Author: K.C.

The Golf Performance Center Ridgefield, CT
26 June
2020
  • June 26, 2020

The Handicap System Has Set Us Up
for Failure to Develop

In 1911, the USGA developed the handicap system to enable individual golfers to compete with players of different playing abilities.  Unfortunately, it has turned into a way to manipulate the system for personal gains or to win.  Because of this, players and coaches (or “teachers” as most are known) are set up to fail.  What? 

It was a short-term solution for players to have a friendly wager or bet against one another, not something that prevents players from improving.  Again, the short term gain is a long term failure.  You see, the handicap system was designed to allow for matches against someone that may not have the experience of another golfer, but it allows them to continue to compete.  This leads to resentment of the better player and higher handicap players see angles to manipulate their scores.  Over the past 20+ years, the handicap system has not shown significant change.  Players are not getting better by working on improving the lead factors.  Instead, players are resigned to putting in minimal effort hoping for greater gain. 

If you want to have a better indicator of your improvement you may want to investigate booking one of our Player Development Index (PDI) Assessments or 5 Elements of Success Evaluations. Our PDI is a perfect way for a player to have a snapshot of where his or her game is in the moment. It is not designed for you to understand where your game is right now.  What we have seen over time is a travesty!  Players are not putting in the work. They are hoping to take a lesson and learn the secret from one swing tip then go out and play like an experienced player or professional! Hint!  It doesn’t work this way; it takes some basic understanding of how things work and how important the body is in the process.  For the golf professionals out there, you too have been had!  It forces many of you into “teaching” someone a quick fix and getting them fixed and ready to go. No surprise, a player gets plenty of information, but unfortunately does not know what to do with it. Or, in many cases, they are not capable due to a physical limitation or a case of the technology bug.  You know, when you go out with your pro and he tells you to swing on Trackman or GEARS? Most likely it’s to capture some information, like; angle of attack, clubhead speed or some other factor that no matter how many times you try to recreate the best result, you can not do it because you do not know what you did in the first place. 

STOP the madness! Check out The Golf Performance Center’s 5 Elements of Success evaluations and PDI Assessments. Understand why you are struggling with your game. Someone else’s fix is probably not your solution!

Enjoy Your Journey!

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Operation Hydration
26 June
2020
  • June 26, 2020

Operation Hydration

As Human beings we are made up of 60% water. Throughout the day you are constantly losing water through sweating and going to the bathroom. Before long, this could be detrimental to your performance as an athlete if you are not monitoring your fluid intake throughout the day. When we are dehydrated we start to lose concentration, have mood swings, and possibly headaches which all lead to poor physical performance. This is the last thing you need when you’ve got a great round going and you have 4 holes to play!

So in this summer heat, how can you trust that you’re staying hydrated? Well we have a plan for you to end dehydration for good! First you need to buy yourself a water bottle. I would suggest a 32 oz. bottle. Carry your water with you at all times, all you have do is drink half your bodyweight in oz or more throughout your day. Sounds easy, right? More times than not we simply forget to drink water, but having a bottle with you will remind you to keep drinking throughout the day. Try to drink at least 8 oz every hour you are awake throughout your day. This will get you anywhere from 80-100 oz of water per day and for most of you this will put you right at half your bodyweight. On hot days when you are walking the golf course your body may need up to 1 gallon (128 oz.) of water to stay hydrated! Keep that water bottle close, and keep your fluids up!

Stay hydrated my friends!

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Irons
26 June
2020
  • June 26, 2020

Irons

Iron technology is easily overshadowed by the glitz and glam of drivers.  It’s hard to argue with the massive distance gains made in the last decade that have led to longer courses and deeper rough.  But the iron technology has improved by leaps and bounds as well.  Many companies like PXG and TaylorMade developed a line of irons that have a hollow head design to increase ball speed off the face.  Tungsten is being injected into smaller forged irons to improve moment of inertia(MOI) and increase forgiveness.  A common misconception is that companies have lowered the lofts to increase distance, however that is not 100% true.  Companies have lowered the lofts, but the reason is the ball is launching much higher and faster than ever before and the only way to control gapping and trajectory is with the loft. Iron gains have not only been from the engineering but also a new concept, combo sets.  A combo iron set is made up of more than one type of iron, for instance 4 iron through 7 iron will be a hollow design for more forgiveness and 8 iron through gap wedge will be a smaller forged iron for precision.  This ability and willingness to split your iron set allows golfers to get the best of both worlds.  Not as glamorous as the sliding weight ports and artificial intelligence of the drivers but iron technology has made tremendous strides and is often overlooked. 

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Turn Weakness Into Strength
26 June
2020
  • June 26, 2020

Turn Weaknesses into Strengths

We have discussed before that the way to improve in golf is to improve your weaknesses.  You can identify different areas of the game that are weak through consistently keeping stats and then putting time and energy into improving those areas.  If you take a closer look at your game and think through certain situations or shots that you tend to struggle with you can gain a clearer picture of specific things to work on.

There are many variables in the game and many skills that are needed.  It is very common to simply ignore certain factors that make particular shots difficult and to spend time doing things that are more comfortable.  In fact, as Francesco Molinari’s performance coach David Alred puts it, the whole point is to get to a place of discomfort so that you can learn how to perform.  This means going after very specific weakness.

Start by making a list of things that make you uncomfortable in golf and then come up with ways to practice those things.  Here are some examples followed by forms of practice:

1 – Playing with better players – The answer here is simple.  Setup games with better players to get used to it.  You will soon realize that it doesn’t matter who you are playing with, just play your game.

2 – Hitting cut shots with driver – The answer may be to better understand how to hit a cut shot but ultimately practice is the answer.  Many people just accept that a draw is the only shape that they can hit and never practice hitting a cut.

3 – Bunker Shots – Getting out to the bunker for a good block practice session may be very helpful, however, random practice in which you give yourself different lies and look to get the ball inside a six foot circle around the hole is a must.

With a good list and the right kind of effort you can turn your weaknesses into strengths.

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The Golf Performance Center Ridgefield, CT
19 June
2020
  • June 19, 2020

Your Game Cannot Be Found on
Instagram or YouTube

Of course I will play my game! Who’s would I play? Playing your own game sounds easy but it can be hard to do.  We all get wrapped up in playing someone else’s game without even knowing it and the fact is, it’s not your fault!  That’s right – it is not your fault! 

First, there’s a plethora of golf information out there.  If you are someone who wants to jump right in and be good at something you listen, watch and do everything you can to learn.  Second, understand that not every person who speaks on the behalf of golf has the same knowledge base to give tips to help you get better.  Their teaching is based on their own games or what a tour player may be doing. Finally, golfers are suckers for the quick fix. We want instant gratification!  So don’t feel bad about your game, most likely it’s not “your” game!

How do you fix this?  Well, it’s not as simple as clicking on an Instagram page and strapping a box on your hip, or signing up for a website claiming to lower your scores by 5 shots in 10 minutes. Nor is it as easy as watching the Golf Fix or School of Golf on the Golf Channel. The fact is you need to know more about your game in order to know how to improve it for the long haul!  What tour pros do and what golf instructors tell you are not always the answer for what ails you.  I promise you, Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson and Rory Mcilroy are not watching each other’s swing or how each other play and saying to themselves, “I need to play like him!”  They may like something about each other’s approach to a shot, course or swing mechanic but they will not try to swing or play like the other person. What’s dangerous is when amateurs see swings on YouTube, Golf Channel, Golf Digest or when an instructor is comparing you to a tour player.  I am here to tell you, you are not those players!

If you want to play your best golf, I suggest that you get to know your game, swing and mental approach inside and out!  Find a coach that understands development, go through a comprehensive evaluation or assessment of your game like our 5 Elements of Success Evaluation or PDI Player Development Assessment to find out what your real Index is! Set a plan and stick to it!  I promise, if you know your game, you will find out what the lead factors are to your good and bad outcomes, helping you to build a plan to create more predictable scores more often while enjoying the process of improvement.  When you are trying to obtain someone’s game or swing, it will set you up for great disappointment because you will not be able to do the same thing as someone else.  Just in case you are wondering, it is ok to idolize some of the swings of the best players, see what they do to play their best game, but to keep the game in perspective and expectations to real life, you will always be better off following a plan specifically designed for you, not someone else. 

In conclusion, we all need to putt, chip, pitch and control full shots, so there are commonalities to practicing and how anatomically we move, but every player does have his or her unique movement patterns thus creating different swing characteristics.  So the next time you are working on your game, pay attention to your characteristics and tendencies because trying to swing or play like someone else will only lead you to confusion, unrealistic expectations and frustration.  The golf season is here! So get a handle on your game!  Play your game, be you, unless you suck. Then come see me to get better!

Enjoy Your Journey!

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Dad's and Golf
19 June
2020
  • June 19, 2020

Dads and Golf

With Father’s Day around this Sunday, golf equipment is in high demand.  Rather than heading to your local golf shop or big box retailer, head to Custom Clubs where you can pick up a gift certificate for our unique fitting experiences.  In my years of experience in the golf industry, a high percentage of Father’s Day gifts get returned or exchanged because golfers are very specific about the equipment they use.  We offer all major brands and models and will make sure they are fine tuned for your game.  There is nothing better than having the peace of mind that you have the right equipment for your golf game.  This confidence in your equipment enables you to focus on the things that you should be focusing on during your round instead of constantly second guessing your equipment.  I know most golfers have a club that they have had their eye on and Father’s Day is the perfect opportunity to give all the dads the perfect gift.

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Head Spin
19 June
2020
  • June 19, 2020

This Could Make Your Head Spin

Those of you who are Members of The Golf Performance Center have experienced the extensive 5 Elements of Success evaluation process used to develop your personal road map for improving as a golf athlete. The physical evaluation is one of the five elements and is comprised of over 35 different screens and tests used to identify your strengths and weaknesses and how they may be affecting the mechanics of your golf swing. One screen in particular tests the range of motion in your cervical spine, or neck.

The neck is so often overlooked by areas like the hips and thoracic spine, yet plays a crucial role in your ability to maintain dynamic posture throughout the golf swing. If your neck is unable to turn right and left, or flex and extend adequately up and down, you won’t be able to rotate while maintaining sight of the ball as you take the club away. This often leads to the tendency to “lift” in the back swing, flattening the shoulders, and thus losing your dynamic posture.

Losing dynamic posture not only causes inconsistent ball striking, but could lead to injury if these poor mechanics are repeated over and over again. It is very easy to overlook an area like your cervical spine because of the laundry list of potential issues that could be taking place closer to the ground (in your ankles, knees, hips, low back , etc.). If there is a limitation, however, addressing it will often resolve issues you may be having elsewhere. If you are curious as to whether or not your cervical spine is lacking either mobility or stability, grab me at GPC or shoot me an email so we can set some time aside to help you improve.

See you in the Zone!

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How Are You Feeling?
12 June
2020
  • June 12, 2020

How Are You Feeling?

It’s Saturday morning about 7:50am and our Adult Members are rolling in getting ready to start their day by getting their blood moving and crushing a workout. The focus of the day is explained and the dynamic warm up gets under way. As we touch base with each athlete we ask “How are you feeling today?” This question typically gets answered in two ways: with a hint of sarcasm from a reply along the lines of “with my hands”, or more seriously with a slight eye roll and something similar to “Oh, just the normal aches and pains of a 55 year old.” I’m telling you right now that you shouldn’t be settling for “the normal aches and pains!”

According to a post by the Titleist Performance Institute, Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician, Dr. Harry Sese believes “Some golfers think minor pain is normal and try to play through it. Pain is NOT normal, and, almost always, will negatively affect performance.” Our coaching staff could not agree with you more, Doctor! If you are experiencing pain and discomfort on a daily basis, your body is sending you a message, and there is a reason why. Pain can be related to previous injury, overuse, inflamed joints, poor diet, lack of sleep, the list goes on and on. It is our goal to help address these issues and improve not only your general well-being, but your performance on the course. Through an analysis of both your physical function, and your current lifestyle habits (diet, sleep patterns, daily activity, etc.) we can help you determine that reason so you can feel better and perform at a higher level more consistently!

If you have pain in any area, please email tyler@thegolfperformancecenter.com to schedule a brief meeting with our Physical Therapist, Kate Campbell to get an idea of how we can help you. She is seeing athletes for virtual sessions these days and is here to help!

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Ethan Allen Preparatory, Ridgefield CT
12 June
2020
  • June 12, 2020

Growth Mindset and the New Normal

Normal- conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected.(as defined in the dictionary)

Covid-19 has forced us out of our comfort zone causing us to view both our immediate, and global surroundings with new and different perspectives.  The standard to which to conform, the usual, the typical and the expected can no longer be defined en masse. The world is not like it was three months ago…as we see the devastating impact Covid-19 has had on education, economies, politics and social issues, to name a few, in the daily news cycle. Irrespective of how any of these issues affect us personally, we cannot ignore that our lives have been changed and we may no longer be able to predict normal.  Therefore, in order to define and embrace a “new normal” for ourselves and those we care for, our mindset must change. If we don’t possess one already, shifting to a growth mindset will be necessary as we build out new daily routines, social opportunities and career aspirations etc. While the term “new normal” may be confusing, (it is to me) a growth mindset, holding true to positive human values, and working together through future adversity, will enable us to no longer stagnate and to no longer accept “normal” because we will forever strive to learn from our experiences and be better.

The article below talks about developing a growth mindset through grit and resilience.

https://positivepsychology.com/5-ways-develop-grit-resilience/

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