GUEST COMMENTARY
Dot Rooney 
What the EWGA means to me
Sunday, June 26, 2011
By Alan Shipnuck

I grew up in the Philadelphia area but moved away for about 10 years. When I came back, in 1988, I really didn’t have any friends left here. It is always more difficult to make friends once you are out school, and my occupation as a dentist in a small office didn’t make it easy to find friends.

 

One day, I was working (as a nurse, my previous occupation) and was forced to watch the Masters. Freddy Couples was walking down the fairway, the sky was blue, the grass was green and he was smiling. It looked so relaxing that I decided that I needed to take up this sport.  After a few lessons, I was hooked.

 

I eventually saw an ad for an EWGA (Executive Women’s Golf Association) league forming at Island Green CC in NE Philly, which is seven minutes from my house. I had to join. I didn’t care if I didn’t know anyone. I wanted the opportunity to play in a after work league. It was a welcoming group and since most of us didn’t know each other, we all were anxious to get to know each other. I joined EWGA and never looked back.

 

I was asked to help the beginner golfers and found I really enjoyed helping them get to know the rules, etiquette, golf course management and sometimes even swing tips. I moved on to become a co-coordinator of the league and then ran for the position of Vice President and President. Being in a leadership position, I decided to travel to the annual EWGA conferences to golf, have fun and attend leadership meetings. Because of all the local and national events that I have attended, I have made so many friends all over the Philadelphia area and throughout the country.

 

This year the LPGA is playing the Solheim Cup in Ireland. I did not think twice about signing up to attend because of the friendships I have made, I know I will have a great time with all my EWGA friends.

 

Volunteering for the organization takes my membership to the next level. It gives me contact with even more golfers. I also love the opportunity to play competitive golf in both stroke and match play events in addition to the league and local weekend outings.

 

Dot Rooney is president of the Philadelphia chapter of the EWGA.


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Reid Champagne 
Maybe it is the arrow
Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Maybe it is the arrow

Golf equipment manufacturers are fond of tooting their own horns when their equipment figures into a win on the PGA Tour. Their glowing press releases touting the quality of their drivers, irons, wedges, shafts and balls used by the winning pros carry the suggestion that all the seasoned professionals in the field who did not win had simply not been using that piece of equipment.

 

The hype even extends to accoutrements that have nothing to do with scoring, such as FootJoy’s trumpeting that it’s been the "undisputed number one shoe at golf’s oldest major" (the British Open) since such records have been kept. I wonder who started keeping those records.

 

Some releases don’t even mention the name of the golfer who won the event. So you read, for instance, that "UST’s Proforce V2 Wins Wyndham Championship." The golfer hoisting the trophy is identified only as a "PGA Tour Rookie of the Year candidate" who "earned his first PGA victory...". It’s as if the human winner of the event was there only to provide support and alignment for the piece of equipment that actually claimed victory. Perhaps there’s even a photo somewhere of the winning shaft leaning up against the trophy. From the manufacturers’ perspective, it is the arrow and not the Indian when it comes to winning.

 

Needless to say, I’ve never read a press release entitled "UST’s Proforce V2 Misses Cut at Wyndham Championship."

 

I don’t mean to single out the fine folks at UST. I can wrap their shafts around a tree trunk as well as any other shaft maker’s. But if it’s us weekend warriors for whom equipment makers are in business to attract, maybe their releases should focus on our performences, rather than that of a touring pro. Maybe something like:

 

"FT-i Driver Finally Finds Fairway at Sawgrass."

 

JAX – Struggling through 15 holes of slices, duck hooks, topped drives, skulls and duffs, Callaway’s FT-i driver finally found the fairway at the TPC’s difficult 16th hole. "We believe the FT-i is the straightest, most-forgiving driver on the market, in spite of what we saw here today," said Art Vanderlay, vice-president for club misuse at Callaway. "Though ‘forgiveness’ was raised to New Testament proportions out there, we remain confident that finding that fairway today was no fluke."

 

The unique head design also provides flotation when flung into a lake or pond, according to Vanderlay.

 

Or:

 

"Pro-V1 Most Retrieved Ball at Hammock Dunes."

 

PALM COAST -  Titleist’s Pro-V1 golf ball was found to be the ball most retrieved from the deep woods at the Hammock Dunes Creek Course, according to a recent survey there. "Most golfers traipsing into the marshes to retrieve their wayward shots here are walking out with Pro-V1’s," says Bob Sacomano, Titleist’s vice-president for bulk sales. "We are proud that the Pro-V1 remains the most mishit and lost ball on the market."

 

Or maybe:

 

White Hot Sinks 60-Footer For 102  At Bay Hill

 

Orlando -- Odyssey’s White Hot HG putter found the break that had been missed in the initial read, and rattled in the bottom of the cup on Bay Hill’s 18th green to preserve a final round 102.

 

"We continue to be pleased that our HG multi-layer insert technology can overcome even the most egregious putting strokes to produce scores much lower than they deserve to be," says A.G. Pennypacker, group director for offline putting at Odyssey Golf.

 

Since 1990, Odyssey has been putting putters in the hands of thousands of golfers who have no clue. "Frankly, after reviewing the ‘reads’ of hundreds of hackers across the country," says Pennypacker, "we’re frankly amazed more of these people haven’t walked off cliffs so devoid they seem of any sense of topography."

 

And finally this snippet:

 

FootJoy: The Undisputed Number One Shoe in the Grill Room at Miami’s Miccosukee Golf and Country Club.

 

But the real news in golf equipment, for me anyway, is not about how the practice and skill of the professional player can make equipment sing like a violin or perform like a surgical tool. In that case it’s more about not letting the equipment hinder the skill of the professional.

 

Those releases should read more like, New Nike Driver Does Not Get In The Way of Watney’s Win at Doral, or something like that. No, the real news is about this certain player that can take a driver resolutely designed and weighted to produce a solid draw, but still mange to hit a banana slice that would make a gorilla’s mouth water.

 

But I understand the game. Equipment makers have to sell you on the fact that it is ultimately the arrow. But I got to tell you, with these Indians out here, those arrows had better be made of rubber.

 

Contact Reid Champagne at reid4bar@comcast.net.


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Reid Champagne 
Lies, damned lies and golf
Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Maybe it is the arrow

Golf equipment manufacturers are fond of tooting their own horns when their equipment figures into a win on the PGA Tour. Their glowing press releases touting the quality of their drivers, irons, wedges, shafts and balls used by the winning pros carry the suggestion that all the seasoned professionals in the field who did not win had simply not been using that piece of equipment.

 

The hype even extends to accoutrements that have nothing to do with scoring, such as FootJoy’s trumpeting that it’s been the "undisputed number one shoe at golf’s oldest major" (the British Open) since such records have been kept. I wonder who started keeping those records.

 

Some releases don’t even mention the name of the golfer who won the event. So you read, for instance, that "UST’s Proforce V2 Wins Wyndham Championship." The golfer hoisting the trophy is identified only as a "PGA Tour Rookie of the Year candidate" who "earned his first PGA victory...". It’s as if the human winner of the event was there only to provide support and alignment for the piece of equipment that actually claimed victory. Perhaps there’s even a photo somewhere of the winning shaft leaning up against the trophy. From the manufacturers’ perspective, it is the arrow and not the Indian when it comes to winning.

 

Needless to say, I’ve never read a press release entitled "UST’s Proforce V2 Misses Cut at Wyndham Championship."

 

I don’t mean to single out the fine folks at UST. I can wrap their shafts around a tree trunk as well as any other shaft maker’s. But if it’s us weekend warriors for whom equipment makers are in business to attract, maybe their releases should focus on our performences, rather than that of a touring pro. Maybe something like:

 

"FT-i Driver Finally Finds Fairway at Sawgrass."

 

JAX – Struggling through 15 holes of slices, duck hooks, topped drives, skulls and duffs, Callaway’s FT-i driver finally found the fairway at the TPC’s difficult 16th hole. "We believe the FT-i is the straightest, most-forgiving driver on the market, in spite of what we saw here today," said Art Vanderlay, vice-president for club misuse at Callaway. "Though ‘forgiveness’ was raised to New Testament proportions out there, we remain confident that finding that fairway today was no fluke."

 

The unique head design also provides flotation when flung into a lake or pond, according to Vanderlay.

 

Or:

 

"Pro-V1 Most Retrieved Ball at Hammock Dunes."

 

PALM COAST -  Titleist’s Pro-V1 golf ball was found to be the ball most retrieved from the deep woods at the Hammock Dunes Creek Course, according to a recent survey there. "Most golfers traipsing into the marshes to retrieve their wayward shots here are walking out with Pro-V1’s," says Bob Sacomano, Titleist’s vice-president for bulk sales. "We are proud that the Pro-V1 remains the most mishit and lost ball on the market."

 

Or maybe:

 

White Hot Sinks 60-Footer For 102  At Bay Hill

 

Orlando -- Odyssey’s White Hot HG putter found the break that had been missed in the initial read, and rattled in the bottom of the cup on Bay Hill’s 18th green to preserve a final round 102.

 

"We continue to be pleased that our HG multi-layer insert technology can overcome even the most egregious putting strokes to produce scores much lower than they deserve to be," says A.G. Pennypacker, group director for offline putting at Odyssey Golf.

 

Since 1990, Odyssey has been putting putters in the hands of thousands of golfers who have no clue. "Frankly, after reviewing the ‘reads’ of hundreds of hackers across the country," says Pennypacker, "we’re frankly amazed more of these people haven’t walked off cliffs so devoid they seem of any sense of topography."

 

And finally this snippet:

 

FootJoy: The Undisputed Number One Shoe in the Grill Room at Miami’s Miccosukee Golf and Country Club.

 

But the real news in golf equipment, for me anyway, is not about how the practice and skill of the professional player can make equipment sing like a violin or perform like a surgical tool. In that case it’s more about not letting the equipment hinder the skill of the professional.

 

Those releases should read more like, New Nike Driver Does Not Get In The Way of Watney’s Win at Doral, or something like that. No, the real news is about this certain player that can take a driver resolutely designed and weighted to produce a solid draw, but still mange to hit a banana slice that would make a gorilla’s mouth water.

 

But I understand the game. Equipment makers have to sell you on the fact that it is ultimately the arrow. But I got to tell you, with these Indians out here, those arrows had better be made of rubber.

 

Contact Reid Champagne at reid4bar@comcast.net.


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Reid Champagne 
The holes in my head
Monday, April 11, 2011

The holes in my head

I rarely break 90 when I play golf. And yet, the only time I enjoy myself on the golf course is when I do. In short I have a Misery Index that’s through the roof. Which begs the question: Why do I torture myself like this?

 

It’s a good question, one my wife has also framed for herself, especially when periodically evaluating our marriage, an analysis that curiously coincides with my many tee times. But while her ruminations on the question rarely produces a cogent conclusion (for her), my answers regarding golf are quite rational: It is well within my theoretical ability to shoot respectable scores in the 80’s every time I play – provided you suspend disbelief and accept that the game I can imagine myself playing is the actual one.

 

My usual round of golf consists not of one round but three. The first is the one I actually play – the one where I generally chop my way to a 90–something. The second is the one I play on the way home from the course, where I can clearly envision that pair of sevens and the numerous sixes I carded all reduced now by just one out-of-character swing that shouldn’t have happened. (This review is accomplished in the privacy of my car, mind you. I’m not one of those boorish 19th-holers who bray, "Well, it was a 94, but it could have been a 78.")

 

But it’s the round I begin to replay at about three in the morning where my true hidden proficiencies really shine. A warm feeling of contentment suddenly replaces the night terrors that had awakened me, as I am once again on the first tee, this time sending a gentle draw rising through the atmosphere, and getting me off to the round of my life.

 

As I lay awake (counting strokes, not sheep) I see how easy I could have recorded par after par, by merely maintaining that same simple take away and follow through that seems so easy when staring at a bedroom ceiling. No sevens or even sixes are marked here, as my approach shots all have a consistency that no longer seems so elusive as on the course. As we all know, greens-in-regulation are the key to low rounds, and in my pajamas I am suddenly the King of GIR. I make the turn in 38 (still ever the realist!) and proceed to the back nine, where I eventually find myself beginning to leak oil on that stretch of holes that has so often been the death march of a decent real round. In my bed, I go bogey, bogey, bogey and realize now, at nine over, I have to really bear down on the final three holes if I want to save this thing.

 

I puff up the pillows, toss the covers off my torso, and steel myself for the difficult task ahead. The par three 16th  requires a simple, straight-out tee ball, that  I often pull hook into the weeds for a double. Even in my imaginary replay round on the way home, I managed only a bogey. But now, eyes on the prize, and only my wife’s melodic (in case she reads this) snoring to distract me, I manage to lace a 4-iron to within two feet of the cup. Birdie! I’m now eight over with two holes to play. If I can peer hard enough into my bedroom’s yawning darkness and imagine just one more birdie and a par finish, I’ll break 80!

 

No time for sleeping now. I tee it up for the 17th , a par five with definite birdie potential. Imagining the water that is all down the right side, I am suddenly reminded of my normal 2:30 a.m. bathroom visit that’s now an hour late. I pretend the bathroom is a tree to maintain presence in the moment, and then return to bed and step up to the tee. I play my tee shot conservatively down the left side, and then pop a medium iron leftwards (to avoid the water once again) to about a hundred yards out. I hit the sweetest wedge of the day (or middle of the night) to within 8 feet. I know how the putt breaks from missing it so many times on the real green, so this time I add a little more borrow and find the bottom of the cup.

 

The 18th is a long, treacherous par four that I rarely can manage bogey, even on the mental round on the way home. Restive from sleep deprivation now, I willingly take the risk/reward carry over the bulrushes, which shortens the hole considerably, allowing a trusty 5-iron into the green, instead of the usual balky 5-metal. I’m 15 feet away from an incredible birdie and a 78, but nerves (and a sudden, gasping snort from my wife) cause me to overcook the birdie putt, and then I miss the little knee-knocking comebacker and the 79 is gone as well. Tough break to falter like that after such a well-imagined round, but that’s, uh, reality.

 

At least the way I imagine it to be.

 

"How’d you shoot yesterday by the way," my wife asks after awakening from what she says was a "troubled sleep." I answer without a trace of self-deception: "Well, it was a 94, but it could have been a 78."

 

Reid Champagne clearly has one of those minds that wouldn’t be such a terrible thing to waste.

 

 


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Reid Champagne 
The swing and I
Sunday, April 3, 2011

The holes in my head

Tiger Woods said a few years ago that he wanted "to own his golf swing the way he believes only Ben Hogan and Moe Norman owned theirs." He might be looking to fire sale it now, but I know something: I own my golf swing, and I can tell you ownership is one big stinking headache. Owning my golf swing is a lot like owning an old beater that leaks oil like a sieve. Which reminds me...

 

I obtained title to my golf swing at some point in my teens, as near as I can remember. It wasn’t a customized swing. Looking at how it’s performed over the years, I think I may have actually purchased it at one of those "Everything’s A Dollar" emporiums, along with three cans of generic chili that were taped together for another buck.

 

It’s the kind of a swing that when friends or instructors take a look at it, say to me: "When are you going to get rid of that wreck?" But I hold onto it, through round after round of 90-somethings, like a comfortable old shirt filled with chili stains that I just can’t seem to part with, though my regular club now insists I have to wear a sweater over that shirt.

 

The swing wasn’t much to look at, for sure, when I bought it – more like a "fixer-upper" that had been previously owned by a cantankerous old recluse that kept stray cats and never cleaned up. But it was my swing, and along with the "Johnny Revolta" signature set of woods and irons that I believed were sold exclusively through Unclaimed Freight outlets, and a pair of equally inexpensive water resistant golf shoes, (to which, in fact, water, even dew, seemed to be intimately drawn to my socks), I strode confidently out to the local public links to make my mark in the game.

 

More than 40 years later, those shoes and clubs are long gone, but that swing remains firmly within my grip. After so many years, it’s just tough to let go. There’s so many memories attached to that swing; it would probably take a shoe bag full of anti-depressants to part with any of them. (There’s that almost metaphysical recollection of the time I led a two-day tournament with an opening 86, needing only, as it turned out, a 102 in the second round to win my flight. Instead, "The Swing and I" carved a smooth 107 on a windless and perfect day for golf. You simply can’t buy experiences like that, unless you do own your own golf swing like Tiger wants to do.

 

Funny thing about it, there are times when I don’t feel I own my golf swing, times when I wind up shooting a respectable round. Recently, I opened up a round on a very demanding local course with three consecutive GIR’s (a possible fourth dribbling to rest on the collar of the 4th green). Evidently, while it’s possible to own a bad golf swing, it appears possible to occasionally rent a good one (like when you travel, and you park your oil-spewing beater at the airport and rent a Hertz upon arrival at your destination). My golfing buddy that day said, "Where’s this coming from?" (in much the same way my friends ask when I show up in that Hertz.) I just shrugged back at him, and then proceeded to three-putt all three of those greens. Someday, I should tell you about the putting stroke I apparently bought at a garage sale in a 55+ community.

 

What I actually own, of course, is not a golf swing, but what could better be termed a Golf Ball Dispersing Device. You know, like those canisters at sporting events that launch promotional goo-gahs to the fans in the upper deck. In fact, golf ball manufacturers would be smart to license my swing (yeah, right) and shrink-wrap it to every box of balls they sell, as a special free bonus.

 

Which gives me an idea. Maybe I could sell my swing myself on one of those "But wait there’s more!" Ronco-type ads on TV. I could offer my Golf Ball Dispersal Device, sprucing it up for TV as the Amazing Golf Ball Dispersing Device.

 

"But wait, there’s more! If you order during this TV ad, we’ll throw in the Amazing Putting Stroke ABSOUTELY FREE. And if you’re not completely satisfied (or thoroughly disgusted) return it within 30 days, but keep the Amazing Putting Stroke as our gift.

 

Care to try my product, Tiger?

 

The question I should ask my tax accountant one day (who could just be the kid at the bag drop of my home course, the one who points to my shirt, reminding me about the sweater, and to put a piece of cardboard under my car’s engine block after I park it) is do I have to report my golf swing to the IRS – and if so, can I claim it as a loss?

 

Reid Champagne’s golf shots can be found all over Newark, DE, as well as the occasional local fairway.  

  


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Reid Champagne 
A hackerís history of golf
Monday, March 14, 2011

They say hisotry is written by the winners

They say history is written by the winners. I suppose that’s true. Had the English defeated the Continental Army, I’m sure that today men like Washington, Franklin, Hamilton, Adams and Jefferson would be written of merely as "insurgents," terrorists" and "bitter-enders."

 

I would think the writing of golf history would follow the same path; namely, it’s written by the people who were successful at it. What about the hackers and the chops, all those high-handicappers who just couldn’t get the hang of the game? What about golf history as seen through the eyes of the guys and gals who have, throughout the ages, hit it 200 yards sideways? I think the history of that grand game might look something like this:

 

1452

King James II of Scotland bans the playing of golf, because it is distracting his subjects from their archery practice. Actually, his subjects were, in fact, continuing their archery practice, along with their golf playing. The King simply noticed all the archers’ arrows flying off to the right, and blamed their golf swings the inaccuracy.

 

1471

King James III of Scotland reaffirms the ban on golf, after carding a snowman on his home course.

 

1491

King James IV of Scotland again re-affirms the ban on golf, after knocking his tee shot into the Firth of Forth three consecutive times on his home course.

 

1502

King James VI of Scotland repeals the ban on golf after making an ace on the third hole of his home course.

 

1513

Queen Catherine of England writes to Cardinal Wolsey referring to the growing popularity of golf, and how she never seems to see the King anymore, and when she does he’s wreaking of cigar smoke and Bloody Marys. Wolsey concludes that the Queen is the first golf widow in England.

 

1567

Mary Queen of Scots is criticized for playing golf just a day after the murder of her husband. She stands in solemn silence on the 4th tee as the King’s funeral cortŹge rides by. Her consort praises the queen for her respect for the dead, and the Queen replies, "It’s the least I could do. I was married to him for 20 years," thus recording history’s first golf joke.

 

1602

Earliest known reference to a set of clubs being made specifically for an individual golfer, in this case King James VI of Scotland. Later that year, the King is the first individual to blame his clubs for his poor play.

 

1603

King James VI appoints William Mayne as the "royal clubmaker." Later, the King shoots 103 with his new clubs and orders a new set, and then another one after his continued failure to break 100. His scoring woes continue throughout the season.

 

1604

King James VI orders the royal clubmaker beheaded.

 

1642

John Dickson receives a license as ball-maker for Aberdeen, Scotland. His architect brother James designs course featuring water in play on more than a dozen holes, and brother John becomes a millionaire.

 

1764

St. Andrews converts its links from 22 holes to 18 holes, but members continue to tell their wives the course is still 22 holes long, and that’s why they’re late to home.

 

1767

James Durham plays the St. Andrews course in 94 strokes, a record that will stand for nearly a century, making thousands of 20-plus handicappers today wish they’d been born 200 years earlier.

 

1768

The Golf House at Leith is erected. It is the first clubhouse. Prices for featheries in the pro shop are ten times what Dickson is selling them for.

 

1832

Mowers for cutting golf course grass are manufactured, but many courses still use sheep to keep the grass from getting too high. One course straps drinks and snacks to the back of one of its sheep, making the sheep the first beverage cart in golf history. Course shepherdess Edwinna is subjected to sexually suggestive taunts throughout the day.

 

1848

The gutta percha ball is introduced by the Rev. Roger Paterson. It flies farther and costs less than the featherie. The pro shop at Leith marks the "guttie" up to be twice as expensive as the featheries.

 

1858

St. Andrews issues new rules of golf, stipulating as the first rule that one round consists of 18 holes. Members tell wives the new rule is a "typo," and a round is till 22 holes long, and that’s why they’re late to home.

 

Also, Allan Robertson shoots a 79 on the Old Course, and is the first person to break 80. In the press story, James Durham is believed to be the first golfer referred to as a "hacker."

 

1860

Willie Park wins first British Open Golf Championship at Prestwick, beating seven players who played three rounds of 12 holes each. Members of St. Andrews attending the tournament tell their wives the tournament consists of three rounds of 22 holes each, and that’s why they’re late to home.

 

1861

Rules of entry for the British Open change so that amateurs can compete as well as professional. It is the earliest known reference to the term "sandbagging."

 

1868

First hole-in-one is recorded by Young Tom Morris. Upon seeing the ball disappear into the hole, he blurts: "The drinks are on me!"

 

1869

Young Tom Morris drafts first document covering hole-in-one insurance.

 

 2011

Thousands of hackers who’ve been telling themselves, "I am Tiger Woods," suddenly are.

 

Reid Champagne continues to spurn basic research in Newark, Delaware.


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Ryan Becker 
5 things heís working on
Tuesday, March 8, 2011

As the new season approaches, I have been focusing on what I need to do to get better this year.  That is the goal for all of us, right?  Having a plan for how to improve is critically important to achieving results.  Without a plan, you run the risk of wasted effort during your practice or playing sessions.  So here goes:

1) Practice With a Purpose:  Make practice time count.  It is easy to lose focus when you are just beating balls at the range.  Never hit a practice shot without thinking about what you want to accomplish with that shot.  Pick a target, identify the distance, check your alignment, and evaluate the results.

2) Develop a Consistent Pre-Shot Routine And Stick To It:  We have all felt pressure on the golf course:  standing on the first tee with a group of people watching, grinding to win a hole and collect a $15 Nassau, or maybe playing the last few holes with a chance to qualify for the Club Championship. 

Whatever the source, pressure on the golf course can alter the mechanics of your swing and cause an errant shot when you can least afford it.  The anecdote?  Routine and repetition.  Doing something the same way over and over again builds confidence and establishes a routine that will allow you to repeat a quality swing over and over again when it counts. 

This process begins before the shot.  Annika Sorenstam just wrote a great post for her Golf Academy where she noted the importance of focus and a consistent pre-shot routine and explained that at the height of her career her pre-shot routine was exactly 24 seconds long.  That precision is stunning.  Find a routine that is comfortable for you and practice it.

3) W-I-N:  Lou Holtz recently did a spot on the Golf Channel and one of his themes was how important it was to W-I-N – for Holtz this meant focusing on "What’s Important Now."

Great golfers all have one thing in common:  a short memory.  We all get stuck dwelling on a bad shot and we let it ruin our next three shots.  Try a different approach.  After you hit your shot – good or bad – shift your focus to "What’s Important Now" and you will realize that the answer is simply the next shot.  There is nothing you can do to get the last shot back.  You need to worry about what you can control – the shot that comes next.

4) Be Better From 100 Yards and In:  If you think hard about where you lose the most shots, it’s probably from within 100 yards of the green. I have always battled my wedges, and this is the year I am dedicated to getting better.  I am locked and loaded with some new Vokey wedges and a new attitude.  I want to get to the point that when I am holding a wedge in my hand, I am looking at it as an opportunity to make birdie instead of thinking about trying not to screw up my great drive!

5) 31 Putts or Fewer Each Round:  We’ve all heard the saying, "Drive for show, putt for dough."  Fewer putts equal lower scores; it’s as simple as that.  I wanted to set a realistic goal for the number of putts that will give me the best chance of breaking 80, and it was 31.  Set a goal for yourself and track your progress.  If you are consistently hitting your goal, then drop it by two shots – keep challenging yourself.

Ryan Becker, a Philadelphia native, is an avid golfer who currently has an 8.5 handicap.  A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the Penn State Dickinson School of Law, Becker works as an attorney in New York City.  His blog is A Healthy Golf Obsession.


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