Posts Tagged ‘pro golfer’

Golf DIY – How To Mentally Play Well and Score Well by Practicing Mentally!

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

Anyone who has played golf for at least a year would realize that golf is 90% mental and 10% skill.

This is so more true as you get to a higher level such as scratch golf or pro golf.

The truth is, most PGA Tour players today can hit the ball as good as the guy next to him.

The real difference between top players who win tournaments and the guy who finishes last in a PGA Tour tournament may be blamed purely on mental state of the player.

I have mentioned in many of my previous tournament analysis that the player who is tougher nearing down the last 3 holes of the tournament usually wins the golf tournament.

That is completely true, most golf tournaments are decided on the last 3 holes.

For example, even the 2009 U.S. Open came down to the last 3 holes where Lucas Glover made a birdie on the 16th hole and parred out the rest while everyone else had at least 1 bogey. I am sure it could have been different if Ricky Barnes, Phil Mickelson, or David Duval birdied couple of those last holes.

Or even take a look at the miraculous win by Tiger Woods at 2008 U.S. Open, where Tiger had to birdie the last hole to force a playoff with Rocco Mediate. Tiger dumps his drive in the rough, then procceeds to hit his 2nd shot to the rough, and barely makes it to the green. But Tiger’s mental toughness has helped him make that 10 footer downhiller under intense moments of pressure, not just his skill or luck.

So, how to get this mental toughness?

Well, first you need to be in that state of pressure, if you have nothing to go for, there’s no pressure.

You can easily practice this type of pressure while you practice on the driving range or play a round at your favorite golf course.

What me and my pro golfer friends like to do is actually bet money and play a skins game during the course of the round. This “pressure”, even if it’s a dollar a hole, will make you focus more on “playing” the game and also let you “practice” pressure golf.

When I am at the driving range, I like to play games with myself. I will challenge myself to hit 10 of 10 shots to within 100 yards. (You can also read about developing your bread-and-butter shot by signing up for my newsletter in the free E-book I provide.)

Another way to engage yourself in pressure golf at the driving range is to actually play a round of golf in your mind.

That’s right, I will imagine my favorite golf course and actually hit my drives, approach shots, and pitch shots. I make it so real that I actually go through my whole pre-shot routine, which is a must if you want to play great golf. (I will also do a blog post soon on how to develop and maintain a pre-shot routinne later this week.)

A lot of people don’t like to gamble on the golf course but gambling with your friends is actually one of the best ways to improve your game and practice “pressure” golf.

You don’t have to bet a lot of money, even pennies will do, just so long as there’s something on the line, mainly which boils down to your confidence, not really money itself.

So again, make sure you play for some money (or even house duties) the next time you play golf with your friends and family.

One of my favorite things to do was play skins game with all the seniors at my local club and take all their money, even with handicaps given for them. Now, that was a lot of fun because the seniors enjoyed playing with good young golfers like me, even if that was losing couple bucks every time.

Next time you go out on the range, don’t just mindlessly bang golf balls after another, practice “playing” on the practice range.

I hope these golf tips help you play better the next time you try to let your friends pay for your dinner and I will have to get back to getting my golf game up to par so I can try out for the PGA Tour next year.

Happy golfin’~

P.S. One of the keys to playing well under pressure is to simply enjoy golf and have fun. Can you remember how many times you played good and had fun?

Oops, another golfing secret spilled…

How to Get Your Kids Ready for Pro Golf!

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Last time, I did a short post on how getting your baby/toddler/kids started early in golf has a lot to do with their success when they grow up to be an adult.

Well, that is true, you want to get your kids started in golf ASAP, even if your kids don’t end up playing golf the rest  of their lives, having the learned golf early in life will help them to enjoy and play golf as well as possible.

The other day, I hit a milestone in my life, I realized that I have actually got myself “ready” for the PGA Tour.

How?

Well, I found a way to make residual income from my blogging business.  Which is great since I can pretty much control my own time, meaning I will be hitting up the links any time I want.

Now, a lot of my pro golfer colleagues who decided to keep playing mini-tours have gone dry.  Basically, they didn’t win enough to pay for their expenses and living costs and ran out of money.

That’s right, I will tell you right now that the best insurance against failing in pro golf is money.  Of course, great players who at least win 1 PGA Tour tournament is going to have enough money to keep trying until they win their next one.  There’s a lot of those folks too except those players probably only make up a small fraction  of all the pro golfers in the world.

So what really happens to those pro golfers who run out of money?

Nothing, absolutely nothing.  Nothing happens to them because they run out of money and can’t play in tournaments anymore.  Maybe they will keep trying but most of them will end up starting life all over again with a job.

The most profound advice I can give your 12 year old or even 18 year old kid is that you need to learn to make money too with something other than golf.

Think of it as a side job or insurance  you can depend on.

I am not talking about a college degree here, that’s easy but I am actually talking about bringing in hard, cold cash without the use of golf clubs.

In the best possible scenario, your kid can get a golf scholarship to college, finish Top 10 in NCAA, and go straight to the PGA Tour with sponsorship from Nike.

LMAO, that certainly doesn’t happen unless you are handful of players in the world.  If your kids on this route and he/she’s that good, you can stop reading this post right now.

But if you are seriously passionate about your kid becoming a professional golfer, then read on.

Becoming a professional golfer on the PGA or LPGA Tour isn’t hard if you have the next 30 years to keep trying and trying.  The hard part is that most pro golfers run out of money while trying whether that be 1 year or 10 years.

Now, if your kid had enough money to keep going until he/she turns 50, I am 100% positive your kid will make it to the Tour, unless he/she simply sucks at golf and never improves. (or lazy)

That being said, a lot of great college golfers never end up on the PGA/LPGA Tour, simply because they get a job, get caught up with life, have kids, and their dream changes.

Don’t let that happen to your kids, let them learn other ways to fund their dreams.

I am not saying here that you should set up a trust fund for your kids so that they can keep trying out for the Tour until they reach 50.

What I am saying here is to teach your kids to catch fish.

Feed your kids fish and they will keep waiting for you to give them fish.

Teach your kids how to fish and they will probably find a way to the Tour.

I’ve seen hundreds of talented young golfers on the mini-tour.  Most of them will never make it mainly because they don’t have enough money to keep trying.

For example, if you are a real estate millionaire, you should teach your kids how to make millions of dollars on the side with real estate.  Even if your kids don’t make it to the Tour, at least they can take couple years off and make millions on real estate.

The greatest beauty of golf is that most pro golfers peak at mid 30s or even 40s.  One of the greatest golfers in history of golf, if not the greatest, Ben Hogan, didn’t start winning majors until he was past 30.

There’s always plenty time to play professional golf in one’s life, you simply need to have enough time and money to do it.

With that said, I am finally announcing my come-back in life to play pro golf again or at least keep trying every year for the PGA Tour.

If I didn’t keep trying to start my own business, this day would not have come.

While most of my colleagues are busy finding jobs after failing to make the PGA Tour in the last 2-5 years, I have finally got myself together to keep trying again.

My advice to you on raising the next PGA star, “Teach your kids how to make residual income whether that’s blogging, real-estate, or whatever.  Once your kids can learn to feed themselves without working at a corporate job 9 to 5, that’s when your kids will be able to keeping hitting those golf balls rest of their life and make it to the PGA/LPGA Tour some day”.

I’ve seen a handful of talent that go wasted, don’t let that happen to your kids.

Don’t take a chance that your kids will be the lucky ones that receive sponsorships out of college.

My last words?

I am that very kid who kept playing competitively until one day I ran out of money.  Of course, I had to learn all this advice through trial and error but eventually, I found a way to earn residual income and control my life.  The earlier you can do this, the longer you can play professional golf.

If your kid’s as passionate about golf as I am, he/she’s going to need this advice.  Think of it as “insurance” for your kids.  No matter what, your kids will be a fun life, playing more golf than the rest of the population.

Well, just something to think about.

Most start-ups these days don’t make it because they run out of money to keep going, not because their ideas suck.  Likewise, your pro-aspiring kids can make it to the Tour eventually, they simply need a way to finance their dreams for the next 30-40 years, not just 2-5 years.

Okay, I will stop here but now you know your job as a parent and how to get your kids to keep trying until they make it.

P.S. I know about a dozen great pro golfers who would have won dozen PGA Tour tournaments if they had money to keep going.  Money is the only thing holding them back.  If you have enough money to bet on every spot in roulette, you’d win at least once.  Likewise, if you have enough money to keep trying for the PGA Tour for the next 30 years, you will make it. :)

Next time, I will do a blog post on how to market your pro-golf career with a blog I think.  Something I didn’t do but could possibly build your fan base and enough money to keep your pro-golfing career going.

AT&T National Winner Sunday!

Friday, June 5th, 2009

Wow, what a fun Sunday this is as Tiger Woods and Anthony Kim are TIED for the lead at 10 under par each for the tournament as of 12:36PM PST right now.  AND Hunter Mahan just birdies to get to 10 under, making three people tied for the lead.

It’s interesting my 2 predictions from yesterday came out to be true with Tiger and Anthony in the final group.

Who will be the winner today?

It’s hard to tell as Anthony Kim is the defending champion, except he won last year when Tiger was going through knee surgery.

If Anthony Kim wins this year, he can prove that it was not fluke last year, that he can win even if Tiger is playing.

This is a crucial moment for Anthony Kim as if he can out-duel Tiger today, he will be able to keep doing it again in the future.

Of course, I think Anthony Kim can actually play  good under pressure as he can, the young 24 year old has won numerous tournaments and I have been a fan ever since he’s win last year.  It was exciting to watch a young pro golfer get better and better, winning tournaments and entertaining people like me while Tiger was gone.

My final prediction?

Well, it’s hard to make a final prediction but I think Tiger might have an edge possibly over the last couple holes when the pressure is the hardest.

We will have to see but my final prediction is Tiger -14 and Anthony -13 .

Kenny Perry and Angel Cabrera Leading Masters 2009!

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

kennyperry

Wow, what an exciting 3rd round it was at the 2009 Masters.  While Tiger Woods barely finished with 4 under par, Angel Cabrera and Kenny Perry “killed” the field with numerous birdies and great shots.
(You can see live twittering that went on over here @progolferdigest.)

Chad Campbell had been leading the the first 2 rounds, double bogey and bogey during the last couple holes cost Chad the lead.  It’s still too early to tell if Chad Campbell can win but my honest opinion is that he “lacks” major championship experience, especially at Augusta, where even former world’s number one player Greg Norman had failed to win a single Masters.  (While he came close to winning a bunch of times, only to fail on Sunday.)

Likewise, tomorrow will be exciting day for the golfing world as we will get to either watch Kenny Perry or Angel Cabrera MELT DOWN!  (Am I being evil?  Yes, I am free to my own predictions but don’t mind me, winning isn’t EVERYTHING.  Whoever finishes tomorrow at the Masters will be still racking up a lot of cash home.)

Here’s my biased predictions (from a pro golfer) for tomorrow:

Based on history of Masters, I don’t think either Kenny Perry nor Angel Cabrera will win.  Of course, I could be wrong but my favorites this year are Tiger Woods, Anthony Kim, or Jim Furyk.

I have seen countless tournaments and it’s actually an advantage if you get to tee off early; couple shots back from the leader.  Unless Perry and Cabrera plays “lights out” golf tomorrow, they are going to have a hard time dealing with all the pressure and other great players of the world, right in front of them, hopefully making birdies.

Perfect swing aren’t everything but you can see my detailed analysis of Kenny Perry’s swing and Chad Campbell’s swing. (You will see WHY Chad’s swing can become instable at times, proven today near the end of the round.)

Anyways, I will be live twittering all day tomorrow for the Sunday finale, follow me on Twitter @progolferdigest.

Driver DIY – How to Add 30 Yards to Your Game in 30 Days!

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

Well, as a pro golfer who knows all the ins and outs of playing, practicing, and scoring golf, we all WANT to hit the ball very far.

I am not going to be teaching you any golf swing techniques here but I am going to teach you couple tricks that can potentially add 30 yards to your drives in just 30 days.

1. Get a weighted golf club and swing it daily in your home slowly about 20-30 times.

Now you don’t have to buy this weighted golf club.  What I do is take bunch of pennies (like 200 of them) and duct tape them to one of your old golf clubs.  That will get you about 5-10 pounds of weight depending on the number of pennies you attach.

Swing the golf club very very slowly.  This is about building the golf muscles, not hitting the ball.  Try to really feel that your abdomen is controlling the whole swing during this exercise.

2. For every practice session at the driving range, take your driver and hit 10 balls as HARD as you can.

You need to learn to control your swing when you swing hard and fast, the only way to do that is to swing as hard as you can.  Now I said just 10 balls, don’t do it for all your shots, that will ruin your swing and rhythm.

3. Do the above steps 1 and 2 at least 3-5 times a week for a month.

I bet you’ve added another 30 yards to your driver.

I didn’t include working out or lifting-weights here but that helps too so long as you are working on the correct muscles.  I find that chest lifting exercises help but let me get into that later, I have a specific golf workout routine that I have been using for about 14 years and that’s been helping me hit the ball 320+ yards consistently.  Stay tuned folks.

Golf DIY – How to Hit the Sand Shot!

Saturday, February 21st, 2009

sandshot

(image credit)

For most beginners, the sand shot might be the hardest trouble shot to overcome.  As a pro golfer who has hit thousands of these little sand shots under tournament pressure, let me just point out a couple things that will guarantee that you hit the ball out of the sand.

1. First, you need to see the sand as sand, not a sand “trap” or any of that negative stuff.  Golf starts in your brain, the more positive you look at your troubles, the better you will play.

2. Before you hit ANY sand shots, please “dig” your feet into the sand about 1/4″ by wiggling your feet.  If you do not make use of this wiggling (and it’s lega), you are not taking advantage of all the Golf Rules has to offer.  WIGGLE your feet until they are pretty darn stable.

3. Keep your weight near your heels.  That’s right, you want all your weight nearer to your heels so you will hit the sand with the “heel” of your club, not the “toe”.  Hitting the sand with the “heel” of the club allows your sand wedge to make use of the maximum bounce allowed and swiftly go through the sand.

A lot of people don’t know this but I am here to tell you this is the ultimate secret I learned from Stan Utley, one of the best short game players/teachers in the world.

4. Keep the ball about 2-3 inches front of center of your address, sorta like a pitching wedge.  You want your ball to be about opposite your left heart. (if you are right-handed)

5. Open your stance and clubface about 30 degrees each.

6. 50-50 weight balance will do most of the time, try to keep your weight evenly distributed in both feet.

7. Now you are ready, hover your clubhead about 2-3 inches behind the ball.

8. On your backswing, make sure to cock your wrists as fully as possible.  Cocking allows you to get a steep angle on the ball and get it out easy.

9. Hit about 2-3 inches behind the ball, into the sand, and most importantly, FOLLOW-THROUGH past your waist.

Now, that’s a lot of information but if you follow my directions, you will become a sand shot pro in no time.

Another note, you can control the distance of the ball travel with the amount of your follow-through.

During the whole swing, try to keep your body movement to the minimum (including the head) and use mostly wrists.  There’s no need to try anything fancy, simple does it.

I didn’t have time to shoot a video but next time, I will show it to you. :)

How to Teach Your Baby to Be Better Than Tiger Woods!

Monday, January 19th, 2009

Well, I’ve decided to start a series of online blog golf lessons for teaching your baby to be better than Tiger Woods.

Of course, if you are a parent and you want your child to be on the PGA/LPGA tour someday, these are the lessons you will need to read.

The first thing you need to do is get your baby to get familiar with the golf grip, golf ball, and the golf club as soon as possible.

  • Age 1-3 months – Swing a golf club in front of your baby at least couple times a week.  “Monkey see, Monkey do.”  You can start as early as soon as your kid is born.  Tiger didn’t really start until he was 18 month old, you can get your kid a better chance by starting earlier than Tiger.
  • Age 3-6 months – Make a plastic-toy grip for your 3-6 month old baby to play with.  The earlier that your baby gets familiar with a golf grip, the quicker he/she will be able to control the club when he/she grows up.  You can order a junior grip from Golfsmith and pick up a plastic PVC pipe that will fit the grip at Home Depot.
  • Age 9-12 months – Take your 9-12 month baby to the driving range.  You can get one of these  Walking Wings to help her/him stand while you help her/him hit a real golf ball with your arms controlling the club while baby has her/his hands on the grip.  Also the putting green is great for babies to walk on while learning to putt.

Also, skip the plastic golf toys, they are too “plastic” and it’s probably better to get your baby learning with the “real” stuff ASAP.  Heck, you can make your own cut-down custom clubs by ordering parts from Golfsmith.

Am I being realistic here?

Yes, this is how you can get your baby to learn to hit a golf club before she/he learns how to feed himself/herself with a spoon.  If your baby learns to swing the golf club as something 2nd nature to him/her, he/she’s going to be ahead of 99.9% of population by the time he/she plays junior golf tournaments.

Trust me, I am a pro golfer, you need to get your baby started EARLY!  I started when I was 9 years old and I can see that I too could have played a lot better if I started when I was 1 month old.

Golf Tips – Play Better Golf by Playing Different Courses!

Thursday, August 28th, 2008

Here’s the most simplest yet great tip for any aspiring pro golfer:

Play several different courses with different features on a daily basis.

What do I mean?

You want to go out there and play many different courses in order to learn to score.

I know, you belong to a country club and you get to play the same course over and over for free but if you play there all the time, your golf game will never improve.

Why?

It’s simple.  You get used to the surrounding, you know every yardage from every tree, you get too comfortable.  When you get too comfortable, you will score good but as soon as you walk onto an unfamiliar golf course, this might shoot right back at you attacking your psychological and physical states.

To become really good “scratch” golfer, not just a scratch golfer, you need to rotate 3-5 different courses every time you head out to create the “randomness”.  Once you get in the mindset that you can play good regardless of the course, you will play much better under pressure.

Anaylsis

Face it, golf IS like playing different race tracks on your Playstation.  You need to learn to cope with new and random tracks so you learn the ability to adjust and play any course you encounter, not just your home course.

Besides that, you will also benefit from playing different courses and never get bored.

Best of Golf at ProGolferDigest!

Saturday, July 19th, 2008

Here’s a re-cap of the best posts at ProGolferDigest this month:

  1. Greg Norman can win the British Open this year!
  2. Does Steve Elkington have the best Stack and Tilt swing?
  3. go GREG NORMAN!
  4. Nick Faldo tips on golf.
  5. Sensoglove may help you play better tournament golf.
  6. Swing Analysis of 2-time 2008 PGA Champion Anthony Kim.
  7. Bob Tway’s chip shot at 1986 PGA Championship may not happen to Greg Norman tomorrow.
  8. Ben Hogan’s swing secrets revealed.
  9. KJ Choi might win the British Open too.
  10. Ernie Els has a great swing even though he might be sucking it this week.
  11. My 4-iron swing was lookin’ good, now it’s even better.
  12. Davis Love III also has a very good swing.
  13. Fred Funk is still one of the straightest drivers on the PGA Tour.
  14. Matt Kuchar may have the flattest swing on the tour today.
  15. Ben Hogan’s knockdowns are so pretty.
  16. Moe Norman’s swing may have a lot in common with Tiger’s swing.
  17. Adam Scott copied Tiger’s swing.
  18. Ball flight is important in the wind.
  19. Annika Sorenstam’s swing may be the best swing out of all male and female golfers.
  20. Learn to hit that 30 yard pitch shot crisp.
  21. How to practice like a scratch/pro golfer.
  22. Ian Poulter has a good swing too.
  23. We love Greg Norman, don’t you?

Nick Faldo Downhill Iron Swing Analysis

Monday, July 14th, 2008

Nick Faldo Downhill Iron Swing Analysis

For most of 90s, my two favorite golfers were Nick Faldo and Greg Norman.  They always seemed to win tournaments more than others during that time and also shared number one and two of the world back and forth.

Although Nick Faldo may be a sportscaster right now, he may be the best pro golfer to be a sportscaster.

You look at some of the other guys but no one else has an extensive resume like the Masters winner Nick Faldo.

I’ve even bought every book he wrote and although they were all too technical and confusing for most hackers, Nick is really good at details of the golf swing.

Let’s take a look at his downhill iron swing here.

For the downhill iron shot, Nick Faldo sets up with his weight favoring his right and his ball about center of his stance to make up for the hill.

At takeaway, Nick sets his wrists slightly early but looks very good.

At top of Nick’s swing, he has a perfect 90 degree angle between the arm and the club while not swinging more than 3/4 of his full backswing.

On half-way down, notice the 90 degree of lag Nick has.  A lot of tour pros go beyond the 90 degrees which is not necessary and Nick proves the point here.  Too much lag can actually produce a smaller swing arc.

At impact, Nick looks really good.

After impact, Nick chases down the slope with his arms, fully releasing his club.

At finish, Nick looks very good, standing super tall.

Nick Faldo has one of the best swings in golf with one of the best rhythms to go with it.

If he kept playing competitively, he would have won couple more majors but I am surprised he decided to retire from competitive golf.

Here’s Nick Faldo’s downhill iron swing in slow-motion explained by the man himself:

Click Here to View in Full Screen Mode

Having Nick on golf channels is a really good thing.  I rather hear him saying stuff than an Peter Kostis.