How would YOU like to be on the cover of my new book?

Hey Golfers!

I’d like your help. You and your golfing buddies have a chance to make it on to the cover or the inside pages of my new book, 50 Reasons to HATE Golf and Why You Should NEVER Stop Playing. Due out in stores and online in April of 2017.

Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 10.18.12 AM

Go to the coachofgolf Youtube channel and watch the video, 50 Reasons to Hate Golf. The video will give you all of the details on how and what to do.

I’ll be picking up to 6 winners. You and your golfing buddies can be famous!

If you have any more questions about this post them in the comments section. I’ll be glad to answer any questions you have but it should be pretty clear in the video.

I need to make the decision quick so be sure to get you scorecards in by September 15th!

Cheers,

coachofgolf

 

Exciting News !

IMG_7062.jpg

Me working on my new book in Auckland, New Zealand.

Hello loyal followers!

Sorry there haven’t been any posts recently. I’ve been busy!

Here is what has been going on:

In March of this year I began talking to a publisher in the U.S. (Punchline Books) and we got talking about an idea for a project and a long story short– I ended up signing a contract to write and illustrate a book about golf!

The book will be a humorous book about golf. I’m not suppose to tell you the title yet but in the near future I will be able to give everyone all the details.

The book will be in stores in April of 2017. You will be able to pre-order copies sometime before the end of the year on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other major book sellers. The book will be hard cover and will also be available as an ebook. It will be a great gift idea for next Fathers Day!

I’m very excited about the project and as of now have completed the writing and am about 50% through the illustrations.

Very excited!

Cape Kidnappers, New Zealand

Recently I played one of the top golf courses in the world. Since then I have thought about it so often that I decided I must write about it and share my experience with you.

IMG_5774The 15th Green. Notice the “Danger Cliffs” sign. This par 5 is monster at 650 yds. from the back tee.

In March of 2016 Golf Digest ranked Cape Kidnappers as #16 in the world. A worthy ranking indeed.

The experience of playing Cape Kidnappers is unique in every way. When you arrive at Cape Kidnappers golf course you are greeted by a dirt road and gray metal gate and no sign of a golf course. You buzz the pro shop, tell them who you are. This is not a just show up spur of the moment and play kind of place. The gate opens and you begin a 15-20 minute drive through forrest and wilderness. Again, no sign of a golf course.

Eventually, you arrive at what looks to be a small, rustic cabin that is the clubhouse. Not what you are expecting. Not the grand palace that accompanies a course with such credentials.

The clubhouse is bigger than it first appears and has an inviting and comfortable atmosphere.

Cape Kidnappers averages only about 40 rounds a day so don’t be surprised if the pro shop staff is very attentive.

Chances are while warming up on the range you and your group will be the only ones in sight. When we played we were the only group on the course. Which adds even more to the experience. You don’t feel rushed. You have time to soak it all in, take photos and to also feel the experience. Because there is a feeling there. I felt like I was literally in golf heaven. You sort of can’t believe the quality of the course and the off the charts spectacular setting.

I’ve played other courses in the top 20 in the world and they all have an ora about them which should be savored and not rushed. These rare feelings are ones you will recall throughout your life because they are so special.

The vistas immediately grab you. The course sits upon 400 ft. cliffs that over look the south pacific.

As you play the front nine each hole gets more impressive. Tom Doak, the course designer, did a masterful job of putting together what seems to be 18 signature holes.

This is a tough course, but the fairways are generous. They need to be because it can get pretty windy there. We were lucky in that we saw the course on a calm, chamber of commerce kind of day.

The entire time you play the front nine you are saying to yourself and anyone who will listen, “Can you believe this place? This is the most beautiful place I have ever seen.”

Incidentally, I played with my one of my best friends from college, Russ Bryant (we played college golf together) who is a professional photographer and has been all over the world. He concurs. The place is hard to describe. You sort of have to go and experience it for yourself. Yeah, these photos are beautiful but I don’t think any photos could do it justice.

IMG_5748The view from behind the par 3, 11th. About 225 yds. from the back tee which is located on the small strip of land just left of the pin.

Again, as you play the front nine and you are in awe, you know in the back of your mind, we haven’t even gotten to the back nine yet. That is the spectacular nine holes!

So many of the holes seem to be on the edge of the world. It’s almost like infinity golf. You know the infinity pools where you just see water then sky? It’s the same kind of thing. You are so high up and you are hitting golf shots that have no backdrop other than sky. It’s pretty surreal.

Yes, the back nine is amazing. Most of the back nine is on what they call, “the fingers” which have holes going toward and away from the ocean on narrow strips of land where if you are off the fairway (left, right or long) your ball, or you for that matter, will fall off a cliff. I even heard that they took the plexiglass windscreens off the carts because on windy days the windshield would act like a sail and if the brake wasn’t on carts would occasionally find their way off the cliffs.

IMG_5762The walk between the 14th tee to the fairway. Every step is incredibly beautiful at Cape kidnappers.

The cool thing about the course is the rhythm. The drama keeps building all the way to the 16th hole where the tee box is a little piece of land perched on the edge of a cliff. Then as you head in for the last couple of holes and head away from the sea, you can sort of catch your breath and process what you’ve just experienced.

Cape Kidnappers should be on everyones bucket list of courses to play.

I’ve played the Old course at St. Andrews a few times. It is the same feeling as standing on that course. Don’t miss it! New Zealand has so many amazing courses and all are inexpensive compared to the rest of the world. Kidnappers would have be about the most expensive in New Zealand. About $250 usd. That’s cheaper than any of the great golf courses in the U.S.

 

IMG_6058.jpg

We all have a love/hate relationship with golf. Click here to find out how you can tell me what you hate about golf.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Are You a Shotgun or a Laser ?

I have found over the years that poor alignment is the root cause of many issues that golfers have with their game.

We all know that mental focus is a very important aspect of playing good golf; focusing the body is also essential.

shotgun

Alignment points are located from your head to your toes. Your body has six important parts that need to align together in order to hit crisp, consistent and predictable golf shots. These six are the feet, knees, hips, elbows, shoulders and eyes. If any of these are not aligned to the same target, the effect is much like firing a shotgun: the pellets go everywhere! Some pellets will hit their target, but the majority of them will miss. Not a solid strategy for shooting lower scores. Now, if all six parts are focused on the same target—that’s powerful! That would be like focusing many rays of light on the same object, much like a laser. The concentrated focus of the rays become so concentrated and unified that they can actually cut through metal! That’s the kind of power and concentrated focus that we are looking for during the pre-shot routine.

All too often I see a golfer’s feet, for example, aiming off in one direction—say right—and another part like the shoulders, aiming to the left as shown in the green graphic. In this case the feet want the ball to go right and the shoulders want the ball to go left. Opposition has been created within the body. This opposition makes it very difficult for the body to focus on a single target. This opposition creates confusion, which kills focus, which then affects the physical action of hitting the golf ball, which directly affects the outcome, which in turn kills confidence. What is the result? You hit the ball everywhere, especially on important shots! The effect will likely be magnified even more because of excessive side spin that poor alignment puts on the ball.

Simply put, the entire body must be in agreement on where the ball should go. Otherwise, it’s far less likely that you will hit your target.

laser

So, lets talk about how to do this easily at address so that we look more like the blue graphic…

FEET: Align your toes parallel left of the target (if you are a right handed golfer). Very often I see golfers make the mistake of aiming their feet at the target, which actually aligns the feet right of where you want the ball to go. We want the clubface aimed at the target. The feet should be set up parallel to the target line.

KNEES: Make sure you look down you have the same amount of knee flex in each leg. You should be able to see the same amount of each of your feet.

HIPS: If your knees look good, then your hips should be good.

ELBOWS: All of our six alignment parts are important, but aligning the elbows is absolutely crucial to success. I can tell my students all day to work on their shoulder alignment, but it’s very difficult for them to feel what’s right, because you can’t see your shoulders at address. They can, however, see their elbows. So if I ask them to make sure the the line drawn from the elbows match their toe line, then matching up the upper body and the lower body becomes easy. Another thing about the elbows– if you have too much tension in your right arm (if you are right handed) it will usually lead to setting up with your shoulders open.

SHOULDERS: The shoulders will follow the alignment of the elbows.

EYES: This is a part of alignment that is often overlooked. Many of my students unknowingly have their head tilting to the right which throws off their perspective of what proper alignment is. Make sure you check your eyes.

So, now you are aligned properly. Providing that your clubface is also properly aligned you’ll find it much easier to hit your target because the club will start and continue on a better, more reliable swing path.

Result: You’ll hit far fewer off-line shots. This should really help lower your score.

So, now you are aligned properly. Providing that your clubface is also properly aligned you’ll find it much easier to hit your target because the club will start and continue on a better, more reliable swing path.

Result: You’ll hit far fewer off-line shots. This should really help lower your score.

This article was also published in the October 2015 issue of New Zealand Golf Magazine.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Adjust Your Driver, PLEASE ! ! !

Today’s drivers, fairway woods and hybrids all have more technology than ever before. In the last five years, almost every brand has gone to models that are completely adjustable. This gives everyone a chance to be better at the distance clubs than they’ve ever been! Strangely, when I give a lesson and I look in the players bag, 8 out of 10 times I see the club set on neutral.

IMG_2752_2

Failure to adjust an adjustable club is one of the most frustrating things I see as a coach.

When I watch my student hit drivers, I observe the ball flight and usually see a pattern; either most go left ,or most go right. OR, some balls go left, some go right, some go straight. That last pattern happens because the student is trying to manipulate the clubface with the hands—an attempt to compensate for natural tendencies—which of course is very difficult to do with any degree of consistency.

Generally at this point I ask, “What do you have your driver set on?”

The student answers, “Neutral” (or “A-1” or some equivalent).

I ask, “Why?”

The student answers, “That’s what it was set on when I bought it.”

I then bite my tongue before answering something like, “Most every ball you have hit sliced. Wouldn’t you like to hit it straighter?”

At this point over the years I’ve gotten some pretty insane answers. The craziest responses come from students who are my strongest players. Mere mention of the idea of changing the setting is almost always met with resistance and skepticism. Many stronger players view changing the setting as a sign of weakness.

I’ve heard this ridiculous comment more than once: “I don’t want to use that as a crutch.”

This is my cue to point out that there isn’t a guy on tour whose driver is set on neutral—and they make MILLIONS.

So the question is, why would you want the game to be harder for you than it is for the pros? Why aren’t you taking advantage of technology like they are willing to do?

Everyone having their driver set on neutral is like saying that everyone is the same shoe size, or the same pant size.

If I put you in my clothes, XL shirt, pants (38×32) or my shoe (11.5), how would it feel? How would it look? Could you run in my shoes? Would my pants look really big on you?

I have a son who is about to be 14 who wears a size 9 shoe and has a 28 in waist. He would look ridiculous in my things. I would look equally ridiculous in his.

IMG_3624IMG_3615

You get the point.

Your assignment: go to the range. Chart your drives. (Most of you already know your tendencies, but a session on the range for this purpose will prove them to you.) Then adjust your driver to to the opposite of your most common miss. If your miss is a slice, set it for draw, if your miss is left, open the face.

If you’re already awesome, adjust your driver to take one side of the golf course out of play. If your home course has a lot of trouble on the left, adjust your driver so that it’s almost impossible to hit it left. There is nothing more liberating than standing on the tee on a really important hole and having no fear. Fearless is what you achieve by adjusting the setting on your driver. Hitting the fairway is fun! Don’t be afraid. You’ll only get better.

After you do this you’ll be able to swing your natural swing and not try to manufacture a swing. Your move will get less handsy over time and your drives and scores will improve.

You’re not neutral. There is no one else like you. Use technology to your advantage. Club manufacturers spent millions and millions of R&D dollars developing this technology, so use it! You will improve, enjoy the game and feel good about yourself.

Coach of Golf is Moving to New Zealand !

Announcement to all of my Coach of Golf followers:

imgres

On March 23rd of this year I was offered a position to become an Instructor at the Institute of Golf in Auckland, New Zealand. I have accepted this position and will leave the U.S. in late June to begin my new position in early July. This is a very big move for myself and my family. We are very excited and a little nervous.

The Institute of Golf is the top golf academy in New Zealand. The academy is most noted for producing Lydia Ko, the worlds  #1 ranked female golfer. The Institute of Golf is where she did all of her training growing up.

This is a fabulous opportunity to teach and learn from some other world-class instructors. The Institute of Golf has instructors from New Zealand, South Africa, Scotland and now, the U.S. All this and the opportunity to live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

images

It should be interesting, fun and different living there, here are some of the differences:

– Free health care!

– There is a 15 hour time difference from US eastern standard time to New Zealand time. NZ is 15 hours ahead.

  • – The farther North you travel in New Zealand, the hotter the climate becomes.

– They drive on the left and the steering wheel is on the right side of the car. Hmmm.

– Auckland is on most lists for Top 10 cities in the world to live. It’s a big city of 1.4 million people.

– July is in the middle of winter of New Zealand. Their spring is our fall. December is in the middle of their summer. Our spring is their fall.

– Kids summer break from school is from mid December till early February. The school year begins in February.

– All of the Lord of the Rings movies were filmed there. Also, Flight of the Concords were from there. One of my favorite shows.

I’ll make notes of other interesting differences in future articles.

I’d like to thank all of my family and friends for their support and encouragement while trying to make this tough decision to move my family to another country.

Looking forward to becoming a huge fan of Rugby. Go All Blacks!

Commandment #2

I’ve seen it for years, players automatically pegging it up in the middle of the tee box on every hole without any thought. Then after the drive ends up in the woods or a hazard, the golfer usually curses and takes a few moments to rehearse his backswing, thinking his swing was the problem. Guess what? More times than not, the swing wasn’t the issue. But every time this happens during his round, the player continues to question his swing mechanics and tries to fix problems that aren’t there. Late in the round when his confidence is somewhat eroded you can almost count on a big mistake being made on an important tee shot.

Print

The real problem was that the golfer did not consider the angles of the golf hole. On each tee shot you need to ask yourself, “Where can I miss and still make par? Where is the big mistake?”

The solution is simple: Pick a side. Tee the ball up on one side of the tee box or another to create the best angle to play the hole. And, there is always a better side.

Tee the ball up on the side of the hole you wish to avoid. This allows you to hit away from trouble and dramatically decrease the odds of making the big mistake.

When I see someone tee up on the wrong place within the tee box, I can usually tell you where the ball is going to end up before the shot is hit. Some people think I’m a wizard or something, but it’s just years and years of seeing the same predictable mistake repeated thousands of times.

Something that many golfers don’t realize is that one of the tools that golf course architects use is illusion and deception. Course architects will create angles that make golfers feel uncomfortable. This is a golf course’s best defense against giving up a score. Bunkers, hazards, the direction of the holes (doglegs, etc.) aren’t there just to look pretty; they are there to create doubt and fear.

Stand behind some of the tee boxes at your home course. Notice that many aren’t aiming you down the middle of the fairway. Sometimes they are actually aiming you toward the trouble.

Using the tee box to your advantage is one of the easiest of The Commandments to apply. I’ve seen it change a decent college player into a very effective one. This Commandment is so important because you apply it on every hole BEFORE you have ever hit your first shot. If you commit to using this strategy you’ll be amazed how much more effective your tee shots are.

Golf is a game of misses. You are going to miss some of your targets; even the pros do. If you allow yourself room to for your imperfection, you’ll be okay. If you regularly have to reach into your bag for another ball, you won’t have much fun.

“The Commandments” – an Introduction

About six years into my career as a college golf coach, I noticed a trend: golfers tend to make the same mistakes in tournaments year after year. It got to the point that I could predict with great regularity the error a player was going to make before it happened—an error that would either wreck his hole or change the course of his round. Seeing these mistakes year after year became increasingly frustrating, especially when my own guys were making them. Most of the errors I noticed were not swing related; surprisingly, most were strategic, stemming from poor decision-making or from a lack of awareness on the course.

commandments stoneEventually, I had enough and began writing down my observations. Before long I had a list of the most common errors I saw golfers make in tournament play. Determined to teach my team to avoid making these common mistakes, I started sharing the list with them. I knew that if I could teach my team to recognize these “traps” that players from other teams were falling victim to, we would have a decided advantage when competing.

Thus, The Commandments were born. I have been teaching my team to play The Commandments for about a dozen years now. My players even carry a copy of The Commandments with them every round. We talk about them just about every day.

There are eleven Commandments on my list—eleven things I ask my players to do, or not do, every round. Again, none have to do with swing. Surprising, I know. My guys have learned that the fewer commandments they break during the round, the greater their chances of shooting a great score—even if they don’t hit the ball well. Because of these playing rules our teams have had a lot of success. Once my players buy into using them during play, The Commandments become the glue that helps our players and team achieve great things. The Commandments give my players rules and structure to guide their decision-making and to help them stay patient, which translates into fewer careless errors and a less stressful round.

Over the next few years I will introduce each of The Commandments to you. I know that if you follow them, they will make a big difference in your score. And the best part is you don’t need to get golf lessons.

The Littlest Shots Make the Biggest Difference

If you’re like most golfers, you spend most of your practice time on the range, and finish up with a few quick minutes on the practice green. I believe everyone should reverse that and spend the majority on your practice or warm up time on the practice greens and less time beating balls. If you look around your club you’ll notice that the best players hang out around the practice greens a lot. If you want to be one of the best players at your club I would suggest you do the same.

COG 11 Ball Drill

At least half of your shots during a round come from on or around the green. Most of the time it’s the quality of the Little Shots that determine the quality of your score. You could improve half of your game simply and quickly by improving your skills around the green—without going through swing changes or investing money in lessons or equipment!

Many years ago, my wife and I spent our honeymoon in Scotland, the birthplace of golf. We drove from town to town seeing the sites and enjoying the Scottish culture. Almost every evening, almost everywhere we went, we noticed townspeople of all ages practicing putting and chipping.

COG 11 Ball Drill

Practicing your short game is a great after-dinner activity. I find it very relaxing. Late afternoon and evening is the most beautiful time of day, and there usually aren’t many people around to distract you so you can get in some quality practice.

It beats sitting on the couch, or trying to squeeze in a quick nine and being frustrated by poor play. Try investing time instead of spending time.

Here are two great drills that will help your short game. You only need a dozen balls and if you spend an hour or two a week doing these drills you’ll see real results.

I know these drills will help you score better and enjoy your rounds more.

%d bloggers like this: