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19th Hole
News and Opinion

Golf Blogs By Matt Martin

Date CreatedMost Popular

Matt Martin
Every Golfer On Tour Regrets Not Doing This Sooner
Nov 16, 2014 7:18 AM
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way. ~Henry David Thoreau I've been pretty busy on Twitter lately, tweeting professional golfers on tour to ask them these two questions: "What, if any, are some regrets you have about your game?" "What advice would you give to some of the younger players who are coming up through the ranks right now?" While the responses I got were not exactly what I expected, they are absolutely invaluable to me and my players. What I found to be most interesting however is how consistent the responses were across the board. Everyone seemed to give similar answers. I was trying to get #golfregrets to trend on twitter to get more answers, but I quickly found out that was a lofty goal. So, after sending a total of 439 tweets and nearly dying of a Twitter overdose, here is the summary of the 53 that actually responded. The Regrets While a lot of the players answered back with "no regrets", most were honest and gave me constructive answers like the following: "I regret not spending enough time on my short game." "I regret switching coaches" "I regret not spending time in the gym early on." "I regret changing my swing so many times." "I should have learned how to control my emotions sooner." This was pretty much the overall consensus of the responses to the first question. Sure, there were a few off beat answers that were a little out there but even those were so close to one of the five bullet points above that I lumped them together with their closest match. The Advice As you can imagine I got a lot more responses to this question and rightfully so. Nobody likes to admit that they made a bad decision and everybody likes to give advice. So, for all the young up and comers who want to play at a high level, here is some rock solid advice, in 140 characters or less, from the guys and gals out there grinding and traveling week in and week out. "Take care of yourself, exercise and eat healthy." "Putting in the most work gives you confidence, out-work everyone!" "Be a feel player." "Practice the tough shots, you never know when you'll need it." "Learn and know your game better than anyone else." "You have to look at what we do as a job and show up every day." "Find what works for you and stick with it." "Putt, Putt, Putt, Putt, Putt, Putt.!!!!!" My Regrets I regret not having an email list of all these tour players so that I could have just added everyone as a recipient and hit send...Ha! Also, just as an aside, I'm definitely taking a break from Twitter for a little awhile. #Burnedout

Matt Martin
Early Extension: Why You Play Golf Like A Girl
Nov 14, 2014 7:37 PM
Tags: learning   learn   Education  
First off, before anyone loses their minds and finds the title of this offensive to women, let me start off by saying that "The Sandlot" is one of my all-time favorite movies and has been for a long time. In the movie Ham Porter tells Phillips that he "plays ball like a girl" and it's' a classic throwback moment to when we were all kids and everything wasn't so politically correct. Secondly, I'm an American, so unfortunately my freedom of speech trumps you sitting at home scouring the internet to find something to be offended by. Being offended by the words of someone is about as ridiculous as bobbing for apples in the toilet...and liking it. So get over it, quit being an L-7 weenieand lets get down to business. WHAT IS EARLY EXTENSION? Early extension is defined as any movement of the pelvic or hip region that moves closer to the ball during either the back-swing or down-swing. Early extension or the more popular term "goat humping" is a swing fault that affects 70% of all golfers and 0% of tour players. CHECK YOURSELF To see if you you're a "humper" or not, simply have a friend record a quick video of your swing down the line, draw a line on your butt and if you come offthe line you know you've got the humps. WHY IS IT IMPORTANT? Moving your hips closer to the ball on the downswing leads most people to moving their hands closer to the ball through impact. This invites players to introduce the heel or even the hosel to ball, resulting in a loss of power and all kinds of shanky business with the hands. THE CURE The best drill is to grab a chair, golf bag or use a wall, making swings with your butt against it during the swing. Ideally, you start about a fist width away from whatever you're using and touch the object on the way back and on thedown-swing. The goal with this is to train your body to not only keep the pelvis back but to even get a little deeper than you were at set-up. Do this simple drill enough times and I can guarantee a huge increase in distance as well as straighter shots and more consistent ball-striking.

Matt Martin
10 Christmas Gift Ideas For Golfers
Nov 12, 2014 4:03 AM
Tags: Golf Equipment  
I can't tell you how many golf putter lamps, exploding golf balls and naked lady novelty head-covers I have boxed up in my storage unit that will never see the light of day. Gimmicky training aids and hideous collared polos line the walls while they await their inevitable fate on Ebay or Craigslist. While a lot of this clutter is of my own doing, the majority of this mountainous pile of product came from friends and family during the holidays throughout the years. So, in an attempt to help my fellow golfers and gift givers out this year I've put together this group of gifts that will not only be useful and met with joy but will surely not end up some dark corner only to see life when you come to visit for the holidays. 10. Gimme Charge- Ever been on the links ready to use your favorite GPS yardage app only to notice that your phone battery low on charge? Well, the golf gods have heard your prayers. Gimme Charge simply plugs into the carts charging port (on electric carts) and you're back in the game. 9. Breffo Spiderpodium- Whether you're a rider or a walker, if you use a smartphone GPS golf app, it can be a struggle to find the right place to put the phone. The cup holder in golf carts isn't all that secure and leaves the phone susceptible to drink spills. If you walk and use a pushcart, you most likely have to deal with a mount that features multiple pieces. The Spiderpodium offers a unique solution. Consisting of a steel-based alloy material, the "spider legs" bend easily to provide a strong grip around the phone. It has enough legs to latch onto a cart's steering wheel or a pushcart's handle bar. 8. Game Golf- Tracking your stats on the links is paramount to improving any golfers game. With Game Golf's wearable technology you can track every shot, learn your distances, track your GIR and your putts per round. You can also post your results online and compete with your friends across the globe. 7. Golf Belts- Big, bright belts with big buckles are here to stay. Sub 70 ($50), Travis Mathew ($70) and Puma ($55) belts all makestrong statements. sub70usa.com travismathew.com puma.com 6. A Dozen ProV1 Golf Balls- While the choices are nearly endless, every golfer on the planet will gladly play these balls. The Prov1 is always a safe choice for the golfer in every family. 5. JayBird BlueBuds X- If Batman played golf -- Christian Bale bad-ass Batman, that is -- and if Batman listened to music on the range, these would be his headphones. These wireless Bluetooth headphones have voice and touch commands, lifetime guaranteed sweat repellent nanotechnology and an eight-hour battery life. They're also the official training headphone of USA Triathlon. The future called, they want their headphones back. I'm keeping mine 4. Golf Lessons- Help the golfer in your family realize their full potential this year by getting them some instruction or maybe a Trackman club-fitting session. Click here to get pre-paid lessons and club-fittings. 3. Cooler Shoes- No longer do all golf shoes look like bowling shoes with cleats attached to the bottom. Thanks to companies like Puma we can play golf and still keep our style wits about us. 2. Rounds Of Golf- If you know what their favorite course is, a round of golf is always a solid choice as a Christmas gift. Also, a lot of courses offer "trail cards", discounted greens fee programs and driving range practice plans that are all truly gifts that keep on giving. 1. New Driver- You can never go wrong by getting the golfer in your family a new driver for Christmas. Nowadays with all of the loft and face adjusting clubs like the new Nike Vapor driver pictured below, you'll never have to worry about getting them a driver that doesn't fit them.

Matt Martin
How This One Kid Changes Lives With This One Word
Nov 6, 2014 1:04 AM
Tags: Golf  
It was the summer of 2004 and I thought, as any 20 year old often does, that I had life by the horns. High on unfounded confidence and a bit of caffeine, I was heading off to our school's driving range where I was learning to become a golf instructor. As usual, failing to take note of the schedule before I left home, I was unaware of what exactly what we had lined up for the day. I arrived at the clubhouse and got the same old club sandwich that I got everyday for the last seventeen months, woofing it down as fast as I could so that I could hurry up and hit the range to go work on my game. As I was eating, I started noticing some unfamiliar faces meandering around the practice green. I remember sitting there, eating and chuckling to myself at how bad these people were. There were balls flying everywhere. "Maybe the clubhouse should rent out helmets" I thought as I tossed my styrofoam plate in the trash. I took a few more swigs of some black coffee and headed toward the range. I grabbed cart number 10, it was the fastest one, since somebody who will remain nameless decided to remove the governor. I flopped in, whipped over to my car, loaded up my gear and made a break for the range. As I drove back by the practice green, I shook my head again at the obvious lack of skill that the group of people had. "There's no way that someone could possibly be that bad." I thought. Finally, I get to the range and high-tail it for the tee box when my mentor Buddy Allin stops me and says "Hey, Matt you're right on time". "Right on time, I'm a half hour late" I thought, as I put down my bag. As I looked around I noticed that the range was full, full of the same terrible golfers that were over on the practice green. It was about that time when Buddy yelled "Matt, C'mon over here, I've got someone I want to introduce you to." Wondering what the hell is going on, I reluctantly waltz over to Buddy. "Matt, today we'll be working with some kids from The Special Olympics, this is Bryan, you guys have fun." My heart sank and before Buddy could even finish, Bryan's chest pushed my weak attempt at a hand-shake out of his way and gave me the best hug I've ever had in my life. Little did Bryan or I know, but apparently I needed a hug. Normally when you hug someone there's an inclination to pull back after some brief amount of time, but in that moment something borderline supernatural happened. As we were there embracing, everything around stopped, and it was as if every wrong that I had ever committed prior to meeting Bryan was being squeezed out of me by God Himself and He wouldn't let me go, and I didn't want him to. I immediately thought about my earlier feelings towards his friends on the putting green, my judgment towards people throughout life and how poorly I had treated myself and those closest to me recently. My whole life was up for review in my mind right now during this "hug" and I think Bryan knew it as he continued to hold me as tight as he could for what must have been 2 minutes. As I was fighting back a combination of both joyful and regretful tears I hear Bryan say "Philadephia?" I wiped my eyes with my sleeve and ask "Is that where you're from?" Nodding his head he says "Philadelphia". While I began to show Bryan how to hold the club and hit some basic pitch shots, every time I would say something he would nod his head and say "Philadephia". Starting to figure out that this was the only word he could say, I started using it too and he would laugh his way to tears every time I would say the word. Bryan absolutely exuded love at it's highest level and his golf lesson ended up being more of a lesson for me than anything else. Pretty soon it came time for them to leave, Bryan gave me another hug just as big as before and doing his best robot impression he said "Philadelphia" in my ear, let me go and ran over to the van to help a little girl with her wheel chair. "So what did you think of Bryan" said the counselor staring me in the eyes. "I think he's better than I'll ever be." She nodded, smiled and hopped into the van and they made their way down the gravel road and disappeared from view. After everyone had left I sat down on the bench at the end of the range and pondered what just happened. I wondered how Bryan had such an impact on me and how little golf really mattered in the end. Everything seemed so unimportant compared to the unconditional love that Bryan was so willing to freely give. I wondered why I couldn't be more like that. Why had I judged his friends. Why had I put terms on the love I was willing to show the world. Why couldn't I just bear hug them into submission like Bryan. During our short time together, Bryan pulled on my heart strings like a Jimi Hendrix solo and I feel like I did a lot of growing up in that hour session on the range that day. I like to think I also learned a lot about communication too. Even though he could only say that single solitary word, when I listened with my heart instead of my ears, I realized that Bryan and I were having the deepest conversation any two people could possibly have. Anytime I get upset about how bad I think my golf game is or how bad my life is, I think about Bryan.....and I think about brotherly love. #Philadelphia

Matt Martin
10 Sexiest Women In Golf That You've Never Heard Of
Nov 4, 2014 2:13 AM
Tags: Golf   LPGA   women  
While women like Holly Saunders, Paula Creamer and Michelle Wie come immediately to mind when us guys think of our dream foursome (keep it clean fellas),the depth of the field as far as beauty and talent goes in the game of golf is seemingly unending nowadays. The following collage of gorgeous golf goddesses was compiled while I was bored and unable to go play golf due to a minor back injury a couple months ago. While nursing myself back to health with bacon and Pabst Blue Ribbon , in true hipster fashion, I made this list because the other lists I saw were too mainstream. Carolin Pinegger 10. Carolin Pinegger- Carolin is the second member of the Big Break Myrtle Beach cast who played collegiate golf at Central Florida. Carolin is from Austria and now resides in Florida. She spent five years as a member of the Austrian national golf team (2002-07) as a junior golfer. She moved to the United States at age 16 to attend the IMG Academy. From there, she graduated to UCF. She turned pro in 2013 and reached the final stage of LPGA Q-School last year. That earned her status on the Symetra Tour. And in 2014, Pinegger is in her rookie year as a tour pro, playing on the Symetra Tour. Nikki Garrett 9. Nikki Garrett- Hailing from Australia, Garrett turned professional in late 2005, and qualified for the 2006 Ladies European Tour (LET). She did not win a tournament in her rookie season, but she had four top-ten finishes, ended up 12th on the Order of Merit standings with €99,445 in earnings, and won the 2006 Ryder Cup Wales Rookie of the Year award. In 2007 she collected back to back LET titles at theTenerife Ladies Open and the Open de Espana Femenino. Beatriz Recari 8. Beatriz Recari- Born and raised in Pamplona Spain, Beatriz has four professional wins at the age of 27. Recari struggled with an eating disorder in her early professional years. She went public with her struggle at the 2011 RR Donnelley LPGA Founders Cup when she donated her winnings to The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness. She was subsequently named the "Ambassador" of The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness in 2013. Sounds like a stand-up lady to me. Lauren Thompson 7. Lauren Thompson- Lauren is an American television personality, print and voiceover model who works for Golf Channel mostly as a co-host on "Morning Drive". Thompson has also been modeling, representing companies as a spokesmodel and doing voice-overs for nine years. She has appeared on various television commercials, alongside many television shows and music videos. She also appeared at conventions across the United States and accepts national bookings through her official website as a spokesperson, print model and voiceover talent. She appeared in the music video for Jason Aldean's song "Hicktown", as well as for Sevendust's song "Praise" Anna Rawson 6. Anna Rawson- Rawson, another Australian talent, turned professional at the end of 2004, played a full season on the Future Tour and missed the cut at the 2004 LPGA Final Qualifying Tournament. She finished third at the Ladies European Tour 2005 qualifying tournament and was a season 2006 LET rookie. On 5 December 2007, In 2008 she qualified for a full-time tour card via Q school for the 2009 tour. Maria Verchenova 5. Maria Verchenova- Maria was the first Russian to become a full-time member of the Ladies European Tour. She has had several top-10 finishes throughout her career. Blair O'neal 4. Blair O'neal- We've seen Blair over the years on a couple seasons of The Big Break, in advertising campaigns by Cobra/Puma Golf, and in a Cobra Golf bikini calendar (as well as in many other modeling gigs). Even for a while in the Lingerie Football League. But don't let all that distract you from her golfing talents. She's won a couple times on the Cactus Tour, played on the LPGA Futures Tour, and advanced far into the LPGA qualifying process. She's also won long drive competitions. Meghan Hardin 3. Meghan Hardin- Meghan competed on the Big Break Atlantis on the Golf Channel. Unfortunately she was eliminated early but she didn't let that slow her down. She was recently signed on with Wilson and plans to use the opportunity to get her game ready for the big show on the LPGA Tour stage. Valeria Ochoa 2. Valeria Ochoa- Brazilian born, the beautiful Valeria was a contestant on the Big Break Ladies Only in 2004, helping propel the show to it's highest rated status to date. You can find her nowadays at the Westin Diplomat Golf & Spa in Hollywood, FL, working as the hottest Golf Sales Manager in the game. She also she works as a talent for The Golf Channel Latinoamerica were she will be following and interviewing all the PGA Tour players to keep update all things Latin-American with the Tour. Sharmila Nicolett 1. Sharmila Nicolett- The India born Nicollet turned professional in 2009 when she was 18 years old. She is the youngest Indian golfer to qualify for Ladies European Tour. She is the second Indian to earn a full card on the Ladies European Tour. Nicollet won the 2009–2010 Order of Merit on the Women's Golf Association of India and then five further events to finish on top of the 2010– 2011 Order of Merit. She finished the top Indian golfer at T22, at the 2011 Hero Honda Women's Indian Open, with the lowest score of the day in the final round. She has a total of 11 wins on the Women's Golf Association of India. She finally qualified with a full tour card for the Ladies European Tour in 2012, being the youngest Indian golfer to qualify. Nicollet also was the champion of the Hero-KGA tournament in 2012.

Matt Martin
And The Award For The Worst Golf Swing Tip Goes To??
Nov 2, 2014 12:58 AM
Tags: Education   golf swing  
While I could write for the rest of my life on the epic failure that has become golf instruction, I'll spare everyone that rabbit-hole of an article and focus on the ones that really grind my gears as well as keep golf instructors like me in business. 5. Stay Stacked- This is a reference to the recently popular stack and tilt method that's thankfully losing steam. Staying stacked means that the golfer should keep (stack) their weight on their left side, (for right-handers) during the back-swing, tilting their spine toward the target and conversely tilting their spine away from the target on the downswing. The problem with this is that most golfers have a reverse pivot already and all this is doing is poorly attempting to put a band-aid on something that can be fixed very easily through good communication and natural athletic speed training. Just watch the guys during the Re-Max National Long-Drive Championship coming up in a couple weeks...see if any of these guys keep their weight on their left side going back. You simply won't see it. While you certainly don't want to your weight to move past the inside part of your right foot on the back-swing, every great and powerful striker of the golf ball throughout history has made at least some move off the ball. 4. Weaken Your Grip- This advice is often thrown out there to people after they hit a few hooks and ask aloud "What the hell am I doing". Often times this is the worst advice you can give someone who is hooking the ball as it invites them to flip or roll their hands even more in an attempt to square the club-face up. Better advice could be as easy as telling them to swing left and hold the club-face open all the way up to the finish or as long as they can. The goal is to have as little club-face manipulation through impact as possible. 3. Aim More Left- This one is also often thrown out there to people who slice. To our logical, rational minds this makes sense but 99% of the time this will cause an even worse slice than before. When you aim farther left as a slicer all you will be doing is inviting yourself to swing the club-head on an even more extreme out-to-in path to the ball which is the problem. Instead why don't we aim square to the target and focusing on making contact with inside portion of the golf ball without flipping or rolling our hands at the ball through impact. 2. Keep Your Left Arm Straight- This one probably caused me the most harm when I first took up the game. Keeping your left arm straight for a lot of people causes the too much tension and rigidity in the hands resulting in a poor wrist cock and lack of right elbow bend during the back-swing. Two tremendous players come to mind right off the top of my head that bend their elbow a substantial amount, J.B. Holmes and Jordan Speith. Maybe somebody should tell them to keep their left arms straight going back. 1. Keep Your Head Down- Keeping your head down, without a doubt, is the worst advice you could ever give anyone. It invites players to commit nearly every swing-flaw imaginable, including but not limited to, flipping the club through impact, not turning your upper and lower body enough, swinging over the top, and the list goes on. If you'll look at Tiger's swing below you will see that while the head appears to have "stayed down" from the top of the back-swing to impact what he's actually doing is rotating his shoulders underneath his chin which is not down per se but up enough to allow the turn to happen. Immediately following impact you'll see that his head comes up dramatically.

Matt Martin
10 Reasons Why Women Should Date A Golfer
Oct 28, 2014 7:12 AM
Tags: Golf   funny   fun   Leisure  
From continually complaining about being lonely in their Facebook status updates to endless post-round whining about how women just don't understand how cool we actually are, my golfing buddies are really starting to annoy me with all this dating conversation lately. While I do find it annoying, at the same time I also have to agree that women in general do sometimes tend to look past us golfers...or it could be that maybe my friends and I are simply undateable. (more likely) Whatever the case may be, I decided to write this piece in hopes to perhaps change the collective perception a bit and maybe open the eyes of a few ladies out there on the market that might be thinking of going golfer. 1. We're Not All Like Tiger Woods- As a golfer, I'm a huge fan of Tiger Woods but let's face it, the guy was a straight player. Nothing against that if that's your forte`, but for the record ladies, most of us aren't out there going for the hole-in-one record if you catch my drift. Most of us are traditional, one-woman guys, who enjoy spending time with their lady. 2. We Last Longer- a recent study conducted by the Karolinska Institutet (Sweden) found that the death rate for golfers is 40 percent lower than for other people of the same sex, age and socioeconomic status. This equates to a 5-year increase in life expectancy for a regular golfer. Whether we last longer in other areas of life is still to be determined. 3. We're Safer- With the recent barrage of stories coming out about all these football players and MMA fighters beating their girlfriends and wives to smithereens, we're just a safer bet statistically and biochemically speaking. I'm not saying that there aren't some womenizing golfers out there who beat their wives but I think you would be hard-pressed to find golfers anywhere who are injecting horse steroids into their neck veins to get an edge on the competition. 4. We Can Pay Attention To You- The list of variables that golfers take into account during an average round of golf is so expansive ( i.e. wind, grain patterns, mental check-list of 10,000 swing thoughts, face to path ratios, etc.) that I can't even begin to list them all here. With that being said I think it's safe to say that we can hang in there and listen to what might be considered to be an overly detailed description of your day. 5. We Dress Better- Whether we're on or off the course, we're going to dress like we've just won the Master's and we're about to be interviewed. We might be the only people on the planet who can meet with a client, play our sport and head off to a nice dinner date all without changing wardrobes. Which leads me to my next point. 6. We're More Resourceful- To put this in perspective, I've still got golf shirts, hats and clubs from when I was in high school and I'll probably hang on to them just in case I have a little golfer of my own someday. All I know is my kids better pray that Tommy Hilfiger makes a come-back in the future. 7. We Make Bank- I'm not saying that you should be a gold digger but the average golfer in the US makes about $95,000 per year. 8. We're Better Communicators- As stated earlier in this post, the average round of golf takes about 4-6 hours depending on where you're at. The average shot takes about 20 seconds to execute (unless you're Kevin Nah). I would say that on average 80% of the time spent on the golf course is spent in conversation with our playing partners. That's what makes golf such a fantastic networking tool and relationship builder. 9. We're Never Late- We take tee-times seriously. If we make one, we will definitely be there. Mostly because our credit cards will be charged whether we show up or not but that's beside the point. The point is that we're punctual people and that's never a bad thing. 10. We're Always Prepared- When I have an important match or tournament coming up I will know if it's going to rain or not, if the course is dry so know what to wear, what my swing thought for the day will be and what my shot tendency is currently. This mindset of over-preparedness carries over into other facets of life whether I like it or not...and I'm sure I'm not alone in this.

Matt Martin
7 Reasons Why You Need Trackman In Your Golf Life
Oct 24, 2014 4:46 AM
Tags: putting   college   Driving   golf swing   Education  
While all the benefits of Trackman go well beyond the scope of this blog post, I thought I would take a moment jot down a few of the not so obvious, hidden benefits that may get skipped over unless you're regularly using Trackman. 1). Improved Putting- You might be saying "huh, but Trackman has nothing to do with putting". While that is maybe partially true, Trackman makes your practice time WAY more efficient therefore freeing you up from so much swing practice and helping you spend more time on the greens. World #1 Rory McIlroy, a long-time Trackman supporter has obviously been doing just that as he recently made 55 ten foot putts in a row at this years Tour Championship. 2). Exact Yardages For Your Clubs- Knowing how far you hit each club is paramount and I won't belabor that point here as it's fairly obvious but I will say that dialing in your feels for different yardages with your wedges is crucial to great scoring. Good players we've worked with know what 60, 70, 80, 90 and 100 yards feels like and can hit these shot on demand with a variety of spins and trajectories. 3). College Recruiting- If you're in high-school and are looking to play division 1 college golf, you're going to get left behind if you're not using Trackman. College Recruiters aren't interested in what you're swing looks like or who your dad is anymore. All they do now is log into TrackmanGolf.com and see who is putting up the best numbers and try to get the best ball strikers they can. 4). The Combine Test- With a tournament round feel, the combine test is a great barometer of skill that can expose any weakness in your game. The Tournament feel comes from the fact that upon completing the test your results with be posted to the monthly leader-board at mytrackman.com. It holds your practice sessions accountable and keeps you engaged and focused to really dig deep in your practice sessions so you're able to get the most out of them. Practice like you play. “It was a great addition to our Players Camp to integrate TrackMan Combine. We not only helped all participants learn about the importance of focusing on specific targets while practicing, but also how difficult it is to hit a specific yardage upon command. Further, we as coaches learned a lot about each player. For example, as the players were hitting drivers for distance and accuracy, as opposed to for a fitting, we realized that half of our camp participants were playing a driver that not properly fit for their swing!” — Stanford Men's Golf Coach Conrad Ray 5). Confidence boost- When I recently did a combine test at our facility I finished with an aggregate score of 79. While this sounds like a C+ in terms of the grading scale we normally use, Jason Dufner was at an 89 when he won the PGA in 2011. Knowing this, I realized that I wasn't as far off as I had initially been programmed to believe. It really leveled the playing field mentally for me and I know now that with a lot of hard work and some decent putting I'm 10 points away from being a truly great player. It's really made me take a more serious look at the mental side of the game for sure. 6). Maximize Your Driver- Hitting down on the ball with your driver is a huge distance killer. For example, we have a high handicapper that came to us yesterday and was hitting down on the ball with his driver 5 degrees with a 90 mph club head speed which lead to an average carry distance of 195 in this case. Changing nothing other than getting him to hit up on the ball 5 degrees gave him an additional 20 yards of carry and 25 more yards of roll and a new total distance average of 256. Again, we changed nothing in his swing, we only told him to hit up on it. This took all of about an hour. Game-changer. 7). Know Your Swing Pattern- Do you prefer to fade the ball or do you draw the ball? Do you do both? How do you hit these shots on a personal level? Do you hit these shots by changing something static such as ball position or opening/closing your stance? Maybe that's not you and you are more dynamic and hit draws and fades by having a certain feeling in your shoulders during your swing. Whatever the case my be, what you feel is not necessarily real and sometimes just knowing what you're doing IN REALITY can be a real eye-opener. Trackman has shown us that a lot of golfers we work with THINK they're are doing something, yet they're doing the polar opposite. The goal is to get to know yourself as a swinger of the golf club, develop a pattern to eliminate one side of the golf course and to know what changes you personally need to make to hit the shot that's being called for at any given time and then trusting those changes. The instant feedback of Trackman makes the grooving of the pattern much faster than ever before and helps you trust yourself under the gun. What's your pattern?

Matt Martin
3 Must-Haves For Laser-Like Focus On The Links
Oct 23, 2014 3:12 AM
Tags: Mental Game   Education   Equipment  
I can't tell you how many times I've heard Jack Nicklaus' old quote about how golf is 80% mental. I think I've heard it so many times that the words eventually lost their meaning and became more of a cliche somewhere in the back of my mind rather than the greatest player to ever play the games opinion. I practice swing mechanics, short game shots, putting and everything else I can think of to improve everyday and have done so for going on 15 years but one thing I've never seriously worked on is my mental game. Putting my ego aside, It's becoming more and more apparent that this is reason for the plateau that I have seen in my game and I decided last year to do something about it. Below I've listed a few things that have helped me so far in this new journey to get the most out of my 80%. 1. Meditation- I played my best golf coincidentally when I meditated the most. With golf being an untimed game with long layovers in between shots, it's easy for someone to psych themselves out before a shot. Being able to have a go to "zone" or "happy place" is paramount. One tool that has helped me do this tremendously is a product from Heart Math called the EmWave2. Put simply, the EmWave2 is a heart monitor that you can use on the go to monitor your stress levels at your leisure. As you practice, you increase your coherence baseline (the zone) and your ability to take charge of your emotional reactions. Not only did my golf become my fun but crazily enough I began to feel better, my communication seemed less forced and my mind seemed much sharper. This is a great tool, not only for golf but for overall health. 2. Nootropics- Nootropics are defined as supplements proven to enhance one or more aspects of cognitive function such as working memory, motivation and attention. After trying out nearly every supplement out there, most of which are placebo in my opinion, I found one that actually works. After just 3 days of taking Alpha Brain from Onnit Labs I began to see noticeable gains in my mental sharpness, sleep patterns and decision making skills. Today, I won't hit the links without taking a couple of these first. When I don't take them I can definitely see a difference. 3. Brain Games- Research in neuroplasticity shows that new skills, whether they are mental, physical, or otherwise, can be learned at any age. When we originally learn how to hit a golf ball a pattern is developed in the brain. This pattern can be repeated to become automatic and easy to use. However, when changes are desired in our swing we can then make changes to the program and make this revised pattern automatic and easy to use. Since the brain is programming all of this for our physical game it is also happening in our mental game. In fact, the mental game precedes the mental since thought precedes motion. The programs in the brain run on the practice tee, while playing a mental game and while on the golf course. Environmental changes make it easier or more challenging to run our patterns, but they are all practiced and ready to run. When our mental skills develop we are able to run these patterns under any conditions. Mental skills such as staying in the moment, synchronizing the mind and body during the motion or adapting when circumstances do not go your way can be mastered through practice and used on the golf course. Thinq Golf has some great games you can play online to increase your neuroplasticity.

Matt Martin
5 Tools To Help Crush Your Driver...That Actually Work!!
Oct 18, 2014 5:27 AM
Tags: Equipment   Driving  
Everyone wants to hit the long-ball....Chicks dig it. In fact, I don't think I've met a golfer in my life that said they couldn't use a few more yards. While a couple of the following avenues to becoming the sultan of swat in your foursome may seem obvious and old hat, I can promise you that there will be a nugget or two mentioned below that you may or may not have been aware of. 1. Over And Under-Speed Clubs- Over-speed and under-speed training clubs have been around since the first golfer decided to swing two clubs at once to loosen up before a round. Using a heavier club (Under-Speed) to get loose is great for just loosening up but the science is in and it's telling us that even though it feels like you're swinging your normal clubs faster after swinging a weighted club, the opposite is in fact true. The key is to use the weighted clubs to warm up and then pick up the lighter (over-speed) clubs. The philosophy behind this is simple. When you swing the lighter over-speed club, you begin to wake up some dormant fast-twitch muscle fibers in your hands and arms that can react much faster than the big slow muscles of say, your back. The guys over at Power Golf System have an all-encompassing Over/Under-Speed workout routine with a set of 3 clubs correctly weighted for optimal results. 2. Swing Speed Radars- In my experience, speed is mostly a mental dichotomy. Most players I've worked with, even if they're great players have this false notion that they can only swing up to a certain speed. If you were to buy a simple radar like the Sports Sensors Swing Speed Radar and make hard swings with the light (over-speed) club I mentioned in number one, you would swing it much faster. Just having your mind see the higher numbers and that you can indeed swing a club faster is a game-changer every time. Just doing these two things and not considering anything else on this list will get the average golfer at least 5 mph in club-head speed which computes to big yardage gains. 3. Trackman- In my opinion, Trackman is the greatest thing to hit the golf industry since Tiger Woods. Using Trackman's precision ball flight analyzer you can find out what your angle of attack pattern is, among 25 other data parameters, and change it accordingly. The more you can hit up on the ball while maintaining a solid strike, the better. 4. Properly Fit Driver From This Century- I'm not advocating here that you be the guy in your foursome that needs to bite on every new driver gimmick that comes down the pipe, but hear me out. In a recent Golf Laboratories Inc. case study, it was found through robot testing that missing your loft by a mere 1.5 degrees can cost you an average of 18 yards. Drivers with adjustable loft adapters are pretty much par for the course nowadays and it would definitely benefit anyone reading this to do some testing of their own with one or several of these drivers to find out which one gives you the best numbers. Don't be afraid to experiment. High launch angle with low spin is what we're after here. 5. Dr. Scholl's Foot Spray- Yup, you read that right. Hitting the center of the club-face or even a little high of center (creating less spin and higher launch) is ideal and arguably the most critical when it comes to maximizing distance. Just spray this handy fungus repellent on your club-face to see where you're making contact and you'll be heading in the right direction. Even elite players tell me sometimes they feel like they're hitting the center of the club-face when in reality they're hitting it off the toe and/or heel. Also note-worthy, it's great for spraying inside your shoes before you toss them in the trunk after a round. Athletes foot is no joke. You're welcome.

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