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Posts Tagged ‘Bob Carney’

6 Steps to Improving the Current Handicap System.

6 Steps to Improving the Current Handicap System.

6 Steps to Improving the Current Handicap System.

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

This seems to be a subject that goes around and around with very little substance ever coming out of the USGA. (or the R&A for that matter)  Growing up in South Africa, we took a double bogey when we didn’t finish a hole.  Didn’t matter what the level of a golfer or the par of the hole.  Nice and simple.  You cannot try a build the handicap system around the cheater.  There will always be people who want to keep their handicaps higher for betting purposes.  No matter what the system, we will never get rid of these people.  I think world peace will happen sooner.  

So let’s move on, get an international system that everyone uses, and keep it simple!  

Thanks to  of Golf Digest for this useful information!

6 Steps to Improving the Current Handicap System.

The USGA Handicapping system is a marvel. It allows players of disparate skills to compete, and, if everyone is honest, to compete fairly. (Big “if,” we know.)

But the system produces painful side effects. Reinforcing the American obsession with stroke play, causing people to play for a medal score even when they’re playing matches. It discourages other, sometimes faster, formats by not counting those scores. Taken together, it contributes to slow play and frustration: If every player has to count every last stroke “for handicap purposes” even a match play round is a dreary marathon and the sport is far less fun than it might be.

So it was a huge disappointment when the USGA recently announced changes to the system (something it only does every four years or so) and did little to address these issues. The most talked-about and debated change—banning of unaccompanied rounds for handicaps—induced a yawn here. OK, so you don’t take my scores, which are perfectly accurate, because someone else is padding his. Does that really help? It’s re-painting the Titanic’s deck chairs—forget about rearranging them.

We hear the association is close to greater changes. We hope so. Here’s what it should look like:

1. Get with the rest of the world.

For years the USGA has discussed with the R&A and other golf associations the desirability of a common worldwide handicap system. Makes sense, since Americans more and more often play overseas and tons of overseas golfers visit our clubs and resorts. There have been dozens, if not hundreds, of meetings about this. It’s time to act.

2. Adopt the Net Double Bogey limit.

A stumbling block to such an agreement is the U.S. resistance to a simple, “maximum net double bogey” standard for recording scores (the USGA prefers a more complicated Equitable Stroke Control, which, which several experts on handicapping tell us, is no more accurate). No score beyond a net double bogey counts for handicap calculation. If you’re about to make a double, might as well pick it up. There’s no need to putt out your 9 “for my handicap.” Take a breather. Enjoy the outdoors. And keep the game moving. It’s a stance mathematician Dean Knuth, the architect of the Slope System, has long advocated. And he’s right.

3. Encourage Stableford scoring.

In Europe and Australia, this net-double-bogey limit includes the use of the Stableford points scoring: One point for net bogey, two points for par, three points for birdie, zero for anything higher than bogey. It’s enjoyable because it rewards good play without letting an abysmal hole destroy your round. The European Golf Association and Australia have built handicap systems based on Stableford points. If, for example, you average 20 points (out of a maximum 36) your handicap will be about 16. At the very least the USGA could encourage “points” play at its clubs. For kids, who play other sports for positive points, Stableford makes complete sense.

It is, Knuth says, “Fast and fun.” One expert on slow play agreed that it can help there, too. (For the record, we are not advocating the revised Stableford format used by the old International professional tournament. That penalized golfers for high scores; fine for pros, defeats the purpose for amateurs.) And if Stableford sounds stodgy, call it Points Scoring.

To see the other 3 steps to improving the current handicap system, go here!

Source: Golf Digest

Pictures: Golf DigestEric Havir

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Are you a good golfing partner - Here are the do's and don'ts!

Are you a good golfing partner – Here are the do’s and don’ts!

Are you a good golfing partner – Here are the do’s and don’ts!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

Are you a good golfing partner - Here are the do's and don'ts!

 

Our friend Dean Knuth, a statistical genius known as the Pope of Slope, once suggested a formula for choosing a partner: Find someone who balances your tendencies. If you’re Steady Eddie, play with Wild Willy, and so forth. OK, but that’s only half of it. Our Handy Guide to Golf Partnering is what you need for the rest.

1) You believe in the team when no sensible person would. See “Cubs fan.”

The essential characteristic of a great partner is hope. A steady diet of “Why do we do this to ourselves?” or “I’d be better off repainting my cupola” isn’t what you’re after. You’d much rather hear, “We’re close,” even if it evokes laughter. I have a friend who dispenses with score and counts “LVs,” or Little Victories: a great escape from the woods, a nifty bunker shot. He’s a smiler. You’re like him. You keep mood and score separate.

Are you a good golfing partner - Here are the do's and don'ts!
Illustrations by Peter Arkle

2) You’re no teacher. And never impersonate one.

You’d love to tell your friend and partner he’s swinging at, oh, 50 miles per hour faster than normal, but you don’t because you’re a good partner. You wait for him to inquire, after multiple doubles: “You see anything?” And then, in your best Bob Uecker voice, you reply: “Just a hairrrrrrrrr quick.” That’s it; no analysis. You’re also an expert in biting your tongue about your game. Your partner never hears you say: “I’m setting the angle way too soon …” I’ll give you the angle.

3) You forget with the best. You remember only the best. You expect the same.

A new study reveals that marathoners quickly forget the anguish of their runs. “This helps to explain,” says the study’s author, “why people run marathons again and again in spite of pain.” This forgetfulness also applies to childbirth. (See where we’re headed?) In golf, amnesia is oxygen. Beware the partner who says, “I’d love to play with you again if you’ll get some help with your putting.” He’s a rememberer. You, on the other hand, are known for uttering the most perfect sentence in the history of golf companionship: “I can’t remember ever seeing you miss a putt that counted.”

4) You’re on the same page when it really counts.

A lot of golfers are Bermudas-wearing judgment machines. They’re experts on what’s wrong with the world, are especially knowledgeable about the damn Liberal Media, and will regale you with evidence that golf is disintegrating: Hats backward! Cellphones! Cargo shorts! Good partners share similar codes of conduct. If he’s Old School, and you’re a shirt-out, rock ‘n’ roller, beware. But if you’re a traditionalist amused by changing standards, that’s OK. My friend Squirrel, about a 4-handicap, plays with a boom box on his cart and sometimes dresses as the aforementioned animal. He has a very big tech job. When he applied to his North Carolina club, his wife said, “Are you sure you’re country club material?” Good question. Turns out he is, but it’s a tolerant country club, compatible with a passion for golf and the Doobies… Brothers, that is.

To see the other 4 traits of a good golfing partner, go here!

Source:     Golf Digest

Pictures:  Peter Arkle

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8 Things you need to know if you want to be a caddie!

8 Things you need to know if you want to be a caddie!

8 Things you need to know if you want to be a caddie!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

First of all, becoming a caddie is not only for young people!  A lot of retired business people caddie just for something to do and earn some extra pocket money.  Most of the time you are paid in cash, and you get to meet some really nice people along the way. Every time I travel to Scotland, Ireland or South Africa, when I play golf, I always take a caddie.  Most of the caddies I have had in the UK are pretty good golfers themselves and many times are members of the club.  My recent round at Carnoustie (played in a gale!) was enhanced when our caddies joined us for a drink in the members pub after the round.  We would not have been able to have a drink there without them.  

Thanks to  of Golf Digest for giving us an insight of what it takes to become a caddie!

Don’t be intimidated. Follow our guide to getting started and you’ll have a bag over your shoulder in no time.

8 Things you need to know if you want to be a caddie!

1. Get training.

Most club caddie masters hold an orientation/training session for prospective caddies prior to the beginning of the season. These sessions orient you both to the club itself and to the job — where to stand, how to hold the bag, how to take care of divots, keeping clubs clean, tending the flagstick, etc.  Don’t miss it. And don’t be afraid to ask questions when you’re there. It’s good to have the caddie master, who assigns loops, know your name. One of the most basic questions is, “Do you schedule individual caddies or is it first come, first serve?” That makes a big difference as to when you have to be in the caddie yard. There are training films on the web that can help, too.

8 Things you need to know if you want to be a caddie!

8 Things you need to know if you want to be a caddie!

2. Be brave. Most golfers don’t bite.

8 Things you need to know if you want to be a caddie!
 
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The greatest untold story in golf - Finish College debt free!

The greatest untold story in golf – Finish College debt-free!

The greatest untold story in golf – Finish College debt-free!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

While researching another story I was writing, I came across this intriguing story that I felt I had to share!  This is the greatest untold story in golf!  Going to college on a scholarship that is available to all.  And the best thing is, you can finish college debt-free!  Why is this such a secret?  Thanks so much to Golf Digest and   for bringing this to our attention.  I hope this story gets the coverage it deserves!

Even in the well-buffered world that is golf—even in our world, in other words—it’s a wonder that some kids make it.

Malachi Zeitner, son of an Iowa golf professional and the nephew of another, lost his mother to drugs and jail when he was not much more than a toddler. When he was 8, his father, Brandon, got married to another woman and moved to Chicago, where he took a job as an assistant pro, and, when the marriage failed, succumbed to an alcoholic habit he’d kept secret from his family. He died in 2007.

Malachi, then 12, moved back to Sioux City, Iowa, to live with his grandparents and might still be there if it weren’t for a meeting about caddies his uncle attended in Ohio, and the conversation it inspired.

“So I’ve come back from this Evans Scholarship selection meeting,”

Says Brad Zeitner, head professional at Brookside Golf and Country Club in Columbus, Ohio, “and I’m telling my wife, Beth, how cool an experience it was listening to these kids who are applying for the scholarship, how I had tears in my eyes and all, and I finish, and she says—give her the credit—’Well, I don’t know much about caddieing, but based on what you’re telling me, what about Malachi? What if he came here and lived with us and caddied at Brookside?’ That pretty much set the ball rolling.”

The greatest untold story in golf - Finish College debt free!
Ari Rexhepaj at the Miami of Ohio Evans Scholarship house.

It continued rolling through three summers of caddieing, strong grades, and a selection meeting at the Maketewah Country Club in Cincinnati much like the first one Malachi’s uncle had attended. The adults at the meeting—donors, scholarship directors, many former caddies themselves—wanted to know if Malachi, in addition to his strong caddie and academic records, was a solid kid, a kid with character. They were also curious about why he’d chosen dentistry. Malachi told them he decided to be a dentist about the time he moved back to Iowa from Chicago, when things got rough. “I’d heard somewhere that dentists got more free health care than any professional. I needed that.”

‘It would mean I could give my kids the things I didn’t have.’

“The last question they asked him was what getting this scholarship would mean to him,” recalls Uncle Brad. “Malachi said, ‘It would mean I could give my kids the things I didn’t have.’ As everyone took that in, the room went absolutely silent. One of the gentlemen stopped it there. ‘Malachi, I think that’s enough,’ he said. Mal tells me later, ‘I didn’t get a chance to thank everyone.’ I said, “No, you thanked them. You just didn’t know it.”

The greatest untold story in golf - Finish College debt free!

In 2012, Malachi Zeitner won the Evans Scholarship, a full ride, including housing, to Miami University in Ohio (where tuition runs about $31,000 a year), and he has lived without charge in a house of 40 former caddies for the past three years. He’ll graduate this May, dental school ahead.

“To be honest, I probably wouldn’t be in college if it weren’t for the scholarship,” Malachi says. He’s also a big fan of the communal living that’s part of the Evans experience. “I got to school the first week, and I felt like we had a family in the house.”

To read the rest of this incredible story, go here!

Source: Golf Digest    

Pictures:

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Why Spring Golf is always so Sweet with Anticipation!

Why Spring Golf is always so Sweet with Anticipation!

Why Spring Golf is always so Sweet with Anticipation!

Golf Chats is a website to encourage discussions on various subjects relating to the game of golf. I am Mel Sole, Director of Instruction of the Mel Sole Golf School and SAPGA Master Professional.  I invite you to enter into a discussion on this or any article on the golfchats.com website.  The input is for the entire subscriber base to learn something new each time!  Please post your comments below.  Keep it clean and tasteful.  We are here to learn from one another!

I love this story by Bob Carney in the April issue 2015 of Golf Digest. 

Bob talks about how we head to a soggy course after a long winter, and we play well and have great fun.  Why? It involves a little psychology.  You have no expectations, your body is healthy, and the game is fresh and interesting.  You are in a state of ‘effortless action,’ and you aren’t trying very hard.  Spring golf is just happening to you.

A break from playing can produce this freshness, says Richard Coop, Ph.D., who has advised Tour players for three decades.

But then, we continue to play, and our swing is not as smooth, our ‘happy-just-to-be-here’ attitude has dissipated, and our high expectations have taken us out of the present moment.  We all know what reflecting on the past, or the future in golf is a killer!

How to keep your love of the game going?  Read more……………….

Why Spring Golf is always so Sweet with Anticipation!

The Master’s Tournament always signals the start of Spring!

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.

Why Spring Golf is always so Sweet with Anticipation!

A book on Effortless Action!

A break from playing can produce this freshness, too, says 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? Be 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.”

Why Spring Golf is always so Sweet with Anticipation!

Zen Mind – Beginners Mind!

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:  Golf Digest   Bob Carney

Pictures: blake hall   The Extremist.

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