’t micromanage every thought and move. Just like trying to micromanage signing our names, it becomes easier when letting it sign on its own – it has a better flow.  Move the focus from the ball to the target (like throwing darts or shooting basketballs)
  • Spend more time on pace versus reading the line once over the putt.
  • Reduce the busy mind at tough distances. Build confidence versus high expectation.
  • Left-Hand Drill for RH golfer: Putt with target-hand only. 
  • Yips come from expectations. Lead hand alone chips and putts. Most yips are in the dominant hand.
At what point do you really know how to do this?  It does not have to be perfect. It’s not a deadly disease. If you miss, you miss. It does  not have to look a certain way. It just needs to go in. Work on speed and feel in your routine, not thinking.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Tee It Forward

In 2011, The Landings Club embarked on the new national Tee It Forward movement supported by the USGA and PGA of America. The premise behind the new movement is that most golfers are playing from yardages that are too long and that many think it’s an acceptable part of the golf culture/tradition to continue playing distances that are too long. While some may see it as a sign of weakness or a break in tradition to move forward, it actually allows golfers to have permission to reach a par 3 in 1 shot, a par 4 in 2 shots and a Par 5 in 3 shots. It’s more enticing to attracting new golfers into the game at any age, and our game needs new golfers! 

Even Jack Nicklaus has noted that golf needs to become more creative in attracting and retaining golfers (see article link below).  I recall hearing Judy Rankin’s response to a question “What happens if I can’t hit a Par 4 in 2, what do I do about my distance?” to which she responded, “Move up.”  If a PGA Tour professional played the same clubs into the greens that most amateur golfers are playing, the course would need to play over 8,000 yards long. Most Tour professionals hit short irons to long irons/hybrids to greens in regulation, and all amateurs should have that same opportunity.  It’s a fun GAME!

This following link highlights a great article describing the joining of PGA and USGA forces with Tee It Forward:

Some golfers are hesitant to Tee It Forward if others in their group are not. If a man and woman play together one afternoon, where would each tee off?  The woman would most likely play from the Forward Tee (or Medals) and the man from the Medals, Clubs or Tournament tees…  different tees.  The same can be done within a same gender group. The USGA has a system that allows golfers to adjust handicaps for golfers playing from different sets of tees. And I encourage golfers to see teeing grounds as starting places for all genders… ‘Ladies Tee’ are a thing of the past with Tee It Forward.  A teenage boy or senior male golfer might play from the Forward Tee because it suits the length of his game. A female golfer may play from the Medal or Club Tees for the same reason. Teeing Grounds do not know if a man or woman is teeing off, only the people in the group do.  It’s OK to play the tees that suit your distance!

A few comments from our Landings Club members who are Teeing It Forward:

“The whole tee it forward thing is interesting.  I still play the Medal tees but if you look at how far I hit a drive, I should play the forward tees.  I think if one drives the ball less than 170 yards, one should be playing the forward tees. The first hole at the Deer Creek Medal tee is 336 yards.  If a drive is 170, a golfer is then hitting a 3 wood on the second shot and unlikely to hit it 166 to the green. For those who aren’t playing the proper teeing length, perhaps an answer to help golfers Tee It Forward is simply to move the Medal tees forward right behind the forward tees!”

“I scheduled my Saturday golf group on the Skidaway tees at our designated course, Oakridge. I have players in this group from a single digit to a 24 handicap. I adjusted the handicaps for those tees. My group was a bit skeptical at first, but they were willing to indulge me in this experiment. As I entered the clubhouse after completing the round, I was met by grins and smiles that reached from ear to ear.  All thoroughly enjoyed the day's play enormously. Among the comments from the ladies were such words as, "I shot an 80!" And that was from a 20+ player. Other high handicappers shot very low scores as well. I managed an eagle on one hole and my playing partner aced a par 3. The chatter at the tables was evidence of a super day of golf and a wonderfully enjoyable round. What an uplifting experience; we proved that we can still play golf without a mighty struggle and have the enjoyment that this game can provide. We shall certainly play these tees again.”

In addition to the enjoyment of the game, Teeing It Forward also helps golfers with responsible pace of play.  Playing from tee markers that are too long can greatly increase the round time.  Check with a Landings Club Golf Professional and have your driver speed/carry distance measured to see which teeing ground would be best for you based on these recommendations from the industry:

Swing Speed (mph) / Driver Carry no roll / Recommended Yardages
55                              / 115                              / 3,000-3,300
65                             / 140                               / 4,000-4,200
75                             / 165                               / 4,400-5,000
85                             / 190                               / 5,600-5,800
95                             / 215                               / 6,100-6,300
105                           / 240                               / 6,600-6,800

One game I’ve heard members playing is that based on their group’s ability, if a golfer scores a bogey (or double bogey), the golfer moves forward a tee.  If the same happens, the golfer moves forward another tee.  Some men have ended up on the Skidaway Tees and have enjoyed the game.  One a par (or bogey) is made, the golfer can move back. This is obviously a non-postable score but a great way to test one’s creativity and think outside the box.   I look forward to your thoughts and seeing more golfers reaching greens in regulation and not feeling rushed with pace of play.