#GolfChat 18 August

Photo courtesy of @1beardedgolfer

 

THIS WEEK:

Crazy weather, golf swing personalities, secret buddy trips, and more! Come join us starting at 5:30 PM PST (click this link to get your local time)!

 

This Week’s #GolfChat Questions

Q1: OPENING QUESTION: Tell us about your *past* week in golf: where did you play and how did you do? What TV golf did you watch? What’s something new you learned? #GolfChat

Q2: From the winds of Bandon Dunes last week to desert heat of California this week, golfers often brave extreme conditions. @RamsHillGolf asks “What’s the craziest weather you’ve ever played golf in?” #GolfChat

Q3:  @talkinstatic has heard it said that the golf swing is an extension of our personality. “If that’s the case, what one word would you use to describe your swing/personality trait?” #GolfChat

Q4:  @GolfLRE wants to know “BDC says he’s changed his swing for more distnace. Faster takeaway and harder pull down on transition causes whip. Would you try the same?” #GolfChat

Q5: @BryanTweed16 asks “What’s the best buddies trip resort/destination that no one talks about?” #GolfChat

Q6: CLOSING QUESTION: What are you looking forward to *this* week? #GolfChat

 

#GolfChat Poll: TBD

 

Tips for good #GolfChat:

1. Follow @realGolfchat and the hashtag #GolfChat.
2. Retweet the questions to spread the #GolfChat love.
3. Include the hashtag #GolfChat in your answers.
4. Ask us questions for next week!

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#GolfChat 11 August

Photo courtesy of @nosoup4u72

 

THIS WEEK:

Fivesomes, learning from watching pros, illegal clubs and more! Come join us starting at 5:30 PM PST (click this link to get your local time)!

 

This Week’s #GolfChat Questions

Q1: OPENING QUESTION: Tell us about your *past* week in golf: where did you play and how did you do? What TV golf did you watch? What’s something new you learned? #GolfChat

Q2: @tak6tak asks “We had a 7 way tie late and it would have been a one group playoff. Whats largest group anyone has played in, or seen?” #GolfChat

Q3:  @MitchLaurance had an amazing time as the tee marshal on the par-3 4th for two days at Baltusrol in 2005. He asks “Who else has had a chance to get that kind of up close at a golf major?” #GolfChat

Q4:  @CaptPat48 wants to know “Do you ever learn anything watching the pros in a PGA TOUR tournament that helps your own game?” #GolfChat

Q5: @1beardedgolfer asks “Have you ever played a round of golf with a range ball or illegal club?” #GolfChat

Q6: CLOSING QUESTION: What are you looking forward to *this* week? #GolfChat

 

#GolfChat Poll: @DevonDembinski wants to know “What course playing conditions do you prefer: Firm and fast or soft and slower?”

 

Tips for good #GolfChat:

1. Follow @realGolfchat and the hashtag #GolfChat.
2. Retweet the questions to spread the #GolfChat love.
3. Include the hashtag #GolfChat in your answers.
4. Ask us questions for next week!

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Trust Me, Just Try Golf – Mental Game

By: Adam Atkins

 

This was the exact conversation between my wife and I last week before a round with my dad:

“Okay Honey, I am leaving – be back in a few hours! Wish me luck!”

“Enjoy, have fun! And don’t let him get to you!”

 

Every time I get ready to go play golf with my dad, I know that I am in for a battle. My dad is just over 60 and hits the ball like he is in his mid-forties. He has that old-man golf game, where it goes straight and he doesn’t get into too much trouble from tee-to-green. He also still has plenty of strength to hit the ball far, which makes him a very good golfer in his circle of friends. However, I am a young 32-year old that is in the early stages of playing golf. I just started playing the game less than six years ago. I have the power to blast the ball miles, but I also don’t have the mind for golf. Every time I get ready to go play golf with my dad, I know that I am in for a battle… mentally.

 

  1. You have to be athletic to play golf
  2. You can compete at any level in the game of golf
  3. Golf requires mental awareness and strategy… if you want to win

 

Golf is a funny sport in which you try to hit a small ball across the yard and make it stop in a hole. I can only imagine what the first few rounds of golf must have been like; they had to take forever! Think back to when you first began the game of golf, undoubtedly there were times when you contemplated giving up. When you thought, this is impossible. When you wondered if you would ever be able to reach the green or even just hit the ball straight. Now think about trying the game of golf with wooden clubs, awful golf balls, shaggy grass, and obstacles everywhere. This is the beginning of golf…. how we decided that this is going to be one of the greatest sports is beyond me – but I sure am glad it survived!

As bad as the beginning of golf must have been, the progression and where we are now as a sport is just as advanced. PGA TOUR players and amateurs alike are spinning back golf balls to exact distances on the greens. When a player asks his caddie for a distance, they are not asking for 115ish yards they are asking for 116 or 114 yards – because it matters. Players are so good these days that they even miss in the correct spots so that way they still have a great chance at making par. The next event you watch, count how many times a player is on the green in regulation and still gets the same score as their playing partner who isn’t. Players have become so good, that there is almost as likely a chance to make a short chip as there is to make a long putt.

However, as impressive as the short game abilities have become – nothing is more impressive than a player that steps up and absolutely mashes a ball 300+ yards. Length is something that is needed in today’s game, and it is becoming more and more of a requirement than an advantage. Everybody wants to step-up to the tee box and obliterate a drive that makes everybody watching pick their jaw up from the ground. The saying goes, “Drive for show, putt for dough.” Who doesn’t love putting on a show?!?

Most people who begin the game of golf just want to step up and hit the ball as hard as they can. Who doesn’t? There may not be a better feeling in golf than when you smash a drive and your ball drops a care package to your playing partner’s ball as it sails past. It is also absolutely an advantage to know that most holes you are going to be 30-40 yards closer to hole. Which leads everyone to wonder – what is the secret to hitting the long ball?

If only it was as simple as stepping up and swinging as hard as you can. However, most accomplished golfers will tell you – swinging harder usually results in a hook or slice. If the shortest distance from point A to point B is a straight line, then a hook or slice – no matter how far – is not ideal. In the game of golf, you need a smooth swing with perfect impact and perfect club face and perfect swing path and perfect body movement – seems easy right? Riiiiigggghhhhtttt.

This is what makes golf a mental minefield. If you can’t hit the ball straight, you are going to find trouble all over the course. You have to use strategy to work your way around the course and put yourself in good spots. It does you no good to be 90 yards away from the hole if you have to go over trees and carry a greenside bunker with a tucked pin. Instead, just hit a smooth shot that places you 125 yards away in the middle of the fairway and leave yourself a good look at the green. Far too many times, golfers take the strategy out of the game and just hit the ball as hard as they can every time. In order to be successful, you need to utilize all the golf clubs in the bag and leave yourself a perfect distance and shot location into the green. I have seen far too many golfers smash their drive when in reality they could have easily just hit their 7-iron to 150 yards and been perfectly fine.

Golf is a terrific sport because not only does it require length, it also requires the mental awareness to know when to use your length. It isn’t always about hitting the ball far – it is also about controlling the ability. The next time you are out on the course, I encourage you to play a few holes with two balls. Hit one ball with your driver and hit one ball with the club that you feel has the best chance to get you to 150 yards out and land in the fairway; play both balls out and see which one scores better. I think you will be surprised how many times the second ball either wins or ties with the first ball. Golf is progressing, but there is no progressing past the mental side of things!

 

2 hours later…

“I’m back.”

“Why are you so upset?”

“He did it again! He started playing mental games and I started swinging out of my shoes!”

“Honey, I love you – but you are an idiot.”

 

 

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#GolfChat PGA

Photo courtesy of @Portland_John

 

THIS WEEK:

Golf careers, lessons learned, staying relevant and more! Come join us starting at 5:30 PM PST (click this link to get your local time)!

 

This Week’s #GolfChat Questions

Q1: NEW OPENING QUESTION: Tell us about your *past* week in golf: where did you play and how did you do? What TV golf did you watch? What’s something new you learned? #GolfChat

Q2: Have you ever considered becoming a PGA professional or making golf a career? Why or why not? #GolfChat

Q3:  What’s the best thing your PGA pro has taught you about the game or even something else? #GolfChat

Q4:  @TheGratefulGolf asks “If you could caddie for any player in the #PGAChampionship, who would it be and why?” #GolfChat

Q5: @fnf2017 asks “How tough is it for @PGA pros to keep up/stay relevant with online instructors? #GolfChat

Q6: @tak6tak asks “How legit is the @PGA PAT (player ability test)? Can most people pass it?

Q7: NEW CLOSING QUESTION: What are you looking forward to *this* week? #GolfChat

 

#GolfChat Poll: @TheParTrain asks “When putting your golf bag in your trunk, do you lead with the clubs or the bottom of the bag?”

 

Tips for good #GolfChat:

1. Follow @realGolfchat and the hashtag #GolfChat.
2. Retweet the questions to spread the #GolfChat love.
3. Include the hashtag #GolfChat in your answers.
4. Ask us questions for next week!

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#GolfChat 28 July

Courtesy of @TheGreenFee1

 

THIS WEEK:

Golf injuries, golf jokes, golf collectibles and more! Come join us starting at 5:30 PM PST (click this link to get your local time)!

 

This Week’s #GolfChat Questions

Q1: What has you excited about golf this week? #GolfChat

Q2:  @1beardedgolfer asks “What’s the most embarrassing injury that you have suffered on a golf course, and did you quit?” #GolfChat

Q3:   @Wallajay asks “What’s your favorite golf joke?” #GolfChat

Q4:  @GeraldONeillJr asks “Would you rather play an uncomfortably long par-3 or super long par-5?” #GolfChat

Q5: @GolfDigest asks “What’s one golf-related item you collect?” #GolfChat

Q6:  @BlindShotsPod wants to know “From what distance are you not really mad if you three putt?” #GolfChat

#GolfChat POLL:

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Trust Me, Just Try Golf, Part II

By: Adam Atkins

If you are joining us from the previous article – you have a good starting point from where we stand. If you happen to have missed it, here’s a link: Trust Me, Just Try Golf!

And now on to Part II…

I remember just starting in the game of golf and my dad would completely dominate me on the course. His shots were farther and straighter than my erratic shanks that were sprayed all over the course. My father has a kind soul and would encourage me to keep trying. However, I was a young stubborn, overly competitive young buck who could not stand the fact that he could not hit the ball as far as his dad. I would walk off the ninth green defeated and ashamed at the embarrassing display I had shown on the course. Yet, somehow I would only lose by a stroke or two – or even win!

How is this possible? Is my dad just super kind and let me win in order to make sure that I continued to play with him? He is. Is he selfishly hoping that I continue to play so he has someone that he can play with not named his wife? He is. Does he occasionally hit bad shots and somehow I luck out and win a hole? He does. While all of these reasons ring true, they are not the reasons why I was able to be competitive in a match that I had no business being in.

Golf is a unique sport. A sport that has a variety of aspects that make it one of the best sports on the face of the planet. It is one of the only sports that allow athletes (yes, golfers are athletes) of all different skill levels to compete on a level playing field. There is no other sport in which an experienced professional can realistically lose to beginner.

 

  1. You have to be athletic to be good at golf (article #1)
  2. You can compete at any level in the game of golf

 

Growing up, I played soccer and basketball. I was never the fastest or the most gifted, so I had to rely on hard work and busting my butt in practice. No matter what I did I still could not manage to crack the starting lineup – but it wasn’t for lack of effort. In many sports there is nothing you can do, some people are just more gifted. Call it the hand you were dealt or call it unlucky, sometimes God-given talent just outweighs hard work. However, in the game of golf there are ways to make it an even playing field across the board. Something that is unique to golf and no other sport.

If you play golf, you undoubtedly have a group that you tend to play with often. In our group we have varying degrees of talent, with one or two golfers that are very good. However, more often than not they leave the golf course without winning any money – crazy, right? Well, myself and the others in the group can thank the handicap system.

There is no other sport that features a handicap system that allows for beginners to compete with experts. In golf, someone can score a 68 and still lose to someone who scored a 79. The handicap system is made for the weekend golfer, yet the average weekend golfer probably doesn’t take advantage of their handicap – or for that matter understand the handicap system. Let’s break it down…

A golfer’s handicap is based upon their average score in relation to par. For instance, if a golfer typically shoots an 82 – then they have a handicap of 10 strokes. I know, it sounds like math – Bryson would be very pleased! Essentially, in a given round that same golfer would get to subtract 10 strokes from their score. So if that golfer has a good day and scores a 76, their net score would actually be a 66. In other words, if you are a bad golfer and muster together a surprisingly good round – you are going to make some cheddah!

That is simple way of putting it – but what if you only play nine holes? What if you are playing match play? The handicap system can still be used to even the playing field. That same golfer would get one stroke on each of the 10 hardest holes on the golf course. Let’s say that 5 of those holes happen to be on the front – then for each of those holes, that same golfer would be getting a stroke a hole.

Some people may be reading this and think – this seems really unfair! Why would I give other golfers an advantage in a game that I dedicated so much time in to get better? While we could get into a long drawn out argument about this – I would simply rebuttal: Why would someone who is clearly not as good as you, play/bet against you without some type of help?

If you want to learn more about the handicap system a quick Google search will explain course rating and different aspects that affect a golfer’s handicap. Whether you choose to use the handicap system or scrap it – there is no denying the fact that golf has allowed itself to be played by all kinds of people with all kinds of skill. Now tell me what other sport has that?

 

Follow Adam on Twitter @Lousomumo254

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#GolfChat 21 July

Photo courtesy of @litlenothins

THIS WEEK:

Memorial gets tough, unloved golf balls, switching hands and more! Come join us starting at 5:30 PM PST (click this link to get your local time)!

 

This Week’s #GolfChat Questions

Q1: What has you excited about golf this week? #GolfChat

Q2: @GolfLRE asks “Was the setup of the Memorial a model for others to follow?” #GolfChat

Q3:  @TylerMunson7 wants to know “In light of Bryson’s example of seppuku this past Saturday, what’s your worst Tin Cup story?” #GolfChat

Q4:  @scotchhneat “Has anyone ever attempted to successfully switch hands golfing? If so, what were the struggles and what came easy?” #GolfChat

Q5: @1beardedgolf asks “What brand(s) of golf balls, if found in the wild and obviously abandoned, will you NOT pick up and keep?” #GolfChat

Q6: @TheParTrain asks “How much $$$ you spending to never 3-putt again?” #GolfChat

#GolfChat POLL: @XMoralHazardX asks “Is Jon Rahm really the best player in the world right now?”

 

Tips for good #GolfChat:

1. Follow @realGolfchat and the hashtag #GolfChat.
2. Retweet the questions to spread the #GolfChat love.
3. Include the hashtag #GolfChat in your answers.
4. Ask us questions for next week!

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Why I Owe Golf

By Nate Cangemi

 

I’ve been playing golf since I was 12 years old. Unfortunately for me I had a lousy teacher to start out with: me. Being self-taught and playing infrequently throughout my teen year years, I was a terrible golfer for a long time. A ball-losing, club-chucking machine, I didn’t break 90 until my mid-20s and have only broken 80 a handful of times since (I’m now in my mid-forties). Currently playing to a 10.5 index the lowest handicap I’ve ever carried was 9.7. If you were to talk to me though, you would think that you were talking to a mid-am, Korn Ferry Tour hopeful that was trying to make his way to the big show. Like many of you, I keep and analyze all my golf stats for all the rounds I play; looking, hunting, hoping to find that key indicator that helps me get my game to where I believe it should be. Yes, like many of you, I am un-apologetically obsessed with this confounding game. I’ve spent an obscene amount of money on lessons, equipment, travel, clothes, green fees, and retrofitting a corner of my yard into a practice area. I’ve also spent countless hours at the practice range and on the course only to fall short of my scoring expectations time and time again. And yet after all that, I still feel like I owe golf.

Without boring you with all the details of my career resume, suffice it to say I am an over-achiever. That isn’t said with a braggadocios tone. An under-performer in school and a non-college graduate, I have been out over my career skis since I entered the workforce when I was 19. Fortunately for me though, I realized early on that my personality, skill set, and ambitions were all geared perfectly toward a career in, you guessed it, sales.

Duly acknowledged are all the sales and golf clichés out there. I’ve seen them all, I’ve been them all and they are all true. Pretending to be working when you’re on the range. Listening in to a conference call in between shots while playing, constantly checking that your phone is on mute. Talking to your boss while on the course and hoping that he doesn’t recognize the low drone of the golf cart or wonder aloud why its sounds so windy (or worse, actually hear the sound of a ball being struck). Asking for the non-itemized receipt so that you can put this expense under meals without accounting asking questions. Been there, done that.

When I say that I owe golf,  I mean that golf has served me as an invaluable tool in my success in business and has taken me places and helped me position myself for jobs that I would never have thought possible. There are countless times that I can recall where a round of golf or my passion for talking golf led to developing a relationship that later served me in my career growth, but it really all started with one round in particular.

In 2001, I was working for a fabric manufacturer, calling on furniture manufacturers and upholstery supply houses (a job I had no business having but that’s a story for a different day). One of my larger customers held an annual golf tournament in Sacramento, CA. The course was a dog track called Lighthouse and the format was a 4-player scramble. Being the only representative of my company, I was randomly put into a foursome. Not the ideal circumstances for a round but it was work-sponsored golf and there was an open bar and dinner after. As it turned out my cart-mate on the team was a VP of Sales for a large foam manufacturer here in the US and many of my customers he knew well, having sold to them for years. Now at the time, I had only been in the furniture industry for a few months and knew little about it. So, I relished the opportunity to pick his brain. It was like a 5-hour mentorship. I was so intellectually curious about him, his company, and the industry in general. It ended up being a life-changing turning point for me because of what happened at the end of that round.

As most people would do at the end of a business-related round, we expressed intentions to “keep in touch” and exchanged contact information. I do not recall seeing him at the reception later that evening but then again it was open bar so who knows. But our time together on the course that day was memorable, having chatted about golf shots and strategy all the while discussing this new industry that I had entered. I just liked the guy and the memory stuck. I remember telling my wife later that night that I felt so validated and honored by being able to talk with someone so successful in business and feel like I had contributed to the conversation. It gave me hope, which I was going to need with what was about to happen.

Just a month after that tournament the events of 9/11 changed everything. With the downturn of the economy in Q4 of 2001, I was let go by from that job in early January of 2002. A job I only held for about 10 months. With not many opportunities out there, I ended up going back to an old job in the temporary labor market. It was a job I didn’t want in a field that I loathed. But I knew it well and could make a living at it. And so, I did for about two and a half years. And then I got a call.

In March of 2004, I was driving through the farmlands of central California on my way to some mom and pop construction company, hoping to sell them on the value of using my company to fill any open unskilled labor positions that might have need for. My phone rang. The voice on the other end wasn’t particularly familiar and the number on the phone was unrecognizable. He says, “Hello, Nathan”, which was odd because I go by Nate. “This is Michael Faus from Carpenter Co., we played golf together a few years ago, do you remember me?” In the moment before I answered him, my entire future passed before my eyes. We had not spoken since that round of golf but somehow in a corner my of mind I knew he was going to call me, and I knew why. So, my answer, while seemingly brash and off-the-cuff, was quite heartfelt. I said, “Michael, of course. I’ve been waiting for your call. When do you need me to start?

So, as it turned out that round of golf that I played in summer of 2001 ended up being a job interview for a position I was given in spring 2004. And what is more is that while in that position, I was empowered to use golf as a means of developing relationships with customers. Taking full advantage of that, I used golf to forge a “brand” within our industry as someone people enjoy doing business with. Someone who people trust. And most importantly, someone that people really KNOW. Spending hours with a person on a golf course, you cannot help but develop a familiarity and even fondness for them.

 

Nate (in white) and three long-time customers play Old Mac at Bandon Dunes.

 

That personal brand led to another company, a competitor, a few years later, to recruit me away from that job. It was an upward career move. More responsibility, bigger territory, larger staff and of course, an increase in salary. But I was also joining a company known for its willingness to spend marketing dollars on golf and golf adjacent activities. In the 4 years I was there, we hosted customer outings at Bandon Dunes, 3 times. We held company annual meetings at Merion and Aronomink (the company was based in Philly and the CEO was a member). Additionally, in my new role, I was now dealing with executives who would invite me to their clubs, so I gained access to courses I would never have thought possible. All the while, building my network and strengthening my personal “brand”.

While traveling for business I would meet fellow golf enthusiasts and expand my network that way. One such example was the time I got upgraded to 1st class (something that never happened to me) and ended up sitting next to a Scottish gentleman, named Tony. He was a General Contractor based in Manhattan and constructed high-rise buildings up to 24 floors. He was traveling from Newark to San Diego to attend his son’s soccer tournament. Even though I was returning from a work-related trip, I had put on my Liverpool (a proper football club) jersey to be comfortable. As it turns out, Tony, was as big a Liverpool fan as you can find (Literally has “You’ll Never Walk Alone” tattooed across his chest), so this led to fantastic in-flight conversation. Since he was from Scotland, I of course was curious if he was a golfer. That led to another few hours of engaging discourse, during which we discussed favorite courses and bucket lists etc. I happen to mention that I had become obsessed with wanting to play Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, to which he casually disclosed that he was a member. And what was more, his locker was two down from Tiger and right next to Jack’s. At the end of our flight, he gives me his contact info and tells me to reach out the next time I go to Vegas. Well, I did. And he came though. You can only get to Shadow Creek from an MGM property and by limo. So, there I was, standing outside of the Vdara, my mouth agape as the stretch limo picked me up and whisked me away to play a Tom Fazio masterpiece. There is no money exchanged at the course, and I only must tip my caddie. And his locker, which he let me use, was just as he described. It was incredible.

 

Being invited to play Vegas’ Shadow Creek means arriving in style.

 

Tony and I remained in contact almost weekly and we played together recently on a trip he made out here to SoCal. We played Torrey Pines and Del Mar CC (an impossibly private course). He’s offered that the next time I get to New York, he is going to set us up at Liberty National and Bayonne. He’s also helping make arrangements for me to play some courses on an upcoming trip to Scotland (COVID-willing). I hope to repay Tony at some point for his generosity and recently discovered that I may have a way to do that.

Since leaving that last company I’ve built an independent sales consulting firm, where I represent multiple non-competing companies instead of just working for one. About a year and half ago I was retained by a company I’d never heard of based in South Carolina. Sometime after starting with them, the owner asked me to host him at a trade show. He didn’t really know my segment of their business and wanted me to introduce him to some of the key players. These, of course, are people that I’ve played golf with and typically use golf as a launchpad for conversations. “How you swinging em”, “Where you been playing”, that sort of thing. After one introduction however, we meandered into talking about Tiger Woods and the upcoming Masters tournament and my client said in a true humble, southern gentlemanly tone, “So y’all ever been to Augusta?”

Much like that call from my future boss years before, my future once again passed before my eyes. I knew what he was about to say, and I somehow knew where that was going to lead.

A short 8 weeks later, I was standing at Amen corner with that customer during the Wednesday practice round of the 2019 Masters. As it turned out, a member of the family that owned this company I now represented was a member of Augusta and in fact this family had always at some point, enjoyed that privilege since the course was built. And being the hospitable, southern company that they were, they graciously offered me and the customer I was courting for them out to Masters. And these weren’t just “Grounds” passes. No, these were Berckman’s Place Passes. I’ll leave it to the reader to discover what those are.  To describe the experience eloquently would take a real author.

 

Attending a round at The Masters is the thing of dreams, but for Nate it became a reality, thanks to golf.

 

Golf, again, had paid off. What’s more, it’s now has given me something to work for. Once the current pandemic subsides, my client has graciously extended an invitation to come out with a customer and play Augusta. An opportunity that I hope to include my friend Tony in.

And that’s why I love this game. That’s why I owe this game. Golf has been the greatest networking and relationship building tool I’ve ever known. I genuinely do not know where I would be without this game. Without that one round in the summer of 2001. Maybe I’d still be driving around the farmlands of central California, who knows.

I can say without a doubt that I would not have been many of the places I’ve been or seen many of the things I’ve seen or have many of the future prospects I have without this enduring and transcendent game. It has helped my success in my business endeavors, which in turn has helped to support my family. But it also continues to drive me and serve to inspire me. I think often about where I want to travel to and how I am going to be able to get there and so often it revolves around what golf courses I want to play. And the places we go and the things we experience makes us who we are.

I am who I am, in no small part, because of golf. And for that I am forever indebted.

 

Follow Nate on Twitter at @talkinstatic.

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Bonus #GolfChat II

Photo courtesy of @eywgolf70

 

THIS WEEK:

More BONUS #GolfChat! So many great questions, we’re once again extending the chat for an extra half hour of bliss. Impromptu course selection strategies, permanent pandemic changes, playing hurt and so much more, come join us starting at 5:30 PM PST (click this link to get your local time)!

 

This Week’s #GolfChat Questions

Q1: What has you excited about golf this week? #GolfChat

Q2: @GolfTravelerBOS asks “When you are on a business trip and looking to book a round in, how do you select the course?” #GolfChat

Q3:  @talkinstatic asks “How has golf helped you in your professional life?” #GolfChat

Q4:  @1beardedgolfer wants to know “What pandemic induced changes are you likely to make permanent?” #GolfChat

Q5: @TylerMunson7 wants to know “Have you ever played golf while hurt?” And if so, did you regret it after? #GolfChat

Q6: @Dogboy48 asks “Do you have a golf hole you play regularly that gets in your head?” #GolfChat

Q7: @TheGratefulGolf asks “What is the strongest area of your game?” #GolfChat

Q8: @daniel68butler wants to know “If you are used to using salty language while playing golf are you ever cognizant of cleaning it up around ladies and children or is that sort of thing outdated?” #GolfChat

Q9: @DevonDembinski asks “When you play do you prefer to walk or ride? If you walk do you carry or use a push cart?” #GolfChat

#GolfChat POLL: @jvcolangelo asked “Have you played with any fellow #golfchatters yet?”

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Trust Me, Just try Golf

By: Adam Atkins

I was like many kids growing up, full of energy and competitive drive. I loved basketball and soccer; the constant movement and constant action drew me in from a young age. I played soccer throughout high school, although never progressed to anything more than just your average player. It didn’t matter to me, I still loved the competition and being out on the “pitch” with my friends.

As children, most of us find a passion (sports for me) for something and continue to work at it. Most of us pour our early ages and youthful energy into this passion, only to be let down by the realization that you have a limit as to how far you can take this passion. Even more disappointing, after you move the tassel from the right to the left your athletic career ends. You slowly become less and less competitive in your sport until eventually you find other passions. Some become heavily involved in the work force and moving up the corporate ladder; others develop a strong affinity towards lawn care – you know who you are! Those that were competitive in high school try to find an outlet to pour their competitive desire into.

When I was younger I thought golf was absolutely ridiculous. It was slow, mind-numbingly boring, and just something my dad turned on when he wanted to fall asleep. Nonetheless, he constantly pushed me to play and even had me try a mini-camp for two weeks during the summer. However, it wasn’t until I had graduated college and began working that I actually thought about trying golf. It was then and only then that I truly fell in love with the game. I saw golf for what it really was – a strategic conquest that required self-control, coordination, and a little bit of luck. Golf quickly became my activity of choice. I longed to play golf every chance I had – my only regret? Not listening to my dad and starting sooner.

I think about how good I could have been, or even just mediocre. I think about how hitting a shot the way it was intended feels and how it would be nice to experience it more often each round. I think how I want my kids to play golf and not wait until later on in life to enjoy the sport that I have embraced. I don’t want my children to make the same mistake and wait on something so special.

In all honesty, there is no downside to starting golf early. In fact, if I had someone that was more convincing than maybe I would have started earlier. Maybe I just needed a few reasons as to why playing golf is ultimately the better choice? Maybe you are in the same boat; trying to convince someone to take-up golf and you are in need of a few reasons why golf is always the better option. Throughout the next few weeks I will attempt to convince you, or provide reasons for you to use, that golf is the best option and should be started as soon as possible. Let’s delve into reason number one….

 

1. You actually have to be athletic to be good at golf.

Remember your childhood and how you thought golf was just a bunch of washed-up men (and women) who played golf because they weren’t good enough to compete in any other sport? Well, it is a much different game now. Golfers are athletes. Don’t believe me? Just look at the PGA tour…. If you want to be in the top fifty percent of the driving distance on the PGA Tour, you better be driving the ball close to 300 yards. Doesn’t sound that hard? Roughly 20 years ago, all you had to do was drive the ball 270 yards. If you go back 20 more years you are looking at 250 yards as the tour average. Sure, some of that is due to technology and advancements in equipment – but I haven’t read anything lately about how the human body develops differently than those 40 years ago. Strength and technique (both key elements in athleticism) are being used to hit the ball further than ever before.

Golf is no longer your grandfather’s game – it takes a rare form of strength, flexibility, and technique to blast the ball into the far regions of the earth. Take Bryson DeChambeau for example (I know, I know)…. BDC hits his drive over 320 yards fifty-seven percent of the time; that percentage is only going to rise. He does it his newly formed body and absolutely ridiculous club head speed. If you want to stay competitive you better find a way to either bulk/speed up or you are going to get left in the dust.

However, it isn’t all about ridiculous length off the tee, you have to take advantage of that length. The amount of touch that is needed to control a golf ball from 100 yards out (or closer) and leave yourself with a makeable birdie putt is the unfathomably frustrating part about the game. It takes a true athlete to convert a 315 yard bomb into a 5-foot birdie putt. If you question the difficulty of the amount of athleticism needed to throw a dart onto the green – go out to your local course, stand 50 yards away from the green and attempt to actually throw a golf ball close to the hole. If I was a betting man, I would say you will be lucky to have 1 or 2 stay within a “5 foot basket” of the flagstick. Now imagine trying to do that with a club – the difficulty level is tenfold. Today’s top golfers not only possess the power to hammer a drive 300+ yards, but also the touch it takes to drop a golf ball on a dime!

Golf is now on the trajectory that many other sports have been on for more than a few years: Athleticism is becoming a must have in the sport. It is similar to when Michael Jordan decided to add muscle and weight to his frame in order to handle the beatdown tactics taken by opponents. Working out became cool in basketball – especially after MJ used that body to dominate the league for the ensuing decade. Tiger Woods was one of the first to make working out cool in golf.  Woods was known to have a bench press of over 300 pounds and it was common to see him in the gym on the morning of a big tournament. Even more important than the workouts – Tiger Woods made athletic golf cool.

How many of you have seen the movie “Pay it Forward?” The film features Haley Jo Osment and his idea of people paying forward an act of kindness. In the movie HJO starts a trend that has one person help out three other people with a random act of kindness. Those three people then each help out three other people, who each help out three other people, and so on and so on. Essentially, 1 person helps out 3 people, who in turn help out 9 people, who help out 27 people, who help out 81 people – in his own words, “It gets big real fast!”

Golf is currently in the “Pay it Forward” movement. Tiger Woods was cool and kids saw him play golf so they played golf. Those kids grew up and are now playing golf (Spieth, JT, Koepka, etc.) Those golfers are being watched and soon those young kids will be playing golf. Eventually, and we are dangerously close, the PGA Tour is going to be filled with ridiculous athletes that pound the ball close to 400 yards with extreme accuracy and also have the delicate touch it takes to drop a wedge within tape-in range for a birdie.

So, the next time you are in an argument with someone and they say, “I don’t play golf because it isn’t an athletic sport!” kindly point them towards the workout regimen of those at the top end of the PGA Tour spectrum. Simply put, golf is no longer the boring, snooze-fest your dad put on TV to drown out his snoring. Golf is a sport where athletic prowess is quickly becoming a requirement rather than an advantage. And it should never be said that you don’t have to athletic to be good at golf – because you have to be athletic to be average at golf!

 

Be on the lookout for the next “Trust me, Just try Golf” article

 

Follow Adam on Twitter @Lousomumo254

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