To see more on this fantastic win by Peter, go here! Source : Australian PGA Pictures : Australian PGA Craig ONeal
Senior turns back the clock to win UNIQLO MastersPeter Senior has shown that age is no barrier winning the UNIQLO Masters at Huntingdale Golf Club today.24 years after he first won the Gold Jacket and 20 years after he last slipped on the iconic blazer, Peter Senior has once again emerged victorious winning by two shots with a tournament total 8-under 276. “It’s just amazing. I’m still blown over winning this tournament. The guys played pretty well.” Playing solid golf all week, Senior entered the final day tied third alongside Michael Sim, John Senden and Matthew Guyatt. Right from his first tee shot Senior looked the man to beat, opening his final round with back-to-back birdies. A couple of early bogeys on the 4th and 5th didn’t sway the Queenslander, holding his nerve he reignited the pace with two back-to-back birdies on the 6th and 7th. With three holes to play Senior held a three shot lead, however a birdie from Andrew Evans on the 16 and a dropped shot from Senior on 17 saw the pair tied as he teed off on 18.
Editor’s note: This story originally appeared in the Oct. 19 issue of Golfweek. ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — Gary Player was sitting at a coffee shop in Baton Rouge, La., early in his career when fellow PGA Tour pro Doug Sanders proposed a scenario: If he gave Player $250,000, a small fortune in those days, would he retire to a ranch in his native South Africa? Without hesitation, Player responded: “I couldn’t do it, laddie.” “Why the hell not?” Sanders shot back. “Because I’m going to win all four majors.” Player’s belief in his destiny poured out in such passion and intensity. In 1965, at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, the 29-year-old Player outlasted Kel Nagle in an 18-hole playoff to win the U.S. Open and join a select band of golfers to complete the career Grand Slam. Fast forward 50 years to the 2015 U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, where a reporter asked Player whether it felt as though it had happened a lifetime ago. “It doesn’t, because I’m so young at heart and I’m so fit and I have so much enthusiasm and energy and I’m so busy in my life,” Player said. “I still want to learn. So many people seem to lose their desire to improve and grow as they get older, but I can’t say that has happened to me.” As one of golf’s “Big Three,” Player set the standard for worldwide tournament play, having won more than 100 titles, including nine major championships. Born Nov. 1, 1935 in Johannesburg, Player was the youngest of three children to Harry and Muriel Player, who died from pancreatic cancer when he was 8. As a youth, he left the house daily at 6 a.m., boarded a streetcar, then hopped onto the No. 68 bus to attend the finest school around. Looking back on his adolescence from the perspective of adulthood, Player said, “If it’s possible, school took the place of my mother. It made me tough, and it made me hungry.” He turned professional at 18, and traveling the world became his university. It’s funny that longevity and traveling some 15 million miles became Player’s calling cards. He chuckles at the memory of a long-ago conversation with Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer in which he and Nicklaus insisted they would be hanging up the spikes at the ripe age of 35. A few years later, Player walked into the Champions Dinner at the Masters and Palmer kidded, “What are you doing here in this field? I thought you’d be retired by now.” Player has made idle threats to retire ever since, but he continues to circle the globe with the drive of the Energizer bunny. “In the days when I was working very closely with him, he’d complain, ‘I can’t do all this. I’m going to die young,’ ” said IMG’s Alastair Johnston, who represented Player for more than 20 years beginning in the early 1970s. “He’d fly from Tokyo to Lima, Peru to Madrid, Spain and then home to South Africa. When I’d tell him what he was going to make, he’d say, ‘$50,000! Are you kidding me? I’ll swim there.’ ” To read more about the great Gary player, go here! Source : Golfweek.com Alan Schupak Pictures : Tracy Wilcox
We’ve all played in a scramble tournament, or ‘captain’s choice’ as it’s also called, at one time or another. Most of us give very little thought on what strategies to plan on, in order to get what we want out of the event.
The Scramble is mainly a light-hearted, social event often bringing male and female members of a club or golf group together. Everyone, no matter what their skill level, gets to help out on the team.
Usually, players don’t have serious agendas when playing Scrambles . . . . or do they??
Ronald Montesano, writing for GolfWRX, has produced a very interesting article on how to make sure your tournament is a great success.
Scramble tournaments mean one thing: birdie-fest! How could you not be excited to play golf where others make up for your mistakes and you get four runs at birdie on nearly every hole? Before you lies the opportunity to team up with three of your closest friends or favorite ringers. Unfortunately, golfers or entire groups miss the point of playing in a scramble event. There’s no right answer, but you don’t want to show up at the event without an agenda. If you’re competitive, you might be in it to win it. If you’re charitable, your goal is to raise money for the cause. If you’re generous, your No. 1 concern is to ensure that your friends have a great time and come away with a great story to tell. You may be inclined to assume that if you’ve played one scramble, you’ve played them all. Before you fire that shot across the bow, let’s take a look at your check list for a successful scramble golf tournament.To read more on how to get the most out of your scramble tournament, go here. Source : GolfWrx Ronald Montesano Pictures : GolfWrx Dru Bloomfield
Know your formatIt’s a bit odd to call an event a traditional scramble, but it seems that tournament organizers are jonesing to separate their tournament from the rest by way of an altered format. The traditional scramble event follows the following protocol: each golfer plays from the tee, then the group selects one drive. From there, each golfer hits a second shot and then the procedure is repeated until the ball is holed. In recent years, the Shamble has gained some traction, perhaps to keep teams from riding one player too hard to victory. The shamble requires each golfer to tee off, then have the team select its best drive. From there, each golfer plays his own ball to the end of the hole and the team records the two best scores. While a traditional scramble score will be in the low 60s with handicap, a shamble tally doubles that figure.
WHY STRETCHING A MUSCLE… DOESN’T ALWAYS STRETCH THE MUSCLE! By Roger Fredericks “Hey Roger, I don’t get it? I’ve been stretching my hamstrings for years, and they‘re still tight. Even when I was a kid, I couldn’t touch my toes and I still can’t!” If I had $10 for every time I’ve heard that, or something similar, I’d be in a considerably higher tax bracket! The truth is that many people think that by stretching a particular muscle is going to get that muscle flexible – especially the hamstrings. However, that usually isn’t the case. Remember, that muscles work in ‘Chains’ ( much like tile on a roof) and they all run and work together. Therefore, when one aspect of the chain is tight, other muscles in that chain are apt to be tight as well. For example, whenever I see a tight upper back and shoulder (which is becoming epidemic in our culture), I’ll see a tight calf just about every time. When I see this condition, I’ll usually go to work on their calves and work up the chain and finally get to their upper back. My Clients are always amazed at how their shoulders are feeling better when I often times don’t even touch them! Regarding golf, many people struggle with straightening of their legs in their golf swings, and upon recognizing that they’re hamstrings are tight, will begin feverishly stretching their hamstrings – and as I mentioned – usually don’t get acceptable results. The reality is that the hamstrings work closely with the Inner thigh muscles – Outer thighs, Quadriceps- Hip flexors and Glutes – and ‘Especially’ The Pelvic Flexors and Extensors. All of the programs in my book ‘The Flexible Golf Swing’ and my DVD ‘Secrets of Golf Swing Flexibility’ are arranged so that you’ll be working ALL of the muscles in their respective chains.Source : Roger Fredericks Pictures : Roger Fredericks
First round of the year. You find your clubs and head with your buddies to a soggy local course to do the thing you’ve been dreaming about for months—play golf. Your swing thought is pithy: See the ball. Hit the ball. Find the ball. And you play great! Your swing is working effortlessly. You’ve identified the formula. What a season it’s going to be. Careful. You might be a victim of the “honeymoon round,” an actual thing, it turns out. “It’s definitely real,” says Tom Ferraro, Ph.D., a psychologist in Williston Park, N.Y., who works with elite athletes. “It involves expectations—there are none, usually. Your body is healthy. The game is fresh and interesting. You have an empty mind, more or less. And then the fun begins. Soreness and stiffness happen. Expectations happen.” Some wise Chinese philosophers explained this long ago. In his new book, Trying Not to Try, Edward Slingerland, Ph.D., a professor of Asian studies at the University of British Columbia, describes a state the Daoists and the Confucians called wu-wei (pronounced ooo-way), meaning effortless action or non-doing, which sounds a lot like a honeymoon round. You care, but you’re not trying. Good golf is just happening to you. Dr. Richard Coop, Ph.D., who has advised golfers for three decades. “College coaches give their kids time off, and people say, ‘Hey, they should be working harder, not resting.’ But the coaches are trying to get the freshness back.” Professional golfers like Bruce Lietzke and more recently Phil Mickelson swear by such breaks. The problem for weekend golfers, Coop says, is that when they experience that great post-layoff round, they not only want to bottle it, they figure it’s their new normal. “Now the whole year is going to be like that. That’s just not realistic. You’re not going to suddenly raise your normal.” Trying to bottle the feel of the first day back is futile, Valiante says, because we feel things contextually, not absolutely. The swing feel that produced a gentle draw on Saturday creates a snap-hook a week later. He says it’s akin to our memory of music. “You love a song because of some emotional connection. Then you hear it a year or two later, and the song feels like nothing special. What happened? In golf, two years is 24 hours.” Our nature, Valiante says, is to try to get back to it. “But it’s not about that. It’s about being in the present,” he says, “with each individual shot.” In short, if you recapture anything, make it that “see the ball, hit the ball” mode. And know that the feel of your swing might be different. Johnny Miller said he decided whom he was going to swing like after he had warmed up. One day he was himself, one day he was Lee Trevino (playing a slight cut), one day he was Tony Lema (a big draw). Coop’s advice for looking back on honeymoon rounds: “Get outside yourself. Was I more forgiving? Was I more patient? Was I more conservative? Try to do that the next round.” Perhaps, he says, it was your just-happy-to-be-here attitude or the friends you were with. “Try committing yourself to things that bring the spontaneity back. Your score will take care of itself.” Valiante and Slingerland recommend meditation as a path to “mindfulness,” which could be said to characterize a honeymoon round. For one, meditation enhances physical awareness. (Doing an eyes-closed, toes-to-nose tensing and relaxing of muscles is one form.) Meditation also clears the mind, which is important given that it’s often the accumulation of swing thoughts—and judgments—that sabotages subsequent rounds. This isn’t to suggest that you should abandon breaking 80 or some other grand goal. Just remember that it might happen in a way you don’t plan, and it might feel out of your control. In his book, Slingerland includes this enigmatic quote from the spiritual teacher Shunryu Suzuki, who wrote Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind: “You cannot try, but you also cannot not try; trying is wrong, but not trying is also wrong.” Which is to say: Give it your all, and expect nothing. “Have to, need to, or should—these are the language of expectations,” says Debbie Crews, Ph.D., who works with athletes at Arizona State. Replace those with “a thought, word or picture that describes your intention. Example: ‘the fairway’ or ‘in the hole.’ Then your internal system has a clear instruction to follow. The trash cans on the tees work very well for throwing away expectations. It’s a choice.” And if all else fails, see P.G. Wodehouse and his character Wallace Chesney, who one day ruins the magical plus-fours that have transformed his game, returns to his bumbling state and has an epiphany. “Wallace Chesney stood on the tee watching the spot in the water where his third ball had fallen. The crowd was now openly amused, and, as he listened to their happy laughter, it was borne in upon Wallace that he, too, was amused and happy… This, he felt, was something like golf. This was golf as it should be—not the dull, mechanical thing which had bored him during all these past weeks of his perfection, but a gay, rollicking adventure … ” Talk about wu-wei.Source : “Most sports require you to be in wu-wei—relaxed, absorbed, focused but not tense—to be successful,” Slingerland says. “But it’s particularly important for sports like golf and tennis because they focus on the individual, and so the outside pressure is heavier.” There’s also a suddenness to that first round, says sport psychologist Gio Valiante, Ph.D., author of Golf Flow (a kind of Western version of wu-wei). And it can work in your favor. “You’re shoved into the present. You’re fearful, so your alertness is high, and that’s a good thing. No recent history, no past, just present,” Valiante says. “It’s more target, less thinking, and that’s what flow is: not thinking.” A break from playing can produce this freshness, too, says Golf Digest Bob Carney Pictures : blake hall
“Golf is a matter of confidence. If you think you cannot do it, there’s no chance you will.” – Henry Cotton.
As golfers we all know that the more confident we feel, the better we play. But what comes first? Do you have to play well to have confidence or are there ways to build confidence no matter how well you’ve been playing recently?
In this lesson, I’m going to share my top 10 ways to build “inner confidence” (confidence that comes from within) to get you feeling as confident as possible on the first tee, regardless of your recent scores.
1. Build confidence through a good process
One way to improve your confidence is to stop focusing on what you can’t control but instead focus on what you can control. At the beginning of your round, you can’t with any degree of certainty say you’re going to shoot 65 or 85. It’s out of your control. And if you equate how well you’re playing with the quality of every shot you hit, you’re setting yourself up for an emotional roller-coaster and frequent dents to your confidence.
I teach all my players to measure the success of a round by how well they stuck to their process (their routine) before and after every shot. This way, your success is totally within your control vs being at the mercy of where the ball finishes and what score you might shoot. You’re going to get bad bounces, you’re going to get bad lies, the wind will affect shots and some putts will hit a bump on the green and lip out. Fixating on the outcome of each shot and your score will only hurt your round. Putting faith in your process and making that the goal will take a lot of the uncertainty out of each round and over time improve your confidence.
Learning a good process or “blue-print” is one of the fundamentals in my Mental Game Mastery Blue-print.
2. Don’t become obsessed with your swing mechanics and learn how to trust what you have on that day
Golfers that lack confidence are constantly asking themselves questions about how good their swing is. They can hit it great on the driving range all week, but miss a fairway or green during their round at the weekend and all of a sudden there’s a problem with their swing. Such thinking leads to over-analysis and over-thinking about the swing which leads to tension and more bad swings. One of the keys to good golf is making relaxed swings which is impossible when you’re thinking about your swing. Tell yourself before each round that you’re not going to give yourself a lesson but instead keep tension low by having no swing thoughts.
3. Build a plan for success
If you’re a smart golfer, you’ll know exactly where you need to improve and focus your practice time on that. When you have a plan, you’ll feel like you’re on a path to progress which is good for the confidence. If know you have 8 hours of practice time during a week, have a plan for exactly how you’re going to use that time instead of deciding when you get to the range.
4. Improve your ability to focus
Letting your mind wander onto things that will affect your confidence is a major reason for under-performance. When you stand over a shot, are you concerned about the trouble? The last bad shot you hit? How you look in front of your playing partners? Or is your focus intense between the ball and the target like a Tour player? Find ways to improve your ability to concentrate.
5. Separate your golfing self from you as a person
Many Tour players will have a separate persona on the golf course. In other words they detach themselves from who they are as a golfer and who they are as a person. Tim Gallwey, considered to be the first golf mind coach, said in his book The Inner Game of Golf: “If it is golf that made you someone, then golf can make you no one again”. Point being if you start playing ego golf and build your self esteem around how good your scores are, what happens when you start to play badly? You lose confidence quickly. Golf is something that you do, not who are.
6. Acceptance and re-framing
Your response to your shots can have a big effect on your confidence. The longer you harbor emotions of frustration and anger towards a shot you hit, the more doubt, negativity and tension you create for your next shot. Tour players have learned this from experience, so they don’t hold on to bad shots the way that amateurs do. Granted, Tour players have the benefit of a caddie, who knows exactly what to say to a player to make him or her forget a bad shot quickly, but given that you don’t, you’ll need to learn the art of good, positive self-talk and offer yourself encouragement not criticism.
7. Anchor success (and pay attention to failure)
In golf you have to celebrate success and use failure to improve. At the end of every round, remember your best shots and replay them vividly. You could write about these in a journal and recount them when you need to give you a confidence booster. It’s also a good idea to write notes about bad rounds so you can notice any patterns in your behavior and mental approach, so you can change it. Even though failure doesn’t feel good, it feels a lot better if you can see it as a way to learn.
8. Have a plan for the time in between
90% of the game of golf is when you’re not actually “playing”. During this time you have the ability to make or break your confidence and your scores. Have a plan for this time, so you don’t allow your mind to wander onto the wrong things.
9. Feel prepared for your round
I find there’s nothing worse for the confidence when you get to the course a few minutes before your tee time, making you feel rushed and unprepared. It’s even worse if you haven’t played the course before. On the contrary, if you’ve allowed yourself plenty of time to warm up and relax and look through the yardage book to determine your strategy for each hole, you’ll feel a lot more prepared and confident for the round.
10. Take yourself out of your comfort zone
A great way to build your confidence fast is to challenge yourself and experience what it feels like to pull shots off under pressure. Don’t be afraid to play with players that are better than you and feel nerves. If harnessed properly, nerves are a good thing and increase your chances of lowering your scores and taking a good confidence boost with it.
Source : David MacKenzie Golf State of Mind
If you are a passionate walking golfer, you may like to join The Walking Golfers Society. This group believes that walking is essential to the enjoyment of golf and that the game was intended to be played this way.
Many courses require you take a golf cart, rather than walk. The main reason offered is the revenues generated by 2 people paying golf cart fees, in addition to green fees.
However, there are quite a few courses stretching from Oregon to New Jersey where you are welcome to carry your bag or use an electronic push cart. Click on Course Reviews for info on these courses.
The benefits to walking include the obvious one, that it provides more physical exercise, but it also is better for the golf course and the surrounding environment. A cart, especially in wet weather, has much more impact on the grass. And cart paths are a bit of a blight on the lovely natural environment.
Read more to learn why this passionate society feels that golf courses have a big opportunity before them to benefit from walking-only golf.
As mentioned on The Walking Golfer homepage, there are many benefits of walking when you golf. Four primary benefits are the following: Physical – You burn almost twice as many calories as you would riding in a cart Scoring – You shoot better scores than those who are riding in a cart Social – You have a much better opportunity to interact with all of your playing partners Experience – You can fully enjoy the natural beauty of the course from tee to green Please click on each benefit to find more information. The benefits of walking are not limited to the golfer, they extend to the golf course and the surrounding environment. A walking golfer has much less impact on the turf than a golf cart, which is evident any time you play in the rain because you can see where carts have ripped up swaths of grass that will take months to mend. If a golf course or club is walking only, then there is the added benefit of saving expenses on building and maintaining cart paths, while also significantly improving the aesthetics of the course. Cart paths are little more than a long scar on the landscape that disrupt natural sightlines, create artificial man made obstacles and negatively influence an architects ability to freely route the course. A cart path free course is a blank canvas, while the necessity to accomodate cart paths is restrictive to the architect as an artist. Many contend that the costs of building and maintaining cart paths are outweighed by the revenue that is generated from cart rentals. I think this is bogus, and I think that golf courses have a huge opportunity in front of them to benefit from a movement towards walking only golf. Carts bring in revenue, but the turf, cart path and golf cart maintenance costs erode that revenue to a point where it would be advantageous for courses to rent motorized push carts. Electronic push carts are cheaper to purchase and maintain than motorized carts which is great for the golf course, while also providing the walking golfer with a means of walking eighteen without having to carry his or her bag. Being a walking golfer is much better for the golfer, the golf course, the bottom line and the environment.Source : The Walking Golfer Pictures : Kyle Henderson Mike Serigrapher
Charitable donations from tournaments on the PGA Tour, Champions Tour, and Web.com Tour, were a record $140.5 million for 2014. The total, donated from the first-ever charitable tournament in 1938 at the Palm Beach Invitational, is now $2.14 billion.
What a game! The sponsors, the players, the volunteers, the PGA tournament staff and you, the ticket buyers, make all of this possible. The beneficiaries include hospitals, youth development organizations, food banks, and grow-the-game programs.
Read why golf is still the coolest sport, provided by Media Team, PGA Tour.com to see how golf does it differently from other professional sports organizations.
Source : PGATour.com Pictures : Keith Allison The Principal Charity Classic
The PGA TOUR announced today that charitable donations in 2014 were a record $140.5 million. This total includes donations made by tournaments on the PGA TOUR, Champions Tour, Web.com Tour, PGA TOUR Canada, PGA TOUR China and PGA TOUR Latinoamérica.With the announcement, the all-time total donated to charity is $2.14 billion since the first-ever charitable contribution of $10,000 at the 1938 Palm Beach Invitational. Of that total, more than $1 billion has come since the TOUR surpassed the $1-billion plateau in 2005. The $2-billion mark was passed in January of last season. “This record charitable output is a testament to the hard work and tireless efforts of our tournaments, sponsors, players and, especially, our volunteers,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem, who made the announcement during this week’s World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship. “This achievement is remarkable and reflects the tremendous impact that is being felt in communities all over the world.” Earlier this year, it was announced that the Waste Management Phoenix Open had surpassed $100 million in charitable donations in its history, becoming the third PGA TOUR event to have generated that much for charity, joining the AT&T Byron Nelson Championship and the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Expected to join that illustrious grouping in three weeks is the Valero Texas Open, which has donated more than $95 million to charity in its history, including more than $90.5 million since Valero became title sponsor of the event in 2002. In 2014, five PGA TOUR events generated more than $7 million for charity, including three – Valero Texas Open, AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial – that donated more than $9 million. There were six Champions Tour events that donated more than $1 million to charity, including the Shaw Charity Classic which was over $2 million. The Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft led the Web.com Tour with donations of more than $1.45 million. The World Golf Championships, a series of four international championships, have surpassed a significant milestone with the series generating more than $50 million for charitable causes since their debut in 1999. Unlike other professional sports organizations, the PGA TOUR relies on more than 100,000 volunteers annually to run its tournaments, and the vast majority of its tournaments are structured as non-profit organizations designed to donate 100 percent of net proceeds to charity. Community beneficiaries include a wide variety of organizations including hospitals, youth development organizations, growth-of-the-game programs and food banks.