Rain

The course has been closed all week, and the rain just keeps coming.  On the bright side, I am way more confident in my marking of the golf course.  Rivers, creeks, and drainage areas are now easy to see (and hear) in many of the deeply wooded and grassed areas. 

A glimpse into the mind of a golf nut:  As a golfer,  I love a little rain!  An extended light rain scares away all but the crazies, and leaves the golf course wide open for play!  You can play fast, you can play in total solitude, and I just love that!!  Even without actually playing, I had a blast on Monday marking the golf course in the rain…. 

As a golfer, a lot of rain is torture!  Now it’s pretty much rained for 4 straight days…. No golf is being played at Carolina Colours.  Now I just look out at this beautiful and empty course and I know there’s no chance to get out there.  Crap. 

Rain. 

Carolina Colours: Picture #10

Hole #10 at Carolina Colours.  330 yard par 4.  It’s got an enourmous bunker in front of the green, a pot bunker just short center, and a fairly severe tier that runs accross (back to front) of the green.  It’s definitely a birdie hole, but an errant shot will often make it play tougher than it is.  Should be a fun hole to play. 

Marking a Golf Course

Got a brand new golf course here at Carolina Colours, and marking the course has been a real challenge.  We have lots of native grasses that frame the holes, and they create quite a lot of confusion as to how to designate different areas of the course.  You see, by definition, if you hit a ball into the native grass, it’s a lost ball and you must take a stroke and distance penalty.  That’s a massive hassle for most golfers, and a nightmare for speed of play! 

I’ve spend many hours discussing our situation with rules officials, golf pros, superintendents, the owner, the GM, as well as with the members to help me create a fairly marked course. 

The key was in tying in the native grass areas to hazards when possible.  Many of the grassy areas run into dense woods.  Quite a few of these areas are laced with creeks and run off areas.  I spent several hours yesterday red staking (lateral hazard markers) many of the holes and I like the way it’s turning out! 

We still have challenges ahead in terms of educating golfers as to proper procedures when playing tournament golf out here (mainly, hitting PROVISIONALS!!!!).  People are very reluctant to hit provisionals, yet they are a great way to speed up play in the long run.  I say FIRE AWAY!  If you have any doubt, hit another ball!  Don’t let others in your group persuade you out of a provisional.  Just call it out, let them know what the brand and number ball you hit first, and the brand and number of the ball you are now hitting, and let ‘er rip. 

Enough for today, I’ve got more staking to do. 

Congratulation, Jim Furyk!

Jim won the Fed Ex Cup, and I couldn’t be happier for him.   I was really bothered by the raw deal he got a few weeks before when he overslept for a pro-am and was subsequently disqualified from that weeks tournament (the first week of the Fed Ex Cup Playoffs).  I completely understand the tours thinking behind punishing tour players for not showing up to a pro-am.  I also think disqualification is an overly harsh punishment that will be changed (and it may have already been changed after the fact).  Warn them, fine them, then DQ if necessary….. 

Anyway, more importantly, we see another example of overcoming obstacles!  We see someone getting tossed a bad deal only to come out on top in the end!  I love it! 

Minimum whining, maximum focus and determination. 

….. And of course Jim has one of the best GRAVITY GOLF swings of all time!  Have you picked up the greatness of his motion yet?  Can you tell that he slings his arms with his counterfall and pivot?  Awesome!

Tension at the Beginning of the Swing

There should be just enough tension in the wrists and elbows
at the beginning of the swing so that the arms and club can go back connected
or in “one piece”.  It is incorrect to be
relaxed at takeaway!  You should be
composed, confident, and perhaps relaxed mentally, but if the hands and wrists
are relaxed just before takeaway, then you’ll need a pressure change to move
the club back (a grab with the hands), and that will destroy a physics
compliant swing. 

Compensations will then have to be made.  Good luck with that!

Grip Pressure

I think that Mike Hebron said it best.  “Everything written about grip pressure
should have been written about wrist tension.”

There is a wide spectrum of grip pressures on the PGA
tour.  Some firm, some soft…  There is, however, very little wrist tension
in the swings of tour players. 

 Now that’s good stuff right there!  

Talent Is Overrated

“The best methods of development are built around a central principle:  They’re meant to stretch the individual beyond his or her current abilities.  That may sound obvious, but most of us don’t do it in the activities we think of as practice..  At the driving range, most of us are just doing what we’ve done before and hoping to maintain the level of performance that we probably reached long ago.” -Geoff Covin, Talent Is Overrated

Geoff has written an entire book discussing the fact that great performers aren’t born, but rather they train harder and more “deliberately” over many years.

That’s great news for golfers everywhere!  Either begin practicing better and more, or in the case of so many of my students at Snee Farm, JUST KEEP ON DOING WHAT YOUR DOING!!! 

Both Gravity Drills and my Over training drills (go a mile to get an inch) are designed to stretch your capabilities.  Do your best to avoid complacency and fall back into just hitting regular old golf shots…  It just doesn’t work very well. 

*What’s an Over Training Drill?  Go back into my blog entries and check it out!  They are awesome. 

Carolina Colours: Picture #8

Hole #8 at Carolina Colours. 
About 385 from the back tees, this is a fun medium to short par 4.  That bunker on the left is enormous!  You can lay up short of it to a wide fairway and have about 140 left to the pin, or you can be more aggressive and try to get the tee shot way down there and really take advantage of the hole….  Drive it into that bunker and you may have one of those dreaded 100 yard sand shots!  Fun golf hole. 

Me Human, Me Dope

Every morning I walk into my closet and flip a light switch that isn’t there….  What a dope.

I ring in a charge at the cash register and more often than not I place the tickets to the left of me, and make a big mess on the counter….   Sloppy!

I forget something in my car and walk 100 yards out to it only to discover it’s locked, and my keys are in the pro shop!!!  How can I be so forgetful??!!!

That’s the genius of the human brain at work!  I’m glad I can laugh at my self a lot (or I guess I’d be one grumpy grump with as many goof ups as I have on a given day!). 

You see, the brain SEEKS efficiency.  For 4 years in Charleston, I had a light switch in my closet, we stacked our tickets to my left at Snee Farm CC, and I never locked my doors at the club!  Those things became habitual, so I could use my brain for more important things….  (For example; what silly drill will I make someone do today???)

The even greater thing about the brain is that I don’t need to get all frazzled and think real hard, write notes, yell at myself, or see a light switch guru!!!  All I need is time.  My task is right in front of me:

-Flip switch on outside of closet wall
-Register tickets belong on shelf behind me
-Bring keys to car

As long as the task is clear, my brain will adapt and soon I’ll be smoothly turning on the closet light with no trouble at all!!!

Be patient with the drills in golf.  It takes as much or more time to get rid of the old habits as it does to hone the new ones…   Just know that if the task is CLEAR, the brain and body will adapt.  The drills make the task EXTREMELY CLEAR.  Just keep intending to hit a solid draw to your target….  Life will take care of the rest!