Tuesday, August 26, 2014

My last 3 weeks including tournaments, practice and new equipment. - thoughts on my current situation

Over the past weeks I played a few tournaments, practiced, played in skins game groups, got myself something brand new to hopefully help my game and thought about how to proceed.

First and for all, my will and desire are unbroken. A few times now I heard a question about my progress and the time frame, the investment and the emotional toll I pay to accomplish my goal. Let me tell you, if you have a true dream, you will work on it. No matter what toll you pay.

First about my new gadget I was able to get. The GameGolf Traking system. A GPS tracking system, which actually is able to follow  you on the course and record your movement around each golf course including stats like distance, direction , putts and so on. You collect data and then can start working on certain things. Also you can compare yourself to other players, including some PGA Tour players.

I will not go further into details of the system. That you will find in a review soon just make sure you find my golf review blog. While not often, I do write unbiased reviews about golf equipment, courses and so on.

The item I bought at a GC Am Tour event at Waterlefe Golf and River Club. As a member of the GC Am Tour you have a few benefits. One of them is to get a 50 $ discount on this machine.

The event at Waterlefe with the GC Am Tour was not one of my best. I was not able to keep the ball in the fairway nor was I able to get my approach shots close enough to the pin to score well. In all, I was working hard on the course make even a few pars. So I kept my stats, but forgot the round.

Waterlefe is a tight course with tons of water. If you are in the fairway, you are good. If not , you are out.

I followed up with another not too exciting round at River Wilderness Golf and Country Club. This time it was an FSGA event. Again, I was not able to keep the ball in play as I wanted and on top of that my putting really did not help me.

Both of the above rounds were in the low 80s, which is not like me at all. However, if you play a lot, things like that happen and I do not have any problem with that at all. It is part of golf. Further I need to consider my new grip and swing as well as my new set up. My coach told me it will  take 6 months to be on top of all that. Considering I play in the National Final of the WGAT this September, 6 months is not an option.

From there on I played a few skins games. Bobby Jones Golf Complex and Tatum Ridge Golf Links. Shot in the mid 70s on all of those rounds. If you take a look at the conditions on those courses, that is pretty good shooting.

Last week I then played Waterlefe Golf and River Club yet again. This time with the FSGA. I had a good round going there. Started with a bogey and followed that with 9 pars and 1 birdie. I thought I am on to something. Then I had 2 triple bogeys in a row, followed by 3 pars and a double.

In all I shot a good round and was happy. I missed only 2 fairways. Scrambled nicely and had incredible sand saves. Putting was right on. The two holes I messed up where the result off wrong decisions I made when deciding what shot I played and which club I used.

I came in 4th. That is a good thing. Just did not pay anything.

Right after that I was back at Rolling Green Golf Links and Tatum Ridge Golf Links. Again I played two rounds which are not really like me. Could not get the ball in the fairway often enough and my approach shots were wrong distance all day long. Putting was good though and that saved me a ton of shots.

I practiced a few times. But by far I am not doing what I would need to do. It is a challenge. There is simply too much around me going on which has a direct impact on my mental state. A lottery win would do the trick. However I can not count on that. So I need to keep working on other things.

An important fact will be to stay in focus of what is important. Golf.

Played a round at Sarabay yesterday. It was horrible. The score was not good. But I could live with that. What was frustrating was how I got my score. I simply was not able to get my mindset right.

Missed short putts. Had many misshits. I worked through the round grinding and was able to at least finish strong. But in my mind I am going backwards.

My environment is simply not right. So I will create a new one so I can pursue the goal. The environment is something I have control over.

There is 3 weeks before the big tournament. Cross your fingers that I get in shape for that.

Yesterday the Tourstriker club arrived. Starting with it today.

Friday, August 8, 2014

How do I get ready for a golf tournament?

Every time I have some tournaments coming up I get messages or emails asking me what I do before those 1 , 2 or more days tournaments.

Over the years I read many articles, books and also watched many videos about this matter. The entire issue sounds way more complicated than it really is. There is several basics which are definitely a must and are consistent with many professionals and to amateurs.

Note: Those actions are after you played any practice round. I am talking about the day, afternoon and evening before the competitive round of golf.

1. Get all equipment ready
2. Get clothing and back up clothing ready ( watch weather report)
3. Study yardage book if available ( google earth is certainly a good options as well)
4. Play the course in your mind before sleeping
5. Rest as much as possible the day before the weekend starts

In addition to those things there is all kinds of different ideas people have to get ready and it would be a book full of writings to cover them all. So I will go through the basics first and then add what I personally do on the day before play.

1. Get equipment ready

To me that is one of the easiest parts of the entire deal. Mine is pretty much always ready to go. But I check if all clubs are clean. Then I check my grips and make sure they are in order have no unwanted fat spots or so.

Next I put enough balls in the bag for the round. Usually I take 1 dozen of balls. I mark them all, so I do not have to do it on the course. Make sure you check the rules if you play the one ball rule. But most amateur tournaments do not.

2 fresh towels is what I attach to the bag. My cleaning tool and an extra brush for the clubs. I have a little bag with plenty of golf tees, pencils, markers and ball repair tools. Depending on the weather I put a rain cover for the bag in the side pocket. Attach the umbrella.

This is it. My bag is ready. Simple and fast. For the most part my bag looks like that at all times.

Last I make sure my pin seeker has a full battery and my GPS watch is fully loaded.

2. Clothing

My clothing I pick depending on the weather. So in the evening I put out two sets of clothing. One for hot weather without rain and one for hot weather with possible rain. I live in Florida and so I mostly do not prepare for cold weather unless it is winter time.

In addition I put out a couple bracelets which I wear to balance my ions etc.

Last thing is my hat, which I pick matching to my clothes. It may sound funny. But all has to match. If I do not feel good about what I am wearing it has a direct impact on my game.

3. Study yardage book

If I have one I go through it a couple times the night before the tournament. But it does depend on how good I know the course. There is many courses I know very well and I might or might not go through it. If I do not have one I use Google Earth to take a look at the course. I basically check distances and look at traps and water.

4. Play course in mind

When I go to bed I actually play the entire round in my mind. That includes all 18 holes. Every club I will use I picture. I picture every practice swing and the actual shot. Some times I go through alternate options. I only have positive outcomes in those rounds.

5. Get good rest

The day before the tournament I rest as much as I can. That does not mean I do not do anything. I work around the house, write and get little things done. But I keep it slow. I do not want to be exhausted or get a muscle ache. That would not make any sense.

There are days on which I meditate or listen to certain music. I do all kinds of things to get my mind in a positive and calm state.

That is it. There is not anything more to it. I do not work out like crazy or take all kinds of supplements. The key is to feel good. Feel good about yourself, your body and what you do on the day before playing.

If you fall asleep in a relax state of mind and your body is relaxed as well, there is a very good chance, that you wake up relaxed and in a positive state of mind.

Those above things I do and can control. Certainly I can not control what goes around me. However, I can control how I react to it and how I deal mentally with it.

So today I did what I just wrote and now I will do some additional work. I feel great. Rested well and my mind is in a positive state. Tomorrow I will play a track which I have played many times. So I know the course.

That is a huge benefit. There is not yardage guide. So I will look at it online. Just check some hole for distances and develop a little game plan.

What I game plan I will pick tomorrow morning I do not know yet. It depends on how I feel. I want to win , that is for sure. But the approach on the course I only know after hitting my first warm up shots.

Waterlefe CC is a tough track. Tight and lots of water. But I like it because you need to be accurate and length is not the issue here.

The challenge of this weekend is the Sunday round. There I play a course I have never played. So I will rely on Google Earth and my playing ability to navigate through this tournament. However, I will prepare myself just as I do today in all other aspects.

Colliers CC in Naples has another challenge. It is 2 hours away from my home. This is always a tough one. Driving and then trying to settle down, warm up and play a round in full focus. I did it many times and will do it again. It is not my favorite to do, but at this point of my career there is no other choice.

We will drive and play, travel and play, sleep less and play and so on and so on. On the good side , we will be able to be productive and talk about the round, the goal, other golf related and business related things. Very important to use this driving time. After all this is a business and time is money.

Next big thing I am working on: total balance. After watching Sergio Garcia changing over the past 18 months I know, that I need to be in balance. In balance with golf, business, relationship, family and friends. If I can accomplish that , I will have the same leap like Sergio had. Ok, now I really need to get into 5 :).

How do you get ready for a one day or two day tournament? Any suggestions? Any ideas? Really would like to get some comments here.