Author: K.C.

Max Homa
07 May
2021
  • May 7, 2021

Max Homa

Max Homa

Here is something you may not know about this full time Titleist Staff member.  Max was an All Pac 12 player at CAL.  Also played on a Walker Cup team and won the 2013 NCAA’s.  Since he turned pro in 2014 his strokes gained year-over-year has improved five times out of seven tries.  This year he is currently #18 in the world in Strokes Gained overall and also a plus in every category.

Max’s current setup:

Driver: Titleist TSI3 (9 degrees) with Aldila Rogue Black 130 MSI 60 TX shaft

3-wood: Titleist TS3 (15 degrees, A1 SureFit setting) with Aldila Rogue Black 125 MSI 80 TX shaft

7-wood: Titleist TSi2 (21 degrees) with Graphite Design Tour AD XC 9 TX shaft

*Utility: Titleist U500

Irons: Titleist 620 MB (4-9) all with KBS S-Taper 130 shafts

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (46-10F, 50-12F, 56-14F, 60-10K) with KBS S-Taper 130 X (46-56), KBS Hi Rev 2.0 125 S (60) shafts

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Peanut Butter Jelly
07 May
2021
  • May 7, 2021

Peanut Butter Jelly Time

If you haven’t followed Max Homa’s antics on social media, you’re missing out. He can regularly be found roasting us amateurs on our never ending quest to hit the next one pure. Most recently he’s earned his second PGA Tour victory and is climbing the world rankings as quickly as he was gaining twitter followers not long ago, currently sitting at 39th.  Max, like many tour professionals has a team around him to help develop the best plan possible for him to continue this rise and hopefully find success on golf’s biggest stage in Major Championships. Mark Blackburn, Max’s current swing coach, understands the importance of assessing the athlete’s movement capabilities and relating those to the player’s mechanics. We believe the same here at GPC! Mark also emphasizes the importance proper nutrition to support the athlete’s efforts in practice and in the gym.

At GPC we refer to this piece of the puzzle, or element of success, as Physical Performance and Nutrition! Neglecting what foods you use to fuel your body both throughout the week and during a golf tournament will undoubtedly affect your performance. During an interview with priceless.com (link below) Max provides some insight into his view on his on-course nutrition.

“Food is important for both the body and the mind,” he says. “I’ve looked into what foods make me function the best and what foods make me feel the best.” 


“My favorite snack is a trusty peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and this I eat after the 9th hole whether I’m hungry or not,” 
Homa says. “It’s easy to eat, easy to get down, and peanut butter is sticky, so it reminds me to drink water.”


https://www.priceless.com/sports/product/163412/stretching-and-nutrition-from-max-homa

A simple peanut butter and jelly provides a nice balance of both long lasting and quick bursts of energy to maintain consistent blood sugar levels throughout your round. What I like most about what Max suggests here, however, is that he eats that PB&J at the turn whether he’s hungry or not! He’s viewing his on-course nutrition like he’d approach a golf shot. He has a routine and he’s sticking to it. If you are neglecting your on-course nutrition I encourage you to reach out to a Performance Coach and get a plan in place. There are many options to support your performance on the course, and it is most important that this plan is repeatable and works for you!

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The Golf Performance Center Ridgefield, CT
07 May
2021
  • May 7, 2021

Accepting vs. Satisfied

As we move into the summer season, the height of tournament golf, I would like to clear up a notion that hitting shots that are not to your liking is not by any means saying you are satisfied with the result. However, you need to learn to be accepting of them, learn from the attempt and move on.

Playing “poor” golf is not satisfying, but understanding the difference between being upset about a bad shot that you have never tried before and being satisfied is crucial for development.  Remember, for as long as we play golf, we will never hit the same shot twice!  Even though we may practice many different shots and yardages, being able to pull off shots in a round of golf that count is a completely different animal.  I will go as far to say that the more significance we give to the circumstance, the more rare the chances are we have hit a similar shot.  Again, I am not trying to say you should be satisfied with a mediocre shot, but you do need to put it into perspective, be accepting.

Golf can be an emotional game and it should be played with emotion, but play with tenacity. This means you have taken every detail into consideration and given your best effort. If it doesn’t work out then you need to accept that you did everything you could to tip the scale in your favor to execute the challenge at hand.  These are what we call “learnable moments” for the developing golfer. Some researchers would call this performance feedback, the last rung in making lasting improvements.   

When you are thinking about playing your next round of golf or a tournament, ask yourself why you are going to do this?  Are you doing this to get better or do you feel you skills are good enough to be satisfied with mediocre results? If the later, accept your results and enjoy the game!  If you are playing to develop into your best self as a competitive golfer, then be aware of what happens during your shots and rounds. Use the feedback to plan your next practice sessions and give yourself positive and negative feedback.

Here are 3 Positive Thoughts and 1 Negative,

Positive-1-I set up properly aiming at my target. 2-I stuck with my process. 3-I am working on keeping my hands in front of me, I know the difference and I could feel the difference on the course. 

Negative-1-I didn’t stick to my process! 

Unless you are playing golf for a living, accepting your good and bad shots will certainly help you to enjoy the game, and if you are trying to do this for a living, don’t be satisfied with mediocre results. Strive to be your best, but understand that by being accepting you will be able to move to the next shot with better focus and less stress, helping you to yield better results. 

As always,

Enjoy Your Journey!

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Max Homa's Climb
06 May
2021
  • May 6, 2021

Max Homa’s Climb

If you follow golf then you probably consider Max Homa a household name.  At the age of 30 he has won twice on the PGA Tour and continues to work to improve.  So how does someone get from taking up the game of golf to competing as a junior golfer and then ultimately not only make the PGA Tour but become a multiple winner?  Well, the journey may be different for different players but there are some commonalities that we can all learn from.

Max was a good junior player but he didn’t shoot under par from the age of 10 years old.  In fact, I was able to find tournament results from when he was 16 years old and he shot in the 80’s many times.  Yes, he also shot some great scores, but the consistency took time for him to develop.  If you look at his college golf career at Cal Berkley he showed a steady decline in his scoring average over his four years. 

The scoring average for his four seasons at Cal Berkley are listed below:

2009-2010 – 73.7

2010-2011 – 72.2

2011-2012 – 71.2

2012-2013 – 70.6

This four year career culminated in him winning the NCAA Championship in 2013 and setting himself up to turn professional with confidence.  However, even when great players turn pro the journey of rising to the top starts over again.  Max has had to battle his way onto the PGA Tour and finally this year for the first time as a professional has a scoring average that is lower than that of his senior year in college.

So, what does all this mean?  It means that the journey never ends, there is just another stage, another challenge to face.  Max learned what this process looked like and felt like from his days as a junior golfer.  Every time he went to the next level he had to find ways to improve just as he did at the previous level.

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Relentless
06 May
2021
  • May 6, 2021

Relentless

When searching for motivation to do difficult things, I often rely on pithy sayings and words of inspiration. One word in particular that lights me up is ‘relentless’. As defined by Merriam-Webster.com, relentless is “the showing or promising no abatement of severity, intensity, strength, or pace : determined, dogged, grim, implacable, unappeasable, unflinching, unrelenting, unyielding.” Used in a sentence, The golfer was relentless in pursuit of his tour card. When I feel relentless, I truly believe nothing can get in my way. I love this idea of being unstoppable in pursuit of one’s goals especially in the face of adversity.

Max Homa’s career has been filled with adversity and given how hard he has worked to achieve his dream of being on the PGA Tour, it’s not surprising he has the word ‘relentless’ tattooed on the outside of his right wrist; a reminder that no matter how difficult things get he will pursue his dreams with dogged determination.

At 30 years of age Homa is starting to see his hard work payoff. After turning pro in 2013, coming off winning the individual honors at the 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship. Homa bounced back and forth between the Korn Ferry Tour, where he had great success, and the PGA Tour, where he admits he never felt like he belonged until winning the Wells Fargo Championship in 2019. Homa backed up his victory at the Wells Fargo by winning The Genesis Invitational this past February.

Interestingly, it wasn’t winning that allowed Homa to feel like he belonged on the Tour. It was a greater belief in himself. In college, Homa hung a sign above the door in his room that read, “They don’t believe you’re good enough”, which he used as motivation to work harder and prove the doubters wrong. The problem with this way of thinking, Homa found out, is that he was giving too much power to the voices of others and focused too much on outcome to win their approval. “I was not having faith in myself unless I was seeing results”, Homa spoke on his Get a Grip with Max Homa & Shane Bacon. It wasn’t until Homa learned to appreciate himself more than the opinions of others that he was able to trust himself.

I often tell our juniors that the less you care about what others think of you the happier you will be. Homa’s transformation into one of the best players in the world is a beautiful example of this. Importantly, not only will caring less about what others think of you increase your happiness, but it will also give you the freedom to relentlessly pursue your dreams.

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Demopalooza 2021
30 April
2021
  • April 30, 2021

Demopalooza Highlights

Demopalooza was a huge success this week. Special thanks to everyone who helped make it possible!

 

Check out some highlights of the event below:

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The Golf Performance Center Ridgefield, CT
30 April
2021
  • April 30, 2021

What Do You See in the Mirror?

What do you see when you look in the mirror?  I have asked this question to many of my athletes, and it is interesting to hear the answers.  I know many years ago when I looked into the mirror, I would struggle to see past all the things I consider ugly. To be transparent, I still struggle with this more than I would like.  How can we avoid this?  Well, it is not about avoiding, but rather a matter of focusing on the things that you DO like.  Why am I talking about looking at ourselves in the mirror and what does it have to do with your golf game?  Let’s talk about it.

You see, many of you have taken golf sessions and the golf professional only points out how bad your swing looks or only the flaws relative to a beautiful swing by a PGA or LPGA Tour player.  Now, I am not saying anything is wrong with identifying areas that need improvement, but there are areas likely to be good for you too.  Again, as we look in the mirror, there is one thing we know, none of us look the same, which means as you pick yourself apart on video with your golf coach, as yourself –  why should your swing look like someone else’s swing?  Your swing is uniquely your own. It is a product of your function and knowledge.  So, before you go changing anything you need to learn and understand your own strengths (beauty) and weaknesses (areas you don’t like).  Yes, there will be commonalities to everyone’s golf swing especially the better your physical movement skills, the more likely you will see this.  This is true based on some common basic things too. The ball is generally in the same place for all golfers (on the ground in front of them), as humans we have generally the same physiological make up, and we all have similar tools to hit the ball.  So, what you see in the mirror is your unique way you swing the club based on your own physiology and kinesiology.  This is not to be labeled as  good or bad.  It is what it is – You. 

The important thing as you gaze into the mirror with horror, is to determine what you can  do about it. What are the things I need to focus on, do I focus on the good things making them more apparent, or do I only focus on the flaws and hope to change those?  I would say it depends, it depends on whether you understand how to change them and if they can be changed in a way that does not take away your strengths (beauty).  This is what we see with LPGA or PGA tour players. We see their uniqueness and think that because they do something (example; Dustin Johnson extremely bowed wrist at the top of his swing – his flaw and beauty) it is what everyone should do. Remember, his mirror is not your mirror.

Golf season is here for most around the country now. If you are finding yourself not looking your best in your mirror, there is hope!  Find a coach that can help you with assessing you and your golf skills, not just your golf swing. Junior Golf Hub has a great new way for players to understand what they are seeing in the mirror.  It is a systematic approach; The Player Development System helps players of all ages understand where they are in their journey of development and how to improve with recommended practice plans.   The System produces a Player Development Index (PDI) that allows you to understand where you are developmentally, which can correlate to your scoring.  It is a progressive system that supports the feedback loop that is necessary for continuous improvement unlike carrying a GHIN Index.   Your PDI is helping you determine the right things to focus on for you which are the lead factors of getting an updated GHIN handicap.  If you are making a goal to drop your GHIN Handicap you may want to first get the Index that matters!  Contact me or any of my colleagues at The Golf Performance Center or the Junior Golf Hub today to find out more.

Enjoy Your Journey!

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Take A Walk
30 April
2021
  • April 30, 2021

Take a Walk!

PGA Tour players walk on average 6 to 8 miles throughout each day they’re at an event, from the time they step out of the car to the time they get back in to head home after their day is done, it is fascinating to think how much ground these athletes cover. Humans are meant to move, explore, and use our bodies as our strongest tool. Couch potato is not in our DNA, whether we like it or not, and sitting down as much as we do does nothing but breed underdeveloped, weak, asymmetrical bodies. I am not only talking to the adults with jobs that have them tied to their desk all day, I am also talking to the 10-year old’s that aren’t out building forts and riding bikes, playing capture the flag, and having water balloon fights, but rather sitting on their rear ends playing video games until their thumbs go numb.

I understand that may seem a little harsh, but it’s the truth and we need to hear it! There is no better time than now to get outside, get active, and change up your routine a little. We, as a society, have our priorities all wrong when sitting is where we find ourselves most. Take a walk around your neighborhood tonight. Walk with a purpose. I am confident you will feel more alert as a result (it can also help you clear your mind!)

Golf courses are open and packed with play as the weather gets nicer. I realize some tracks (like Augusta National pictured below) are a bit more of a test than others, but look at it as a challenge! Pay close attention to how you feel and how you perform when you walk instead of ride. Do you find yourself getting into a better rhythm by avoiding the stop and start nature of the golf cart? Is your heart rate slightly elevated and the legs feeling warm? These are all good things! Remember, golfers are athletes!

If you want your body to take care of you, you need to take care of your body. Carrying your clubs on the course is a great start, and simply going for a walk will help you hit the reset button.

Enjoy!

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Zalatoris On The Rise
30 April
2021
  • April 30, 2021

Zalatoris on the Rise

With Will Zalatoris consistently making his way up near the top of leaderboards on the PGA Tour his recent second place finish at the Masters didn’t really surprise that many people.  That being said it is still a big statement that his game can hold up on the biggest stage in golf.  Just a year ago it didn’t seem as though we would see that kind of statement for awhile.  So how has he risen so fast?

The first thing to remember is that nothing happens overnight and definitely not in the game of golf.  Will Zalatoris said he has been dreaming of the Masters for 20 years.  Zalatoris also won the USGA junior Amateur Championship in 2014 and then went on to have great success at Wake Forest University.  One thing Zalatoris has attributed his success to is the course management system Decade designed by Scott Fawcett.  Decade uses metrics of dispersion to identify the best game plan for a hole and then each shot within the hole.  Zalatoris has used this since before he won the US Junior and has allowed him dissect courses and execute a game plan with confidence.   By the way, Zalatoris was the first player to adopt the system and Bryson DeChambeau is the second.

If you are doing stats after your round what are you doing with that information?  Stats are not just a means to end but an opportunity to reflect on your approach to every hole and every shot during a round of golf.  It is not as simple as well if I hit a bad shot it’s because I made a bad swing.  Remember, bad shot selections lead to bad swings.

Take the time to create or enhance your game plan for your home course and any course that you are going to play.  Be sure to reflect afterwards and refine your approach as you go.

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