Monday, March 24, 2008

The Golf Channel Amateur Tour

Winter is finally over and daylight saving is finally here! This means two things.
1. I can finally start consistently working on my game and see some improvements.
2. Tournament season is finally here! Tournaments are always a great way to see how your game truly is and if you have been practicing the right way. Last weekend was the tour opener in Stockton,Ca and I had been practicing and gearing up for this tournament since January, but of course I had some swing issues the week before. So, the last week I ended up working hard on my swing, which wasn’t what I was planing on and it left me a little worried because I wasn’t where I wanted to be with my game. This left me a little worried going into the tournament and I had to switch my mentality from wanting to win to having no expectations, which in a way is the mentality you want to have going into tournaments. My ball striking was my down fall as well as my chipping, but my putting saved me on every hole and I am so glad I practiced the push drill for hours to build up my confidence. My next tournament isn’t until the end of April so hopefully I can get my swing issues remedied, and from the video my mom took of my swing I think my only issue is that I am holding onto the club a bit too long, which causes the club to stay open. I have posted my swing below and I would like to hear what you guys think!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

1. Conditioning

We finally made it to the number one tip! The last winter tip is about conditioning in the off season. This off season was great! This is the first time I haven’t been in school during the winter months and have been stuck in the office waiting for day light saving to come. Thanks to daylight savings I have not been able to get to the golf course as much as I would want due to the sun setting at 5pm, BUT I have found a way to work on my game without being on the golf course and that would be...EXERCISE! I have found two great classes in my area. The first class is Pilates Cardio Camp. It is a great class that combines core workouts with cardio and strength training. Three days a week we do thirty minutes of abdominal work and thirty minutes of cardio, while on the other two days we do thirty minutes of ab work and thirty minutes of strength training. The second class is a golf conditioning class at the Decathlon club in Santa Clara. It is only a 30 minute class, but man does it make you sweat. The class is conducted on the Kinesis machines and there are four stations and you do three different exercises on each station for a minute and a half. All the stations engage your core muscles and require rhythm and coordination in order for you to get the most out of the work out. After taking these two classes I have learned how weak my left arm truly was and by just taking these classes I have noticed a drastic difference in my power and distance with each club. I feel so much better about myself and my golf game is really improving. I hope you can find a strength training class that helps you boost your game and if you are in the bay area feel free to ask me any questions about these classes. Good Luck!!!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

2. Practice Your Swing

Winter is a great time to just stick to the driving range and work on the mechanics of your swing. For those states where it snows I suggest going to an indoor driving range or find golf course simulators. I also suggest practicing in front of a mirror at home or at the driving range to see what position the club is at at the top of your swing and at contact. Visually seeing where my club is and how it should be helps me feel the correct club position when I am practicing without a mirror. One of the great things about the winter months is that you can practice your full swing and short game as much as possible without having to choose between practicing and playing with your friends. The more you practice your technique the better you will feel out on the course and will not have to think about mechanics when you play. This will allow you to play more freely and will most likely result in a better score. The first tournament I played in outside of school tournaments was on The Golf Channel Amateur Tour, which was very nerve racking because I had only been playing for about two years and I was playing with golfers who had been playing golf for a lot longer than I had. So, I went into the tournament not expecting to break any records and hoping not to embarrass myself too badly, but because I practiced so much and worked with my swing coach to prepare for the tournament I ended up winning my division. Every time I stepped up to a shot I did not have to worry about swing thoughts or wondering if I was going to have a bad swing, I just did my pre-shot routine, addressed the ball, and did my thing. It was one of the best feelings to not have to think about not swaying my body or making sure to rotate my shoulders. You could describe it as worry free golf. This mind set allowed me to focus on club selection and my yardages. Of course, my long game was great and my short game is where I made some pretty stupid mistakes, but some how I limited the mistakes and I ended up shooting my best round. Feeling comfortable enough with your swing is something that everyone should strive to feel and once you get there it will boost your confidence and improve your score. Let me know how it goes!