Friday, March 27, 2015

The Most Essential Element of Golf?

All professional golfers understand the most important part of golf. Though, what is the most important element of golf? I have a specific element of golf that I believe is the most important. However, I really am curious as to if this belief is the same that professionals believe.

I believe that your short game is the most essential part of golf. Chipping and putting are where strokes are added on or taken off. I can see some golfers believing that your tee shots are the most essential. However, I find you need to be better at putting than hitting a good tee shot. I find short game interesting. For beginner golfers, short game is probably the easiest part of golfing. Putting is basic and I can guarantee that every person on the earth can putt. Putting alone is easy, though having the ability to putt with precision is difficult. Chipping is a bit harder than putting, but can still be easily developed within an hour of practicing. Just the same as putting, being able to chip is easy, but being capable of chipping with accuracy can be hard. 

First Method
There are multiple ways that you can turn your putting from lucky to precise. I first, will start by explaining ways that putting can be improved. First, I recommend when practicing putting you make every shot count. Take your time, imaging that you were actually playing in a tournament. This way you literally practice how you play and play how you practice. Second, I would suggest a few "drills." The first of which is a simply drill in which six tees are evenly spaced and placed about four to six feet from the hole. Once this is done go in a counter-clockwise direction making every putt until you get back to where you started. The second drill that can be done is by using two alignment rods. Align the rods making a "railroad track" that your putter is going to "ride." Make sure that these are aligning your putter head directly to the hole. Next place a mark down where your ball will be and one in front to where you will follow through to. Start by backing up to and hitting the tee while staying inside the alignment rods. flow through while keeping in them to the marker closest to the hole. This will help you get a feel for a perfect putt. This drill can be used to practice lag puts and also to practice your short puts. Using the railroad tracks will insure a straight putt. Finally, to improve your putting you should be putting in a sufficient amount of time into practicing your putting. A sufficient amount of time depends on the person. Typically for me, I tend to spend fifteen minutes per every hour on my putting. This goal can be accomplished all at once, or in five five minute increments.
Second Method
Do you agree that your short game is the most essential element of golf? If not, which do you think is? 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Learning to Cope With Annoyance

Have you ever been over on the range with a group of men and women. All of you are practicing and getting ready to go out and play a round. Everyone is respectful and courteous of everyone around them. People mind their manners and keep a quiet profile. All is well, until two people walk onto the range and start to enjoy a conversation that they seem to want everyone to hear. These two can't stop laughing out loud and they are getting on everyones nerves. Your tee time finally comes and you think all is well. You have warmed up, and now you are able to get away from those people that just did not seem to stop annoying you. Though just as you thought it was beginning to get better, things took a turn for the worst. These two people are now playing on your tee time with you. Several questions are racing through your head. The most distinct question is what to do and how to handle this situation?

Image Courtesy: For The Win
This situation may happen. It may not be this extreme, but it is guaranteed that eventually you will play or practice with an annoying golfer(s). There are several approaches to dealing with annoyance. The first of which is the polite way. This method is one in which you physically approach the two people and kindly ask them to stop. You explain that you and others around you would appreciate it if they could keep it down. If you are more of a shy person, this approach could be hard. Use it as a way to build your confidence and conquer your fear.

The second technique to coping with annoyance is to ignore it. Let this be a distraction, let it make you mad. Let these people bug you. If done correctly this approach will build your mental endurance and strengthen your ability to ignore distractions. All golfers could use help with this part of their game. Distractions in golf are not good things to have and by ignoring this one, you are doing yourself a favor and building up your tolerance level.

The third and last approach that I would recommend, is to just ignore everyone. This can be done in a number of ways, though I find that the easiest way to ignore everyone is to plug in headphones and listen to music. This allows for you to be completely oblivious to what is going on around you.

In conclusion, avoid being the golfer that annoys everyone. Mind your manners and be courteous. Know and understand the rules and etiquette of golf and you will have an easy time not being the annoying golfer/golf pro that everyone hates.

Follow Up

I have lately received a question repeatedly. I felt that I had cover this question though now reflecting on my past blogs, I found that I have not answered this question fully.

Image Courtesy PCHS: Boys State
Golf  Team
"Is golf fun?" Such a simple question. Though this is short answer, there is more depth in it. Yes, golf is extremely fun. However, it is not just fun because you get to hit a ball. That is boring. There are certain things that you come, as a golfer, to enjoy about the game. People enjoy golf for multiple reasons, though some of the reasons that I really enjoy golf are as follows. Obviously when you have a really good shot, it makes you feel successful and it also helps you to realize that practice does actually pay off in the long run. I have also come to love playing in the evening and walking the course as the sun sets. This really gets me in a good mood and the views that are seen from holes on The Jeremy Ranch golf course are amazing. I usually golf around six on the weekends and it extremely fun. Another aspect of golf that fun, is when you are golfing with friends and or team mates. Golf you could say is a social sport. It allows for conversation. I enjoy playing golf with my friends and being able to talk and play is a ton of fun.

Though I have mentioned a few things that make golf a fun sport there is one part about golf that really makes it the most enjoyable for me. I have not yet mention it, though it deals with golfing with people and more specifically friends. Some of my best friends are my siblings and parents. I really do find that my best memories golfing, have been with them. When we are all together and out on the course I never have had such a great time. Playing golf with my family is what I golf for. It makes golf worth it. So, yes golf is fun. If you want to have an enjoyable time out on the course, I recommend you grab a friend or family member and head out. Enjoy!

Laziness: Is It Necessary?

To say that America as a country is lazy, is a correct statement. To say that every American is lazy is an overstatement. However, to say that this generation of American youth is the laziest generation is an understatement.

The youth of the future, are not to say lazy. We are not certainly the laziest generation. Though, with technology it is easy to understand why some older adults consider us to be "lazy". It makes sense, we have it easier than they did. If it is ease that defines lazy then it is very possible that their parents thought they were to be the laziest generation. Measuring the ease of something does not simply imply that a whole generation is lazy. There ease's did not come from nowhere. Our
generation is hard at work developing new technologies and inventions that in many ways make our generations lives more complex. Creating more jobs to discover and fix these complexities. Our generation is not lazy, past generations should not blame laziness on our extreme amounts of successful development.

Might as well have this sign on every course.
Despite the fact that our generation is not lazy, and that we are more technologically advanced, there still has been a slight problem with golfers. Golfers, are the true definition of lazy. At least a large handful of golfers are lazy. This includes me, and I don't blame anyone. Golf alone is a pretty easy sport. Not lazy, just easy. However if you do define lazy by the term easy, than I guess golf alone is a lazy sport. Walking and swinging you arms is not the toughest thing. It can be one of the most technical though. Let's get real though, golfers that use carts are flat out lazy. Golf carts are stupid and dangerous. You can WALK 18 holes and it will not kill you. The invention of the golf cart changed golf forever. The argument that we "don't indulge in physical activity" is only valid because of the invention of the golf cart. It has given golfers around the world the shame of not even being considered a sport, which it is. Thank you very much, it is a sport because it is on the High School sports wall. It may be sufficient to also add that the ping pong, chess, and pool teams are also up on the wall. This is irrelevant due to the fact that now, all these wonderful activities are considered sports.

Do you think that golf is a sport? If not, check out a past blog. Are we the laziest generation? How do you define lazy? In your mind is ease the definition of laziness or do you have another?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

No Snow, Golf's A Go

Image Courtesy: Park City Mountain Resort
Due to the lack of snow, skiing has not been good this year. I will take this opportunity to state the fact that I have only been skiing this season five times. I am such a die hard skier. All break long I ski. Whenever I have the opportunity to ski, I am doing it. Not at all. I honestly am one of the worst skiers that there is. The confidence that I have in my skiing is bad due to past experiences, and I just do not enjoy it. However, my parents make me go. I understand that this is ethical. They did pay for a seasons pass after all and I should have used it more. It is amazing to me how much I took snow and skiing for granted. I had the opportunity to sit with a tourist from Taiwan on the lift. It was fascinating how much she was enjoying the garbage snow. She asked me how many times that I had been skiing in the season (keep in mind this was around December or January) and at the time, I had replied none. This was my first time and this lady flipped out!! With the little english that she knew she was going crazy! She asked me why I had not skied and I told her that the snow was not good. She automatically knew from that response that I had to be a local. She gave me some more garbage about how I should be skiing snow. That snow is snow, and all snow is good. This was eye opening. I really didn't think of snow being snow. From then on I realized how much I have taken for granted, and that I need to ski more.

However to be completely honest, winter was only fun for maybe the first three weeks. By then I was done with it, and to say the least it was done with me. Winter in Park City did not last long. At first I found myself complaining that winter was too short. Though with time, clearing driveways, wearing shorts, and thinking about summer. I began to hate the snow.

Jeremy Ranch Golf Course: Image Courtesy The Jeremy Ranch
Despite the hatred of snow, I am starting again to miss it. This happens every year. Sometimes you do not know how much you like something until you do not have it anymore. This happens to be the case in with snow. I have only had those thoughts up until this point. At this point they have died away. This point being the opening day of The Jeremy Ranch Golf Course. This excites me! I can finally be back on the green grass with the clubs that I love. Swinging and swinging and swinging, swing after swing. I went over to the driving range the Saturday after it opened. I am pleased to report that after an hour of practice I stunk. I did better than I think that I would do, due to the fact that stinking is better than failing. On the bright side, spring is finally here and so is golf. Golf is off to a pretty good start, and I am ready for it. Bring on the new season! Here goes nothing.

Golf: Athletics vs. Academics, The Balance

Image Courtesy: TaylorMade
Picture a young man in July. Just made his school golf team and has not a clue what he is getting himself into. He thought that he did. The papers and disclosures said that he would be playing tournaments during school, though he had no clue and no worries about it. Golf season kicked off in August and he thought life was treating him pretty well. Then, school hit. September came and tournaments and practice were not the easiest thing for him anymore. Nor was his academics.

I learned quickly that I had to do something about my school work. I missed the first day of
school for a tournament which did not help at all. However, this leads me to my first point. When on a team or sporting activity, you should let your teachers know that you will be missing school at least one to three weeks in advance. You should not be quiet about it and have them find out the day of in an email that will be sent out from your coach. Though this is perfectly acceptable, it will not give you the best reputation. Let your teachers know, even if it has to be done before school starts. This will allow your teachers to understand that though you are on a sports team you still care and value your education. This is a good message to send, even if you aren't too
Image Courtesy: PowerSchool
serious about education. A good reputation can never hurt. 

Despite letting your teachers know, you should come up with a schedule and plan of attack. Golf is and was hard, golf is a hard sport to play with school going on. I understand that playing other sports can be tough with school, though I can assure you golf is hard. In other sports you rarely miss a whole day of school to go to a tournament. In golf tournaments last anywhere from three to five hours with another hour or two of driving. Practices also last at least one to three hours depending on what is being done. Golf is tough and if you have time management issues, or you have never had to manage your time, like I did, then here is something that I hope will help. To start off, you need a plan of action. How will you go about studying and doing homework after practice? It is simple. You need at least an hour of time after practice to do homework. It really is not that hard. An hour of sitting down and finishing all your homework is easy and then you have the rest of the day to do whatever you would like. I was really good at doing this during the first quarter and throughout the golf season. However when golf ended, so did my time management. So in a way, the stress that sports will put on you can help. Use it to your advantage. It is possible and will help. Along with time management, know your priorities. Understand that some assignments may be worth more than others and those are the ones that should be done first. 

Balancing athletics and academics is certainly not as hard as it seems though doing so can cause stress. Honestly, if someone as "smart" (extreme sarcasm) as me can do it, so can you. Remember, that as as important as sports especially golf can be, your education should always be your number one priority. A teacher once told me "Academics before athletics." This has really stuck with me and I find it to be true. Let me know if this helps. What should I blog about next?  

St. George: Come and Gone

This week Park City students have one of the best breaks. Our break is called "winter break". This break is awesome. While there are some ski bums that stay home and ski on the water that we have this year. Other normal kids, go somewhere where it is warm. I am one of those kids. I have the opportunity to go to St. George Utah. Why do I mention this? I mention this because St. George is supposed to have temperatures in the high 60's and low 70's. In my opinion this is the perfect temperature for golfing. While I would like to say that all I am going to be doing is golfing, this is far from the truth. I enjoy mountain biking as well and the majority of my trip will be filled by doing that.

Bear Claw Poppy: Image Courtesy of MTB Project
The first full day I arrived I mountain biked. I biked a trail called Bear Claw Poppy. This trail is really fun we rode it several times and I wrecked on it several times (luckily golf is a safe sport). Sunday I went through grave yards and took pictures of ancestors. On monday I mountain biked and went to a pool. Tuesday was interesting. I biked up to some indian cliff art and then went over to my uncles. At my uncles, I enjoyed helping him move back into his house. He brought with him a tree. Literally a tree that he will use to create bowls and other things. In return for my physical labor, I got what I wanted. Wednesday, I woke up and went golfing at The Ledges. I golfed with my uncle and I did not do so well. I did not keep score so I can not report that side of things. Not that it mattered any way. The golf course that I played was in great condition. The fairways were green which was something that I have not seen in a very long time. I also enjoyed the greens and the course layout was awesome.
The Ledges Golf Course: Image Courtesy The Ledges

St. George was a ton of fun! Everyone should go there to golf at least once. The courses really integrate the red rock and sand stone in cool ways. Most courses in St. George have shots that require you to shoot over a canyon which is also a really awesome experience. Mountain biking was a blast and I really enjoyed it. I just overall loved getting out of the snow and cold and into the sunshine and heat. It felt really good. Being outdoors and active was great.