Mental clarity in golf is important. Celebrating after a good shot can be just as detrimental as getting aggravated over a bad shot. Both responses are emotional. The best golfers are usually very calm in how they respond to good and bad shots during a round. Check out the highlights from Patrick Cantlay's round yesterday.
When a player is emotionally grounded, they are able to think strategically about the next shot. Some common errors that can be made when you are making decisions through emotional lenses include:
While these tips seem to be helpful only when you are having a tough time, they should be applied when you are have a great round. Celebrating too early leads to poor decision making. Never become complacent on the golf course, always stay disciplined. If you happen to make it to the end with an awesome scorecard celebrate and leave it in the past. The next round of golf is a new challenge. Treat it that way!!
I have said this before but I will say it again. I love golf and I love what I do. I get to be outside and I get the opportunity to teach others how to play this game. Playing this game requires a lot of patience and discipline. I can teach you how to swing but I cannot teach you how to be patient with your progress. I'm sure you have heard the saying "Rome was not built in a day," but when it comes to golf too many people think they can become an overnight sensation after one lesson. I like to think that I do a good job of explaining the swing and highlighting areas that need attention in my student's swing but I am not a miracle worker.
The hard work happens when you leave me. Do you practice deliberately? Meaning when you practice do you focus on the areas that I showed you in the lesson or do you just go back to your old ways of practicing? Are you changing your mindset about the swing or are you continuing to exhaust yourself by swinging at the ball instead of your target? Do you believe you can improve or are you constantly berating yourself? Are you trying to show off for others or are you focusing on your personal goals?
Playing golf is supposed to be enjoyable. If you are not having fun then you are putting too much pressure on yourself. Golf is a game. Treat it that way. The question to ask is "How do I beat the course?" Too many golfers worry about beating their buddy. When you are stressed or getting angry, the course is beating you. How does an inadamant thing have the ability to beat a human with a brain? It doesn't but when you let your emotions take over, the course wins every time.
Emotions are hard to manage, especially if you are a parent of a junior who wants to play golf competitively. The best advice I can give to those parents is to let their golfers enjoy the game. If they want to play in tournaments, encourage them to learn the rules of the game, get them out to play on course so they can strategize about how to beat the course and when they are struggling encourage them to think about what they have learned and apply that knowledge. Let your juniors drive their ambition and do your best to minimize your expectations.
I have taught many juniors who competed throughout high school but did not pursue it in college. It is not the end of world. The experience they gain on this golf journey will help them, no matter where life takes them. You can rest assured that they will not be calling me or any other coach in a panic because their boss invited them to play in a foursome next week. Yes, we absolutely get those calls.
The key thing to remember whether you are pursing golf recreationally or competitively is to be realistic in your expectations. If you put in the right effort, progress will follow. Even more important, do not compare yourself to another golfer. Some golfers get certains pieces of the game easier than others. Some golfers need more time to change bad habits. Golf is a journey, a personal journey. Enjoy it!!
It is hard to believe that it is August. As I look back on the summer, I am once again humbled. In June, I mentioned that several of my homeschool students participated in Drive, Chip and Putt with varying levels of success. Since then I have had several more, both homeschool and traditional school, take a chance and I am very proud of them.
Camille Adam Girls 7-9 (1st in putt)
Celine Adam Girls 7-9 (3rd in putt)
Gideon Ladicani Boys 7-9
Tristan Ladicani Boys 7-9
Zoe Ladicani Girls 10-11 (2nd in chip)
Londyn Leon Girls 7-9
Thomas Nevico Boys 14-15 (2nd in drive, 2nd in putt)
Danny Tadeo Boys 12-13 (1st in putt)
Congratulations to Camille Adam and Thomas Nevico who are moving on to the Sub-Regionals on August 27th. No matter what happens moving forward each one of them has a memory that will last a lifetime.
This summer also marked the first time that Beaver Golf participated in the Mayor's Golf Tournament at Madison Green. I asked Coach Danni, Coach Mike and my right-hand Mayda to join me in supporting the Mayor's scholarship fund. A couple of my adult students also sponsored foursomes which allowed a few of my junior students (Thomas Nevico, David Peschansky and Danny Tadeo) to play. Everyone had a blast and I even won the 50/50.
One of my favorite while exhausting memories has to be golf summer camp. Each week we had a great group of golfers. They were ready to improve their skills and knowledge but they were also ready to let loose and have fun. Never underestimate the power of a good water soaker. Mayda did a great job of capturing the memories and sharing them on our new facebook page.
I am especially grateful for my volunteers. Their presence and willingness to invest in my younger junior golfers made the experience even more memorable. Thank you Annika Collado, Cienna Collado, Jayda Dookie, Blake Leon, David Peschansky, Micaela Riudias, Sydney Rogers and Troy Thartimanont.
We gathered a small group of my junior students today for another golf course design class. This time I was able to be present and I am honored that Mr. Swanson is willing to donate his time to come alongside Beaver Golf in helping junior golfers expand their knowledge about golf.
He did a great job of connecting how knowledge gained from math, science and even history can be applied in the various stages of golf course design. I truly appreciated how the golfers were engaged while he shared the course plans. Mr. Swanson actually used my sign to help the golfers understand how to read contour lines in his designs.
The class lasted about an hour which also included a demonstration of how greens are created. One of my high school players said, "I have been playing golf for almost 6 years now and I will admit I never considered what is going on underneath the greens. It was really eye-opening." Now they have a better understanding of why it is so important to respect the greens by repairing ball marks and never applying pressure to your putter while on the green.
Another highlight for some of the golfers was following the drainage system. Since many of them have encountered standing water in fairways or bunkers at local courses, they were surprised to know that the cause could be improperly installed or poorly maintained drainage systems.
Mr. Swanson also explained that we live in the country that has the most golf courses in the world, we live in the state that has the most golf courses in the U.S. and we live in the county that has the most golf courses in the state. It seems like there is no better place to learn to play golf or to learn about the golf industry. If your golfer would like to be invited to a future class, send me a note.
My student, Jayda Dookie, returned from her trip to San Francisco and her response is exactly why I chose to affiliate with First Tee:
The John Deere event was very engaging and I learned a lot about the working world. Overall it was an eye opening experience, and I quite enjoyed it. The program had guest speakers, mostly women, to show us different skills and give us a little background on the different paths life might take you on. There were many great discussions on how to market ourselves for both college and the future.
Of course, business isn't the only thing we discussed, we volunteered at the Pomeroy Center, which is aimed at rehabilitation and education for people with disabilities. We spent a couple hours teaching people how to play golf there and I was really proud that I was able to make a difference, even if it was small, in some of their lives. I will cherish the experience.
Beyond that, I went sightseeing at Muir Woods and took a boat tour around the Bay. The area was much different than Florida and it was pretty cold in San Francisco. We played at The Olympic Club, home of the 2012 U.S Open and 2021 Women's Open. I loved the course, and I wish I could play there everyday.
I am so grateful to the First Tee and John Deere for the opportunity, and I hope many more young women get to experience it next year. It really is life changing!
I am looking forward to seeing what lies ahead for Jayda and I am hopeful that more of my students will be selected for these opportunities in the future.