Archive for November, 2014

November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving Golf Game…PINK BALL

pinkball

 

If you are like me and have a regular Thanksgiving Golf game every year with either family or friends I want to share a fun wrinkle to consider for a fun betting format. First things first, this format requires more than one foursome of players. It works best when each foursome is a team and plays against one or more additional foursome.

The way our group plays is in three different foursomes so 12 guys total. 8 works just fine too. Here are the nuts and bolts:

  • Each foursome (4 players) makes up a team
  • Each team will card 2 scores per hole
    • One score is a scramble score between three of the four players. (Each of the three players hits a tee shot and they take the next shot from the best shot, etc)
    • One player from each team will play a Pink golf ball. (Generally, we play with an actual Pink golf ball, but yellow or any other variation works as well)
  • The player who is playing the Pink Ball on the hole must finish out the hole completely with their Pink Ball. No gimmies.
  • After that player has completed the hole they will pass the Pink Ball to another player in the foursome. That player must now play the next hole alone with the Pink Ball while the other three play it as a scramble.
  • The order by which the Pink Ball is passed should be established on the first tee and can’t be altered during the round. Consider Par 5 and Par 3 hole numbers and play to your team player’s strengths.
  • The team with the lowest combined Pink Ball and Scramble score wins!

Example: If a team is playing a Par 4 hole and the three players playing as a scramble card a 4 and the player playing alone with the Pink Ball cards a 6 their team total is 10 for that hole.

The game is pretty fun with large groups and actually a lot of fun. Getting the Pink Ball on your tee is surprisingly stressful when you know you are all alone and your team is depending on you for a score. Try it out and let me know what you think!

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November 18, 2014

Study the Worst Golfer, NOT the Best

I stumbled across a very interesting article on LinkedIn this afternoon and I couldn’t help but share it and add my thoughts to it. The article is titled “How the world’s worst tennis player can help improve your performance.” (Article HERE).

The article raises a very interesting theory that as someone who wants to get better it is more beneficial to study people who have performed poorly in the desired field and work hard to not make the same mistakes they did as opposed to studying people who have been excellent in the desired field and trying to emulate them.

The concept is actually fascinating when applied to Golf. Think about it for a second. All of the instruction you see out there tells you to try to hit the ball like certain PGA Tour pros. Instructors use the V1 video software to compare your swing to Tiger Woods and Adam Scott. I want to clarify that I do believe that video training has a lot of value and benefits for the average golfer. We are constantly looking at what we should be doing, but how often do we stop and focus on what we shouldn’t be doing?

According to the theory proposed in the article players like myself can learn more by looking at what bad players do wrong and trying to avoid those mistakes than simply trying to emulate a great player. I took this theory to the driving range and tried to add the lens of looking at players and seeing what mistakes I wanted to avoid rather than looking for traits I wanted to mimic.

Here is what I noticed as I walked down the range. It was much harder to point out the things that the really good players were doing right than it was to point out what the bad players were doing wrong. It was far easier to notice that a bad player was coming out of their posture on the back-swing and completely losing their balance after hitting the ball than it was to point out the grip, posture, balance, impact position, stability of their head, etc of the really good player. As I walked down the line at the driving range it was easy to jot down a few notes based on some major mistakes I was seeing from the worse players. Using these as guidelines of things not to do I felt like I had a good foundation of ideas on which to use in my practice session and I actually had a very productive and positive session.

I think one should be careful with a theory like this because I could see the benefit of avoiding mistakes quickly dissipating when too many thoughts creep into your head. Having a head full of ideas that start with Don’t makes me really nervous as a golfer. On the flip side seeing someone do something wrong like lose their balance after impact and back peddling is a great visual to remind yourself to stay balanced throughout the swing. In fact, I would say it is a much better visual reminder than watching the swing of a PGA Tour player.

By trying to emulate Tiger Woods there is little chance you will become as good as Tiger Woods. By avoiding the mistakes that average golfers make, chances are you can elevate your game to a high level. I’m not sure if I 100% buy into this theory, but the article got my wheels turning and I wanted to share my thoughts on it. What do you think?