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Coaching Youth Sports

>> December 22, 2008

If you are like me, you are always balancing playing golf with your other commitments in life. For me, that includes work (of course) and coaching youth sports. Coaching sports gives me so much pleasure that I think I've become addicted to it. I've created a new blog, designed to document my experiences, but to also encourage anyone who does coach youth sports, to really put some effort into it and give the kids a fantastic experience.

Check out my Coaching Youth Sports blog now.

P.S. No, I do not coach golf, that would be scary.


Paul Goydos

>> December 18, 2008

Reading a recent Golf Magazine issue, I stumbled onto an interview with Paul Goydos, my new favorite golfer outside Tiger.

Yes, we all remember him fighting it out with Sergio and losing at TPC last year, but what I didn’t realize was his amazing back story and pure authenticity as a human being.

Are you better than Tiger and anything?
At being older.


Goydos tells the story about the BBC asking him to do commentary for the Ryder Cup. He sat with Bob Costas who at one point apparently told him that it was OK for him to comment. Goydos said what was on his mind and after watching a highlight of himself making a 30-footer he says “He’s a good looking guy.”

In a million years, I’d never come up with something so funny.

Later in the interview, Goydos calls Ayn Rand a Nazi and said his shot of the year (2008) was the tee shot into the water off 17 at TPC. Great interview.


Get Yer Facebook On...

>> December 17, 2008

While looking for a funny interview with Paul Goydos on Golf.com I saw that they launched a new Facebook golf game. Hours of addiction await you... go here to play. (Note: you have to have a Facebook account to play).

They have 3 games (long drive, closest to the pin and putting) and you can challenge your friends and enter tournaments. Silly, but fun.


Winter Sucks

>> December 15, 2008

It's not even winter and I'm already complaning about it.

Winter sucks because I live in CT and it's too damn cold to enjoy a round of golf.

I can't wait until spring. In the meantime, I think I'll start practicing my putting in my basement and dream of warm summer days.


Michelle Wie

>> December 8, 2008

Love her or hate her (why would you hate her?), big props to Michelle Wie for getting her card. One of the lessons I have been trying to give my daughters is perseverance. I haven’t read anything about Wie’s training plan or how hard she worked to get her card, but I do know she didn’t give up. Good on ya Michelle.

I did some searching but didn’t find much info on how she trained or even (re)dedicated herself online, if you have any links, please send them!

That said, I did fine one quote that sort of stuck out:

“I closed my eyes, I closed my ears to everything,'' she said. “It was a tough period. This seems like the world for me. I've come from really far below, and it feels like it's a clean slate. It took a long way to get here, but I feel really good about it.”

More on the Wie story here on Golf.com.


The End of the Season

>> December 4, 2008

I think that’s about it for this season of golfing. My goal was to break 95 this year, and I didn’t manage it. I came close and played well, but honestly, things never came together the way I expected this year. Ah well.

I did manage to play some really amazing courses including The Broadmoor and Steele Canyon, two really terrific layouts.

I managed to play the entire year without a driver, but I recently remedied that with a recent purchase of a Nike Driver. I can’t wait to play with it!

Some stats from oobgolf.com:

  • 33 scores entered
  • 2 birdies (doh!)
  • 52 pars
  • 107 bogies
  • 85.4 miles played
  • 97.4 scoring average

I literally can’t wait until next season to start, but I need a break for now.

When is Tiger coming back?


Long Drive Winner!

>> November 13, 2008

No, I didn't win.

From Steele Canyon

Yes, that's my name on the 2nd line.

But I did crush the ball! I played a best ball round of golf at Steele Canyon in San Diego last week and had a great time. Playing well helps for sure, but the 30 mph winds and the huge elevation changes on this course made it like a fun house. I had a blast!

We ended up +4, but I take some joy from 3 factors:

  • We didn't finish last by a long shot
  • In our foursome, I was the best player.
  • We shot +1 on the back 9.

From Steele Canyon

From Steele Canyon


How Tiger Does It

>> November 6, 2008

Just finished reading a terrific book "How Tiger Does It" by Brad Kearns. It provides some great insights into Tiger's life and how he maintains his competitive edge. The book is much more interesting however, when read from a parent's point of view, I think.

The author talks a lot about kids and parenting (he must have his own!) and translating Tiger's winning ways into tools you can give your kids. The biggest takeway for me, across the board however is the idea that your child must be internally motivated (pure motivation), and that motivation must come from inside them.

My daughters both play sports (softball, basketball, soccer and golf) but never, ever practice on their own without being asked. Never. They do however, read, write and practice their instruments. My younger one draws pictures just because she feels like it. It's hard as a parent who knows that in order to get better, your kids have to practice - but the very act of pushing them to practice could be just the push your kid is looking for to quit. I'd prefer they keep playing casually instead of quitting because I've been an overbearing, winning obsessed parent.

The author points out "tips for raising a Tiger" towards the end of the book. I think they are worth listing here:

  1. Nurture your child's pure motivation and natural potential (in other words, don't project!!)
  2. Be a good caddie (help your child navigate, but let her take her own shots!)
  3. Place high expectations on your child (no for results, but honest, sportsmanlike and maximum effort in competition - direct praise at effort and behavior, not at ability or results)
  4. Apply the success formula (don't over do it, enforce expectations for effort and character and reduce emphasis on natural ability and winning)

The book is filled with great stories about Tiger's youth, his dad and mom's approach and full of quotes and bromides from the man himself. Well worth the time to read this book.

Full disclosure: I was not asked to do this review, I found the book in the library!


The Only Thing Better Than a Three Putt

>> October 24, 2008

Is a Four-putt.

This sage advice comes directly from Jeff Foxworthy in his new golf handbook "How to really stink at Golf."

The good news is that this book will take you about 10 minutes to read. More good news is that it makes for a terrific gift for your golf obsessed friend, spouse, etc. It's also worth 2 or 3 really good laughs.

In particular, I loved Jeff's swing thoughts:

"Feet shoulder width apart, relax at the knees, arms straight, hands forming a perfect V, remember to rotate your hips, not too fast on the takeaway, are your shoes tied? Yea, I'm pretty sure they are, check the wind, did I leave the stove on this morning?" Etc, Etc, Etc.
The bad news is that some of the jokes aren't all that funny. Ah well.

The book does however make a good point in the end. Golf is about having fun and shouldn't feel like work. It's too bad I actually care about getting better.

If I were a reviewer who gave stars, I'd give it a 3 out of 5. Or, in golf terms, a bogey. Close to par, but not quite.


The Key, Please Be the Key!

>> October 22, 2008

I bought something called "The Key" the other day. I was so distraught after an absolutely horrid day at the range last week, I felt that I simply needed to buy one more golf gadget to make me feel better. I haven't had a chance to use it yet, will it work?

At the range, I hit a bucket of balls... umm.. I didn't actually hit much other than the ground and pieces of the ball. It was horrible!

I was thinking that golf season may in fact be over this year but just remembered that I'm playing at a CIO.com event in San Diego in November which means I'd better get my swing together quickly!

Here's a link for more info.


Father/Daughter Tournament

>> October 6, 2008

Finally, some pics from the tourney I played in with my 9 year old... we shot a 38, +5 on an executive course and had an absolutely amazing time.

Posted by Picasa


Member/Guest Tournament

As I mentioned in my last post, I spent the last few days down in Charlotte at a Member/Guest tournament - my first multi-day golf event and first member/guest as well. Instead of recapping the entire week, I'll post here my highlights and lowlights for the record. Enjoy.


  1. Not being the highest handicapper (in fact, I was 5th from worst!)
  2. Winning 2 matches on the final day to pull out 3rd place in our flight
  3. Pecan pie
  4. Hitting my 3 wood from 195 yards, over water to about 15 feet
  5. Hanging out with an old, old friend for the first time in years
  6. Big break challenge - I almost busted the glass and instead, plugged a ball right through the wood base
  7. Punching out of the woods from inside a gulley about 15 feet down onto the fairway


  1. Tapping the ball by accident on the final hole of a match. I needed to make a long putt for a tie, but didn't even give myself a chance. Humiliating.
  2. Losing 2 balls OB while stroking. We lost that hole.
  3. Not owning a driver, and feeling lame about that
  4. Losing 8-2 in our first match after shooting a net 31 in the practice round

Overall, it was an incredible event and I personally had an amazing time. My partner however, needs to either change his strategy, or find a new partner for next year if he wants to win. We ended up 2-2-1 in match play (we won both matches on the last day!).

One other note for those of you struggling with your golf game... I'm a 19/20 handicapper and had a 23 course handicap for the week. I've come to believe that there is simply a limit to how well someone with my skill (or lack of) can play. I made some good shots and some bad shots and probably shot around 99-101 gross each round which isn't horrible. But in the end, there is just no way that I was going to shave 10 strokes off my game just because it was a tournament. That meant capitalizing when I had a stroke. I managed to do that a few times, but not enough apparently.


Tournaments Galore

>> September 29, 2008

I have totally lost my blogging muse and have slacked off completely here at Golf is Hard. That said, I haven't had much of interest to talk about either lately.

Last weekend, I played in a father/daugther tournament here in CT. She's 9 and still very much learning the game. That said, she's got the etiquitte almost down (she's still restless on the green while someone else is taking their shot) and is a terrific little putter. She nearly dropped 2 20 foot birdie putts and missed a 30 footer for par by about 3 inches. It was way, way too much fun playing in a scramble like that and we plan to do it again.

Meanwhile, I'm headed to Charlotte to play in a member/guest tournament with a very old friend. I'm pretty nervous for two reasons. First, I want to represent well and have this feeling that the course isn't going to be so easy). Secondly, I haven't ever played that much golf in such a short time period and I'm worried about my back. I'll have to add a ton of stretching every day to get ready and hope I'll hold up well. We'll see.


The Broadmoor

>> August 28, 2008

I was in Colorado Springs this past week for the CIO 100 event and had a chance to play in the tournament at the Broadmoor Mountain course. In a 4 man scramble, we managed to miss our only 2 real birdie chances and shot an ungodly 8 over.

How do you shoot 8 over in a scramble? Easy, you stink it up and miss putt after putt. That's how! The winning team shot a 62, beating us by a country mile.

The course itself was gorgeous! Most holes are basically looking up at the mountain, and the views are really spectacular. Here's a big time tip for playing this course... putt away from the hill no matter what your eyes are telling you!

We had a putt on the 18th hole that looked like a HARD break to the left. But after our first putt, we saw the ball seemingly break upwards, and away from the mountain. Incredible.


Walking on Water

>> August 21, 2008

This is just simply.. too cool for words.. watch...


More Golf

>> August 20, 2008

I'm finally back from too much business travel and hoping to get some rounds in shortly. My P.O.S. bag by Acuity that I bought about a year ago cracked at the bottom, so I went to buy a new bag tonight at Golf Galaxy. While I was there, I traded in 3 clubs for some fast cash. Gone are my 3 and 4 irons which I never, ever hit along with my lousy driver. RIP TaylorMade R580...

I picked up a stiff shaft TaylorMade R7 fairway wood which is now my default driver. In talking with a club fitter, he is convinced the stiff shaft will make a big difference for me immediately when using this club. Now let's see how it all works out on the course.

I realize that I'll eventually need a driver in my bag, but for now, I'm hoping I can hit the new fairway wood about 230-240 yards which would be a perfect compliment to my 3 hybrid which I hit about 200 yards or so.

I am hoping to get up early tomorrow and get 9 holes in before work, so we'll see soon enough!


Book Review and Notes: The Seven Principles of Golf

>> August 4, 2008

Not only is this one of the best golf books I've ever read, it's one of the most useful life books I've come across as well. Check out reviews on Amazon and buy it if you feel so inclined.

(Full disclaimer: I received an e-mail from the publisher asking if I wanted to read and review the book... I'm a sucker for a free read so I said yes).

I'm thrilled to have had an opportunity to read this book and took extra time on this post to make sure I captured some of the more important ideas I'm taking away. At the end of the day, I feel like I get it - I really think golf is a direct reflection of how I live my life and I intend to use it as a tool to keep improving myself and learning to live in each moment fully. I'm far from perfect, but I am getting better at both golf and life, I hope.

If you've seen Randy Paush's "Last Lecture" or read his book, you'll know about head fake learning. That when we think we're learning one thing, but in reality, we're learning something totally different, and perhaps even more important. That's what golf is to me - a life lesson head fake. Learning to play each shot and live in the moment and translating that to the other aspects of my life is why I play and keep on playing. It's why I don't care too much after shooting a 105 or worse.

Learning to live in the moment means taking my game and my life off autopilot and taking the controls. it means I have to trust each decision I make and commit to my choices and decisions large and small. I used to think Baseball was the perfect game, but I was wrong... it's golf all the way.

Darrin Gee's book is really not so much about golf, it's more like a book about how to live life and I really, really enjoyed every page of it.

One practical golf lesson Gee talks about in the book is the importance of rituals. I have the basic parts of a golf ritual (line up, deep breath, practice swing and then  hit it), but after really thinking more about rituals, I think I can do better. I'll be working on a specific breath technique that I'm using in my life off the course as well. I said it earlier but I just have to say it again... I LOVE this book!


Mentally Tough

>> July 28, 2008

I know, I know... pathetic showing of blogging lately. Been busy!

I played 9 holes last weekend and shot 44, dispelling my earlier notion that I'd continue to get better through the summer.

Here's a great video to tide you over:


Hunter Mahan's Golf Magazine Interview

>> July 15, 2008

Mahan is an up and coming golfer on the PGA tour. His recent interview in Golf Magazine is OK but his answer to one question in particular caught my eye.

Question: Mentally, you have had your struggles on the golf course. Is that a result of your father always demanding perfection?

Hunter's answer is a signpost (thanks Mr. Tolle) to greater awareness in life. Simple replace "golf" with "life" and add water...

Answer: No, that's just me. That's been one of my weaknesses: trying to be perfect. And then I realized golf (life) has nothing to do with perfection. It has to do with getting the ball in the hole in the quickest time possible (add your own life metaphor here). I haven't seen anyone play perfect yet, and I don't think I ever will.

Golf continues to amaze me.


The Best Partner... Ever

>> July 14, 2008

I played two 9 hole rounds this weekend with the best partner a guy could ever ask for. Way better than playing with Tiger or Bob Hope or any chummy celeb for sure.

I'll take this partner over any in the world, in a tournament or just for fun. She's a joy to be with, hits the ball straight just about every time and never loses her cool.

My 8 year old daughter is an absolute pleasure to play with - she's so calm and funny. She plays quickly, lines up her shots and really watches what's going on. It's amazing to see her learn quickly, avoiding stepping on peoples lines and thinking through her club selection.

We played with two different pairs this weekend - both father/son duos and I know they were blown away by my kid. Not because she's so great, but because she seems to be having so much fun.

I'll take her as a partner any day and am looking forward to the day we can hit a full size course together.


A Smart Course for Data

>> July 8, 2008

Like many of my readers, I'm not a professional golfer. I make my living as a marketer working for Microsoft. My current role has me managing a web site for CIOs (if you are a CIO, drop me a line). In order to keep up, I read trade magazines like CIO and InformationWeek.

This month's issue of CIO has a terrific article on how the PGA does data management. There is a ton of great insights in the article, but the thing that jumped out at me was ShotLink's accuracy:

ShotLink averages about 27 inches of deviation (i.e. ShotLink is within 27 inches of being exactly right on the fairway). On the green, the deviation is 2 inches. Think about those numbers and then remember that a golf ball is an inch and a quarter wide. That's amazing! The system manages more than 32,000 shots over a typical 4-day tournament resulting in some errors of course - but the team prefers to have the data flowing as fast as possible.

The article also points out that players have full access to the system and are able to use the data to refine and understand their game.

Separately, while I'm on the CIO/Golf connection, if you are wondering if Golf is good for your career, check this out.


The Rotary Swing

>> June 29, 2008

I got a copy of "The Rotary Swing" from the publisher who apparently, thought I'd love to read it and review it here on my blog. Luckily, for both of us, that turned out to be true! I read the book on a flight to Seattle last week and absolutely fell for it - hook line and sinker.

In my hotel room, I was practicing my turn, feeling the "bump" and working on my legs and body with the hope that my swing will get less "handsy" and I'll start to hit the ball more consistently.

I had intended to get to the range this weekend, but my 9 year old convinced me to play 9 holes with her earlier today. I knew I was risking it by going out on the course without trying out the new swing, but what the hell... why not.

I was nervous at the first tee, but hit an amazingly solid shot with my hybrid and proceeded to par the first hole! Unfortunately, the rotary swing can tend to make shots go left if you don't do it right... the next two holes proved that. I realized that I was over-turning and corrected my swing on the 4th hole by sticking an 8-iron from 140 yards to 20 feet. I was shocked!

I hit the ball so pure, I hardly felt it. Over the next 6 holes I shot 2 over with 4 pars and 2 bogies.

The book is written in a simple, conversational style and while there are illustrations, the quality isn't great. That said, I do believe I'm a rotary swing convert. The companion web site and drills are terrific - I'd recommend this book, especially for high handicappers like me. I'm really looking forward to digging into some of the drills and working on this more as I try to improve my game.


St. Vincents Medical Center Charity Tourney

>> June 24, 2008

I played in a best ball charity tournament a week or so ago at Whitney Farms Golf Course in Monroe, CT. My friend Dave invited me to play because his company, Hudson Valley Bank was a sponsor and for some reason, there were extra spots (can you believe it?).

The course was in great shape, and we had a chance to play with Dennis, a course ranger who is 75. Not only did he know the course inside and out, the man was supremely consistent and knew exaclty how to play his slicing 150 yard drive every single time. I was amazed!

The winning team shot something like a net 57. C'mon!

I played OK - and as a team we did decently shooting 4 over with 4 bogies. It was a bit frustrating not to close out any birdies, but truth be told, we only had 2 legit shots at them, and the putts simply didn't drop.

After the round, we had dinner and heard a lot of good stuff about St. Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport... I'll be sure to go there if something bad happens!


Simply Awesome

>> June 16, 2008

It's a great time to be a golf addict. Tiger and Rocco's playoff at the U.S. Open was simply stunning.


Planning My Attack

>> June 4, 2008

I used Live maps to try to see where I might improve my course management on my home course. It's interesting to take a bird's eye view and see where I might be able to attack different holes in new ways.

On this map, I plotted our a 200 drive from each hole to the center of the fairway and 100 yards out from the center of the green (my favorite spot to play from).

Check it out and map your own attack!


I am Tiger Woods...

>> May 30, 2008

The weather was perfect.

The work week was over.

I had to play some golf.

When I entered my score, the handicap computer told me that the score was much lower than normal and was I sure I wanted to submit it... uhh... yea I want to submit it!

I played out of my mind. I have never, ever felt the way I felt on golf course as I did today. I wish to god I played with one of my friends (so they'd believe me) and played a full 18. But that said, the +5 (41) I shot on the back 9 at Tashua Knolls is a round I'll remember for a long, long time.

I made par back to back TWICE!

I sunk a 20 foot putt for par!

I chipped up with a lob wedge twice to within 10 feet!

I channeled my inner Tiger Woods (hmm, maybe not - when was the last time Tiger shot +5 on 9 holes?). Back to regularly scheduled suckfests soon, don't worry.

Seriously though, here's what I think I did differently. I slowed everything down by 20 or 30% and took an extra club. I tried to keep my swing smooth and to stay "long" in my back. I've been feeling like I have been dipping down to hit the ball (lots of chunks) - staying long in my back worked for me today.


Yea, I Thought So

>> May 28, 2008

When I got my first ever handicap (18.7), I knew it was too good to be true; or rather, I wasn't that good at all. I was right. I got my updated number today:

USGA HCP Index: 23.3

Shooting 104's isn't going to get me where I want to be. I need to get to the range today and get some practice.


Whitney Farms Golf Club

I played in the annual Father's Club tournament to benefit my kids school at Whitney Farms in Monroe. It's not an easy course!

I managed to remember to snap a pic on one of the nicer holes. I played OK - not great, shooting a 104 (adjusted for handicap).


Product Review: Swing Reminders

>> May 22, 2008

Full disclosure, I got an e-mail from the guy who invented "Swing Reminders" asking me if I'd review his product. I'm happy to do so and am thrilled to finally (yes!) have a moment to write up my review.

What are they? Swing Reminders are a bunch of hardwood tokens with golf swing tips to help you improve your game. In my hands, they feel like poker chips (that's a good thing, especially if I'm holding a bunch of them!).

I stalled at first before using these, they sat in my bag for a few rounds before I pulled them out. But I really wanted to try them out and sure enough, I grabbed a few and thew them into my pocket along with tees and some balls a few weeks ago.

On the first tee, I went to pull a tee and ball out and instead, had a token in my hand that said "No Sway." Because swaying is my biggest issue right now, I was surprised to myself. I dropped the token back into my pocket and hit a nice tee shot.

Throughout the round (and subsequent rounds since), I've been using the reminders every few holes. I think it helps if you don't overdo it - there is no reason to look at 5 or 6 tips right before you take a shot. That said, I have found that glancing at a single swing reminder is a nice way to get my head back into the moment.

My favorite 3 reminders so far are:

  • no sway
  • quiet legs
  • pick your target

I think Swing Reminders are a great novelty or a gift item - they are inexpensive and quite useful. If I had a handy dandy product review rating system or if products were given a golf score, I'd give them a par. Check out their site at swingreminders.com.


Where the Hell Did It Go?

>> May 21, 2008

My swing is gone. Absolutely gone.

Midway through a great round my swing left me. I started topping everything and when I adjusted, the chunks came back with a vengeance. Last week, I played in a charity tournament at Whitney Farms and while I didn't score horribly, I felt terrible about my swing. I ended up shooting an adjusted 104 (yikes) and would have shot worse except I managed to putt decently.

I've been getting physical therapy for a hurting leg (back of the thigh) and the therapist told me I was "wicked" tight. That can't be good right? She then went on to tell me that I have essentially no mobility in my lower back.

I've been doing a ton of stretching and now I'm starting to think I'm going to have to re-learn my body positions as I get more and more flexibility. It never ends!!!


Annika, noooo!

>> May 13, 2008

Just saw this story about Annika Sorenstam planning on retirement... oh no! I was going to post this weekend about how the Annika/Lorena rivalry could develop nicely into a much needed matchup but I guess not! Just as Annika regained her swagger too... darn it.

The upside is that if Paula Creamer can really get it going, she can definitely push Lorena to the limit. Go Paula Go!


Man, I'm Tight!

I've been having a slight pain in my right leg for a few months and finally went to the doc to check it out. I thought it might be something horrible, but it turns out I'm just wound really, really tightly. The PT told me that while I have decent flexibility in my upper back and arms, my low back and hips don't move at all.


Ya think that's part of my problem? Me too. She's hopeful that I will loosen up quickly (2 sessions a week for 4-5 weeks). Not only do I hope I start to feel better, but I secretly hope that this is why I am so inconsistent on the golf course.


Reality TV Opportunity

>> May 8, 2008

I got an email from ABC yesterday and wanted to share. My wife would never consider this, so I'm passing on my 15 minutes of fame to you, my loyal readers!

Here it is... good luck!

My name is Gaby Wilson. I'm a Casting Producer for ABC's Primetime show, "Wife Swap." I hope you don't mind me contacting you, but we're currently into our fourth season at the moment and we're looking for one-of-a-kind families with plenty of personality. Specifically, we're looking for families that love the game of golf! If your life revolves around getting to a tee time, golf lesson, or driving range and sharing golf with your family, and you've always thought your family was meant for TV, I want to hear from you! In addition, please feel free to forward this email on to any families you think would be interested in taking part in this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

In case you are unfamiliar with the show, the premise of Wife Swap is to take two different families and have the moms switch places to experience how another family lives. Half of the week, mom lives the life of the family she is staying with. Then she introduces a "rule change" where she implements rules and activities that are important to her family. It's a positive experience for people to not only learn but teach about other families and other ways of life. Wife Swap airs on Disney owned ABC television on Wednesdays at 8 pm- the family hour!

Requirements: Each family must consist of two parents and at least one child between 7 and 17 and should reside in the continental U.S.  (There may be other children living in the home who are older or younger than the required age…as long as one child is in the required age range.)

Participating in the show is a very unique experience that can be life changing for everyone.  In addition, each family that tapes an episode of Wife Swap receives $20,000 as compensation for their time.   Anyone who refers a family that appears on our program receives $1000 as a 'thank you' from us. 

I appreciate you taking the time to read this email and I hope to hear from you soon.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me! If you're interested in learning more, please include your contact information.

Gaby Wilson
Casting Producer
Wife Swap
gaby.wifeswap AT gmail.com


Book Notes; Putting Out of Your Mind

>> April 28, 2008

On vacation in Myrtle Beach I read the last of the 3 Rotella books that I have, "Putting Our of Your Mind." Similar to his other books, it's filled with stories and examples, some of which are hard to believe, but all of which are very compelling.

I liked this book about the same as I liked the rest of them - but I'm not sure I'm a good enough golfer quite yet to get the full value from these books.

That said, I will take away a few key points when putting, a few of which seem to be helping already.

The book reiterates what we all know but seem to forget - which is that roughly 40% of all your shots in a given round will be putts. That's a lot... shaving 5 or 10 strokes is totally doable - that's just 5 less 3 putts in round!

I also liked that Rotella doesn't prescribe any particular mechanics to putting. I recently switched to a "left-hand low" style and was wondering if I should switch back. After reading this book, I do believe it doesn't matter. I'm sticking with the new style simply because it's comfortable for me.

The biggest point however, is the assertion that I already "have the touch" and just need to relax and let my body do it's thing. This is tough in reality, but I've been working hard in my routine to take a look, line it up and just let it go. I played a round recently and *think* I started to really allow myself to feel this while putting. I played well - breaking my 9 hole course record on an executive course here. I believe I only 3 putted twice (that's a miracle!).

In any case, I do recommend Rotella's books - the books are not going to help your mechanics, but they have brought me a certain amount of psychology that I'm able to bring to the course with me. The proof is going to have to be in my scoring though - I'm simply not scoring like I should be yet.


Golf Fitness Academy

>> April 22, 2008

This post is a blatent (but unforunately, unpaid) advertisement for the website http://www.mytpi.com/ and the Golf Channel show "Golf Fitness Academy." I was watching this weeks episode while working out this morning that featured the very cool Ben Crane. First up, the fitness show is terrific. Tons of great exercises and tips that you can use immediately.

But thank god I watched through the credits because I learned about http://www.mytpi.com/ - the companion site chock full of content and amazing interactive tools. I visited thesite this morning after working out and was so excited to see the terrific catalog of exercises. I was inspired and developed my very own workout based on their tips and tools.

The best part about the site though is the "View My Swing" tool. The site allows you to record your own swing and use their analysis tools and content to start to figure out all sorts of stuff. Personally, I saw how curved my posture is, and confirmed that I do in fact, sway like crazy in my swing. I'm telling you, this is one terrific golf web site.

(This isn't me, just an example photo)


Myrtle Beach Photos

A few photos I snapped while in Myrtle Beach

Terrific looking Par 3 at Tidewater... I hit my gorgeous tee shot right into the front bunker. My first sand shot left me... right back in the bunker, up against a 1-2 foot high lip! Triple bogey baby.

Amazing Par 3, again at Tidewater. No where to go but on the green. See that tree on the left? I didn't and hit my tee shot smack against it. Drop and three putt for what else... triple bogey.

Nice fairway at Myrtlewood Pine Hills. The course was fun to play! Lots of challenging holes. Apparently, very challenging as I shot a 106.

Neat sign posted at Myrtlewood.

Ahhhh, sunset means time to relax and drink up.


PGA Superstore - Myrtle Beach

>> April 16, 2008

After having an amazing experience at the GA PGA Golf Superstore, I expected even more in Myrtle Beach. The joint was totally jammed, and I got the major cold shoulder in trying to get some attention. Out of curiosity, I wanted to hit the TaylorMade R7 CGB because I read it was easy to hit for a high handicapper like myself.

I took a bunch of swings and quickly realized that equipment is not my issue! I'm standing way, way too close to the ball when driving, probably trying to emulate the success I have with my 3 hybrid. I heeled a few in a row, then finally caught one clean. I hit it about 195 according to the computer with a swing speed of 94 miles an hour. Is that even possible? Blah! I didn't even bother to pull it out at Tidewater, and will probably not pull it out tomorrow at Pine Hills either. I get just enough distance out of my 3 hybrid (200-210 yards) to ignore the driver for now.

Anyway, the store was HUGE and I ended up buying some new Seminoles head covers for my hybrids and a bag of tees. I wanted some new shoes, but ended up wanting $150 ones, and didn't want to spend the loot. I tried on some Nikes but didn't like the feel. I'll just stick with my Foot Joys for now I think.

I guess I was more impressed the in GA at their Superstore, but to be fair, it was a lot less crowded than yesterday. There are 2 superstores here, but I think I'll pass on the other one for now.

Tomorrow, I'm playing Myrtlewood's Pine Hills and can't wait to get back out there!


Tidewater - Myrtle Beach, SC

>> April 14, 2008

I played a terrific round of golf at Tidewater today - playing as a single I matched up with 3 brits and played my first ever round with money on the line. It was only a buck... no big stakes. That said, it added some very nice flavor to the round. I quite enjoyed it, though I did miss a par putt on the last hole to secure a win.

In any case, even though I shot a 107, I feel like I played quite well - I struck the ball fairly well all day, only chunking one badly. The biggest surprise of the round was how far I'm hitting the ball.

Last year, my PW was a 100 yard club - but today, I was able to hit it 110-115 on a regular basis. That pulled my GW distance another 15 yards as well - giving me fits all day long. Even worse (better?) was the 6i I hit close to 170 yards - over the pin, the green and deep into the marsh. I hit it perfectly - new grip and all and paid the price. I'll need to continue to adjust my distance control as I strike the ball better.

Oddly, I chipped amazingly well today - knocking one to 2 feet from the fringe. What a great feeling.

I had one really terrible hole - a par 3 that started well with a beautiful PW that landed 10 yards short and in a bunker. Tidewater has tons and tons of bunkers btw - if you play, watch out! From there, I hit a SW right back into the bunker. The ball was sitting half buried about 3 inches from the edge - perhaps 8-10 inches straight down. Ack! With no other good play, I just hacked at it and it popped straight up and found the lip, rolling down to the green. What a crazy shot. I ended up triple bogey.

I hit lots of great shots, but none better than on the 17th, a par 3 180 yard hole with no where to go but on the green. The hole is pretty much marsh from tee box to the front of the green. I hit a great shot with my 3 hybrid on to the green and managed to 2 putt for the par - my first all season.


Want to Play Golf?

>> April 13, 2008

Just push the "golf button" on your phone.

Seriously. The condo I'm at in Myrtle Beach has phones with golf buttons on them. Really. How cool is that?


Unfair Shots

Doesn't everyone just love and underdog and hate whomever is #1? Why is that? At the gym today, I overheard a woman talking about how she hoped that Tiger would lose today (he did), saying to her friend on the treadmill that all he cared about was the money.

I hate that line of thinking. I hate it about golfers as much as I hate it about baseball players and pretty much any other professional athlete. There is no way a performer can get to the top without loving his or her sport deeply and being fully committed to it for their entire lives. When I was a kid, all I wanted in life was to be a pro baseball player. Money wasn't even a thought. What I couldn't reconcile was that the amount of work I needed to put in didn't match my true desire. I didn't have what it took.

Guys like Tiger and A-Rod don't do what they do for the money - that's a by product of a person pursuing their true calling in life and dedicating their entire lives to that pursuit. Because of how markets work, they get the loot. But I doubt that any of these guys ever starts out thinking about money. Performing at the top of any profession is hard enough, but put a microscope on an individual performance and it's an entirely different ballgame.

It's human nature, but it's not fair. I wanted to tell the woman to shut the heck up, but I left it alone. Turns out she is a Red Sox fan too, and as we watched the highlights of the Red Sox beating the Yanks 4-3, I had to eat it and admit that Paplebon was.... "OK, I guess."

In other news, I'm playing Tidewater tomorrow (can't wait) and very much enjoyed the Masters. I'm still waiting for Tiger to make his move.


Obligatory Masters Post

>> April 11, 2008

It's Masters week. yep. Blah blah blah blah, Tiger, blah blah blah Phil, blah blah blah, Jack. Tiger, Tiger, Tiger, Tiger slam, blah blah blah.

I'm watching as much as possible sure, but am more excited to play some courses in South Carolina this week.

A bit more on my new grip... my hands HURT like hell! I asked my wife if 38 was too young for arthritis and after she laughed at me, I realized again at how oddly I had been holding my clubs. The joys of getting the right grip, swing and tempo. I'm trusting it though, my game is about to get to another level.

I think there is a big PGA Superstore in Myrtle Beach - I hope to get there this week and will try to get some good pics of the joint. Maybe they have some Masters specials.

Blah blah blah.


A New Grip

>> April 8, 2008

Totally forgot to blog about my most recent lesson... the pro told me that I was using my right thumb to press down on the club and it was causing me tons of inconsistency. I hit a bucket of balls with him looking on and started to really feel that the proper (and new) grip was allowing my arms to release. When I managed to hit the ball square, I could feel the extra power and saw the results immediately. Problem was, my hands feel so weird!

Besides the grip, he has me bent over way more than I was in a much, much more athletic position. I hope that it will stop me from swaying, which apparently is the cause of most of the chunking that I do during a round.

We'll see how this plays out - I'm in Myrtle Beach next week playing courses way, way harder than my home course. Uh oh :)


A New Earth (of Golf)

>> April 7, 2008

Yes, I had to do it... I'm reading Ekhart Tolle's A New Earth and doing Oprah's web master class to boot. I'm very much enjoying it and learning a lot about myself and my ego. I will try to blog more about A New Earth later, but wanted to connect the dots to my current golfing obsession with a quote from a golf book I just finished.

Bob Rotella's Golf is a Game of Confidence is a terrific book (read more here on my golf blog). I read it while on a trip to Seattle while I was finishing up the Rotella book. In a chapter about how Byron Nelson won eleven straight tournaments, Byron told Rotella that he never knew how he had scored until after his round. "He felt as if he played in a trance."

The book goes on however, and startlingly hits one of Tolle's key concepts right on the head.

"I would come in and I'd have to go hole by hole on my scorecard, carefully, to realize what I'd shot. I didn't ever know if I was five under, three over, or whatever it was. I never carried that in my conscious mind," he said. "I never knew where I stood in a tourament."

He won eleven straight tournaments this way!

It's is remarkable how often I'm seeing parallels between what Tolle talks about in his books, being present and living each moment fully conscious matches what great golfers do themselves. Astounding!


Turns Out, Golf IS a Game of Confidence

I recently finished reading Rotella's Golf is a Game of Confidence and have to say... I think the guy is right! I took a few keys from this book that I put into practice yesterday on the course that I felt like helped me immensely.

First, I'm developing a pre-shot routine that involves a look down the course from behind the ball, picking out a specific target, lining up my shot, one practice swing and let it fly. Trusting the shot helped me a lot. On the course yesterday, I actually hit my targets more than ever before, even if the ball flight wasn't perfect, somehow the ball went to the target.

Secondly, I am really learning to accept each shot and move on. When I played last week, I actually cursed out loud and embarrassed myself with how I behaved. This week, I hit the shot, watched it and started immediately thinking about the next shot. Only when I got home did I think back about mechanics during the round. I'm trying to NOT adjust things on the course but to play with what I have that day.

Third, and perhaps most important, the book taught me to get creative. I started chipping with my 8 iron and played a couple of terrific bump and run shots up the fairway to the green. I still need to work on distance control, but it feels good to know I can hit a simple shot when I need it.

I broke down badly on the back 9, it started to get cold and my endurance isn't up to par yet. However, I shot a 49 on the front 9 and struck the ball extremely well. In fact, on the first hole of the day, a long par 5, I was about 155 yards out and hit a 6 iron. As I stood over the ball, I told myself that the worst thing that could happen was that I hit it pure and would be 10 yard long. I guess I visualized the pure shot, cause that's what I hit. The 54 on the back was pretty horrible, my short game left me wondering what the heck... I chunked about 5 wedges which explains the scoring in the simplest of terms.


If only...

>> March 30, 2008

If only I played on the course as well as I practice on the range. Why is that?

It's frustrating to say the least. I need to practice more for sure (that muscle memory is coming along nicely), but why doesn't it transfer better?

That said, I simply can't chip consistently. I need a chipping primer - anyone out there have the basics for me? Ball position, hand position etc? Every 3rd of 4th chip squirts off 90 degrees to my right. Nice eh? I felt like a real duffer today at the range - sticking 3 chips to 5 feet, then squirting the 4th or 5th ball 15 yards directly right. Yikes.


Season Opener

>> March 29, 2008

Let's be upfront about things here, OK?

I stink. I love golf, but I'm just not very good. I played my first round of 2008 today in less than ideal conditions - it was darn cold out! So cold we had a freeze delay and my tee time was pushed back 45 minutes. Luckily for me, I'm a glutton so I hit a bucket of balls and froze my butt off. I should note, that I have never hit a better bucket of balls in my entire life. Absolutely crushed the ball and with accuracy.

We tee'd off with these two guys who I could tell were trouble from the get go... one guy was such a talker that at the turn we actually separated from them and replayed the front 9. Yea, that bad.

In any case, armed with my new 3 hybrid and Odyssey White Hot putter, I stunk up the joint with a +21. Yea, you read that right. Oddly, I drove well - but played my wedges horribly. I actually hit a shot that when at a 90 degree angle from me. Sideways! That hurts.

The 2nd time around, I played much, much better and finally found my swing again. I even hit 2 drivers in the fairway! The +17 wasn't great, but I took a few things away.

  1. Relax, it's early. Lots of golf to be played.
  2. Relax, it's a game dummy.
  3. I need more time on the range to work on building up muscle memory, especially with the pitching wedge.

Best shot of the day however, was a PW from 100 yards out that landed less than 5 ft. from the cup.

I'm also using a new site to keep stats this season - oobgolf - check it out. When you have a moment - very slick features. I should also note that oobgolf is my official sponsor this season! More on that later...


Drop that 'cap

>> March 27, 2008

I call my handicap a "cap" because I want to be cool like the kids. I found an absolutely incredible article on Golf.com from Dave Pelz that you have to check out. I hope it really will help me drop my 'cap.

I especially love the graphics showing where pros hit their balls vs amateurs.

My favorite tidbits from the article:

Driving: Hit for accuracy
Do whatever it takes to hit the fairway, even if that means hitting 3-wood or a hybrid off the tee. If you give up 10 percent of distance for 10 percent more accuracy, you'll shoot lower scores.

Yep... I started this trick at the end of last year by simply forgetting to pack my driver!

Par 3-Irons
Go long
Select the club that will get you to the back edge of the green. The ball will end up past the flagstick if you catch it pure, but no harm done since your shots are rarely straight enough for you to make the next putt anyway. Choosing a stronger club will carry your average shots closer to the hole, leave shorter putts and keep you out of hazards

Sand Shots
Play the ball forward
Try this: Hit a normal wedge shot from grass. Notice how your divot is forward (toward the target) of the center of your stance. This exact same swing which contacts the ball before it hits the ground on fairway shots can also serve as your sand swing. It will correctly hit two inches behind the ball in sand if you simply position the ball forward.

Pelz asks for favors this season: (1) Focus on rolling putts beyond the hole on average; (2) Allow for a little more break on every breaking putt you see; (3) Recognize that for every putt you leave short you've thrown away a chance of holing it; and (4) Realize that until you miss as many putts above the hole as below, you're STILL not reading enough break on average. Do these things for me and you just may start putting like a professional.

Interesting... for me - I either leave putts way short - or they go a mile. Drats.

Read it, it's good stuff!



Been working really hard on hitting better chip shots with my wedges. I'm so inconsistent!

I found a good note on Golf.com and thought I'd share. I'm going to try the one-handed drill Pelz recommends immediately (well, maybe this weekend).

Practice hitting wedge shots with your lead-arm only. When you first try one-armed swings, your shots may turn out badly. Don't worry and don't stop trying. Stay with it for a few sessions, making sure you move your body as normal. As your strength and timing improve, you'll start hitting some reasonable shots.


Home on the Range...

>> March 24, 2008

and in the basement.

I managed to sneak away for 30 minutes and hit a quick bucket of balls tonight. I grabbed my PW, 5 and 7 irons and wanted very specifically to work on a 2-piece takeaway that I read about in a golf magazine. According to the article (I'm too lazy to go find the link right now), you take the club head back with your wrists first, then turn the shoulder.

I had great results with this move - I think it acts a bit like a timing mechanism for my body. The thing is, I really think I have figured out one of my major issues. When I take the club back, I sway quite a bit like I'm going to hit a baseball. I did in fact play baseball. After all these years I do believe I still have a tiny bit of muscle memory!

When I'm very conscious of the turn I feel like I'm on a pivot I hit the ball very, very well. I hit a 5 iron the furthest I've ever hit one today - it must have gone close to 170 yards. I was shocked because I didn't even feel the ball on the club - just like in baseball when I hit a homerun. It felt great.

Then, tonight, I not only cleaned all my clubs with some soap and hot water, but I practiced putting a bit on the carpet in the basement. Totally loving my new hand on thigh, left hand low routine I'm developing.

I'm addicted, I know.

I'd blog a bit about this weekend's golf action, but what's to say other than I'd be very scared to play Doral. To me, it looks like a nightmare!


2 Hour Practice Session

>> March 22, 2008

The weather was perfect today in CT and I knew I'd find myself at the range. I ended up with 3 buckets of balls and really started to work on my swing. I'm focused on the turn and trying to avoid the sway. I tend to chunk the ball when I've swayed so at worst, I've got myself a warning system in place and ready to go.

I spent about an hour hitting balls. picking out targets and rotating through my clubs. I think I must have gotten tired towards the middle and started really hitting the ball poorly after a great start. After 5 solid drives, my driver went back into hibernation. After 3 or 4 pop ups and mishits, I put it away for safe keeping back in the bag where it will remain for most of this season.

I also think I've found that I'm rotating my hands too much at impact, unlike last year at this time, I'm hooking the ball consistently which is the opposite of my normal slice. I know my faithful slice will return at some point though - it's lurking around. In the meantime, I've got to find a way to get the club head square at impact again.

Distances are a bit hard to gauge at this point but I did manage to hit bunch of balls cleanly with my PW, GW and LW.

PW is 100-110 yards at 90-100%. I just can't seem to hit it much further than that.
GW is 80 yards at 90%.
LW is 50 yards at 90%

After the range, I hit the putting green and took about 100 strokes, setting balls up at various distances and lies. My left hand low grip feels great on the course, but I do think I need a new putter. Because of how thick and solid it is, it seems as if there is very little room for error in speed. A tiny bit extra sends te ball flying, and a tiny bit less lands me a ridiculous distance from the hole. That said, my new grip, along with a slightly new routine seems to have me on target and closer to the pin than I can remember from last season.

Finally, 30 minutes chipping - my least favorite practice drill. Happily, I did well using my PW as my primary chipping club. I'm confused if that's the right club to use, but I did fairly well with it.

After a 2 hour practice, I feel like I should be getting ready to try out for my high school golf team - too bad I'm 38 and not in high school. Or good enough to make any sort of team.

Now it's time to watch some golf on TV and relax before dinner!


Flat Wrist Action

>> March 21, 2008

Hit the range today for a bit and really focused on trying to keep my wrist flat at the top of my swing. It took a half a bucket but I finally was feeling it. It was subtle but when my wrist stayed flat at the top, I felt like my swing was much more on plane and was actually swinging around the arc better.

The other thing I noticed was how smooth my swing felt when I was able to keep my wrist flat. Super interesting to see how such a subtle movement can affect my swing.

Can't wait to hit another bucket this weekend and work on it some more.

What I did well:

  • flat wrist action
  • hit solid pw, gw
  • felt I hit the driver well
  • solid contact on hybrids
What I still need to work on:
  • Slow down!
  • Stay focused
  • turn and don't sway - when I make a full turn with my shoulder and don't sway, I make clean contact with the ball. I sway way too much and too often


New Strategies

>> March 20, 2008

Tashua Knolls 16th strategy
Originally uploaded by msirkin

Ok, here's an example of how I'm going to score better this season...

Shot 1: Lay off the driver. On this example hole, the 16th at Tashua Knolls (495 yards from the whites, par 5) I can regularly hit the ball about 200 yards with my 3 hybrid. The tee is high up above the fairway, so I get a good extra 10-20 yards.

Shot 2: Use my 5 or 6 iron to punch the ball up about 150 more yards in the middle of the fairway. From here, I'd normally try to use my 3 iron or hybrid and try to get it up close the green. If I was lucky, I'd have a 30-40 yard chip to the green (a shot I'm not so great with). If I was unlucky, I'd be way right and OB.

An alternative if I was really playing well would be to use my hybrid 5 here and try to skip shot 3.

Shot 3: Use my pitching wedge to get the ball as close to 100 yards out as possible. I'd actually prefer to under hit this shot to make sure I was 100-120 yards out.

Shot 4: Pitching wedge from 100 yards is about my best shot. Worst case here, I chunk it and try again from 80 yards. Best case, I'm putting for par and happy with a bogey.

I can't wait to get back out there!


Putting Grip

Been thinking more and more about putting since it's the only thing I'm able to practice regularly during the winter. I read a recent article about grips and have decided to try a left hand low grip this season. While I eventually to buy a new putter with a bit more feel (the thing I have now is a fricken brick), a new grip might just be the ticket.

Left hand low feels really awkward, my hand muscles don't seem to want to adjust to the feeling, but I've been putting about 50 balls a day in my basement from different distances and it's feeling pretty good.

My guess however, is that new putting grips more than anything encourage you to think good thoughts as your brain tries to adjust to the new grip. We'll see how it plays this season!


Oh yeaaaaa!

>> March 17, 2008




Thought I Was Joking Did You?

>> March 7, 2008

The sponsorship offers are rolling in... just working out the details before I make an official announcement...


That's Just Wrong

I'm planning to spend all day with the wife and when she asked me what we should do, I suggested hitting the range to hit a few balls.

I forgot that she doesn't play golf.



TaylorMade's Neat Custom Fitting Web Site

>> March 3, 2008

TaylorMade.com has a very slick (but who knows how good) custom fitting application on their web site. They let you plug in tons of stuff like typical distance, shaft type and accuracy (you drop balls on a fairway, err, in the rough). Once you finish, you click the recommendation button and voila.. time to buy a new driver!

The site is suggesting that I get the r7 CGB Max, 9.5 loft. Yea, not this year (unless TaylorMade wants to be my first sponsor and sends me one)...

r7 CGB MAX players who generate average distance with their driver typically achieve the best results in terms of distance with a medium-to-high degree of loft, which delivers the optimum combination of high launch angle and low spin-rate.

The shaft and its specific performance characteristics are recommended based on your swing style and skill level; on your current shaft's flex and weight; and on your current driver distance, trajectory and shot-shape.

Shaft Flex
Based on your current shaft's flex and on the trajectory, shot-shape and distance delivered by your current driver; this recommended flex will offer you the optimum combination of clubhead speed, control and feel.

Shaft Weight
Based on your current shaft's flex and on the trajectory, shot-shape and distance delivered by your current driver; this recommended flex will offer you the optimum combination of clubhead speed, control and feel.

This club is $299 at Golfsmith... maybe next year.


I Want A Sponsor

As I was reading this post on The Grouchy Blog about Tilghman and Faldo being corporate shills, I decided that I'd like an official golf sponsor.

I offer several key sponsor benefits:

  1. Complete coverage on my blog that includes gear review, ads and more
  2. I'll wear or play with whatever you send me (and blog and twitter about it). I play about 25 rounds a year on various CT and Myrtle Beach courses.
  3. You get great PR for sponsoring perhaps the worst golfer possible.

Here are, then in top 10 form, who I'd like be be sponsored by... (but I'm not picky)

10. EA Sports (how much more can I blog about golf video games?)
9. Adams Golf
8. Microsoft, Google and/or Yahoo! (how fun would that be)
7. Adidas
6. Oakley
5. People's Bank (that's my bank)
4. Titleist (c'mon, I've already blogged about how I mark my ball!)
3. Callaway
2. TaylorMade (I already have TaylorMade irons!)
1. Nike


Which is Harder?

Golf is Hard (the blog) is wondering and opining (is that a word?) which version of golf is actually the hardest.

1. Real golf.
2. Tiger Woods 08 on the Wii
3. Fantasy Golf

Which is harder?

Real Golf
Real golf is pretty darn hard. I've been playing for about 10 years and have yet to break 90. Umm, 95. It takes dedication, talent and tons of time to get better at real golf. I'd say out of 10 stars (10 is Tiger Woods), It's a 7.

Tiger Woods 08 on Wii
Not that hard at first - but I tried my game on Doral and shot +15. In real life, I'd probably shoot +35. Real golf is harder for sure. I'd give Tiger 08 on the Wii 4 hard stars out of 10.

Fantasy Golf
So here's the deal with fantasy golf. It's super easy when Tiger is playing, otherwise it's hard. Really hard. Not harder than real golf, but I'm giving it a solid 5 hard stars out of 10. Take this past week for instance... I had to change my lineup on Sunday because just about everyone else I had picked either "MC" (missed the cut) or was playing horribly. I stuck Allenby in just before the deadline and nabbed 14 quick points. Thanks to the weekly preview, I managed to give Luke Donald the start.

So there you have it.. real golf it turns out is quite a bit harder than Tiger 08 on the Wii and Fantasy Golf.


How Do You Mark Your Titlest?

>> February 24, 2008

Neat new feature on titlest.com that let's you show how you mark your ball.

But they stopped short! They should have created a widget that let me embed my ball on my blog and websites. Darn!

I took a screenshot because I just had to share... this is my NEW ball marking strategy. I didn't have one before! Two dots, one purple, one red - my daughters favorite colors.


Yea Paula!

Amazing round by Paula Creamer to win the Fields Open shooting an incredible 66. She's awesome and is my favorite LPGA golfer right now. I saw her on a show on the Golf Channel and was impressed by her maturity and talent.

But as good as Paula was this weekend, Tiger is even more awesome. I watched a lot of golf this week and can't take my eyes of Mr. Woods. The guy is simply electric. His concentration is simply amazing. I'm in awe.

I'm watching Tiger get the trophy as I type this out. When he's on, he's not beatable. But what makes him great (just like it made MJ great) is that even when he's not on, you still have to be nearly flawless to beat him (talk to Aaron B. about that).


You are Welcome Tiger

>> February 21, 2008

About 20 minutes after my post yesterday, Tiger caught fire and putted his way back to victory.

I managed to be smart enough to Tivo it and caught the ending late last night.

The guy is iconic, thrilling and rock solid. That was fun, fun, fun to watch.


The Range

>> February 20, 2008

Hit the range (and picked up a golf club) for the first time in more than 2 months. Whatever I had found towards the end of last year is long gone.

Meanwhile, Tiger looks human today at the Accenture Match play against JB Holmes. He just shanked one that was unplayable and is down 3.

We both had bad days.


I Must Have Tiger/Nike on the Brain

>> February 12, 2008

I'm Tivo'ing this tonight... it looks terrific!


Nike Golf

Who's better... Tiger at Golf, or Nike making amazing commercials?


Jack's Rules

Caught up on issues of Golf Digest on a trip to Seattle and read a great interview with Jack Nicholson who laid out some of his own rules:

  1. No double bogeys on first six holes.
  2. I don't gamble. But, if we must gamble, I only collect. I don't pay.
  3. Under pressure, I'll cheat ya.
  4. Any green in regulation, the second putt is called goo-oo-ood.

It's a terrific interview.. read on.


Dimes for Diapers

>> January 24, 2008

This is exciting... my 10 year old daughter is doing her very first service learning project. She's picked the New Haven Diaper Bank to try to help and is hard at work both in school and online trying to fundraise. I'm using a bunch of different outlets to try to help her reach her modest goals of $500 by February 11th (that's the due date on the service learning project). Obviously I'm proud of her, and am even more excited to see her accomplish her goals.

She and I shot a video (outtakes coming soon), built a blog and started to use my Facebook account to promote her efforts (i.e. we'll do anything to raise the money!) In addition, she got the school principal to agree to let her distribute flyers to every class in school - pretty slick I thought.

Kids today, eh?!

Here's her first post on her new blog:


This blog and web site is designed to help raise money for the New Haven Diaper Bank - I'm doing a service learning project called "Dimes and Dollars for Diapers" and my goal is to raise as much money as possible.

Here are some of the facts of why I'm doing this project:

  • Safety net programs, like Food Stamps and WIC, which are supposed to provide poor children with basic necessities do not cover diapers.
  • An adequate supply of diapers can cost over $100/monthly
  • Infants need up to 12 diapers a day; toddlers about 8 diapers a day. In low-income households babies may spend the whole day or longer in a single diaper.
  • Cloth is not an option for most poor people. Most childcare centers require parents to provide disposable diapers. Furthermore, most people living in poverty do not have easy, affordable access to washing facilities.
You should donate now because without clean diapers, lots of bad things can happen.
  • Parents who are working or in school cannot take advantage of free or subsidized childcare if they cannot afford to leave disposable diapers at the childcare centers.
  • Inadequate diaper changing increases the risk of numerous health problems from skin diseases to hepatitis.
  • A baby crying non-stop from being in a soiled diaper for a prolonged time is at greater risk of abuse.
For more information, please visit the New Haven Diaper Bank.

Please consider visiting her blog and:


Fantasy Golf

>> January 17, 2008

Not only is real golf hard, it turns out that fantasy golf is hard as well! I'm playing as part of The Golf Space's fantasy golf group on Yahoo! and am having a tough time picking players. I mean, if it isn't Tiger or Phil, then who the heck do you pick for points?

This week I've done especially badly picking guys like Pat Perez and Carl Pettersson, neither of whom I'd know if they knocked on my front door and said hi, I'm Pat Perez (or Carl Pettersson for that matter).

In any case, fantasy golf is sort of fun for just this reason - it's a chance to get to know some guys who you wouldn't normally have even noticed. J.J. Henry is from Fairfield Country in Connecticut near where I live. Being a homer, I usually try to get him on my roster as much as possible (bad strategy usually).


My 2008 Golf Resolutions

>> January 11, 2008

Happy new year!

Sure, I have other new years resolutions (less bread, more exercise etc), but what's really important are my golf goals for the coming year. I have 3.

1. Play more golf! This happens to mean a new job that will allow me to play more. I played the most golf I've ever played in 2007 (about 20+ rounds), and this year I'd like to play at least 5-10 more.

2. Stay in the moment on every shot. I'm very zen about golf (it's why I started playing in the first place). But as I started to shoot lower scores last year, I noticed that I kept looking ahead and figuring out what I needed to shoot to make my goal over the last few holes. That's bad! I resolve to not do that and enjoy each shot for what it is.

3. To fully counter #2, above, I want to shoot a 95 or lower this year. Take that Mr. Stay in the Moment.

How about your golf resolutions, got any?


Golf in Africa

Not really golf, but I did grab a club and do some putting on the green while we were on Safari. I played a little putting game with myself and won the Africa Cup. Sweet.

You can read about my amazing African adventure on my other blog.



Grant from GolfGameNews.com reached out to me to let me know about his new golf newsletter.

GolfGameNews.com (GGN) operates a free email newsletter to help you improve your golf game. Our newsletter includes a combination of the latest golf tips, instructions, course locations and reviews, products, articles, and more.
Delivered to your inbox daily!

I'm an official partner (woo-hoo) and because you are a faithful reader and because it's invite only right now, you are officially invited!


Book Notes: Golf is Not a Game of Perfect

>> January 6, 2008

I finally got around to reading the first of a few different Rotella golf books. I chose "Golf is Not a Game of Perfect" to read first and was thrilled with what the book gave me.

I took several key lessons from the book and want to focus on just 2 right now.

The first thing is how to manage my game on the course. The book goes on and on about to manage your game while playing a round of golf. What I loved most was specific details and ideas on how to tailor my game based on the clubs and shots I am most confident in making.

For example, instead of risking a driver on a long par 4 or par 5 hole, why not plan out a series of shots that will get me in position to get on the green in regulation with my best shot - a 70 yard gap wedge.

Instead of hitting driver on a 450 yard yard par 4, next season I'll try this.

  • Tee off using my 3 hybrid to about 200 yards.
  • To get to 70 yards from the hole, my second shot will be my 5 hybrid which I hit between 170-180 yards.
  • At that point, I'll be about 70-80 yards from the hole/green and will be in position to hit my favorite shot - the one I have the most confidence in, most of the time. If I chunk the 2nd shot, I can still play my pitching wedge or 9 iron from 120 yards or closer - both shots I'm fairly confident with.
This is a key difference than what I'm doing today, which is hitting driver (badly) to try to get to 150 yards, then trying to hit a 5 iron to the green. I usually mis-hit or over hit that club and end up in the rough. Can't wait to try this!

The second big thing I took from the book is putting. Basically, I was taught to try to put to either a 3 foot or 6 foot circle. Rotella's technique is to try to sink the putt - go for the hole. I like this because it makes sense. Why not try to sink the putt, then if you miss, you miss close. My putting is horrible anyway, and I figure it can only get better from here, right? Right?

I absolutely loved this book and the mental/confidence approach it preaches. I am anxiously awaiting to play this coming year.


It's Time to Buy New Gear

>> January 1, 2008

Isn't it?

Drivers get started here...

Putters here...


About Marc and Coach Dave

Marc's a hacker and Dave knows what he's doing after teaching for 7 years. We're both passionate golfers and committed to having fun with Golf is Hard TV.

What is Golf is Hard TV?

"The golf show for the rest of us!"

Golf is Hard TV is the golf show for the rest of us, the most passionate golf show on the internet that was created to take a look at the lighter side of the game. At Golf is Hard TV, golfers of all abilities can improve their games and interact about anything related to golf.

We discuss topics realistically including equipment, etiquette, Jr. golf, attire, rules, etc. This interactive golf show is where golfers can ask questions, send in video and get real answers about their games, always FREE. The founders of Golf is Hard TV know what average golfers like us want.


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